SIGHTS AND SOUNDS said:
Van's a '96? From '93 and onward, the Astro/Safaris had a safety switch that requires one depress the brake pedal, or else you can't shift from park. The basic idea was to keep little kids from firing up the engine and accidentally shifting into a gear. Most GMs had these switches from the early '90s onward, and it was pretty common for them to fail.
Try this: Get in and put your foot on the brake. Turn on the key (to the Run position), but do NOT start the engine. Try shifting to Neutral.
If you can shift it to neutral, that means that the safety switch (can't remember what it's called now...) has gone bad. The good news is that you can start the van in Neutral and shift into whatever gear once it's running.
i have tried the whole brake thing. just got off the phone with my local chevy dearler ...go figure its called Jeff Gordon Chevy, and they said its not the pawl switch. they said its probally electrical, something with that brake switch...who the eff knows now. i will have to try and find the brake switch.
ty for the help. :ty:
Even with the engine off, but the key on, you still can't shift out of Park? Hmm... On all the GMs I've ever experienced that safety switch failure, as long as the engine wasn't running, you could shift from park into Neutral, start the engine, then drive away. I don't know if the switch is a solenoid of some sort or just an electric switch in the 90s GMs, though.
The parking pawl that was mentioned earlier is a physical bit in the transmission. It's a pin that, when you shift into park, mates into a groove on a disk, and it's that force that keeps the vehicle from rolling while it's in Park (when you shift into Park and feel the vehicle roll slightly, that's the pawl slipping into the groove). Forgive me if I'm going over stuff you knew, but I sensed some confusion earlier.
Please, do let us know what you come up with, though, and good luck!