Chevy Malibu Saying Shift To Park—What’s Wrong? [Learn About the Recall]

The Chevrolet Malibu is a mid-sized family sedan that often provides good value to its drivers and passengers. However, many of this car’s users report that it can be susceptible to a ‘Shift to Park’ issue wherein the error message doesn’t go away.

So what could be wrong if the 'Shift to Park' error message appears? We researched for your convenience to find this answer.

Some Chevy Malibu models will encounter a ‘Shift to Park’ malfunction because the park switch creates residue from regularly connecting to the shifter assembly. This error message can also appear in other Chevrolet sedans, including the Traverse and Volt.

Some Malibu owners may apply a quick fix to their vehicles if this error message appears on their vehicles’ dashboards.

A long-term solution is also available for those that want to go through with that option. Keep reading as we discuss the Chevy Malibu 'Shift to Park' message and its possible fixes in greater detail.

A white colored Chevy Malibu at the highway, Chevy Malibu Saying Shift To Park—What's Wrong?

Why Won't My Chevy Malibu Go Into Park?

Chevrolet Malibu sedans, particularly the 2016 to 2019 models, might be prone to receiving a persistent ‘Shift to Park’ error message because of material buildup.

This scenario can happen due to the park switch getting in contact with the shifter assembly frequently.

Aside from the 2016 to 2019 Chevy Malibu, other vehicles from the carmaker that are also susceptible to this error message are:

  • 2016 to 2019 Volt
  • 2018 to 2019 Traverse
  • 2019 Blazer

The problem became so widespread that many Chevrolet car owners filed a class-action lawsuit against General Motors.

This event also leads to the recall of many Chevy Malibu models. Moreover, the malfunction can also lead to other issues, such as failure to turn off the ignition, resulting in continuous battery drain.

Chevrolet owners that experience this malfunction should contact the carmaker or their car dealer immediately. Waiting too long can increase the risks of additional expenses to repair or replace components for the vehicle.

You might also like: How To Watch Netflix In A Chevy Malibu

How Do I Get Rid Of Shift To Park Message?

A stick shift toggled at parking mode

One quick fix that may eliminate the ‘Shift to Park’ error message is to fiddle with the shift release button at the side of the gear shift stick until the text on the dashboard display goes away.

Take note that this is often a temporary fix. But it can still help Malibu and other Chevy car owners if the error message appears in transit or traffic.

Malibu owners may also opt for a long-term solution by pressing down on the shifter’s contact switch.

But take note it’s not going to be a DIY-friendly job and requires sufficient knowledge about how vehicles work. Otherwise, messing around with the car’s components may create more harm to it.

You might only need a flat-head screwdriver or body tool if you decide to proceed with this operation, provided everything about to ensue will go smoothly.

With a screwdriver in hand, here are the steps to open the shift housing and remove the 'Shift to Park' message.

Click here to see this automotive trim removal set on Amazon.

Step-by-Step Guide

  1. Open the housing surrounding the shifter by prying it with a flat-head screwdriver or body tool.
  2. Wiggle the shifter while applying a sufficient pulling force to remove it from the housing. Be careful not to tug on the shifter or you'll put the unwanted risk of damage to its wires.
  3. Remove the rest of the housing by prying its sides open with the screwdriver or body tool. You may also need to pull from the cup holder to remove the cover.
  4. Take out the connected wires gently and set the housing aside.
  5. Use your screwdriver and pry a small cover underneath the shift stick to reveal the micro-switch.
  6. Lightly wipe any residue you find on the micro-switch.
  7. Press down on the switch until you see a bend. Be careful not to bend it too far, or you might risk breaking it.
  8. Reinstall everything you removed from the shifter housing and test to see if the problem persists.

Be sure to check out: Does Chevy Malibu Have CVT Transmission?

You can also watch the video below to gain additional insight on the steps mentioned above:

Another option is to return the vehicle to the carmaker or your car dealer if it's still under warranty. If so, you might be able to take advantage of a free or low-cost shift housing replacement service.

What Is Covered Under Chevy Warranty?

A car key fob on the table of a business persona

Each Chevrolet directly bought from the car manufacturer has a limited 3-year or 36,000-mile warranty.

New buyers can extend the warranty to 5 years or 60,000 miles with additional costs.

Chevrolet also offers additional warranty packages to increase the coverage of the company's vehicles. Some of these limited warranties are:

Corrosion Warranty

Sheet metal protection and rust-through coverage that runs up to 3 years or 36,000 miles and 6 years or 100,000 miles, respectively.

Powertrain Limited Warranty

Applies coverage to the powertrain and its surrounding components for up to 5 years or 60,000 miles.

Emissions Control System Warranty

Only available for sedans and light-duty trucks. This warranty covers the catalytic converter and its associated components for up to 8 years or 80,000 miles.

Bumper-to-Bumper Warranty

Covers the costs for the repairs caused by material or manufacturing defects. This policy lasts up to 3 years or 36,000 miles.

Learn more: Are Axles Part Of Powertrain? [And Are They Covered Under Powertrain Warranty?]

Additionally, Chevrolet vehicle owners should take note of the following parts that aren’t part of the company’s limited warranties:

  • Tire and wheel damage caused by normal use
  • Changed odometer
  • Installed third-party electronics

Chevrolet also doesn’t cover the costs of repairing and replacing damaged parts caused by accidents, alterations, and misuse.

Chevy owners may also contact the carmaker for additional information about the parts covered by the company’s warranty packages.

Learn more: How To Remove Scratches From Odometer And Gauges

How Do I Know If My Chevy Is Still Under Warranty?

The steps to check if a Chevrolet vehicle is still under warranty are roughly similar to other vehicles from other carmakers. These options are:

Chevy Malibu changing lane in the highway, Chevy Malibu Saying Shift To Park—What's Wrong?

Check the Vehicle Identification Number (VIN)

Car Vin Number

Users can generally find the VIN of a Chevrolet vehicle near the firewall or strut tower.

Take note that the location of this alphanumeric identification may differ between each of the carmaker's models.

Consult the car's owner's manual or call the company's customer service hotline if you have trouble finding this piece of information.

Contact the Dealer

car dealer agent making deal and signing on agreement document contract in auto showroom

Communicate with Chevrolet or your car dealer if you can’t find the VIN. You may also check the vehicle’s warranty information to see if the VIN is on that document.

After getting the VIN, contact Chevrolet or your vehicle supplier and give the dealer the necessary information.

Aside from the vehicle's identification number, the car retailer may also request other details, such as your full name, to check and verify your vehicle purchase and the status of its warranty.

You might also like: Can A Chevy Malibu Pull A Trailer?

Do All Cars Have A Shift Lock Release?

Not every car has the shift lock release feature.

However, most cars developed in the early 1990s, especially those with automatic transmissions, generally have this functionality. Cars usually have this release button on the shift stick.

Car interiors shift lock button shifting to first gear to second gear

Is The 2022 Chevrolet Malibu A Good Car?

The 2022 Chevrolet Malibu is a decent family sedan with a pleasant overall performance. Interested customers can expect the following features for this car’s base model:

  • 163-horsepower 1.5-liter 4-cylinder turbocharged engine
  • 34 miles per gallon fuel economy (on average)
  • Comfortable and ergonomic cabin
  • Symmetrical dashboard
  • Spacious cockpit
  • Android Auto and Apple CarPlay
  • Mobile Wi-Fi hotspot

Additionally, the 2022 Chevy Malibu has safety features that focus on driver, passenger, and pedestrian safety.

For instance, it has an automatic emergency brake system with pedestrian detection. It also has adaptive cruise control and lane-keeping assistance.

Used Chevy Malibu on display. With current supply issues

How Much Should I Pay For A 2022 Chevy Malibu?

Interested buyers should expect to pay around $23,400 to $33,500 for a new 2022 Chevrolet Malibu.

The overhead for this vehicle changes with its trim level. Shoppers can avail of the base model for $23,400, while the Premier trim often has the highest price.

Additionally, the 2022 model comes with an electronic parking brake system, now a standard offering compared to the vehicle’s previous versions.

Be sure to check out: Does Chevy Malibu Have 4 Wheel Drive Or AWD?

Final Words

A white colored Chevy Malibu at the highway

The Chevy Malibu, along with other cars from General Motors, is susceptible to the ‘Shit to Park’ malfunction.

This error can appear because of residue and/or the micro-switch not getting into contact with adjacent components. Vehicle owners may use quick or long-term solutions to potentially solve this issue.

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    From my searches about the same problem, I believe I have discovered the real issue going on here. The switch itself is well made internally, the travel on the spring tab of the switch surpasses needs to activate and the activator rod of the shift lever also surpasses necessary travel limits. I manually triggered the switch dozens of times and in slow motion and quickly, same result, it worked fine. I reinstalled the switch and shift handle on the removed shift mechanism trying again to find a failure point. AH-HA moment arrived, the spring tab is where the problem lies but you have to look at the other end where it attaches to the switch. When installed and everything is in it’s normal position, the spring tab is ‘pivoting’ the pressure to the rear of the switch causing the tab to pull slightly out of it’s socket.
    With the switch removed, gently pull down on the spring tab at the rear of the switch, it will easily slip right out. The manufacturer relies on simple friction to retain the spring tab. You can see there are only ‘pressure’ type retaining tabs on the metal end that fits in the switch ‘socket’. For the FIX to this, using a end cutter or a side cutter, make the factory tabs ‘loose’ on the end farthest away from the inserted end so they can ‘dig in’ to help retain the spring tab. Next, make two ‘nips’ on the very end of the inserted end so that you have three sections to that end. Be careful not to cut through it or expand it too wide while doing this. Next, reinsert the spring tab (it will e a tight fit, the tighter, the better) back into the switch housing. Make certain that you are inserted all the way to the indexing tabs. Reinstall the switch in the shift mechanism, making sure the activating lever is below the spring tab and test to make sure the activating lever and spring tab allow the switch to move it’s full range. If it isn’t able to make full range, just bend the spring tab accordingly. No more problems!

    30 minutes

  2. I was facing such a problem, thanks to SatJapan for helping me they are Japanese used cars exporters & car equipment exporters

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