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Gear shift button extremely hard to push when in park

This is a discussion on Gear shift button extremely hard to push when in park within the General Help forums, part of the LSx Technical Help Section category; Background: 1995 Pontiac Firebird V6 base model. 3.4L Automatic ~68k miles. No major problems so far. Problem: The past month ...

  1. #1
    Junior Member Zimbabwe_3's Avatar
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    White
    1995 Firebird

    Unhappy Gear shift button extremely hard to push when in park

    Background:

    1995 Pontiac Firebird V6 base model. 3.4L Automatic ~68k miles. No major problems so far.

    Problem:

    The past month or so, the button you push in to shift has been extremely hard to push when going from park to any other gear. I have had to get a piece of PVC pipe so that I do not bruise my hand when getting it to work. It is the worst after it sits out on a cold night (I live in california so no freezing). I always put the car in neutral and put the parking break on, let off the break so the weight of the car is on the PB instead of the driveshaft. I am not sure what the problem may be. That is where you all can come in . I am pretty novice with anything other than basic repairs, my roommate is okay so if it takes more than mid level knowledge, please help me by spelling it out.

    If you need more info, please ask. Thanks for helping.

    Zimbabwe_3

  2. #2
    Veteran 0rion's Avatar
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    98 Formula
    06 duramax

    I wonder if it's just all gummed up inside there. That'd probably be the first thing I'd look at. To take the top of the shifter off you just pull the clip out of the front of the shifter at the base of the grip if I remember correctly and the shifter top comes right off. Have you tried striking straight down on top of the shifter? Sometimes those will work their way loose a little bit and slide up on the shifter.

  3. #3
    Member 180ls1's Avatar
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    1998 Firebird Formula WS6

    Quote Originally Posted by Zimbabwe_3 View Post
    Background:

    1995 Pontiac Firebird V6 base model. 3.4L Automatic ~68k miles. No major problems so far.

    Problem:

    The past month or so, the button you push in to shift has been extremely hard to push when going from park to any other gear. I have had to get a piece of PVC pipe so that I do not bruise my hand when getting it to work. It is the worst after it sits out on a cold night (I live in california so no freezing). I always put the car in neutral and put the parking break on, let off the break so the weight of the car is on the PB instead of the driveshaft. I am not sure what the problem may be. That is where you all can come in . I am pretty novice with anything other than basic repairs, my roommate is okay so if it takes more than mid level knowledge, please help me by spelling it out.

    If you need more info, please ask. Thanks for helping.

    Zimbabwe_3
    i have this problem too with the a4 lt1 sometimes

  4. #4
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    me too. 95 a4
    02 TA A4
    408ci - 244/250/612/622 | PRC 237 heads | FTRA |100mm lid | FAST92/92 | Kooks 1 7/8 | Hooker CB | DMH Cutout | built trans | Yank4000 | 412 motorsports tuned | stock rear:judge:

    08 TBSS - Borla CB

  5. #5
    had this happen on an old '87 Grand Am I had. Ended up taking it to the dealer who replaced the knob assembly. Took care of the problem, although I would have thought it would have taken more than that to fix it.

  6. #6
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    pewter
    99 Trans Am

    Sounds like a bad shift cable, Frist check and see if there have been any soft drinks wasted off in the pandel.I had that happen to my charger, the sugar gets sticky and makes it hard to shift from one gear to another. Try degreasing it and spray on a good bit of WD40 and try that. If that don't work you have a bad cable. The shifter safty lock is probaly bad. you can remove it but you will be able to start the car in any gear.If you leave it in drive and start it it will take off. Just look at the shifter and you will see two cables. one is for the trans and one is for the safty lock that works off the foot brake.

  7. #7
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    NBM
    1998Z28

    Its either the switch on the brake pedal or the soleniod thats on the shifter assembly. You know you mash the brake it activates a switch which controls/releases a solenoid that keeps you from moving the shifter unless brake is mashed. Does this help any?
    TSP 347 SB, TSP Stage 2.5 PRC LS6, TSP MS4, Performabuilt Stage 2 4L60E, Yank PT4000, 4.11s, Fast 90/90, FTRA Cold air intake+all the free mods, Dynatech Supermaxx Exaust System, DMH Cutouts, Hooker Catback/FTRA Tips. Tuned by RPM/Garner NC. 11.28@119

  8. #8
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    I think that might be it. If I press on the brake harder it seems that the button will depress then.

  9. #9
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    Black/Black
    '00 Firebird WS6 T/A

    Quote Originally Posted by Zimbabwe_3 View Post
    Background:

    1995 Pontiac Firebird V6 base model. 3.4L Automatic ~68k miles. No major problems so far.

    Problem:

    The past month or so, the button you push in to shift has been extremely hard to push when going from park to any other gear. I have had to get a piece of PVC pipe so that I do not bruise my hand when getting it to work. It is the worst after it sits out on a cold night (I live in california so no freezing). I always put the car in neutral and put the parking break on, let off the break so the weight of the car is on the PB instead of the driveshaft. I am not sure what the problem may be. That is where you all can come in . I am pretty novice with anything other than basic repairs, my roommate is okay so if it takes more than mid level knowledge, please help me by spelling it out.

    If you need more info, please ask. Thanks for helping.

    Zimbabwe_3
    Neutral/Park Safety Switch? There is also a solenoid that connects the brake pedal to the gearshift and only allows you to shift out of park when the brakes are on - on my old v6 I just cut the damn thing so, when I was done, all needed to shift out of park was the button bc it wasn't connected to the brakes anymore.

    Both of these are located in front of the shifter, down inside your console.

  10. #10
    Junior Member Zimbabwe_3's Avatar
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    1995 Firebird

    My car was in an accident (hit and run, that douche bag!) but when they were working on the back end at the shop, it wouldn't shift out of park. The guy took the center console off and just manually made it shift with lots of elbow grease and muscle. It has been working like a charm since. Just don't break anything!

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