It Happened, Break Down During Trip

OK, maybe a break down is not the correct wording compared to what actually happened.  A stranger could not get their 2009 Chevy Impala out of park. So what would you do if this happened on your car?

Before I get to the repair, let me give you a short version of how I arrived at this spot at this time. We were taking a family member to visit a relative. (6 hrs away) The ride started out fine until I remember I had not turned off the coffee pot.

Being one-half an hour from home, deciding to turn around was not popular. We turned around, I made my coffee, turned off the coffee maker, grabbed my faithful pocket knife, and we are on our way again. Bear with me here, this all relates to my story.

Several hours into our ride, we stop for some food and drink. After getting some food, I stay with the family dog to keep him at ease. Everyone else goes for some nourishment. As I am waiting and eating, I notice people rocking an Impala. I observe the car is running, so the scene seems a little odd. When the hood goes up, it is now apparent they need help for sure.

The safety system would not permit the Impala to release out of park position. After a little thought and just my folded 6″  pocket knife to work with, I began pulling fuses and relays which may be related to the safety system. Doing this may reset the system. No luck, Nuts! I had the lady call her mechanic as I removed the shift lever panel. I knew older Chevy’s had a park release button. I could not see one, even with my phone flashlight on. Her mechanic called back with a description of what to look for. Bammm, There it was. We started the car, foot on the brake, my “now unfolded knife” was long enough to depress the button, click and the car came out of park. Woohoo!! I tried the Parking Brake, to be sure it held, popped the panel back in place, and she was ready to go. With a warm hug and Thank You, we parted ways

Note: I am not certain, what makes and models. have this type of release. We have only had GM automatics – console-mounted shift, give this issue.

Finishing the story; What is the odds; I would be at that place, at that time, parked in that spot, and have a tool long enough to engage the release pin? All this had to happen for me to help this traveler out. What a blessing we both received.

 As always “Great Service With A Smile,”


Caution: This is a true story; only intended as a story and the information is only intended as to complete the tale. Not intended for personal use.