Question about 2006 Ford Explorer

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Shifter stuck and key will not come out of ignition

The console shifter is stuck in PARK and the key will not come out of the ignition. I took off the center console trim to take a look at the shifter. There is a locking mechanism that can be moved by hand the free up the shifter, but otherwise it will not move. The ignition key will not release under any circumstances. Any ideas? Thanks in advance.

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  • cobaltv10 Dec 27, 2008

    I've tried everything. Steering column is not the cause, can turn wheel easily.

  • cobaltv10 Dec 28, 2008

    As I stated before, there is a locking mechenism that keeps the shifter from moving. I can move this mechenism myself and actually drive the car. I drove it to the dealer yesterday. But key will still not come out and it will not shift without manipulation. Dealer had to keep car, saying there may be a TSB on the issue. Also, may be a wiring harness issue somewhere. I'll let you know when I get the truck back. Has anyone else had this happen? The truck is normally in a garage, on level groud.

  • cobaltv10 Dec 30, 2008

    I got the Explorer back today. Evidently there is a very small chip inside the gear selector shift that died. The shifter now works, and key comes out. BUT... now everytime I step on the brakes I hear the little shift interlock mechanism move, which is annoying. Also, I do not seem to have a light on the gear selector. Is there a light on the gear selection area telling you what gear you are in at night?

  • Anonymous Feb 25, 2009

    The same is true with my 2004 Cavalier. Keys are stuck. It will go into gear. Sometimes the key comes out like normal. We have to carry around an extra set of keys just to get in the vehicle when locked. The disengage button on the shifter seems to stick in and will sloooowwwly release and come out. What is wrong with my car. Help if you can. Thanks.

  • 240cpa May 11, 2010

    Are you parked on a hill? If you are not on even ground, the parking pawl may not have engaged or may be stuck. Try rocking the car front ward and back ward with engine off (of course). See if that doesn't free things up. The parking pawl is the thing that makes the car stop when you put it in park and it still wants to roll a little bit. Sometimes you hear it click when it engages and the stereo is not playing too loud.

  • 240cpa May 11, 2010

    Is the steering column locked up? If you can't turn the wheel, the key won't release which may cause the problem with the shifter.



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You should be able to hear the clicking in the shifter and the switch--I think this is normal cause when mine is stuck in park you CANT hear it.

Posted on Jan 25, 2009

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Yes, there is a light and they may have just forgotten to plug it back in, it should be accessible from the small compartment next to the gear shift, if not, remove the surrounding console and you should be able to find it. there should be 2 lights in there. 1 for the small compartment and another for the gear shift. if it is plugged in check the globe to see if its blown. as for the "little shift interlock mechanism" i would suggest taking it back to the shop and asking them to make sure everything was fastened and tell them you can hear it rattling around. you never know, it may be the wires and plug for your gear shift light.

Posted on Jan 04, 2009


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