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My car is weird

Clint EastwoodClint Eastwood Living In Fear.Year Of The Tiger.Registered User regular
edited January 2008 in Help / Advice Forum
I drive a POS 1990 Accord. Fortunately for me I won't be driving it for much longer, but in the meantime I still have to putter about in it. I'm having a relatively minor problem with it though.

Now that we're in the winter months and the weather is cold, my car's shifter is acting funny. The gist of the problem is that when I return home from driving around and park my car, the little P won't light up immediately, and while the P for Park isn't lit, I can't get the keys out of the ignition. It only does this during cold weather, pretty much anything below forty degrees fahrenheit. Normally I can just jiggle the shifter a bit for about a minute and eventually it will click into Park all the way and I can remove the keys.

However, the other night I literally sat in my car for thirty minutes straight because the key wouldn't come out of the ignition. My question for you, H/A, is twofold.

1) What's causing this?
2) Is there anything I can do to fix it?

I don't really have any knowledge about cars other than very basic stuff like putting in oil and changing the battery, that sort of thing. This is hardly a serious problem but it is very irritating and I'm definitely not comfortable leaving my car with the keys still in it. (I live in a pretty crappy neighborhood and somebody stole my car stereo last month. Definitely not a good idea.)

So what can I do, if anything?

Clint Eastwood on
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Posts

  • AurinAurin Registered User
    edited January 2008
    Have you ever had the transmission fluid changed? Things could be seizing up from old fluid.. or a clogged filter.

  • Clint EastwoodClint Eastwood Living In Fear. Year Of The Tiger.Registered User regular
    edited January 2008
    I do not think that's been done, no. I've had the car since August '06. I can certainly look into that though. My stepdad is usually the one who tinkers around with it whenever there's problems so for all I know he may have changed said fluids and I just forgot. I'll ask him about it though, for sure.

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  • AurinAurin Registered User
    edited January 2008
    Yup, that's a good plan, hopefully the fluid just hasn't been changed in a while. It's not something that most people think of until the car starts acting up, but it should be changed every 30k miles or so. >_> Speaking from experience of letting mine lapse until 70k. <_<

  • Lord YodLord Yod Registered User regular
    edited January 2008
    Honda's main weakness is in their automatic transmissions. Definitely recommend getting the transmission fluid flushed.

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  • Clint EastwoodClint Eastwood Living In Fear. Year Of The Tiger.Registered User regular
    edited January 2008
    Alright, thanks guys. I'll have it looked into asap.

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  • fuelishfuelish Registered User
    edited January 2008
    Sounds like the shift linkage is a little out of adjustment. The lever when shifted to the "park" posistion is not actually moving full in to park lighting the "P" light and releasing the ignition lock.

    Another day in the bike shop Pretty much what it sounds like. The secret lifestyle, laid open.
  • Clint EastwoodClint Eastwood Living In Fear. Year Of The Tiger.Registered User regular
    edited January 2008
    fuelish wrote: »
    Sounds like the shift linkage is a little out of adjustment. The lever when shifted to the "park" posistion is not actually moving full in to park lighting the "P" light and releasing the ignition lock.
    That's kinda what I assumed was up but I wasn't sure if there was anything I could do myself. I also found it odd that this only happens during cold weather.

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  • Lord YodLord Yod Registered User regular
    edited January 2008
    Well there's a couple of solenoids and such in the transmission itself, also in the ignition, and they can act up in cold weather. It's more likely a fluid problem, though, at least in my experience.

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  • fuelishfuelish Registered User
    edited January 2008
    A fluid change would not hurt but if it is the switch on the tranny sticking then you may still need to remove it from the case and clean it or replace it. A service manual can be pretty handy for this kind of thing. It probably will not tell you how to solve the problem but will point out the parts you are looking for(Nothing better than removing what looks like a drain plug only to have a relief spring and check ball shoot and disapear for ever.

    Another day in the bike shop Pretty much what it sounds like. The secret lifestyle, laid open.
  • GihgehlsGihgehls Registered User regular
    edited January 2008
    Cloudman wrote: »
    fuelish wrote: »
    Sounds like the shift linkage is a little out of adjustment. The lever when shifted to the "park" posistion is not actually moving full in to park lighting the "P" light and releasing the ignition lock.
    That's kinda what I assumed was up but I wasn't sure if there was anything I could do myself. I also found it odd that this only happens during cold weather.


    Did you try jiggling the gear selector while trying to pull out the keys? I had an old Volvo that would do the same thing as you describe. It also wouldn't start sometimes because it thought it was in gear, even though it was in park.

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  • Clint EastwoodClint Eastwood Living In Fear. Year Of The Tiger.Registered User regular
    edited January 2008
    Gihgehls wrote: »
    Cloudman wrote: »
    fuelish wrote: »
    Sounds like the shift linkage is a little out of adjustment. The lever when shifted to the "park" posistion is not actually moving full in to park lighting the "P" light and releasing the ignition lock.
    That's kinda what I assumed was up but I wasn't sure if there was anything I could do myself. I also found it odd that this only happens during cold weather.


    Did you try jiggling the gear selector while trying to pull out the keys? I had an old Volvo that would do the same thing as you describe. It also wouldn't start sometimes because it thought it was in gear, even though it was in park.
    Yeah, I usually do a bit of that. It only helps when it isn't super cold outside, IE above freezing temp.

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