2001 Volvo XC70



August, 27, 2009 AT 6:27 PM

Electrical problem
2001 Volvo XC70 6 cyl All Wheel Drive Automatic 750000 miles

Boy has this been a fun problem. At the moment we have a problem with the gear shift getting stuck in park. It wont budge at all.
We know that you need the key in position 1, the brake pedal depressed and the gear shift release button pressed but that doesn't allow it into reverse.
When you press the brake pedal you can feel the solenoid working so its not the micro switch linked to the pedal. We've also noticed that the shift will eventually release when the temperature rises above 12 -15 degrees.
We took it to a mechanic and they cleaned the solenoid cylinder so that it appeared to work without obvious friction but still the problem persists.
The mechanic also tightened the hand brake as we have a steep drive way and he suggested that the issue could be due to pressure being applied to the locking pin when the car is stopped on the slope.
I'm starting to wonder if the issue could be due to the actual transmission as once the gear shift does release, the gear changes with a fair clunk.
I know its causing the mechanic grief and us as well as the car is far from reliable now.
One other point that we've noticed is that the key wont release without some effort. We've found that we need to push the key in while having the brake pedal depressed to get it past an obstructing pin. You can feel the key overcoming the pin when it passes from position 1 to off.

Any ideas on this would be brilliant. I'm not too happy having a 2 tonne ornament on the driveway
Peter from Penrith


5 Answers



August, 27, 2009 AT 11:24 PM

Does this only happen when you are on the steep slope? Also, do you make the park brake hold the car then place it in park? Finally, and this may sound stupid, but do the brake lights work when this happens?

As far as the key, it sounds like the tumbler may be going bad. I would try a lubericant that is designed for tumblers / keys.

Let me know.




August, 28, 2009 AT 1:03 AM

When you say the mechanic lubed the solenoid cylinder do you mean the shift lock cable? Usually when you have some spillage near the center console it will cause the cable to stick. On the drivers side the side panel for the center console, remove it and look at the cable. Insert key in the ignition switch and turn it to poition 2 and back to off. You should see the cable slide back and forth to release the gear selector and lock it again. If it does not move freely use some WD-40 to clean and lubricate. If that does not help much then he can try to adjust the cable but most likely you will need to replace the cable. Also when you have trouble removing the key. Check the gear selector knob button. When you put it in park it should pop the button back out to confirm it is in park. If the button is still depress inside it is the same as if you were in reverse and if you tried removing the key when you were in another gear it would not let you move the key back to 0 position. If the knob is ok then like Joe mentioned your column lock (tumbler) is going bad. Inserting picture on the cable. Not very good pic but the view is from the drivers side.

Hope this helps you out.



August, 31, 2009 AT 2:54 AM

Hi Joe,
Thanks for the feedback, greatly appreciated.

Ok, As it happens, it does appear only to happen when the car is at rest on the sloping driveway. It does however, happen intermittently when parked flat.

We usually drive up the driveway and use the foot brake pedal to stop before applying the handbrake. The car does move slightly backwards when the foot brake is released.

The brake lights do work, however, we have been getting a brake light message come up even when the brake lights appear to be working. Let me try to explain.

When the gear lever fails to move out of park, we depress the foot brake a number of times to see if this assists with the release of the gear lock. Please note, we are holding the button on the gear shift in at the time, and this has never stuck either way.

Usually after pumping the brake 4 to 5 times the brake light failure appears. Not sure what this means at this stage but yes the brake lights work but we do get an error message.

As far as the tumbler is concerned, once the gear is unlocked, so to speak, we no longer have the problem with the key so it seems to be related.

Just to fill you in on the latest and I'll be updating JISoo1 shortly, we had the mechanic out when the problem occurred and he removed the centre console to take a peek at the problem. It appears that there is a plastic catch that seems to have a link between the key and the lock movement.

On Thursday, my time, I plan to take a photo of the part that seems to be causing some of this headache.
I'll post it up then and hopefully have a positive outcome for others who might have a similar issue.

Cheers and thanks



August, 31, 2009 AT 3:02 AM

Hi there,

Thanks for the feedback. Its greatly appreciated.
With the other fellows response and yours I think we are getting close.

In fact, as I mentioned in passing in the reply to Joe, the centre console was removed and it was found that there is a plastic hook type locking component that does have a linkage to the key. The mechanic mentioned that it was moving very slowly so he attempted to lubricate it with some success much as you say the result may a replacement cable.

This is where we are currently. We've requested the mechanic resource the part and replace the cable to see if the problem will re-occur.

Also as mentioned, I'll be taking some photo's to add to the discussion as I believe that the solution is near at hand and the responses here have been pretty much spot on.

Cheers and thanks again.
Great site. Wish I'd found it a month ago.



August, 31, 2009 AT 11:23 AM

I" m having the same problem shifting out of park on my 2005 volvo XC70. Can someone tell me how to access the inside of the gear shift selector

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