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My '97 Suburban has done this in the past, but I can't seem to remember what the solution was. When the car is in park, you have to depress the brake to get the car to go into gear. While we are pressing the brake, it is not allowing us to shift into gear. We have taken it to our mechanic, and he thinks the transmission is "getting in a bind" when you park on a hill. He recommended we just use the parking brake prior to shifting into park. The problem is that it still does it when we are on level ground.

Any suggestions?
 

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Check to see if your brake lights are working. If not, replace the switch on the pedal and it should take care of your problem.
 

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That is a good possibility, also if you check the stop light switch and it is ok, you can go to the BTSI (brake transmission shift interlock) solenoid, which is mounted on the steering coloumn and connected to the shifter, and check for power and ground. If everything checks out electrically, suspect the solenoid as bad.
 

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Probably the solenoid

jack77 said:
That is a good possibility, also if you check the stop light switch and it is ok, you can go to the BTSI (brake transmission shift interlock) solenoid, which is mounted on the steering coloumn and connected to the shifter, and check for power and ground. If everything checks out electrically, suspect the solenoid as bad.

Especially since your problem is intermittent. I have seen a blown brakelight fuse keep a transmission from shifting out of park, but it was not an intermittent problem. Best bet is to check the operation of that solenoid.

I had a ford that had chronic shift interlock trouble, and I just removed the solenoid. This can be dangerous if you like to race your engine as you shift out of park with your foot on the gas pedal.

The shift interlock became madatory after Audi had its woes.
 
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