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About Sharon22

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  • Location
    Portland Oregon
  • Referral
    google: searched "repair subaru"
  • Vehicles
    Subaru Impreza
  1. "if the brake lights work, i can 100% guarantee, SEVEN times over it is not the brake pedal switch." --Yes that is a good idea. I will check that today, within the next couple hours. "the shift inhibitor is a fairly common fail point. but it usually causes a ''no start'' problem. if you listen closely, you should be able to hear the relay activate when you press the shifter button." -- Okay I'll do that, too. But where should I "point my ear" when I'm trying to listen? I'm not totally familiar with the engine layout -- do I want to listen "towards the front of my car?" Or do I want to listen straight down, towards axels and stuff? "i would look further down the line , closer to the shift lock solenoid." Where would that "shift lock solenoid" be? Is that the thing under my shifter underneath the plastic console covers? "so let me understand. the engine will start, but you cannot shift out of park?" YES that is correct. If I'm in a hurry I stick the screwdriver in the emergency hole. If I'm not in a hurry, I usually do a bunch of voodoo -- e.g. tamping on the brake pedal, turning my car on and off, getting out and kicking a tire, etc., then usually the 10th try, the shifter will unlock. Actually, when it's working, I can hear the "activate - metallic clank relay sound" when I step on the brake (my car's noisy). Conversely, when I step on the brake and hear NOTHING, then I know the damn thing didn't release my shifter :-) "does everything else work when you cannot shift ouit of park? horn?cruise? cigarette lighter?" HMMMmmmm! Well, ACTUALLY, the VERY FIRST TIME this happened about 3 years ago, SEVERAL things didn't work -- it was weird -- the blower wouldn't work, and a couple other things (maybe the horn? I cannot remember!) did NOT work. However, the SECOND that I replaced the springy-thingamajig-switchy-thing, EVERYTHING worked perfectly! Problem Solved!!! (Until a few months later).
  2. If I was 100% CERTAIN that I don't have wires smouldering away somewhere with a loose connection, I would take your advice in a HEARTBEAT. Unfortunately, though, I'm a cheapskate with OCD. :-)
  3. Thank you for clarifying. I understand you're saying that if a mechanic just "slops it into it's spot" and the brake pedal jams that spring switch all the way in each time the brake pedal returns to the "up" position, that's going to wear it out? I can imagine that, and I can picture that happening in my mind, and I think that is totally possible. I'm thinking, though, that the fly in the ointment is that I am up to my 7th one. But, I agree with you, and thank you for clarifying. And regarding what you said about a short, the kind of "short" I worry about is where something is "partially secure" and "gets HOT" where wires aren't touching tightly, and a fire from that. LIke the other week when my front automatic window wouldn't work, and the mechanic said that the connection was loose and the insulation on the wire was slowly melting away. THAT scares me... and that is what I am worried about with this stupid brake stop light springy switch thing -- that if I DON'T figure out exactly what is wrong, then I got wires melting away somewhere hidden...
  4. Well, no, here's why I disagree: I manually pushed the brake pedal completely outta the way. In other words, "take the brake pedal outta the equation." So I'm down there on my hands and knees and with my *Fingers* I am pushing the springy-pin-thingy in and out, in and out, in and out. Jabbing it, pulling it, poking it, pushing the pin all the way in, out, etc., (you get the idea). And still, my shifter won't release. Then after I shut my car off, walk around it a few times cursing, get back in my car, all is well again and everything works normally. Again, all signs point to a faulty push-springy-pin, and, like I said, since they're cheap (7 bucks for the cheap Napa ones, and 20 for the Subaru Brass Quality ones), I just kept replacing them. And, logically, *all seven* of them cannot be faulty! So I'm trying to figure out what else could be wrong. I just don't know all the devices there are in the "chain of command" that's between the brake light switch and the shift lock...
  5. haha --yes I know -- in fact, I now carry a screwdriver in my glovebox to "unlock" my shifter. HOWEVER -- (maybe you, or someone could answer this) -- I do NOT mind the concept of "aw heck with it, I'll just "jimmyrig it," EXCEPT..... since it is an "electrical" issue, shouldn't I be worried about a SHORT somewhere? In other words, I have no problem jimmyrigging things. But, if that springy-thingy is NOT defective, that means somewhere else along the electrical "chain-of-command" something is haywire. Couldn't that start a fire? (That's why I want to get to the root of the problem).
  6. 93 Subaru Impreza. Regarding the switch, no it *must* have full contact/tension to the brakes. When the brake pedal is fully up (like, when the car is parked with nobody in it), the springy switch is pushed all the way in, it's supposed to be that way). When you depress the brake pedal (your foot moves the brake pedal down maybe 1 or 2 inches), the springy-switch-pin-whatever-you-call-it springs out (it extends fully, about 1/4 inch). That's how it's supposed to work. In fact, today, when I stepped on the brake pedal and couldn't move my shifter, I got outta the car and onto my hands and knees in the parking lot, and used my hand to depress the brake pedal so it was a couple inches completely *away* from the spring pin, and I visually saw the pin fully extended. I pushed the pin in and out several times with my fingers (manually) and, still, my shifter wouldn't release. One would say with absolute certainty: "Your push-pin-thingamabob is broken -- go buy a new one!" Except, as I've described, I'm on my 7th one in 6 months. But, thank you for trying to help.
  7. Directly above my brake pedal is a spring-button that's built to continuously touch the un-depressed brake pedal. The spring-button is springy and exerts constant pressure on the brake pedal while the pedal is UP. For example, when nobody is in the car, the brake pedal is UP, and therefore pressing against that spring-button. Now when I "step on the brakes" (i.e. "push down on the brake pedal"), that pushes the pedal AWAY from that spring-button, causing that spring button to fully extend (because, obviously, it is "springy"). I believe that "spring-button" is called different things, because it does all kinds of things -- for example, when you depress the brake pedal and that spring fully extends, it causes the rear Brake Lights to come on. ALSO (now, I'm getting to my point) the other thing it does (when the spring-button extends while depressing the brake pedal) is RELEASE the "shift lock" so I can move my shifter out of park. Ever noticed how you can NOT move the shifter out of park UNLESS you depress the brake pedal? Well, it's because of that spring-button thingy. Here's my problem (whew.... finally! ;-) when I depress my brake pedal, the spring-button extends, but does NOT release my shifter out of park! At first, I thought it was something "icky-sticky" spilled in my shifter itself, so I cleaned it. When that didn't work, I went to Napa and bought a NEW "spring-button thingy" (that I spent the first part of this post describing)... and VOILA everything was fixed! PROBLEM: after a few weeks, the problem returned! So I bought another spring-button thingy! and VOILA! fixed!.... Until a few weeks later. Anyway, this cycled has repeated 7 (SEVEN!) times! I have tried NAPA brand spring-button thingies, as well as 2 (TWO) brand-new factory Subaru switch thingies (after I finish typing, I'm going to try and upload a picture of this thingamabob.). And now, today, I wave the white flag. I am STUCK in park once again. So, it's obviously NOT that thingamabob springy-thingy, and it's NOT any gunk/grime in my shifter. What else could it be? My mechanic said he doesn't like diagnosing electrical problems and I'm supposed to take my car and drop it off on the other side of town (the bad side of town) and leave it all day while they charge me $80.00 per hour to diagnose this problem :-) Would anyone be so kind as to give me some ideas so I can try and fix it myself? Thank you in advance!! p.s. Here is a photo of what that thingy-spring-a-ma-bob switch that presses on my brake pedal looks like: