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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I have a 1996 Volvo 960 Sedan that is stuck in park, anyone know what the mechanism is that releases the lockout feature?
 

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Hope this works

I have a 1996 Volvo 960 Sedan that is stuck in park, anyone know what the mechanism is that releases the lockout feature?
Your problem may be a faulty ignition switch. I had a similar problem with my 96 850.
When you're trying to get it out of park, do any lights or the radio come on? If not, it's probably the switch.

Try jiggling the key and then try to get the gear shift to move . In my case, I need to turn the key slightly towards me without turning it off and then, like magic, it shifts.

Good luck.

Ron
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Is the mechanism electrical or mechanical?

When you turn the key does it trip a switch that activates a solenoid then moves the lockout in the shifter or is there a cable or linkage that moves the lockout?

I inherited the car so I don't know how it worked before and have never driven it but it starts and runs great!
 

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I am not a mechanic, simply a person who had a similar problem.

I think that the part that the key goes into is called the "ignition switch mechanism." I have not replaced mine, since all I have to do is turn it a little towards me, until the electrical system turns on and that releases the gear shift enabling me to go into Drive (or any other gear).
A new unit goes for approx $70, and I don't think it's too hard to put in, but since I'm not sure and am unwilling to go to my $120/hr Volvo mechanic, I will just continue to start the car the way I mentioned.

If you say the car drives fine, how do you get it out of Park?
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Sorry, by "runs great" I meant the engine sounds good when I start it but I have not been able to make it move from the spot it is in. It has been there so long I don't remember how the previous owner got it there. I would love to take this car out for a cruise someday! :)
 

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When you turn the key does it trip a switch that activates a solenoid then moves the lockout in the shifter or is there a cable or linkage that moves the lockout?
This is how you can test to see if if is the key: when you turn the car on and it starts, put the radio on. If the radio does not come on, the key is not in the proper position. Play with the key. When the radio comes on, I bet you'll be able to get it out of Park. If it does work, remember the position of the key. I need to turn mine slightly towards me after I start the car. If I don't...no lights, no radio, no getting out of Park.
 

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This is how you can test to see if if is the key: when you turn the car on and it starts, put the radio on. If the radio does not come on, the key is not in the proper position. Play with the key. When the radio comes on, I bet you'll be able to get it out of Park. If it does work, remember the position of the key. I need to turn mine slightly towards me after I start the car. If I don't...no lights, no radio, no getting out of Park.
Ditto to the above:)
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
I figured out the shifter mechanism!

There are three conditions that must be met before the 960 Volvo will leave park.
There is a solenoid that moves the locking arm when the brake pedal is pressed and the key is ON. Power from the brake pedal switch goes to a micro switch in the shifter consol. When you squeeze the shifter handle a pin allows the micro switch to close the circuit and the solenoid moves the locking arm. The key switch is connected to a cable that also allows the locking mechanism to be released by the solenoid.
If the 960 Volvo is un-powered like a dead battery or no battery the "Shifterlock Override" button can be used to mechanically move the solenoid. You still need the key to be ON because the cable will keep the shifter from unlocking also.

In my case the solenoid was not working due to an OPEN in the energizing coil and was sticky so the "Shifter Override" button could not mechanically move the solenoid either. I removed the solenoid and micro switch and wires but did so in such a manner that all could be replaced. No wires were cut; I pulled the pins at the connector.

My 960 still requires the key to be ON and the shifter handle to be squeezed but you don't have to hold the brake pedal any more just like the older Volvos with the exception that the key still locks the shifter out. I think I am going to leave my 960 like this and never worry about this issue again. Just personal preference.
 

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...I think I am going to leave my 960 like this and never worry about this issue again. Just personal preference.
My 850 doesn't have the 'safety switch' so you can start it in gear with the clutch out. I prefer it that way, although it took a while to get used to the way it used to be,
David.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Maybe I am careful or maybe I have been lucky but I have never had a situation where the safety mechanism saved me from something. Even in my old vehicles where you can shift by simply moving the handle or start in gear have I ever had an issue. I have had plenty of issues where the safety feature caused problems.
 

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Well Buddies, Recently I brought a second hand VOLVO 960. Check engine light appeared. Suddenly,the gear shift was locked. I tried for long to unlock it but without any success. The check light id not come off even. What can I do now? Thanks in advance.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
The Volvo 960 I have is a 96 and I don't know how similar yours is. Do you have a shift over ride button on the shifter consol? If this does not release it then either the check engine light is deactivating the shifter solenoid, which sounds odd because you could not take it to get repaired or the solenoid quit and caused the engine light. You might have to take the shifter console apart.

I am guessing since I am still learning these cars myself.
 
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