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Can Your Vehicle Be Shifted Into Gear Without Your Foot on the Brake?

child in front seat of car

Check your vehicle to see if it can be shifted into gear without your foot on the brake.  You want to make sure your vehicle has the “brake transmission shift interlock” (BTSI) feature that works in all key positions.

  • Get into your car
  • Put emergency brake on
  • Make sure vehicle is on a flat surface
  • Make sure no object or person is in front of or behind your vehicle
  • Put keys in ignition in off position; turn key one click forward (not to the position where the radio, lights and power windows work)
  • Attempt to shift vehicle into gear without putting your foot on the brake – if vehicle shifts into gear, then BTSI does not work in that key position and you should be aware that your vehicle can roll if it is inadvertently shifted into gear.
  • Try this test in all key positions. If vehicle shifts into gear without having the brake pedal depressed, then BEWARE – your vehicle does not have BTSI in all key positions and could roll away.
  • Most vehicles have BTSI in some positions; but not all. The most common position is the half click forward. (somewhere between ‘off’ and accessory) You would not use this key position during normal operation, but young children find it easily.
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