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2015 subaru forester 2.5i premium
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi my 2015 forester with 105000 miles its very hard to shift from Park to Reverse. I had it in the Subaru dealer on 3/24/21 with the same problem they replaced the brake switch. It worked well until yesterday now i have the same problem. What could it be. Im going back to the dealer 4/27. Thanks Harry
 

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2012 SH Manual Diesel
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738 Posts
Do you use the Handbrake when the car is parked?

Is the handbrake adjusted correctly? Will it hold the car from moving, when it’s parked on a hill; with the transmission in neutral, and no footbrake applied?

When preparing to drive off, do you release the handbrake first, and then put the transmission in Drive; or do you select a gear first, then release the handbrake?
 

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2015 subaru forester 2.5i premium
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15 Posts
Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Im on level ground. I release the hand brake first before i put it into gear.
 

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2015 subaru forester 2.5i premium
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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
I forgot to mention i put the hand brake on then i put it into park
 

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2016 Forester
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77 Posts
I don't believe it has anything to do with your handbrake. Might be your shifter nob. When u press the button to slide it to reverse how does it feel?
 

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2015 subaru forester 2.5i premium
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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Hi it feels a little resistance when i press the button. Once its out of park it seems ok
 

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2017 Forester 2.0XT
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6 Posts
Hi, I think it could be how you shift when parking your fozzy. Do you usually shift directly from R to P after parking and without engaging the handbrake? The correct way would be to shift from R to N first after parking, engaged handbrake, then shift to P. I used to shift direct from R to P and the next time i am using the car, shifting from P to R will be quite difficult and always follow by a "clank". See these videos:


 

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2012 SH Manual Diesel
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738 Posts
When you select P on your shifter, it engages the parking pawl (see diagram). Same for both conventional AT and CVT.

Once the pawl is engaged; if the vehicle moves, a load is placed between the pawl and the gear it locks into. It does prevent the car from rolling, however the strain is placed on the transmission, rather than the handbrake. Having a load on the transmission, can make shifting out of 'P' difficult, as increased friction is created between the pawl and the gear; and the mechanism is designed such that, the pawl stays engaged, and doesn't jump out of position (this is normal, and just characteristic of its design).

This is seperate to the solenoid lock, and/or inhibitor switch etc; that may require the application of the footbrake; inorder to shift the transmission (into 'R' or 'P'), operate the engine start switch, or remove the key.

Alternate practice (if not, best practice), is to the use the handbrake to hold the vehicle, and consider the parking pawl, as a backup or failsafe.

Check the operation of your handbrake; have it adjusted if necessary; or apply more handbrake, if your usual application is insufficient to prevent the vehicle from moving (comensurate with the gradient its parked on).

Example of parking sequence might be: whilst holding vehicle with footbrake; shift transmission into 'P'; apply handbrake (sufficient to prevent vehicle from rolling); then release footbrake.

If the vehicles moves, enough to put strain on the transmission (i.e. the parking pawl), then insufficient handbrake pressure has been applied. You can test this, on different gradient parking spots. Once you have parked; with handbrake on, footbrake off; try to shift from 'P' to 'R' (be ready to apply brakes, incase car rolls. Caution: if engine is off, brake boost pressure will not be available). If shifter moves easily, then you've applied enough handbrake (Caveat: as car cools after a drive, or with loading/unloading etc.; car may creep a little, under moderate handbrake pressure).

When preparing to drive off: apply footbrake to prevent all movement; shift to selected gear; then release handbrake.... and so on forth.

With the handbrake applied; even with the footbrake firmly applied; when the handbrake is released, there is usually a small amount of vehicle movenent (amount varies with gradient). This small amount of roll, can be enough to put a load on the parking pawl; hence the suggested sequence above.

Try these sequences, and see if the situation improves. If not, further investigstion may be required.
 

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2018 Forester XT Limited CVT
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877 Posts
To park:

  • position car as desired, hold foot on brake
  • engage parking brake
  • shift to N
  • slowly release foot brake, wait for car to roll and be held by parking brake
  • apply foot brake
  • shift to P
  • release foot brake
  • shut off lights, wipers, etc, engine

To drive:

  • start engine
  • idle 30 sec to circulate oil
  • hold foot brake
  • shift to R or D
  • release parking brake
  • release foot brake and drive as desired
 

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2018 Forester XT Limited CVT
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877 Posts
@Botnik Hi Botnik should I do that procedure on level service also?
I think you should use the parking brake only, and not use the transmission to hold the car in place. Even if you're on level ground, something could push your car. There will be a parking brake on all cars, but only some cars have a transmission that holds the car in place. Even with a manual transmission, you can put the car in a low gear, but that's not a brake.
 

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2015 subaru forester 2.5i premium
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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Hi everyone thank you for the advice. Evidently the brake light switch was faulty. Subaru dealer replaced it. Will see what happens.
 

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2017 Forester 2.0XT
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6 Posts
I'm curious on why would faulty brake switch cause difficulty in shifting from P to R...
 

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2015 XT Touring CVT
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543 Posts
when the brake lights don't work it locks out coming out of park for "safety" so you don't get rear ended. i think most/all cars have this. I recall my exs dad getting stuck in parking lot in a 90s ranger because a bulb blew.
 
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