My Dodge is Stuck in Park. Now What?

TL;DR

Can't shift the car into reverse or drive! Now what? This is most commonly reported from Dodge Avenger owners, but there have also been similar complaints about other Dodge makes as well as other Chrysler and Jeep vehicles having a similar problem.

Red arrow points at a disassembled gear shifter
Posted on
Tagged
#transmission #recall

Help, I've Parked and I Can't Get Out

The problem is frustratingly simple: the car is working fine, until suddenly one day when in park you can't put the car into gear. It seems to be caused by a weak design made with cheap plastic parts.

While it doesn't always work, there is something you can do to try and fix the problem to try and get going again without calling a tow truck. According to jhpatte over at answers.edmunds.com you will have to remove the interior cover of the gear shifter using a blunt object (some have suggested a butter knife); don't worry these supposedly just snap back into place. Next, press the brakes down and pull back on the hot pink tab located inside the shifter assembly as you pull the shifter into gear.

_ I drove to work today, went on lunch break and my car starts but will not move out of park. I call my husband, my brother and a few patients and orther people looked at car, could not get it out of park. I called about the warranty and they told me they do not think it is covered under my EXTENDED warranty plan. HOW can something that does not allow your car to shift out of gear not be covered on warranty or without warranty? I havent had car 2 years yet and it would not be an issue if they would just fix it...NO CHARGE. – 2008 Avenger Owner in KY_

If you can get your car in gear it might be best to drive over to a service shop. If you are still warranty you definitely should take it to the shop!.

Dodge Issued a Recall

Dodge issued a recall on August 30th, 2010. Go to this page, enter the last 8 digits from your VIN or call 1-800-853-1403. No class action lawsuits have been filed.

Models With Stuck in Park Problems

Dodge Avenger

PainRank
32.27
Complaints
892
Reliability
20th out of 29

Dodge Caliber

PainRank
45.04
Complaints
630
Reliability
25th out of 29

Dodge Charger

PainRank
32.42
Complaints
819
Reliability
21st out of 29

Dodge Dakota

PainRank
19.71
Complaints
891
Reliability
17th out of 29

Dodge Dart

PainRank
50.43
Complaints
596
Reliability
26th out of 29

Dodge Durango

PainRank
40.59
Complaints
2872
Reliability
23rd out of 29

Dodge Journey

PainRank
62.02
Complaints
1886
Reliability
28th out of 29

Dodge Magnum

PainRank
33.77
Complaints
273
Reliability
22nd out of 29

Dodge Neon

PainRank
14.97
Complaints
556
Reliability
13th out of 29

Dodge Shadow

PainRank
1.18
Complaints
22
Reliability
10th out of 29

What about specific generations?

OK, Now What?

Maybe you've experienced this problem. Maybe you're concerned you will soon. Whatever the reason, here's a handful of things you can do to make sure it gets the attention it deserves.

  1. File Your Complaint

    CarComplaints.com is a free site dedicated to uncovering problem trends and informing owners about potential issues with their cars. Major class action law firms use this data when researching cases.

    Add a Complaint
  2. Notify CAS

    The Center for Auto Safety (CAS) is a pro-consumer organization that researches auto safety issues & often compels the US government to do the right thing through lobbying & lawsuits.

    Notify The CAS
  3. Report a Safety Concern

    The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) is the US agency with the authority to conduct vehicle defect investigations & force recalls. Their focus is on safety-related issues.

    Report to NHTSA