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Gearshift stuck in "P" means new ECU?

4949 Views 4 Replies 5 Participants Last post by  William Wiles
My 2000 Ody shifter would not come out of park without manually releasing it, and brake lights didn't work. Dealer claimed to have replaced the brake switch and "got the brake lights working", but says I need a new ECU to fix the gearshift problem. There have been many posts at OdyClub about stuck gearshift/brake light issues but nobody mentioned replacing an ECU. Can this be right?

Advice much appreciated!

(BTW, have just noticed that the backup lights aren't working.)
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Sounds like an ignition switch problem more than an ECU problem. :huh:

Wait a minute-- the reverse lights still don't work?? Sounds like it's still a bad brake switch.
Our 2001, 2002 and 2003 Odys all had the same switch (I know, from having to adjust them to suit my own use of brake lights as not just a stop warning).

These brake switches have two sets of contacts. One services the brake light circuit, the other controls the shift interlock. I actually had to take apart the one on my 2003 EX, dress the contacts with very fine wet-dry sandpaper, and reassemble it, due to experiencing a gear shift lever stuck in park.

Lack of back-up lighting is a different subject. The reverse lights circuit does not go through the brake switch, but it does run through:
1.) The ignition switch (as mentioned by WSY
2.) A relay under the dash (driver's side, I think)
3.) A tranmission range switch (mounted on the far left side of the transmission, I believe)

Kludged around brake switch problem

I had the problem that I couldn't shift out of park and the brake lights wouldn't come on. I took the switch out and tested it (with an ohm meter) and it was defective. I tried a parts store; They didn't have it and didn't want to special order it for me. After trying several lessor corrections, I bent the contacts inside the switch to change its operation and fixed the original problem but...

I'd like to know if this change will cause later problems, meaning I really need to get a new switch anyway, or whether I can leave it this way.

The setup (for those who haven't taken one of these apart yet) is the switch is pressed when the brake is fully released and the switch is released when the brake is pressed even a little.

(1) The internal design of the switch seemed to be: the circuit is enabled when the switch is fully released and the circuit is disabled (contact open) when the switch is even slightly pressed.

When I removed the switch from the car and tested it, it didn't work at all. The contact was always open. When I took the switch apart examined the inside (which was clean and otherwise in perfect looking condition) and put it back together, it then worked (tested with Ohm meter) as I described in (1). Then I installed it in the car and it didn't work and took it back out and it still didn't work and repeated the whole sequence twice more.

Then I bent the metal contacts inside the switch so it makes contact when the switch is pressed 50% or less and opens only when pressed more than 50% (vs. original contact only when totally released and open if pressed at all). I installed that in the car and the brake brake lights were off before I pressed the brakes, came on when I pressed the pedal and stayed on when I released until I lifted up on the brake pedal. But that malfunction hasn't repeated. The brake lights now go on and off as they should.

I'm hoping I had slightly bent the holder of the switch (when reinstalling the switch) and fixed it when I lifted the brake pedal once. Otherwise, the switch is now too hair triggered and turns on the brake lights with too little pressure on the pedal (what was about 1/3 inch pedal press before the lights come on is now about 1/6 inch and that might be too little). I may end up with my brake lights on when the brake is released and I wouldn't immediately know.


Also, I'd really like to know what the previous post meant about the second set of contacts. I think my change affected only the wider contacts. Testing with an Ohm meter, I found no function to the narrower contacts before nor after my change. The meter shows the no connect for the narrower contacts regardless of pressing or releasing the switch. My change to the switch fixed both the break lights and shifting out of park. So I think the one set of contacts in the switch controls both things in the car's electrical behavior.
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Go to the dealer and get a new switch. It is cheap enough. Or save half a cup of coffee and order one from one of the online dealers.
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