2004 Volvo S40 stuck in neutral


Asked by Sep 22, 2012 at 07:58 PM about the 2004 Volvo S40

Question type: Maintenance & Repair

I have a 2004 Volvo S40 automatic transmission. Two days ago I accidentally spilled water onto the
shifter, but I have done this a number of times over the years with no consequences. The next day I went
to take it from park to drive, and it got stuck in neutral. I had to get it towed. The tow truck driver stuck
a screw driver in the small square box to the bottom left of the shifter. Within seconds he got the car into
drive. I drove it home and parked it. He theorized the water was the problem and it would take a few
days to dry out. Today I wanted to see if it had recovered. I attempted to take it from park to drive, but
it got stuck in neutral. After messing around with a screw driver, I was able to get it from neutral to drive
but never back past neutral into park. At present the car still has the keys in the ignition and is sort of
off but still in neutral.  Also the computer says "GEAR SERVICE REQUIRED".

4 Answers


Figured I would update this post in case anyone else comes across it in a similar situation. Turns out the gear shaft (the panel where you move from Drive, Neutral, Reserve and Park) was COMPLETELY rusted out on the inside because I had spilled water down there for a number of years. Had to be completely replaced, cost me $400! Good luck

8 of 8 people found this helpful.

I have a similar issue. I am now thinking it wont be that bad if all to cost me is $400. Thanks for your posting the solution to this problem here CLNmssy!

3 of 3 people found this helpful.

right or you can buy the part on e bay or any other place for around $50 and take your shifter and stereo out unscrew everything and un clip it. lot are just clips. and maybe 2 hrs to do it and put it back together its called automatic shift lock micro switch i have a 06 volvo s40 2.4i none turbo same prob mine got stuck in neutral would'nt come out of it. but if there under a 2008 its got the black safty release to fix it. so you do not call for a tow use a screw driver and push it towards the dash at same time your putting it in gear

1 of 1 people found this helpful.

I had same issue right now, my question after i unlocked and shift the gear into drive am i able to drive the car far like im now in LA and my home is santa maria its 144miles away. Any idea? Thanks in advance.

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