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    autiger's Avatar
    autiger Posts: 2, Reputation: 1
    New Member

    Jan 17, 2007, 11:19 AM
    Can't get the key out in cold weather - 95 Accord
    Help! I have a 1995 Honda Accord EX (84K miles). I have a peculiar problem in very cold weather: I can't get the key out of the ignition when I the car in Park. :mad:

    None of the gear lights glow up even though the gear is clearly in Park position. If I wait just a minute or two (sometimes five, depending on the temperature outside), the Park light comes on and only then it turns completely. This is very problematic in cold weather when you need to leave the car as fast as you can and can't do so since the key won't come out. :(

    When the weather is warmer, I seem to have NO such problem at all. Only happens when the temperature is below or close to freezing.

    It seems as though the car doesn't seem to recognize being in Park (any sensor issue?). I am pretty sure there was no spillage of any kind in the general vicinity of the gear area.

    I would also add that my transmission runs smooth just as it should. No jerks, no noise, etc. Checked ATF fluid and its pink with no metal files or burning smell. I Change fluid yearly once.

    The mechanic I took the car to (unfamiliar one, as I recently moved to this area), says the transmission might need a rebuild! He doesn't even want to check it once. He is very adamant about it. I was planning on taking my car to the nearest Honda dealer.

    Can anyone please help? I do not want to buy a new car just because of this one problem. :mad:

    Any help is immensely appreciated. Thanks!
    TxGreaseMonkey's Avatar
    TxGreaseMonkey Posts: 16,761, Reputation: 5597
    Uber Member

    Jan 17, 2007, 11:43 AM
    Read this piece I just wrote before seeing your posting:
    autiger's Avatar
    autiger Posts: 2, Reputation: 1
    New Member

    Jan 17, 2007, 12:14 PM
    Quote Originally Posted by txgreasemonkey
    Read this piece I just wrote before seeing your posting:
    Thanks. Your response at least guides me in some direction. No help absolutely from any technicians in my area so far. Their responses have been very distressing.
    TxGreaseMonkey's Avatar
    TxGreaseMonkey Posts: 16,761, Reputation: 5597
    Uber Member

    Jan 18, 2007, 09:35 AM
    Read new write up on Interlock Systems, in Section Z below:
    cablemonkey's Avatar
    cablemonkey Posts: 5, Reputation: 2
    New Member

    Nov 20, 2011, 05:45 PM

    I know this question is old, but I found this post googling for the problem I have, and am posting my fix in case it helps others. My problem: Car can't tell it's in park when cold and won't release key.

    I just fixed this problem on my '90 Accord. The problem was in the Shift Position Console Switch. This is the switch inside your console that measures the position of the shift lever. Mine was caked with 20 year old grease and crud that needs to be cleaned out.

    I had to remove 6 screws to get the console off, then the large white and black switch assembly was fastened to the driver's side of the shift lever assy with two 10mm nuts.

    With the switch removed from the lever assy, I could see that there's a sliding part in it that a post on the shift lever moves so the car can tell electrically where the lever is. I could see some contacts, lots of grease and some dark corrosion products fouling some of the contacts.

    Disconnecting the two wiring connectors allowed me to bring the switch assy inside to have a better look.

    I saw that it's made of three main parts; a white nylon chassis, a small sliding contact block, and a black contact insert with wires soldered to it.

    I carefully pried up one edge of the nylon and eased the black contact insert out. When I got the sliding block out, I could see that it held two small contacts. The larger contact that connects the park position terminals were totally caked with 20 yr old grease and corrosion and didn't move up and down at all.

    I carefully took the contact piece out (! Spring behind it! ), removed all the old caked on grease and corrosion, cleaned it up, cleaned the spring, and cleaned the block. I used a commercial contact cleaner spray and qtips to get into all the nooks and crannies. I wasn't sure what to re-lubricate it with and ended up going with a contact enhancer called Stabilant 22A (because that's what I had handy). When I was done, the contact assy on the sliding block was clean and copper coloured (not dark green as it was when I started) and it was suspended on the spring and moved up and down when pushed. When I started, it was gummed up so badly it was jammed in the lowest position, which would make for the worst possible contact.

    Anyway, I put it all back together, back into the car, and it works great! Just make sure that you have it adjusted so that all gear positions work. There's about 5mm of play built into the mounting holes to allow for a bit of adjustment, so play with this when you're putting it back together.

    All told, it took about 2 hours to fix. This has been bugging me for years and now with winter arriving, I'm glad I finally made the effort to take it apart and clean it up.

    Feel free to email me if you have any questions about the above: cablemonkey at shaw dot ca

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