Transmission stuck in drive...Service shifter - 2017+ Chrysler Pacifica Minivan Forums
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post #1 of 17 (permalink) Old 02-19-2019, 10:33 AM Thread Starter
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Transmission stuck in drive...Service shifter

I can't decide what to title this or whether I made the right decision purchasing our 2018 Certified Pre-Owned Pacifica Touring. We purchased it less than a month ago, 1/26/19. Let me just tell you all what those three weeks have looked like.


Purchased on a Saturday. Three hours after driving off the lot we had our first issue. The van was parked in the driveway. The driveway has a slight incline, but nothing abnormal. We had the kids all loaded up and ready to head for a slumber party at my brother-in-law's while the wife and I had a nice dinner and quiet evening at home planned. I started the van, disengaged the parking brake, and put the shifter in reverse. When I did this I noticed an error on the dash, "Service Shifter". I thought, well that sucks and I'll have to get that checked out. Well, I backed out into the street. When I went to shift to drive the parking brake automatically engaged and the dash error now said, "Move to safety, shift to park, service shifter." Well there was no, "moving to safety", because the van wouldn't move more than a foot at a time before the parking brake would automatically engage and we'd be stuck again. I turn off the van and sit for a few minutes. Restart it. Same problem. As we were in the middle of the road it took about ten cycles of shifting to park,turning off the parking brake, shifting to drive, moving a foot, brake automatically applied, repeat, etc., etc., etc.


We finally get it off the road a back in the driveway. We unload the kids and into our other vehicle while they're wailing about why the new car is broke and why we have to take the "old" car. On the way to drop off the kids I call the dealership. Service is closed already. I talk to my sales person. He's very apologetic and professional. Says they will come tow it first thing Monday morning and check it out. We make it to the cousins house. Go to dinner and have a nice evening despite a sense of dread from having made the wrong purchase.


Sunday, I decide to go move the van further down the driveway by shifting to neutral to give more room to get in and out of the garage. I start it up and no error on the dash anymore. I shift to drive. All good. I drive around the neighborhood. All good. I call my wife and tell her to load up the kids and meet me at the dealership. I'll just drive it up there now that it's working. Luckily we live 3 miles from the dealership.



Monday mid-morning I get a call from the dealership's service center saying that they updated some software and all was good. I pick it up the next day and all was good for a few weeks. Until Valentine's day.



I go pick up the kids from school due to it being a half day and the need to run a few errands before we take a road trip across the state the next day; in the van. While we're out. I am backing out of a parking spot. No parking brake was engaged due to it being a level lot. Put the shifter in reverse. No issues. Put the shifter in drive and the parking brake automatically engages and the same error message comes back about "moving to safety". There is no **** moving this time. This time the knob is blinking and won't budge from drive. I am completely stuck and blocking traffic in the parking lot. I shut everything down. Wait 10 minutes or so. Restart. Still nothing. Knob is blinking and still in drive. Same error message. I call service. They offer the idea of turning it off and back on. They have no other thoughts. I go ahead and call AAA as the roadside assistance with Chrysler will only tow to the nearest service center which is 15 miles the other direction from home and my dealership which is 19 miles away. While waiting, people offer to help move the van. Which is great, except of course the transmission is stuck. While waiting I google about a manual release for the transmission as I remember reading something about that. I find the red ribbon under the steering wheel. Pull it. I am now able to push the van into a parking spot and get out of the middle of the parking lot.Pull the ribbon again to reengage the transmission. After sitting for about 30 minutes it's getting pretty cold. I start the van back up to run the heater. No error message. Knob isn't blinking. The check engine light is on, however. Shift to drive. All's good. I cancel AAA and head to the dealership.


My dealership has been great (except for selling me the van??). They got me set up with a loaner to take on the road trip, which I still have, cause the van's still in the shop. So here I am. Just bought a van and in less than a month it's left me and my kids stranded, twice. Certified Pre-owned. Still under manufacturer's warranty. Bought the extended warranty in addition to the pre-owned warranty.



Anyone else have similar issues? Anyone want to try and make me feel better about my purchase? I'm really just venting with the hope that someone will either spread enlightenment and call me back from the ledge...or someone to just push me over it. Other than this we love the van. Regardless of how much we like it, however, leaving us stranded is unacceptable.



Lost,
Nate Schotanus

Last edited by irpilot; 02-19-2019 at 11:54 PM.
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post #2 of 17 (permalink) Old 02-19-2019, 01:43 PM Thread Starter
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I can't decide...

I can't decide what to title this or whether I made the right decision purchasing our 2018 Certified Pre-Owned Pacifica Touring. We purchased it less than a month ago, 1/26/19. Let me just tell you all what those three weeks have looked like.

Purchased on a Saturday. Three hours after driving off the lot we had our first issue. The van was parked in the driveway. The driveway has a slight incline, but nothing abnormal. We had the kids all loaded up and ready to head for a slumber party at my brother-in-law's while the wife and I had a nice dinner and quiet evening at home planned. I started the van, disengaged the parking brake, and put the shifter in reverse. When I did this I noticed an error on the dash, "Service Shifter". I thought, well that sucks and I'll have to get that checked out. Well, I backed out into the street. When I went to shift to drive the parking brake automatically engaged and the dash error now said, "Move to safety, shift to park, service shifter." Well there was no, "moving to safety", because the van wouldn't move more than a foot at a time before the parking brake would automatically engage and we'd be stuck again. I turn off the van and sit for a few minutes. Restart it. Same problem. As we were in the middle of the road it took about ten cycles of shifting to park,turning off the parking brake, shifting to drive, moving a foot, brake automatically applied, repeat, etc., etc., etc.

We finally get it off the road a back in the driveway. We unload the kids and into our other vehicle while they're wailing about why the new car is broke and why we have to take the "old" car. On the way to drop off the kids I call the dealership. Service is closed already. I talk to my sales person. He's very apologetic and professional. Says they will come tow it first thing Monday morning and check it out. We make it to my brother-in-law's house. Go to dinner and have a nice evening despite a sense of dread from having made the wrong purchase.

Sunday, I decide to go move the van further down the driveway by shifting to neutral to give more room to get in and out of the garage. I start it up and no error on the dash anymore. I shift to drive. All good. I drive around the neighborhood. All good. I call my wife and tell her to load up the kids and meet me at the dealership. I'll just drive it up there now that it's working. Luckily we live 3 miles from the dealership.

Monday mid-morning I get a call from the dealership's service center saying that they updated some software and all was good. I pick it up the next day and all was good for a few weeks. Until Valentine's day.

I go pick up the kids from school due to it being a half day and the need to run a few errands before we take a road trip across the state the next day; in the van. While we're out I am backing out of a parking spot. No parking brake was engaged due to it being a level lot. Put the shifter in reverse. No issues. Put the shifter in drive and the parking brake automatically engages and the same error message comes back about "moving to safety". There is no **** moving this time. This time the knob is blinking and won't budge from drive. I am completely stuck and blocking traffic in the parking lot. I shut everything down. Wait 10 minutes or so. Restart. Still nothing. Knob is blinking and still in drive. Same error message. I call service. They offer the idea of turning it off and back on. They have no other thoughts. I go ahead and call AAA as the roadside assistance with Chrysler will only tow to the nearest service center which is 15 miles the other direction from my dealership (and home) which is 19 miles away. While waiting, people offer to help move the van. Which is great, except of course the transmission is stuck. While waiting I google about a manual release for the transmission as I remember reading something about that. I find the red ribbon under the steering wheel. Pull it. I am now able to push the van into a parking spot and get out of the middle of the parking lot. Pull the ribbon again to reengage the transmission. After sitting for about 30 minutes it's getting pretty cold. I start the van back up to run the heater. No error message. Knob isn't blinking. The check engine light is on, however. Shift to drive. All is good. I cancel AAA and head to the dealership.

My dealership has been great (except for selling me the van??). They got me set up with a loaner to take on the road trip, which I still have, cause the van's still in the shop. So here I am. Just bought a van and in less than a month it's left me and my kids stranded, twice. Certified Pre-owned. Still under manufacturer's warranty. Bought the extended warranty in addition to the pre-owned warranty.

Anyone else have similar issues? Anyone want to try and make me feel better about my purchase? I'm really just venting with the hope that someone will either spread enlightenment and call me back from the ledge...or someone to just push me over it. Other than this we love the van. Regardless of how much we like it, however, leaving us stranded is unacceptable.

Lost,
Nate Schotanus

2018 Pacfica Touring L, Billet Silver, Gas
2012 Ford Fusion SEL, Silver, Gas
2005 Ford Escape XLT 4x4, Gold Ash

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post #3 of 17 (permalink) Old 02-19-2019, 06:04 PM
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I am sorry for your grief, but wonder how much luck the dealership will have, because the odds are they won't find anything wrong, since usually the car behaves.
Intermittent problems are nasty to find the cause of.
I question whether prior owner didn't try to wire something in and screwed things up - we might never know.
Hopefully the error code from the check engine light can give the dealer a clue.

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post #4 of 17 (permalink) Old 02-19-2019, 06:57 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DoninDel View Post
I question whether prior owner didn't try to wire something in and screwed things up - we might never know.
Hmm, OP, was the car a former rental perhaps?
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post #5 of 17 (permalink) Old 02-19-2019, 07:06 PM
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Old Time Trouble Chaser Needed

Quote:
Originally Posted by flatmtber View Post
I can't decide what to title this or whether I made the right decision purchasing our 2018 Certified Pre-Owned Pacifica Touring. We purchased it less than a month ago, 1/26/19. Let me just tell you all what those three weeks have looked like.

Purchased on a Saturday. Three hours after driving off the lot we had our first issue. The van was parked in the driveway. The driveway has a slight incline, but nothing abnormal. We had the kids all loaded up and ready to head for a slumber party at my brother-in-law's while the wife and I had a nice dinner and quiet evening at home planned. I started the van, disengaged the parking brake, and put the shifter in reverse. When I did this I noticed an error on the dash, "Service Shifter". I thought, well that sucks and I'll have to get that checked out. Well, I backed out into the street. When I went to shift to drive the parking brake automatically engaged and the dash error now said, "Move to safety, shift to park, service shifter." Well there was no, "moving to safety", because the van wouldn't move more than a foot at a time before the parking brake would automatically engage and we'd be stuck again. I turn off the van and sit for a few minutes. Restart it. Same problem. As we were in the middle of the road it took about ten cycles of shifting to park,turning off the parking brake, shifting to drive, moving a foot, brake automatically applied, repeat, etc., etc., etc.

We finally get it off the road a back in the driveway. We unload the kids and into our other vehicle while they're wailing about why the new car is broke and why we have to take the "old" car. On the way to drop off the kids I call the dealership. Service is closed already. I talk to my sales person. He's very apologetic and professional. Says they will come tow it first thing Monday morning and check it out. We make it to my brother-in-law's house. Go to dinner and have a nice evening despite a sense of dread from having made the wrong purchase.

Sunday, I decide to go move the van further down the driveway by shifting to neutral to give more room to get in and out of the garage. I start it up and no error on the dash anymore. I shift to drive. All good. I drive around the neighborhood. All good. I call my wife and tell her to load up the kids and meet me at the dealership. I'll just drive it up there now that it's working. Luckily we live 3 miles from the dealership.

Monday mid-morning I get a call from the dealership's service center saying that they updated some software and all was good. I pick it up the next day and all was good for a few weeks. Until Valentine's day.

I go pick up the kids from school due to it being a half day and the need to run a few errands before we take a road trip across the state the next day; in the van. While we're out I am backing out of a parking spot. No parking brake was engaged due to it being a level lot. Put the shifter in reverse. No issues. Put the shifter in drive and the parking brake automatically engages and the same error message comes back about "moving to safety". There is no **** moving this time. This time the knob is blinking and won't budge from drive. I am completely stuck and blocking traffic in the parking lot. I shut everything down. Wait 10 minutes or so. Restart. Still nothing. Knob is blinking and still in drive. Same error message. I call service. They offer the idea of turning it off and back on. They have no other thoughts. I go ahead and call AAA as the roadside assistance with Chrysler will only tow to the nearest service center which is 15 miles the other direction from my dealership (and home) which is 19 miles away. While waiting, people offer to help move the van. Which is great, except of course the transmission is stuck. While waiting I google about a manual release for the transmission as I remember reading something about that. I find the red ribbon under the steering wheel. Pull it. I am now able to push the van into a parking spot and get out of the middle of the parking lot. Pull the ribbon again to reengage the transmission. After sitting for about 30 minutes it's getting pretty cold. I start the van back up to run the heater. No error message. Knob isn't blinking. The check engine light is on, however. Shift to drive. All is good. I cancel AAA and head to the dealership.

My dealership has been great (except for selling me the van??). They got me set up with a loaner to take on the road trip, which I still have, cause the van's still in the shop. So here I am. Just bought a van and in less than a month it's left me and my kids stranded, twice. Certified Pre-owned. Still under manufacturer's warranty. Bought the extended warranty in addition to the pre-owned warranty.

Anyone else have similar issues? Anyone want to try and make me feel better about my purchase? I'm really just venting with the hope that someone will either spread enlightenment and call me back from the ledge...or someone to just push me over it. Other than this we love the van. Regardless of how much we like it, however, leaving us stranded is unacceptable.

Lost,
Nate Schotanus
IIWY, I would seek out an independent shop with an impeccable reputation...yes they really do exist... I would bring the Pac into that shop and ask them to check it top to bottom, front to rear for any loose connection(s), corroded connections, battery condition, and non OEM parts.. I suspect that the car was traded for the very problems that now plague you. A problem at some dealerships is that some techs follow the book with regard to troubleshooting, leading to the inevitable conclusion that if no error is found by the test equipment, that there is nothing wrong. Many of these techs have no experience with the basics..i.e. a good connection is a good thing... Often transient non repeatable problems are the result of a loose connection or a defective ground and only careful and thorough hands on troubleshooting will find the problem.
On a positive note, I think that your problem can be solved.

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post #6 of 17 (permalink) Old 02-19-2019, 07:17 PM
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Have them test the 12V battery. It’s been the root cause of many problems.
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post #7 of 17 (permalink) Old 02-19-2019, 11:50 PM
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Sorry to hear about your troubles. Long posts like this await moderators for approval when it's your first post. It's been approved. I don't think your title is going to help so I'm gonna add some detail to it. I know others have had the same problem. You might want to use the search function. I can't remember off the top of my head what the fault ended up but for some reason I want to say it was the battery? Hopefully some people can chime in and give you you some more info. Welcome to the forum. Sorry to hear it was because of an issue.
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post #8 of 17 (permalink) Old 02-20-2019, 12:20 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by flatmtber View Post
I can't decide what to title this or whether I made the right decision purchasing our 2018 Certified Pre-Owned Pacifica Touring. We purchased it less than a month ago, 1/26/19. Let me just tell you all what those three weeks have looked like...

My dealership has been great (except for selling me the van??). They got me set up with a loaner to take on the road trip, which I still have, cause the van's still in the shop. So here I am. Just bought a van and in less than a month it's left me and my kids stranded, twice. Certified Pre-owned. Still under manufacturer's warranty. Bought the extended warranty in addition to the pre-owned warranty.

Anyone else have similar issues? Anyone want to try and make me feel better about my purchase? I'm really just venting with the hope that someone will either spread enlightenment and call me back from the ledge...or someone to just push me over it. Other than this we love the van. Regardless of how much we like it, however, leaving us stranded is unacceptable.

Lost,
Nate Schotanus
Welcome to the forum. I agree with having the batteries checked since failing batteries have cause many unusual system messages in the past.

How many miles are on the van? Manufacture date (on edge of driver's door)?

Edit: I saw in another post that you have 34,000 miles on your van.

If you put the van info (year, trim, gas/hybrid, etc.) in the signature line of the UserCP it will show up at the bottom of every post and might assist others answering your questions.
You might also try to private message @ChryslerCares (by clicking on the red letters) with your VIN and see whether they might be able to assist your dealer with troubleshooting the problem.
I hope your problems are resolved quickly.
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post #9 of 17 (permalink) Old 02-20-2019, 07:55 AM
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I expect you are frustrated, but they will get it fixed. If you google up “Chrysler service shifter” you’ll come up with some reading material. Like all manufacturers FCA uses the same basic technology in all their brands, so you will see some discussion of this problem in Chrysler, Dodge, Ram, and Jeep vehicles. In a quick scan, the Jeep guys seem to have the most detailed discussion - they own their own computer scan tools and are referencing the factory service manuals.

When it comes back, please consider posting the diagnostic notes from the printout your service advisor provides. It should say what diagnostic test the technician ran and what repairs were made or parts replaced. That way we can compare it to the resolution seen in some of the other cases.
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post #10 of 17 (permalink) Old 02-20-2019, 08:13 AM
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Just wanted to point out there is a tab by the driver left knee - if you ever need to get it out of drive and into neutral pull the tab out and pull the little rope handle out and pull it. This will shift your transmission into nuetral manually thru mechanical linkage to be pushed or towed.
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