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Kia Sorento Transmission Shift Lock Release Guide
How to release the transmission shift lock mechanism in a 3rd generation 2016, 2017, 2018, 2019 and 2020 Kia Sorento.

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2019 - Gear Selector
Set Parking Brake
Plastic Access Cover

This automotive maintenance tutorial was specifically written to assist owners of the third generation (2016, 2017, 2018, 2019 and 2020) Kia Sorento SUV in releasing the transmission shift lock mechanism to shift the gear selector from "Park" to "Neutral" in order to manually move a disabled vehicle due to a weak or dead 12V battery, running out of fuel (gas), needing to be towed, or some other mechanical issue.

Owners of other Kia, Hyundai and Genesis vehicles such as the Soul, Seltos, Sportage, Niro, Telluride, Forte, Rio, Optima, Stinger, Cadenza, K900, Sedona, Kona, Venue, Santa Fe, Elantra, Sonata, Accent, Veloster, Ioniq, Nexo, G70, G80 and G90 may also find these instructions to be helpful.

The only tool needed to complete this procedure is a small flat head screwdriver or a small plastic pry bar tool.

The first steps is to engage the emergency / parking brake to prevent the vehicle from moving unexpectedly.

Locate the small square plastic access cover with the words "Shift Lock Release" printed on it.


Insert Screwdriver - Rear
Pry Out Plastic Cover
Access Cover Removed
There is a small notch on the rear (bottom) edge of the access cover situated closer to the "P" for "Park" on the gear selector.

Insert the blade of your small flat head screwdriver or a small plastic trim panel removal tool into the notch and gently pry out the rear edge of the access cover.

Set the plastic cover aside in a safe place.

Push Down Release Button
Shift "Park" To "Neutral"
Manually Move Car
Firmly push down the brake pedal with your foot and make sure any other people are clear of the vehicle just in case it moves unexpectedly.

Use the small flat head screwdriver to push down the button inside the opening to release the shift lock mechanism.

Push the gear selector knob back from "Park" to "Neutral".

Carefully release the emergency brake but keep your foot on the brake pedal.

Have your assistants manually push the vehicle while you cover the brake just in case you need to stop the car.

Shift Back To "Park"
Pop In Plastic Cover
Plastic Cover Secured
Once you are done moving the car, move the gear selector from "Neutral" back to "Park".

Gently snap the small plastic access cover into the opening.

Make sure the access cover is flush with the rest of the gear selector trim panel.

Please take a look at all of my 2016-2020 Kia Sorento DIY Repair & Maintenance Guides.

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