Question about 2002 Ford SVT Focus

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2001 Ford Focus shift button stuck in park

I can't get my automatic FOCUS out of park. Shift button won't budge. Brake lights work. I've read that there is an override hole (stick in a key or screwdriver) to get it going. Where is this?

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  • yadayada
    yadayada May 11, 2010

    do the brake lights work?

  • Anonymous Mar 26, 2014

    if key is moved to off shift is worked it sometimes works

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  • Ford Master
  • 4,369 Answers

It's under a dime size cover on your console near the shifter. But, your brake/shift interlock solenoid is not working. either a fuse or the solenoid is bad. see owner manual for lcoation of over ride.

Posted on Jan 12, 2009

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Had the same problem; brake lights worked, too. It freaked me out at first as I was far from home when it happened, but I used the override to get back out of park for a couple days (it's under that "dime sized cover" like snorkelboby said). I asked a mechanic who also thought it was a solenoid issue but turns out, my brakes shoes needed replaced and I haven't had the problem since. I assume since you have to apply the brakes to shift, it must have been the worn shoes...

Posted on Mar 31, 2009

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Posted on Jan 02, 2017

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2008 Saturn Vue Stuck In Park. The car starts fine however when you try to shift out of park the shifter is locked up and won't budge. You have to restart the car multiple times to get the shifter...


these have a safety system so the shifter won`t go into any gear unless the brake is pushed(indicating someone sitting in the drivers seat),if the brake lights aren`t working this indicates that the fuse that operates the shift lock solenoid and brake lights is not working and needs replacing.check the fuses and replace the fuse and things will probably return to normal.

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2003 focus brake lights stays on in all gears


Here is the Ford diagrams that you could to check(click for zoom)...

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If it only lights up the tail lights when its in RND21 but works correct in park then I believe your looking at a internal shorted brake shift interlock on the shifter back feeding and sending power back to the brake switch and turning the lights on. I would access the shifter assembly and depin the wire I am pointing to and reconnect the connector and see if the brake light issue stops. You will need to manually shift it out of park or temporarily attach this wire to get it out of park for the test.


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Check it and send us your comments.





































Jun 30, 2011 | 2003 Ford Focus

1 Answer

My shifter won't shift. It seems like it is locked. I press on the brake but the little knob on the shifter that you need to push in to engage the shifter won't budge.


I'm assuming you're talking about an automatic transmission. When you press on the brake pedal, you engage a switch under the pedal which turns your brake lights on, and also engages a solenoid in the shifter which allows you to shift the car out of Park.

That said, are your brake lights working? If your brake lights come on when you press the brake pedal, chances are the shifter solenoid/actuator is broken. If your brake lights DO NOT come on when you press the brake pedal, chances are you have a faulty brake light switch.

Regardless which part is to blame, these are pretty simple and inexpensive repairs.

Good luck, and if this helped, please rate my answer!

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brake-sahift interlock solenoid not working. check fuse first. when key is on and brake is pressed, it either activates or deactivates the solenoid so you can shift out of park. safety thing.
chrck owner manual for a mechanical overide process. maybe there is one.

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The Focus was desinged in Europe,Think German.......Vw has a similar issue.The brake light switch goes bad.......no lights no shifting out of park.

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Without the brake lights working the shift interlock can't release. Turn the key just off the "locked" position and you should be able to shift to neutral and start the engine then shift to drive or reverse. Just don't shift back into park until you are parking the car to leave it.

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It might just be a fuse. Check to see if your brake lights light up when you step on the brake with the key on. If not it is probably just a fuse.

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