Van starts but won't shift into gear.

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Van starts but won't shift into gear.

Postby Outlaw50 [OP] » November 23rd 2008, 12:15am

I just recently bought a 1993 Chevy Astro van. Today I went to drive it and the engine starts fine but the van won't shift out of park into reverse, neutral, or drive when I put my foot on the brake pedal.

Has anyone else had this problem and if so how did you fix it?

I bought a Haynes Repair Manual but I can't seem to find any info about this problem.

Please help!
***Mark***

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1998 Astro LS w/152,000 miles.......the Cadillac!........lol
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Re: Van starts but won't shift into gear.

Postby gtkane » November 23rd 2008, 6:38am

Is it that the shifter won't move, or it won't go into gear?
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Re: Van starts but won't shift into gear.

Postby Outlaw50 [OP] » November 23rd 2008, 1:46pm

The shifter won't move out of park when I press the brake pedal.

When I first started driving this van I learned quickly that if you didn't push down on the brake pedal it would not allow me to shift out of park. Now it does the same thing even with the brake pedal pressed down. :shrug:
***Mark***

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1998 Astro LS w/152,000 miles.......the Cadillac!........lol
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Re: Van starts but won't shift into gear.

Postby Big_kid » November 23rd 2008, 3:18pm

It's not parked on a hill, is it? Pressure on the parking pawl will cause it to jam. If this is it, push the van uphill a little bit to relieve the pressure then it will shift out of park(while pushing).
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Re: Van starts but won't shift into gear.

Postby Outlaw50 [OP] » November 23rd 2008, 3:53pm

The van is sitting in my driveway on a level surface.... :shrug:

Is there some kind of a mechanical lock or electrical switch that activates the release of the column shifter when you depress the brake pedal on these vans?
***Mark***

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1998 Astro LS w/152,000 miles.......the Cadillac!........lol
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Re: Van starts but won't shift into gear.

Postby astro355 » November 23rd 2008, 4:01pm

Outlaw50 wrote:The van is sitting in my driveway on a level surface.... :shrug:

Is there some kind of a mechanical lock or electrical switch that activates the release of the column shifter when you depress the brake pedal on these vans?


Actually, there are two. The first is linked to the ignition cylinder. The second is linked to the brake.
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Re: Van starts but won't shift into gear.

Postby Outlaw50 [OP] » November 23rd 2008, 4:55pm

Ok, if I start the van and the steering wheel turns will that eliminate the key cylinder lock? Where is the electrical switch located? Is it the brake light switch combo style like the S-10?
***Mark***

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1998 Astro LS w/152,000 miles.......the Cadillac!........lol
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Re: Van starts but won't shift into gear.

Postby astro355 » November 23rd 2008, 7:31pm

Outlaw50 wrote:Ok, if I start the van and the steering wheel turns will that eliminate the key cylinder lock? Where is the electrical switch located? Is it the brake light switch combo style like the S-10?


No, involving the ignition cylinder, the mechanism (pin and spring) that locks the steering wheel is seperate from mechanism that locks the shifter in place. I'll look up the rest of it for you after the Chicago Bears game is over.
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Re: Van starts but won't shift into gear.

Postby Matrixx » November 24th 2008, 9:41am

Hi Outlaw50
If you have cruise control, then there is a Recall from Gm on this No shift condition with the brake pedal depressed.
Service Bulletin Number: 93-C-56A
This is a full replacement no charge recall with any owner, mileage or year.
This condition mostly relates to temperatures under 32 degrees Fahrenheit.
To prevent this from occurring, the recommendation is to replace the Cruise Control Vacuum Release Valve and inspecting the BTSI (Brake Transmission Shift Interlock) Solenoid Cable as needed.
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Re: Van starts but won't shift into gear.

Postby astro355 » November 24th 2008, 1:21pm

Man, you beat me to it. :crying:
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Re: Van starts but won't shift into gear.

Postby Outlaw50 [OP] » November 24th 2008, 3:03pm

Thanks for the info guys :thumbup: ....I called two dealerships this morning.

I of them wants to have me drop off the van and they will check it out. The service guy wouldn't look up the service bulletin, he said the technician has to do that.

The other one took down my info (vin#,cruise control, model year) and looked up the bulletin. He said he will have to do a little more research and took my phone #, he will call me back....He said he wasn't sure if my van was covered so he is going to check it out. He also said he would check to see if he has the parts in stock.
-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Its funny that the problem seemed to kind of fix itself yesterday afternoon when the temp got to be around 38 degrees... I can actually hear something clicking behind the dash when I move the shifter lever, I guess its that vacuum solenoid maybe.
***Mark***

1993 Astro w/189,000 miles ..........scrapped......
1998 Astro LS w/152,000 miles.......the Cadillac!........lol
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Re: Van starts but won't shift into gear.

Postby Matrixx » November 24th 2008, 3:32pm

Hi Outlaw50
The clicking you hear is "exactly" that, the solenoid. Mention that to the dealership as well. If they give any static on this recall, I'll look up more details on the vans that are covered. Please keep us updated. Thanks. :)

PS: Sorry about that astro355, just hand some free time on my hands and wanted to help out. :)
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Re: Van starts but won't shift into gear.

Postby Outlaw50 [OP] » November 24th 2008, 3:38pm

Is there somewhere on this site that has the recalls/bulletins listed?

I really appreciate the help from you guys... :music-headbanger:
***Mark***

1993 Astro w/189,000 miles ..........scrapped......
1998 Astro LS w/152,000 miles.......the Cadillac!........lol
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Re: Van starts but won't shift into gear.

Postby Matrixx » November 24th 2008, 3:45pm

Hi outlaw50
Can you go to the Shout Box Chat on the main page at the bottom? I'll meet you their for a live chat and we can talk live if you like. I'll wait their for about 10 or 15 minutes. Just enter what you want to say and hit "Submit".
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Re: Van starts but won't shift into gear.

Postby astro355 » November 24th 2008, 5:03pm

Matrixx wrote:Hi Outlaw50
The clicking you hear is "exactly" that, the solenoid. Mention that to the dealership as well. If they give any static on this recall, I'll look up more details on the vans that are covered. Please keep us updated. Thanks. :)

PS: Sorry about that astro355, just hand some free time on my hands and wanted to help out. :)


No, that's fine. As long as he gets the help me needs. :goodpost:
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Re: Van starts but won't shift into gear.

Postby Big_kid » November 25th 2008, 12:59am

astro355 wrote:No, that's fine. As long as he gets the help he needs.


Are we having an intervention here? :?: :think:
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Re: Van starts but won't shift into gear.

Postby astro355 » November 25th 2008, 2:55am

Big_kid wrote:
astro355 wrote:No, that's fine. As long as he gets the help he needs.


Are we having an intervention here? :?: :think:


I was referring to getting the help he needs regarding his van. :poke:
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Re: Van starts but won't shift into gear.

Postby Outlaw50 [OP] » November 25th 2008, 3:02am

Ok..........the service guy at the dealership called me this evening and said that they have the part and replacement will be covered by GM.........I'm gonna drop the van off tomorrow morning for them to fix it...

Thanks to the members of this site my van will be repaired.........from a newbie all I can say is thanks..... I will post the results after I pick up the van from the dealership.
***Mark***

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1998 Astro LS w/152,000 miles.......the Cadillac!........lol
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Re: Van starts but won't shift into gear.

Postby Matrixx » November 25th 2008, 9:23am

Hi Outlaw50
We were all newbies at one time or another Outlaw50. I'm glad to hear the dealership will cover it. Most dealerships are reputable, but I have come across a couple I won't deal with anymore when I have to. Thanks for keeping us updated. :)
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Re: Van starts but won't shift into gear.

Postby Outlaw50 [OP] » November 30th 2008, 2:16pm

Ok, it turns out that the dealer didn't have the right part...lol The service adviser said he would get the part overnighted so he could do the repair on Wednesday...I said go for it and thanked the guy.

I got the van back Wednesday afternoon and everything seemed to be fine. They replaced the cruise control release valve....as of now the van is problem free...thanks for all the input guys! :rockon:
***Mark***

1993 Astro w/189,000 miles ..........scrapped......
1998 Astro LS w/152,000 miles.......the Cadillac!........lol
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