View Full Version : *Help* 97 D90 stuck in "park"

09-08-2008, 07:23 AM
Can someone offer some insight to the issue my Defender is having?
Details : D90 97 US 60k miles, daily driver running great, until...
Symptom#1 - When I put the key in the ignition and turn it as to start the truck, all the normal electrical activity appears to be taking place ie lights, horn, dash board, can hear the fuel pump (or what I assume is the fp). However the truck will not attempt to engage the starter, no engine turn, no "clicking" sound etc. Nothing but the sound money swooshing out of my wallet.
Symptom#2 - The truck is stuck in park.

I have heard it might be the Neutral Safety Switch and that makes a degree of sense, but short of just replacing it and * hoping* that does the trick, can anyone offer advice on how to determine if that is my issue?

I have pull the NSS out, cleaned it, put back, no change. I've removed the end connected to the transmission and depressed the "button" on the end and managed to get the "Reverse" light to illuminate, but no other change.

What should I be looking for? I am not assuming the issue is the NSS, it just *feels* that way right now. Looking for advice on next steps.


09-08-2008, 04:05 PM
Do you not have to step on the brake to start a '97? Have someone stand behind the truck and see if your brake lights are going on. Could be the fuse for that circuit, or the brakelight switch

09-08-2008, 06:51 PM
Yes I do need to press the brake to start the truck. I have used a stick so that I can press the brake and check the brake lights. I get no brake lights when pressed.

09-08-2008, 10:24 PM
Your brakelight switch has gone out. Common ailment on automatic Land Rovers (ie, Discoveries from '94 to '98), a good idea to order two, have one as a spare on-hand....

09-10-2008, 02:40 PM
Hmm- I don't need to step on the brake to start.
Stuck in park- if there's a strain on the park lock pin(parked on a hill, car held w/ only the tranny and no parking brake) that will keep it in park. Will think on this one, sorry to hear it. And you checked the fuses?

09-10-2008, 04:21 PM
Oh, I'm sure it'll start w/o stepping on the brake, I'd expect. But if that switch goes out, you can't get it out of park.

You are correct, it's best to set the parking brake w/ the transmission in neutral, then set it to park after setting the brake, so that the transmission isn't holding the vehicle; but this switch dying is a known issue.

09-11-2008, 02:54 PM
Also on Rangies same situation.

Happened to me in the middle of nowhere with my '93 LWB.

Ended up taking the cover off of the shifter and using a screw driver to push in the spring loaded indent to shift out of park.

On a Rangie, if there is any type of short in the break circuit, the samething will occur.

This happened to me on the way to Moab after a slight problem with my rear wheel coming off on the highway yet that is another story....

Most common problem though is the brakelight switch.


09-14-2008, 10:15 AM
Just ordered a spare switch- thanks!
I'm guessing it the same as the same vintage rangie one.