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Chevrolet Cruze Transmission Shift Lock Release Guide
How to manually release the shift lock mechanism and move the transmission gear selector to "Neutral" in a Cruze.

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2018 Cruze Gear Selector
Pull Up Trim Ring
Release Plastic Clips
This automotive maintenance tutorial was specifically written to assist owners of the second generation 2016, 2017, 2018 and 2019 GM Chevrolet Cruze in releasing the shift lock mechanism in order to move the gear selector from "Park" to "Neutral" in order to manually move a disabled vehicle due to running out of gas, a weak or dead 12V battery, some other mechanical issue or needing to have the car towed.

Owners of other General Motors vehicles from Chevrolet, Buick, GMC, Cadillac and Holden such as the Sonic, Spark, Malibu, Impala, Volt, Bolt, Camaro, Corvette, Trax, Equinox, Blazer, Suburban, Tahoe, Traverse, Colorado, Silverado, Express, TrailBlazer, Encore, Regal TourX, Envision, Enclave, LaCrosse, Cascada, Sierra, Canyon, Acadia, Terrain, Yukon, Savana, XT4, XT5, XT6, Escalade, CT5, CTS-V, XTS, CT6, ATS, Astra and Commodore may also find these DIY instructions to be helpful.

The tools that may be required to release the shift mechanism include a plastic pry bar tool or a flat head screwdriver.

The first two steps are to engage the emergency / parking brake and place wheel chocks on both sides of the front tires to prevent the car from moving unexpectedly.

Gently use your fingers or the plastic pry bar tool to pull up the chrome silver plastic trim ring and faux leather boot that surround the gear selector (shift knob).

Continue pulling up the trim cover to release all of the retaining clips.


Trim Cover Removed
Gear Selector Shaft - Left
Ball Socket Mount
Locate the metal and black plastic shaft on the left (driver) side of the gear selector / shift knob.

The shaft has a ball socket mount attached to the bottom of the gear selector.

Black Plastic Bar End
Pry Off Ball Socket
Pull Shaft Back To Neutral
Place your foot on the brake pedal to make sure the car doesn't move unexpectedly!

Use the flat head screwdriver or the plastic pry bar tool to gently pop the shaft's mounting socket off the ball mount on the gear selector.

Grasp the end of the gear selector shaft with your fingers and pull it back towards the rear of the car.

You'll feel the gear selector shaft move from the "Park" position to the "Reverse" position and then to "Neutral".

Close Up of Shaft Mount
Pop On Ball Mount
Push On Trim Cover

To manually move the disabled car, have an assistant remove the wheel chocks.

While holding the brake pedal firmly with your foot, release the parking / emergency brake.

Have your helper manually push the car while you steer and cover the brake pedal with your foot so that you can quickly stop the vehicle when necessary.

When you have completed manually moving the car, push the gear selector shaft forward until you feel the transmission move from "Neutral" to "Reverse and finally into "Park".

Engage the emergency / parking brake to keep the car from moving.

Line up the chrome plastic trim cover and push it back into place.

You should feel or hear the friction fasteners "click" securely into place.

After you have remedied the mechanical issue, replaced the 12V battery or added gasoline to the tank, make sure that the gear selector is working properly and shifting the transmission into the correct gears when you move the shift knob.

For more, please check out all of my 2016-2019 GM Chevrolet Cruze DIY Repair & Maintenance Guides.

If you found this guide to be helpful, please consider making a small donation by clicking on the "Donate" button located to the right of this paragraph. Thank you!
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