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Kia Sportage Shift Lock Release Instructions
How to release the shift lock mechanism in a 4th generation 2017-2022 Kia Sportage and move the transmission into Neutral.

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2018 Sportage Shift Knob
Transmission In Park
This automotive maintenance tutorial was specifically written to assist owners of the fourth generation (2017, 2018, 2019 and possibly also the refreshed 2020, 2021 and 2022) Kia Sportage SUV in moving the transmission to neutral by releasing the shift lock mechanism. This may be necessary in order to move the car by pushing it manually or to have it towed if the car won't start due to running out of gas, a dead 12V battery or some other electrical or mechanical issue.

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

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

The first step is to sit in the driver's seat.


Shift Lock Release Cover
Pry Off Plastic Cover
Locate the small black plastic rectangular cover at the front left corner of the shifter assembly near the letter "P" (Park).

The cover has the words "Shift Lock Release" printed on it in white letters.

Insert the screwdriver or plastic pry bar tool into the small notch on the rear edge of the cover (located closer to "P").

Gently pry out the cover.

Plastic Cover Removed
Push Down White Button
The cover has two long plastic prongs attached to the underside.

Set the cover aside in a safe place.

Hold Down Release Button
Move Shifter To Neutral
Attention: Place your foot on the brake pedal and firmly push on it to ensure that the vehicle won't move unexpectedly when you shift the transmission into Neutral.

Gently push down the white plastic button and hold it in place.

Push the shift knob back into the "N" (Neutral) position.

Carefully have your assistant push the car to the desired location.

Line Up Plastic Cover
Pop In Plastic Cover
Shift the transmission back into park once the car has been moved.

Re-insert the plastic cover and gently snap it back into place.

Please check out all of my 2017-2022 Kia Sportage 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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