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Car Won't Stay In Park Once Shifting to P


Topic starter

I have a 2008 Honda Element EX Automatic with 156,000 miles on it and AWD. I hit my brakes pretty hard yesterday coming to a stop, and I heard something crack, crunch or snap. When I went to accelerate and start moving, I heard a clicking noise. I pulled over to see if I could see anything hanging, put the car in Park, and when I let off the brake to get out, the car started rolling.

I've heard two possibilities, either a parking pawl broken, or an axle broken. However, I get one free tow and my mechanic 15 minutes north of where I am said he doesn't work on transmissions, but the transmission folks are 20 minutes south of me. Trying to make the best educated guess before I choose that.


Anyone have an idea on how to figure out if it's one or the other, or where to look?


Additional Notes:

  • The car still shifts well from what I can tell. I never shifted the car to park when I slammed on my brakes, it remained in Drive the whole time until I got out to check it out.
  • I can't go over 10 miles per hour before I start to hear a clicking noise
  • When in reverse, I did notice I had to hit the gas a little more than normal to make it move because there was some sort of resistance


3 Answers
Posted by: @christian-weghorst

I got a picture of the axle itself,

I'm pretty sure it shouldn't be touching that other part. Time to tow it to a mechanic.


sounds like a snapped axle

Topic starter

I got a picture of the axle itself, I should've taken better note of what it looks like. Is this snapped do you think? Both of these parts are rubbing together when the wheels move.

(FYI: For some reason, until they review it, they classify a picture of the axle as "mature content", I'm sure Imgur's mods will change later on once they confirm it's just a car picture.)

This post was modified 2 weeks ago by christian.weghorst