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Old 25 Jun 2011, 07:31 pm
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Default 1998 Honda Accord stuck in park, but not all the time?

I have a 1998 Honda Accord EX V6 automatic. I don't drive it very often (maybe 2-3K per year). Recently, I have been having a problem getting it out of park. I press on the brake, but the button on the shift column cannot be pressed. If I pump the brake several times, it eventually allows me to push the button and get it out of park. This has happened maybe 5-6 times over the last year.

I've seen other posts saying the problem could be either a blown fuse, a short in the wiring, or the switch at the brake pedal not sensing the pedal is pressed. Since it eventually gets out of park and my brake lights are working, it doesn't appear to be a fuse, or I would not be able to get it out of park at all and would not have any brake lights. That leaves just the short or stuck switch as possible causes.

So, it appears that the switch at the brake pedal may be the cause. Could there be any other causes? My concern is that if it does this when I'm trying to get out of park that my brake lights are also not coming on when I'm driving, which could cause an accident if someone didn't see me brake ahead of them.

I haven't had the problem since finding out that the brake lights could indicate the problem, so I don't know if the brake lights are actually coming on or not when I can't get it out of park. I also just noticed that the 3rd brake light at the rear window is burnt out.

Any suggestions on finding the cause of the problem before it happens again? Could the burnt out brake light also cause the problem?
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Old 25 Jun 2011, 07:46 pm
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Join Date: Jun 2009
Posts: 151

Here is what I would do: replace the burnt out 3rd brake light if you haven't done so already. But, leave off the cover of the lamp holder, so that you can always see (in your mirror) whether your brake lights are coming on when you hit the brake. If the brake lights ever fail to come on, then you know you have a problem with the switch. On the other hand, if the brake lights come on but the shifter is stuck in Park, then the problem is probably with the solenoid actuator in the shifter that unlocks it from Park. It could be just a matter of some dirt in the mechanism or a little lubrication needed, or it could be a loose or damaged electrical connector.
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