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Hyundai Elantra Shift Lock Release Guide
How to release the gear selector shift lock mechanism in a 6th generation 2017 to 2020 Hyundai Elantra sedan.

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2018 Elantra Gear Selector
Shift Lock Release Cover
Pry Out Plastic Cover
This automotive maintenance tutorial was specifically written to assist owners of the 6th generation (2017, 2018, 2019, 2020 and maybe also the 2021 model year) Hyundai Elantra sedan in releasing the shift lock mechanism to move the gear selector from "Park" to "Neutral" in order to manually move a disabled vehicle due to running out of gas, needing it to be towed, a dead 12V car battery or some other mechanical issue.

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

The only tool needed to access and activate the gear selector's shift lock mechanism is a small flat head screwdriver or a small plastic pry bar tool.

The first two steps are to engage the emergency / parking brake and place your foot on the brake pedal to keep the car from moving unexpectedly.

Insert the blade of the small flat head screwdriver into the notch on the bottom of the small black plastic cover with the words "Shift Lock Release" printed on it in white lettering.

Gently pry out the small plastic access cover and set it aside in a safe place.


Access Cover Removed
Release Button Exposed
Push Down Screwdriver
Carefully insert the small flat head screwdriver into the opening in front of the "P" symbol on the gear selector.

Push down the black plastic button to release the shift lock mechanism.

Keep your foot on the brake pedal and set the emergency / parking brake to make sure the vehicle doesn't move unexpectedly.

Move Selector To Neutral
Manually Move Car
Move Back To "Park"
While holding down the shift lock release button, push the gear selector back from "Park" to "Neutral".

Keep any other people away from the front and rear of the vehicle. Release the parking brake while still pushing down the brake pedal.

Carefully move the car into the position required.

Once you are done manually moving the disabled vehicle, shift the gear selector back from "Neutral" to "Park".

Re-Insert Plastic Cover
Snap Cover In Place
Access Cover Secured
Lower the small black plastic cover back into place over the shift lock release button.

Make sure that the words "Shift Lock Release" are in the correct orientation. You should be able to read the words on the cover when you are sitting in the front seats. (Do not force the cover in when the words are upside down.)

The plastic access cover should "pop" securely into place.

For more, please check out all of my 2017-2020 Hyundai Elantra DIY Repair & Maintenance Guides.

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