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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi everyone. I just purchased a 2008 LR3 HSE with 156k. The previous owner was selling it for parts because he stated that the “engine let go”. I asked him to elaborate and all he said was that he had a local garage check it out and it was either head gaskets or valve issues. It wouldn’t start. I was feeling daring and decided to give it a shot.

I got the LR3 towed home today and as soon as I was able to swap out the dead battery for a fully charged battery, I tried starting it. It was in neutral already when it arrived and it fired right up. I was quite surprised. I shifted it into Park and I ran it for a short time. I shut it off and when I tried to start it again it wouldn’t start.

I tried cycling the key several times and the starter wasn’t even engaging. I had a hunch so I tried to get it back into neutral and even with my foot on the brake and the key in the start position I wasn’t able to but after several tries I was successful. Once I got it back into neutral it fired right up again and ran great.

Shifted it back into Park and it still ran great. Tried to shift into any other gear other than park and the shifter wouldn’t budge. Foot on the brake and the parking brake off, still nothing. I shut the LR3 off and it won’t start again.

I don’t know if the LR3 has a shift lock override that allows you to manually shift it into neutral for times when the battery is dead like our other vehicles that we drive but that would come in quite handy until I figure out what is going on. I haven’t looked through the owners manual yet.

At first I was thinking that there was a problem with the neutral safety switch that is activated when your foot is on the brake but that doesn’t explain why it only starts when in neutral. If that switch was bad, it shouldn’t start at all even in neutral.

Is there a switch under the shifter that is activated when it’s in Park that isn’t working properly? I haven’t pulled the shifter trim apart yet to investigate. I had a similar problem with a Subaru Impreza where the shifter cable was corroded enough that when you shifted it into Park, it wasn’t fully engaging the switch that told the car that it was in Park so when you tried to start it, nothing. Until I installed a new shifter cable all I needed to do was push the shifter all the way forward. I tried the same thing on the LR3 with no luck. I still don’t know what combination of hitting the brake, cycling the key, and yanking on the shifter allowed me to shift into neutral.

Another thing I noticed which I thought was odd is that both of the keys are almost impossible to remove from the ignition. I don’t know if this is related or a completely separate issue. I also thought that the problem was with the ignition switch, but again, if that were the problem, then it wouldn’t start only when in neutral.

Does anyone have any ideas? Thank you in advance.
 

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Welcome to the forum, and congrats on your purchase!

If you pop the beauty plate from the shifter, I think there’s a release you can engage with a flathead.

when the truck is not running, ign2, can you move the shifter without depressing the brake?

more importantly, have you checked for codes?
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Thank you reverendALC!

I can’t remember if I tried moving the shifter without depressing the brake. I’m so accustomed to hitting the brake before shifting that I probably hit the brake.

I have not checked for codes yet although during my starting/shifter struggle, I do remember seeing a “transmission fault” message on the instrument cluster display.

I’ll check for codes and for the shifter release and report back. Thanks again!
 

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Might have some water ingress issues. Let us know how you get on
 

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2005 LR3 SE V6 w/Coils & 2008 LR3 SE V8 on 33’s
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If you pop the coin tray next to the shifter you can reach into the abyss just to the rear of the gear shift and there’s a little white lever that moves up toward the roof. It’s slightly curved down. Press that up a you can move the shifter at will. That does not mean your tranny is moving into said gears, just the shifter.

Side note, there’s also a little aircraft cable there too that is an emergency parking brake release. A hoked end tool (like a dentist pick on a screw driver handle) is the best thing I’ve found to grab and trigger it.

Now, I’ve been replacing my transmission valve body on my 05 LR3 and had an issue similar to yours.... turns out I buggered up (or possibly had a defective) wiring harness sleeve I put in at the time I replaced the VB. The transmission harness was making intermittent connections to the ECU and caused the vehicle to not start and or not shift from park. I had a buddy tug on the external harness a tad and it all worked perfectly while holding pressure on the harness. I’ve not had the grit to tear it all down again to replace the sleeve yet... that was a real beating the first time and to drain the tranny, drop the pan, release the sleeve, install new sleeve is about a 4 hour job based on the first session. For what it’s worth it I was getting a “can’t communicate with transmission ecu” code as well.

Just thought I’d share my experience, hope it helps
 
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