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locked steering column

Discussion in 'Truck & Equipment Repair' started by cdjacks1, Feb 15, 2011.

  1. cdjacks1

    cdjacks1 Junior Member
    Messages: 4

    I have a 2008 silverado that is giving me problems shifting out of park into any gear.
    Takes many of attempts to shift from park to drive and seems to be getting worse.
    I have tried brakes on and off,shutting motor off, and engaging e brake to no avail stays locked in park.

    Any suggestions please thanks Chris
  2. Dr Who

    Dr Who Senior Member
    Messages: 637

    Got the key on? LOL

    Fords are bad for this, the shifter tube gets wore and causes these problems since the thing is in a bind and puts the cable at odd angles and such, or it just breaks and you can not sift at all..

    Not sure if a GM product is the same set up or not. Does your truck have a shifter cable that goes to the trans? (not worked on a Chevy this new), it might be froze up or have crap built up on it.
    May be a bad shifter cable, or even the steering wheel lock mechanism.

    Unless someone has better advice, you may end up taking your column apart, at least the plastic covers to see inside and make sure there is nothing broke..

    sorry, not much help....
  3. pohouse

    pohouse Senior Member
    Messages: 322

    I believe there is a safety lockout solenoid in the steering column. This solenoid prevents the shifter from being moved out of Park unless the brake pedal is being pushed. When you start the engine, the solenoid is energized, locking the shifter in Park. When the brake is applied, the solenoid is de-energized, unlocking the shift lever.

    I'm not too familiar with the 08, but I think the solenoid can be replaced easily by removing the steering column covers. It might be able to be adjusted also.
  4. Dakota Dave

    Dakota Dave Member
    Messages: 44

    The park lock solenoid is located on the right side of the steering colunm. kinda above the brake pedal. try this turn the key to unlock the column only, not to the run position. take the shifter out of park and put in neutral. now start the truck if this works order a solenoid. its not to hard to change.
  5. Mister Plow

    Mister Plow Senior Member
    Messages: 139

    OK, question along these lines.
    On floor shift cars, there is usually an over-ride for the brake-shift interlock. Usually a small piece you remove and stick a pencil or something in to allow you to unlock the interlock.
    My question is, is there a similar thing on column shifts? I got a 2000 Silverado, and this thread made me think of the question.
  6. pohouse

    pohouse Senior Member
    Messages: 322

    Not sure about this test. There is a separate switch called the Park/Neutral position switch. The switch allows the truck to be started in only Park or Neutral. I don't think starting is the problem.

    Perhaps if the above test was successful without depressing the brake pedal? In other words if he can pull it out of park without depressing the brake, the solenoid needs replacing.

    As for why there is no override, heres my guess. Anybody correct me if I'm wrong. The key in the ignition acts like the pencil. When you turn the key it mechanically "unlocks" the steering wheel and the shifter. When the gear shift is on the floor, away from the ignition key, it requires another tool.
  7. woodchuck2

    woodchuck2 Senior Member
    Messages: 304

    Could also be a faulty brake switch not sending signal properly.
  8. Woodenshoe

    Woodenshoe Member
    Messages: 84

    If turning the truck "off" then back to "accessory" (not run) lets you shift out of park, its probably a brake pedal switch related issue. If the previous test still won't let you shift out of park, its most likely the column shifter lock solenoid or connections to it.
  9. elecblu

    elecblu Member
    Messages: 79

    I had the same problem with a 1998 silverado. It was the brake light switch down at the pedal.

    good luck
  10. cdjacks1

    cdjacks1 Junior Member
    Messages: 4

    Problem with newer fisher plow 7.5 hd.Works good most of the time but without warning it will not raise up smoothly and i get a lot of chattering sometimes it takes a while before plow lifts up. Also at the same time if i try to move plow to left it chatters and swings to the right.
    Any suggestions, Thanks
  11. mayhem

    mayhem PlowSite.com Addict
    from Peru MA
    Messages: 1,016

    Maybe a silly question, but when you park the truck, at what point are you engaging the e-brake? If you put the truck in park and allow it to roll until the tranny stops it, it will do exactly what you're describing.

    Seems obvious, but I see people do this wrong all the time, they park on a hill, put it in park, let off on the brakes to allow the tranny to take up the slack and THEN engage the parking brake, which is pointless.

    How does it go if you park the truck, shut it off but keep your foot on the brake so it doesn't move? Then restarts it. It is it hard to get out of park then?
  12. oneoldsap

    oneoldsap Senior Member
    Messages: 188

    I'm of the same mind as you mayhem , I'll bet he's parking on a grade and letting it set on the pin , before applying the parking brake ! I've seen it done a million times and it just boggles my mind , every time . I used to work with a gut that had a F-250 that did that all the time . I had a small dozer down off the edge of a road one day , and didn't have enough traction to get back up over the bank . So I asked Paul to grab his truck and put it in the road so I could hitch onto it for an anchor , and pull myself back onto the road . So he parks his truck and gets out , pulls the cable and hitches it to his receiver hitch . At this point I tell him to get in the truck , take it out of park and hold the brakes . He say it'll be fine like it is , so once again I tried to educate him about the park pin in the tranny not being designed to hold the weight of the truck , much less me pulling on it with a 350 John Deere . So he gets smartass and tells me not to worry about his truck . Okay here we go . Did I mention there is a pretty good grade to this road and we had about 50' of cable out ! Well as soon as I engaged the winch and the slack went out of the cable , that pin broke and down the hill came his truck almost running over the fool . When the truck got to the end of the cable it pulled hard enough to snatch the tailend of the dozer around enough so that I could back back onto the road ! at te same time his truch disappeared down over the bank behind a big Maple tree and came to rest on it's side . He looks at me , flabbergasted at what had just happened . I on the other hand was convulsing with laughter ! He says what the hell , and I says " maybe some day you'll be smart enough to listen to people that know what they are talking about " Well he never got any smarter and I haven't worked with him in years and never will I again . You really had to be there to appreciate the humor !
  13. ihdriver7088

    ihdriver7088 Senior Member
    Messages: 315

    no there is not to my knowledge in 9 year of towing i have disconnect the linkage at the transmission to nuetralize
  14. B&B

    B&B PlowSite Fanatic
    Messages: 12,777

    There's plenty of column shifted vehicles out there that have shift interlock over ride capability. Quick way to know is to look on the underside of the column inboard of the ignition switch for a small hole in the column surround to insert a small pick or nail in order to push the lockout lever out of the way after a failure of the interlock system. Allot of Ford and Chrysler models have them.