2002 Highlander will not shift into park

110

Asked by Aug 17, 2011 at 11:14 PM about the 2002 Toyota Highlander Limited V6 4WD

Question type: Maintenance & Repair

My wife's 2002 Highlander will not shift into Park. It will go through every gear except Park. Any ideas on what the problem and fix is? Thank You

11 Answers

110

Turns out the terminal cover on the battery came loose and fell down in the engine. This caused the shifter linkage to get jambed. $40 fix. dmross

11 people found this helpful.
70

The same problem happened to us. Luckily, we used this forum and figured the problem out without a trip to the dealership.

7 people found this helpful.
30

My 2002 highlander did this yesterday. I pushed it back away from parking lot curb. Then took it the Toyota Dealer. Then came home , Googled up the problem, I found this site and people with the same problem. I called the dealer, they had closed for the day, so first thing today I called at 8 AM..the guy went and looked under the hood, and found this had happened to my Highlander..The dealer fixed it, No Charge....Feel kind of dumb for not looking under the hood myself before taking it in to the dealer.....

3 people found this helpful.
50

Oh my goodness my wife had the exact same thing. The battery terminal cover fell straight down and wedged under the shifter linkage. Just yanked it out and we were good to go.

5 people found this helpful.
30

Just happened to me. Battery terminal cover had fallen under the shifter. Removed it and all is well.

3 people found this helpful.
20

Same thing happened with my 2005 highlander. Thanks to this information I went out looked down at the shifter linkage and sure enough there was the terminal cover stuck in the linkage. I jerked it out and that fixed the problem. Lol I called my husband to tell him not to worry about it I fixed it myself. Thanks for the info.

2 people found this helpful.
10

March 2017 Same thing with our 2003 Highlander. Had a new battery installed. Three days later, suddenly I could not put it into Park or Reverse. Called Toyota dealer - no help, but they tried - over the phone. Tied Google, and found this. Sure enough, there was the cover, jammed under the linkage. Simple fix Thanks :-)

1 people found this helpful.
10

2001 Highlander Just came home from picking up the family at the airport, go home could not get into park and also the reverse unless you force held it. Son-in-law big shot mechanic says could be big trouble. Looked at this site open the hood took shop lite and low and behold, their the bugger was!!!!!!! Let him take the grab-bar and take it out. (5) times he said "I can't believe it" Thanks for the site. Rudi

1 people found this helpful.
10

I could not believe it when my 2002 Highland would not go into Park. I have over 220,000 miles and figured it is now time to replace after 15 years. I read this post and thought "no way" and it was going to be a major transmission problem. Before I called for a tow truck I popped the hood and to my surprise the cap from the battery terminal was sure enough jammed in the linkage. I reached in and pulled it out and can now shift into park and other gears with no problem. Thanks to all who have submitted their experience. Truly save me loads of $!!!

1 people found this helpful.

Me too. Thanks so much!

10

I'll add my experience to everyone elses. Had my battery tested at Firestone a week ago, and this morning, after driving to a store, I could not put the transmission into park or reverse. which also kept me from removing the key from the ignition, or locking the doors. Forced it into reverse to get it out of the parking space, drove it home, googled the problem and found this site. Went out and checked. The baterry terminal was indeed missing, and found wedged in the linkage. Pulled it out, and all works fine!

1 people found this helpful.

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