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  #1  
Old 05-20-2017, 07:40 PM
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'02 ML320 Hard to shift into park

Daughter's ML. I noticed that I shift from Park to Drive Ok and drive around. But when I get ready to turn off the engine and try to shift it into Park, it will go to Neutral but no farther. Then after several tries, it seems like something inside releases and it shifts into Park fine.

What the heck is going on and how do I help my daughter?

Thx.
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  #2  
Old 05-20-2017, 08:53 PM
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This still should have a mechanical reverse lock out solenoid though I don't know the specifics of later shifters.

Hopefully the parking brake is being used on this car. For cars in general, I've seen trans cases / parking pawls broken , shifters / internal linkage damaged through non parking brake use. The lack of drivers using parking brakes has gotten so frequent that they are starting to use auto parking brake apply systems.

I cite SAE Parking brake use study 2013-01-0199 published 04-08-2013 . it states that only 16 % of automatic trans drivers always use a parking brake while 74% of manual trans drivers do so. These numbers were generated with an online survey and backed up with a visual inspection of random cars.
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Old 05-20-2017, 08:59 PM
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OK, I noticed that a trouble light was on. It was the steering wheel lock warning; it was not locked. I locked it and the trouble light went off.

Wonder if this could be what was causing it not to shift? Will try it tomorrow; did not want to get into anything in the dark tonight.

The ML is amazing; did not realize that it had four wheel drive like my Land Rover.

Confused - are you saying that a reverse solenoid may be the problem? What does this have to do with the parking brake?

I am still hoping to find that it was only occasioned by the steering column not being locked; we will see.

Last edited by tyl604; 05-20-2017 at 10:05 PM.
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Old 05-21-2017, 09:46 AM
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Ran the ML back and forth in the driveway this AM and it shifted back into Park fine. It is pouring rain in Atlanta at the moment so I will take it for a drive later. Am hoping that this problem is resolved.
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  #5  
Old 05-21-2017, 07:17 PM
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Well, I still have the problem. It feels like Reverse and Park are locked out; it stops at Neutral. After shifting back and forth from Neutral to Drive, it will change its mind and the shifter will go all the way to Park.

Anyone have an idea what is wrong?
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Old 05-22-2017, 11:19 AM
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Anyone?
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  #7  
Old 05-22-2017, 12:22 PM
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The shifter is mechanically blocked by a plunger in the valve body. The plunger extends when the car starts moving and retracts (hopefully) when the car stops. You'll need to drop the pan and take a look. My ML started doing the same thing at the end of this past winter. Once it was warmed up it went into PARK with no problem. Now that it's warmer everything is fine..........
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Old 05-22-2017, 01:45 PM
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Does that plunger make it stop before it goes into Reverse? That is what is happening to me. Park of course is one stop farther.
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Old 05-23-2017, 12:05 PM
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Yes, that's what it's supposed to do...........
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  #10  
Old 05-23-2017, 01:33 PM
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Great. Thanks.

Is this valve novice replaceable?
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