Release Hyundai Gear Shift

Hyundai Elantra Gear Shifter Stuck in Park & How to Release It

Hyundai shifter may get stuck in Park and refuse to come out of Park or move to Drive.

This problem is usually due to a faulty brake light switch, electrical issue, broken shifter cable, or faulty shifter.

The good news is that there is a way to manually override the shifter and force it to move between gears. Follow the instructions below to learn how to get your Hyundai out of the park.

Common Causes

If your Hyundai is stuck in Park (P), it can be due to several factors. Here is a list of the most common issues that can cause Hyundai cars to be stuck in the park.

  • Dead car battery
  • Defective brake light switch
  • Bad ignition switch
  • The defective cable between the ignition switch and shifter
  • Defective key interlock system

How to Manually Release Hyundai Shifter

  1. Set the parking brakes. Risk of vehicle rolling when the shifter is moved out of Park.
  2. Locate shift lock override and remove the cap.
  3. Insert a flat screwdriver into the access hole and press down.
  4. Move the shifter out of the Park position.

We hope you find the Hyundai Gear Shifter Stuck in Park & How to Release It guide helpful. For more help with your Hyundai, check out our auto repair guides section.

These instructions apply to Hyundai Elantra, Sonata, Entourage, Accent, Veloster, Excel, i30, Azera, Sedona, etc.

Frequently Asked Questions

My Hyundai is stuck in Park?

Suppose the shift lever of a Hyundai Sonata, Elantra, Sonata, Azera, Santa Fe, Elantra, or Entourage won’t shift into or out of Park check to ensure that the brake light switch is working properly. This is one of the most common problems that will make a Hyundai vehicle get stuck in Park.

The Hyundai shifter is stuck in PARK, and the dashboard lights turn on.

This can be due to a defective ignition interlock mechanism or cable.

How to diagnose a bad brake light switch?

Since the brake light switches are so inexpensive, it may be a good idea to replace them with a new one if you have problems with your Hyundai getting stuck in Park. You can also test the operation of the brake light switch using a multimer or a diagnostic scanner.


  • Rushit Hila • ASE Certified

    Rushit Hila, an ASE-certified engineer (G1 Automotive Maintenance and Repair), brings over two decades of hands-on experience in the automotive world to his writing. With a strong educational background, including a Master of Science in Engineering and a Bachelor of Science in Engineering, he has honed his skills and expertise through years of practical work. As a respected authority in the field, Mr. Hila is dedicated to offering insightful and valuable content that resonates with both vehicle owners and mechanics.

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  1. Donna Hilton says:

    I have a Hyundai Elantra gt and the shifter was stuck in park. They don’t tell you where this switch is, but they tell you how to release it. There’s a shift lock release button and you remove this button and you take a pin and push down and then it releases the shifter and only then will it go into gear. This was an expensive $150.00 problem. Never again will I purchase another Hyundai Elantra GT !!!! SO, THOSE WHO HAVE A HYUNDAI ELANTRA GT before you make that call and they charge you $150.00 to show you how to unlock it, take heed. The shift lock release button is an easy fix. Remove this button and push down inside the button and away you go. Only then can you shift the car out of park.

  2. Anonymous says:

    My 2018 Hyundai Sonata had the gear lock up, though the dashboard lights, radio, etc., functioned as normal. I could not remedy this. WORSE I could not get ANY service from the local Hyundai service departments in two cities. This is both unacceptable and … in fact … given that we are presently enduring a national emergency, a disgrace. I find it especially bad, because, coming from the computer industry, we have a completely different attitude toward customers, especially those who purchase large budget items, whether software or hardware. The statement, “We will not put our master technicians on the phone to talk to you,” is despicable. Unfortunately, we’re new Hyundai customers, having purchased both a new Sonata a couple years ago, and more recently, a Kona. I will dump this car as soon as I can NOT because it may be a simple solution, whatever the problem BUT because the service people at the Hyundai dealerships behaved like jerks and did not even care to provide a solution. Now I was in a hurry to an appointment on a Saturday. One dealership 50 miles away said, “Let’s tow it, and take a look at it.” Thanks but no thanks. I still don’t have a solution yet. But if it turns out to be a simple fix, I’ll do what I can to broadcast this monstrous disregard for American customers as far and as wide as I can propagate the information. My advice: NEVER BUY A HYUNDAI.

    1. Donna Hilton says:

      I symphasize for you. There is an “easy fix” but they don’t tell you on the phone. They wait until you have someone to look at it and they get inside your car, take the shift release button out and take a pin and push this button, and still charge you $150.00 to do it for you instead of just telling you and it still costs you out the ass !!!!

  3. Anonymous says:

    My car is doing the same exact thing. Did you figure out what it was. And with mine i cant connect to the computer

    1. Donna Hilton says:

      Yes. Take the shift release button out and get a pin and push down inside this button. Shift problem FIXED. This cost me $150.00. I’d hate for this to cost anyone else!!!! That’s why I’m posting this.

  4. Anonymous says:

    If you own a Hyundai Sonata and want to find out more, call Hyundai customer service at 800-633-5151 and give them recall number 119.

    Read what owners complain about the most about their Hyundai Sonata.

  5. Anonymous says:

    My Hyundai sonata y20 2012 the lights came on the dash Abs light and brake light . Then it wont go into gear .
    My battery is good, key ignition is good, brake light come on .. plz help any advice

    1. Donna Hilton says:

      Remove the shift lock release button and get a pin and push the button inside. Problem FIXED.

  6. Anonymous says:

    i have a 2015 Sonata.. my first and my last, never again hyundai.. since when are all your parts dealer only….who does this.. i replaced the brake light switch, then replaced the shifter, and still no shift… my car also sometimes get stuck in limp mode and the riverside hyundai dealership still doesnt know why…. engine recall at 150k miles… i should have traded it in then,,, so many problems so many issues… after i pay it off im driving it to the wrecking yard so no one else gets this piece of shit….. hyundai is a joke…. … please dont buy another sonata no matter what year,, it will give you nothing but problems…. im so tired of sticking a screw driver into that slot almost 8 months now……. id like to drive it through the window of a dealership.. so they can have this junky car back

    1. Donna Hilton says:

      I had the same problem. It cost me $150 to solve the problem!

  7. Anonymous says:

    My hyundai sonata 2012 korea is stuck in park when abs and brake is showing on affects temperature,air condition to stop working until abs and brake light vanishes now everything will come back to work in normal

  8. Anonymous says:

    Hyundai Ioniq transmission stuck in park (2019 with 4000 miles) got it to dealer got it fixed, picked it up and an hour later it was stuck again

    1. Donna Hilton says:

      Easy fix. Remove the shift lock release button and push down inside and it will go into gear. I had to do this several times then it just started shifting into gear afterwards. it cost me $150.00 for this fix.

  9. Anonymous says:

    In my case, my 2011 elanta wont fo out of park and it has the traction control, abs,emergency brake, eps, and tire pressure lights all stay on on the dashboard.

  10. Anonymous says:

    2011 Hyundai Sonata I am getting sick of this happening we are getting ready to put another new one this will be the second one within a month. The other day we went to go to Church and stuck the screw driver in and the car would not come out of park. I only have 80,000 miles on this car and in all my 71 years have I had so many recalls or extended warranties on any vehicles I have owned.

  11. Anonymous says:

    This also is happening to our 2014 Elantra on the hottest of days.

  12. Anonymous says:

    This only happens on very hot days. How do I fix this?

  13. Anonymous says:

    Is this situation going to be a recall. I’m sick and tired of this defect preventing me from getting to work or home at night?

  14. Anonymous says:

    If your car won’t come out of park it could be the break light fuse. Check that your rear light come on when the peddle is pressed if not the fuse may be blown. Look for the fuse STOP and replace the fuse (use the cigarette fuse for a quick fix)

  15. Anonymous says:

    Experienced dead Battery and lost complete power. Battery was replaced and I regained power. However car was stuck in park until I depressed release. What is the sustainable solution?

  16. Anonymous says:

    In older cars without the shift lock bypass switch (2002), you can push thru it.

  17. Anonymous says:

    All the lights came on the dash. Then it wont go into gear