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We have two kinds of transmission ; manual and automatic. Those cars which run on manual transmission also have a clutch which the driver has to step on each time he needs to shift the gear. The number of gears depends on the size of the engine. A manual transmission car doesn’t have the shift lock release mechanism.

Automatic transmission has the shift lock release. This is the unique feature missing in manual transmission. People that are used to either kind of transmission will always face difficulties trying to drive a car with another transmission.

What Is Shift Lock Release?

This mechanism of shift lock and its release is present in cars with automatic transmission because the functionality of both is pretty much different. Here, there is no need to shift the gears manually. They do have a gear shift though. This gear shift, however, is used for switching among options like reverse, parking and neutral. In order to shift between these options, you have the shift lock release options.

You can usually locate it on the lever itself. It is actually a button. It allows you to switch to an option, say parking, and then lets you lock it till you switch into another one. Then, unless you release the shift lock, you will not be able to do shift lock override.

How should you Use the Shift Lock Release?

A shift lock release button is simply pressed. When pressed, the button will cause the lock to release, thus allowing you to shift the lever to the desired option. As you release the lock, the lever will move as you desire. Now all you need to do is choose the option that you need to put the transmission in, and then press the button again. Pressing the button again will let you lock the lever on that setting.

Many people actually don’t know this but the shift lock has a safety function that helps you move your car when the gear shift won’t move from one setting to another. Follow these simple steps to use shift lock release when the gear selector isn’t working:

Steps for shift lock release
Image of automatic transmission gear
  • The very first thing – put on the parking brake.
  • Now, pull the key out of the ignition.
  • Take a flat-head screwdriver or something that can do the similar job. Try to bring the cap off of the gear shift lock cover. It will be to the upper right of the gear selector.
  • One you have removed the cover, insert the key into this slot.
  • Now push the key down gently. Simultaneously, pull on the button situated at the front of the gearshift. This will let you move out of the parking.
  • Pull the key out.
  • Replace the cover like it was before.
  • Insert the key back into ignition and press the brake pedal.
  • Now, simply crank the engine.

The exact way to use shift lock release can be found in your owner’s manual of your car. For those who are not acquainted with automatic transmission, this mechanism may seem strange at first, but those who know how to drive an automatic car know that it is very much important from safety point of view. In manual transmission, since the driver has the control of every gadget in their hands, a mechanism like this is never a necessity. However, in a vehicle where the control is in the vehicles hands, shift lock release is indeed a necessity.

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By Editor Car Xperts Reloaded

Car Xperts Reloaded is run by highly experienced auto-engineers and auto-bloggers with many years of motor industry workings and passionate about all things related to cars and automotive. Our goal is to provide readers with useful and interesting information, so that they can make informed decisions when purchasing or maintaining their cars. We are open to suggestions and feedback, and excited to be part of the automotive blogging community!

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