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Matt, Mechanical Engineer
Category: Mercedes
Satisfied Customers: 22758
Experience:  BEng hons Mech engineering, in auto industry 22 years
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I can't start my 2006 s500. It says it needs to be in p or

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I can't start my 2006 s500. It says it needs to be in p or n but display says its in p. Then I get drive to garage without changing gear but I can't start it anyway. Is there anything I can do?

there's a shift lock solenoid which sounds liek its not getting its signal from the brake pedal switch

I'd 1st investigate the connections to the brake pedal switch and the wiring to it for any crimp damage or fraying. Ideally use a multimeter to check that the switch is working OK. This is because the gearbox controller won't allow the lever to shift from park until it sees that your foot is on the brakes

There should be 2 switches one for the brake lights and the other for the gearbox and both are located at the top of the brake pedal in the drivers footwell.

If this is OK then check the selector lever linkage for any broken parts and or missing bolts or if a bolt is partially out and is jamming things up

there's also a good how to on disable th e shift lock
Customer: replied 3 years ago.
The problem is that it won't start. It tells me that it needs to be in park or neutral to start the engine when I try to turn the ignition key. The computer display says it's in park.
When I turn the key, it won't try to turn over. Is there any way to start the engine? Also, it's a W221 not a W220
Hello Chris

if the brake pedal switch is faulty then the lever won't be released

can you move the gear lever into neutral?
Customer: replied 3 years ago.
It's the steering column mounted gear selector. It is basically a just switch.
I have got the engine going but it now says drive to workshop without changing gear. Trouble is, it's in park and won't shift out of it.
I'm going to need to get the RAC to take it to Mercedes, aren't I?
Hello Chris

have you checked the brake pedal switch?
Customer: replied 3 years ago.
Yes and it's fine. I'm beginning to fear the worst

I wouldn't get too concerned as I think is very likely to be a seized up shift solenoid lock

you can either follow the how to instructions I posted up earlier or as you say get the car trailered to a MB specialist

in almost every case I'd reccommend using an independent as you typically get same or better service for a lot less outlay
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