VW Stuck in Park

I see from my server logs; I am starting to get hits on people searching for help with the same VW stuck in park problem I had. In hopes that this helps others out, I’m posting the steps I got from VW’s roadside assistance below. These instructions worked on my 2002 VW Golf GLS with an automatic transmission, but may or may not work on any other vehicle. And I make no claim that they are safe to use on any vehicle. So if you follow these instructions, you do so at your own risk!

  1. Press down on the break pedal 5 times.
  2. On the 5 time, hold down the break pedal and start the car.
  3. Let the car run for 5 seconds, while still holding down the break pedal, and then turn it off.
  4. Again while still holding down the break pedal, give the key a one quarter turn in the ignition.
  5. Still holding down the break pedal, move the gear shift so that it is between Neutral and Drive.
  6. Finally, with your foot holding down the break pedal, start the car. Hopefully, you can now shift your into whatever gear you need and drive it to the nearest VW service center to get it fixed.


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I’m going to tell my friend about that

I hope it helps your friend out.

I had the same issue. I’m trying to figure out how to install the part now. Stuck too

I had this same problem happen to me over 2 years ago and this morning. The above steps work because I called roadside assistance and they had me follow those steps again. I am taking the car to get looked at.

This worked, sounds ridiculous but worked for me

I’ve just had the same problem; it’s caused by the brake pedal switch. This switch can be adjusted so that it works properly. Worst possible case is that the switch would need to be replaced. Fortunately all I had to do was adjust the switch’s plunger.

I had this problem on a 1999 Golf V5 however this solution didn’t work. I phoned a mechanic, who said this:

1) Turn off ignition
2) Turn key part way but don’t start the car. With some combination of wiggling the gearstick and turning the key without starting the engine, you can move the stick.
3) Hold the stick halfway between neutral and drive. You have to balance it between the two positions holding it, it’s a bit tricky
4) You should now be able to start the car and move into drive fully.

This will get you home but if it’s the brake light switch you probably won’t have working break lights, so don’t brake suddenly!

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