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Kia Soul Transmission Shift Lock Release Guide
How to release the shift lock and shift the transmission into neutral to manually move a 2014 to 2019 Kia Soul.

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2019 Kia Soul Shifter
Shift Lock Release Cover
This automotive maintenance tutorial was specifically written to assist owners of the 2nd generation (2014, 2015, 2016, 2017, 2018 & 2019 model years) Kia Soul in releasing the shift lock mechanism in order to manually shift the transmission from "Park" to "Neutral". This may be necessary if your vehicle needs to be towed or moved by hand due to a weak or dead 12V battery, running out of fuel (gasoline) or some other mechanical problem.

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

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

If necessary, you may be able to use any similar object such as a house key, nail file, scissors or a pocket knife.

The first steps are to engage the emergency / parking brake and place wheel chocks on both sides of the tires to make sure that the vehicle doesn't move unexpectedly.

Then sit in the driver's seat and locate the small triangular shaped "Shift Lock Release" access cover at the front left of the gear selector knob (shifter).


Pry Out Access Cover
Plastic Cover Removed
Insert the blade of the small flat head screwdriver into the notch at the bottom edge of the access cover.

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

Insert Small Screwdriver
Push Down Release Button
Place your foot on the brake pedal to keep the vehicle from moving unexpectedly.

Push down the screwdriver until you feel the button being depressed to release the shift lock mechanism.

Move Selector To "N"
Manually Move Vehicle
Keep your foot on the brake pedal.

Move the gear selector (shifter knob) to the "N" (Neutral) position.

Be sure to release the emergency / parking brake before attempting to manually move the vehicle.

Gear Selector To PARK
Pop In Access Cover
Once you are done manually moving the car or having it towed, shift the transmission back into "Park".

Pop the small plastic "Shift Lock Release" access cover back into place.

For more, please check out all of my 2014-2019 Kia Soul DIY Repair & Maintenance Guides.

If you found this guide to be helpful, please consider making a small donation by clicking on the "Donate" button located to the right of this paragraph. Thank you!
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