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Toyota Corolla Shift Lock Release Guide
How to release the automatic transmission's shift lock release mechanism in a 2020 Toyota Corolla.

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2020 Gear Selector
Small Access Cover
Gently Pry Out Cover
This automotive maintenance tutorial was specifically written to assist owners of the twelfth generation 2019 (hatchback), 2020, 2021, 2022 (and probably also the 2023, 2024 & 2025) Toyota Corolla sedan in using the automatic transmission's shift lock release mechanism to manually change the gear selector from "P" (Park) to "N" (Neutral). This may be necessary to move or tow the vehicle if the 12V battery is weak or dead or for some other mechanical or electrical issue.

Owners of other Toyota and Lexus vehicles such as the Camry, C-HR, Venza, Avalon, 86, Sienna, Tacoma, RAV4, Highlander, 4Runner, Sequoia, IS 350, RX 350, UX 200, GS 350, IS 300 and ES 350 may also find these DIY instructions to be helpful.

The only tool needed to remove the access cover and use the shift lock release mechanism is a small flat head screwdriver such as from a precision screwdriver set.

Please remember to engage the emergency / parking brake and place wheel chocks on both sides of the tires to help prevent the vehicle from moving unexpectedly.

Please proceed with caution and at your own risk!

Sit in the driver's seat. Push down and hold the brake pedal.

Locate the small rectangular shaped plastic access cover situated on the right (passenger) side of the gear selector opposite of the "P" symbol.

Insert a small flat head screwdriver into the slot on the access cover and very gently pry it out.

Try to avoid using excessive force to prevent from cracking the cover or the gear selector trim panel.


Access Cover Removed
Set Aside Button Cover
White Plastic Button
Set the access cap aside in a safe place.

Look into the opening and locate the white plastic shift lock release button.

Screwdriver Push Button
"P" (Park) To "N" Neutral
Manually Move Car
Make sure that your foot is firmly pushing down the brake pedal to prevent the vehicle from moving unexpectedly.

Insert the flat head screwdriver into the opening and push down on the shift lock release button.

While holding down the shift lock release button, move the gear selector from "Park" back to "Neutral".

Have your assistants manually move the vehicle into the desired position.

Shift Back To Park
Pop In Plastic Cover
Plastic Cap Secured
Once you are done moving the vehicle, shift the gear selector from "Neutral" to "Park".

Gently pop in the small plastic access cap back into place.

Please check out all of my 2020 Toyota Corolla 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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