Mercedes Benz shifter stuck in park or won’t move

Joe Free
We recently fixed another Mercedes Benz shifter that was stuck in park.  Our customers have been saying things like:

  • “My shifter is stuck in park”
  • “My transmission won’t go into drive”
  • “My gear shift is stuck”
  • “My car will start and run but my transmission won’t go into gear”


There are a few troubleshooting steps that can quickly help you narrow down the problem.  The shifter won’t move out of park unless you step on the brakes, so the first thing you should check is the brake light switch.  Have someone watch the brake lights as you step on the pedal.  If the brake lights work, you can move on to the next step in troubleshooting.

The next possibility is a failed brake shift interlock solenoid.  This solenoid releases the shifter from park when you step on the brake pedal.  You can check the solenoid by stepping on the brake pedal and listening for a click sound as the solenoid activates.  If you hear the click each time you apply the brakes, then the solenoid is probably fine.

If your car passed both of these tests, the problem is most-likely a broken, plastic part inside the shifter assembly.  These plastic pieces break all the time, resulting in a stuck shifter (see image below).

A lot of mechanics just replace the shifter assembly, which costs about $1,200.00 from the dealership!  We prefer to save our customers money by replacing the broken, plastic part with a stronger, aluminum one.

IF YOU ARE NOT IN DALLAS TEXAS, please follow the links below. We are having people all over the world calling about this and we don’t have enough time or staff to answer all of these calls.

IF YOU ARE IN DALLAS/FORT WORTH TEXAS area, please feel free to call us for towing and repair.

To view a video on how the repair is done click HERE

Once the shift lock lever is out, measure for the correct lever.

To buy the shifter repair kit click on the links below:

Mercedes-Benz shifter stuck broken lever
Mercedes shift lock lever


I've been managing transmission and auto repair shops for over 25 years. Prior to that, I worked as a mechanic in Dallas TX. I have always had an interest in fixing cars, and still love it to this day.

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23 Comments. Leave new

S500 Mercedes Benz -satisfied customer-

I just wanted to send a shout out to Mr. Joe. He is amazing! His knowledge of cars and his passion to help others are priceless. Repairs on a Mercedes are usually done at the dealer but Joe has the same knowledge at a more reasonable price. I highly recommend!!


Thank you for the review! We greatly appreciate your business as a valued customer!



Where can I find an aluminum kit and what should it cost?

Hi Carl,

I believe we spoke over the phone about this already. If not, please give us a call!


Hi Carl, I buy my repair kits from a local jobber warehouse. Call me and I will discuss with you how to get it. (972-755-5333).

ML320 2003 155000 miles and I just got an oil change after my car got loud and when my friend checked the oil it was half the minimum requirement and I needed an oil change badly. Got the oil change and my car was back to sounding and driving smooth. Today after work I started my car but it wouldn’t shift into reverse or any gear!! Before I tow it to the shop, I was wondering what some possible causes are?! One thing my uncle said was possible transmission and someone said lack of an oil change on time, but the car is starting so I don’t get it? Help.

Hi Lydia,

This shifter problem occurs on many Mercedes Benz models. It sounds like you could possibly have a similar issue. Please feel free to give us a call, and we’ll discuss your options.


Joe Free
Office: (972) 755-5333

Kevin Clark
June 28, 2014 5:04 am

Hi how u doin I was wondering if u could help me out I have an 01s500 Mercedes that I recently had a issue with the car not shifting out of park witch I had repaired but I haven’t paid much attention to it before but it seems to be like a heat wave of heat around the shifter area

Hello Kevin, I’ll be glad to help you out the best way I can. I was wondering if you used the aftermarket aluminum repair kit that I recently posted to fix your shifter or was it that your vehicle needed a brake interlock solenoid to finish the repair? All I could say about feeling heat around the shifter is that most of these cars have a heat shield or two inside the console that may not have been replaced or installed correctly when the shifter was fixed. If I were you I would have the shop that repaired you shifter do a recheck on it. By the way are you in the DFW area? If you are we would be more than happy to look at it for you. Let me know if we can be any further assistance to you.

My 2003 S430 4Matic is stuck in PARK now. I have been calling around but all have the same plan to replace the entire shifter assembly. Budget dictates I find a repair shop near NY 11236 that will repair by going the cheaper route before Wednesday which is the street sweep day. Can’t afford to incur tickets either!

Good evening Rohan,
I saw your post this morning and sent you an email. I didn’t see a return response so I’m wondering if it landed in your spam folder.
If you did get it, did you find someone to take the shifter out of the car and dismantle it for you? That is what is needed to conclude which repair kit of the three possibilities, is needed to fix your car. If you want to talk, call me at 972-755-5333, If you prefer to text msg with me the # is 682-231-2305.

Sir how are you. I have Mercedes benz 2003. S430. Same problem gear stuck In park .you told about some replacement .where can i get that kit.please help me.i will be very thankful. Davinder

Thank you . Mr.joe free my mercedes fix and runs perfect. Thanx for your guidance. Davinder

Thanks for this info. I can add that if you’re stuck in Park, sometimes rocking the car forward and back will allow you to slip it into gear. Then get a rubber mallet immediately. Remove the shift knob by turning the chrome lock 1/4 turn and pull straight off. Strike the shifter sharply while pulling back and it will come out of park. Works until you can get it fixed. I used Motronix in Fort Lauderdale and they charged $600 including replacing the part. For me, better than a replacement shifter and better than trying this DYI.


My 2007 BMW 525i has been diagnosed by another shop to be in need of a new transmission….. It drives now, but I know it’s only a matter of time. I’m planning on trading this car in as soon as I have the new transmission in place. If I’m trading it in for a new vehicle, should I invest in a rebuilt/re-manufactured transmission, or a used one (not re-built)?


Gd morning Joe, my name is Ola. My uncle has a Mercedes Benz G55 in Nigeria. Car starts perfect but doesn’t shift into any gear at all. As a result can’t move. He was told the car is locked down electronically whic I don’t understand.
How can we solve this problem sir?. Thx

I had same problem, check your fuses in passager side under hood

I replaced pin. Car worked ok and went into gear and turned on. I put my things away and tried t o start again, All lights etc came on, but no click or turn over of engine startee. What is problem now..

My car ml 350 wont go on gear but the car is starting what could be the problem.

Mr. Free,
I recently purchased a 2000 ML55 that is also stuck in park. My brake lights turn on when I hit them so I’ve eliminated that stop lamp switch. I can’t tell if there is a click when I depress the gas pedal. I wanted to know if the fact that pushing a screwdriver into the “override switch” of shifter assembly console while simultaneously moving the gear shift selector which does allow the car to shift out of park would eliminate one of the other two causes you mention on the site here? Thank you very much.

I have a 06 SL500 , I started it for the first time in about 2 months just to run it and move it, it started right up but I had a little trouble getting the shifter to engage, it was a little hard to get out of park, it did come out of park and shiffted good as I was backing out my dog got out so I put the car into park and it stuck there and I could not shift it at all, I read your post and found maybe my problem, I took a rubber mallet and hit in top of the shifter and it went into gear, everything shirted good in all gears once I shifted into park it locked again, I hit it again and it went into gear after parking the car I tried again and it is locked in Park just checking but it seems to be the part you were talking about that is plastic, if all other gears are working would I be right in that thinking

Thanks for any help


Got an oil change and tune up today and now my car ( 2001 S430) is stuck in park. Is there any way Mr. Joe I can contact you?

Please call us at (972) 755-5333, thanks!