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MINI Cooper Transmission Shift Lock Release Guide
How to shift the transmission to neutral by releasing the shift lock in a 3rd generation 2014 to 2020 MINI Cooper.

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2019 MINI Shift Knob
Pry Up Base of Cover
Lift Up Plastic Ring
This automotive maintenance tutorial was specifically written to assist owners of the 3rd generation (2014, 2015, 2016, 2017, 2018, 2019 and 2020) MINI Cooper in accessing the shift lock release switch in order to shift the transmission from PARK to NEUTRAL in order to move the car after running out of gas or when the 12V automotive battery is weak or dead and can not start the engine.

Owners of other MINI models or some smaller BMW vehicles such as the Cooper S, "JCW" John Cooper Works, Convertible, Hatch, Clubman, One, One First, One D, Coupe, Roadster, Countryman, Paceman, 3 Series, 318i, 328i, 320i, 323i, 325i, 330i, 340i, 230i, M240i, M2, M3, M4, i3, 228i, 230i, 128i, 135i, Z3, Z4 and Z8 may also find these DIY instructions to be helpful.

The only tool needed to complete this procedure is a plastic pry bar tool.

Please engage the emergency parking brake to prevent the car from moving unexpectedly.

Gently insert the blade of the trim panel removal tool or plastic pry bar tool in between the bottom edge of the plastic ring that surrounds the base of the shift knob assembly and the center console.

Carefully pry up the plastic ring.

You may need to re-insert the pry bar tool in several locations around the plastic ring to fully release the metal friction fasteners.

Try to avoid using excessive force. The plastic trim piece at the base of the shifter cover should pop off relatively easily.


Shift Cover Removed
Yellow Release Button
Push Down Button
Lift up the plastic ring and the faux leather material to reveal the yellow plastic shift lock release button.

Place your foot on the brake pedal.

Firmly push down the yellow switch before moving the shift knob from the "P" park position to the "N" neutral position.

Shift To Neutral
Push Down Trim Ring
Shift Back To Park
When you are done moving the car manually, move the shifter back to the "Park" position.

Lower the plastic ring back into place.

Push down on the plastic ring to secure the metal clips.

For more, check out all of my MINI Cooper DIY Repair & Maintenance Guides.

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