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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
I own a 2005 Tacoma “TRD Off Road” w. automatic transmission, which I bought, used, in excellent condition from a dealership in 2012. No significant problems until winter 2019/20 (only had to have the A/C rebuilt six years ago). The truck has about 136,000km on it, getting only moderate use each year because our main daily vehicle is a Rav4.

The current issue is something that has happened twice now, with the incidents about five weeks apart. (I should mention we live in southern Canada, with true winter — though nowhere near as cold as central Canada or states like Minnesota or North Dakota. In winter I do not use the parking brake.)

Twice now I’ve gotten in, started the engine, let it warm up, then attempted to shift into reverse or drive and could not get the lever to move out of Park position. It did not matter what I tried. The truck had, each time, gotten about 20 minutes of engine warming during my attempts, and my thought was that engine heat might transfer through the tranny and possibly all the way to the drive shaft. However, in each case it was only after shutting the engine off, leaving the vehicle, then coming back 70 -90 minutes later to restart and try it again that I could shift into drive or reverse normally.

I took it to our local dealership's service dept and the technicians could not get the truck to show its problem, which anyway they thought was a very peculiar issue.

Any experience or ideas out there?
 

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05 camry 07 tacoma
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'could not get the lever to move out of Park position"
Suspect intermittent shift lock control ECU /solenoid.
Difficult to diagnose so maybe have a auto electric shop spend and hour on inspecting/testing for intermittent power/ground to shift lock ECU.
Did dealer provide a write up on what was tested?
 

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Discussion Starter #3
'could not get the lever to move out of Park position"
Suspect intermittent shift lock control ECU /solenoid.
Difficult to diagnose so maybe have a auto electric shop spend and hour on inspecting/testing for intermittent power/ground to shift lock ECU.
Did dealer provide a write up on what was tested?
No write-up. I could ask for one next time. Dealer is an hour drive from my residence, but I suppose I should take it in again. Shift lock control is nothing I've known anything about — so I could propose this idea.

Since this has only occurred during cold weather, do you see any way temprature could affect the shift lock control ECU /solenoid?
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Thanks Cj1 and 05Moose for your responses.
Just curious if you tried the shift lock override button and whether that made a difference.
My year/model of Tacoma doesn't have a shift lock override button on the shift console, and in all the years I've owned the truck t haven't needed to figure out whether there is any shift lock feature, or an override for it. I'll look through the manual to see if there's an entry in the index.

Thanks for your post, and following up on your idea, I found this video [below] relevant to the Corolla model. The info in it says the brake light fuse also pertains to the shift mechanism, at least with the Corolla.

 

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05 Tacoma 4x4 DC LB
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Yes, the IG fuse will lock you in park if it fails (and brake lights won’t work among other things). The override button will bypass the issue with the fuse. In your pic above of the Corolla video, you can see the override button depression above the P indicator. We have the same thing in the Tacoma. You have to pop out the little cover over it.
 

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Yeah, what they said. The fuse blown would be a continuous problem, not intermittent, in 99% of all cases. As noted, your tail lights shouldn't work either.

Short term, use the manual override as noted in the video above. Long term, see below.

The linkage from the solenoid to the shift lever sounds more feasible. The shift lock solenoid and its ECU both appear to be on top of the tranny, so disassembly from inside, not crawling around on the ground in the cold. Bad news, I hear the console is a PITA to remove, but I've never had to do it.
 
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