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2001 ford escape theft light keeps blinking and won't start and can't move gear shift Replaced steering column thinking that's what it was

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SOURCE: 2001 ford taurus wont start and anti-theft light is blinking

Either you may be using a key that you had copied from the original or your chip went bad in your original key. Most of cars now a days have the key censor in the key so if it is the incorrect key it will not start your car or if it does not read that chip it will not start

Posted on Feb 05, 2009

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My 2001 Ford escape gear shift stuck will start but want go in drive or reverse what could it be

Are you stepping on the brake pedal try a little harder if same thing the shift lock in the column went and must be replaced

Nov 19, 2016 | 2001 Ford Escape

2 Answers


For one thing, disconnect the Negative battery terminal. See if it has any effect on the mechanism in the key/switch area.

There had to be a reason for working on the vehicle in the first place.

Ford uses an Interlock system which links the Transmission position, Brake pedal, and starter/keyswitch into 1 group. The usual problem with Ford makes is the Brake pedal lever switch under the dash is prone to damage by the Drivers foot.

This is usually revealed by the lack of Brake lights. The "command" for the Interlock to work on some Models starts when the Brake pedal is pressed. This allows the starter to engage if the Gearshift is in the proper position. But what can happen is parts slip from their intended position and prevent the Interlock from realigning for the next start. (Enough that the Key can't be removed)

Now if you have the adjustable ingnition switch, there should be slots on the housing of the Ignition switch. Say you did position the Ignition switch properly, but the Ignition switch moved by itself; it probably was pulled up or down the steering column by the linkage with the Gearshift Interlock.

The Ignition switch is at the top end of the Interlock rod or cable that the Ignition switch is attached to. You may be able to move the part from the bottom of the steering column and push the ignition key back into positon to free itself topside for removal.

Another idea is the spring release on the Ignition key lock cylinder. With the lock tumblers spread out from the stuck key, there may be enough play to allow the key to release. The spring loaded tumbler release is under the steering column plastic housing, a nail or drillbit will fit in the hole to allow for triggering the release mechanism.

Also if you have a tilt steering wheel, the Geometry of the position of the steering column may lengthen or shorten the Ignition Key rod inside the column. It may be worth an attempt at repositioning the tilt feature.

I hope my solution is helpful, please rate my idea.

Oct 16, 2012 | 2001 Ford Escape

2 Answers

My 2001 Oldsmobile Alero won't shift out of park.

Before you go too far, your problem might be as simple as mine was. The gear shift knob had slipped and was not down far enough on the shaft to engage the release mechanism.

Mar 20, 2012 | 2001 Oldsmobile Alero

1 Answer

My suv won't shift gears what can i do?

if the shifter is moving then it is probably your trans. but if the shifter is not moving from the park possition (if it is an automatic) check to see if brake lights are coming on if not check fuse for brake lights,it also controls your shift lock.try turning key to possition before lights come on dash board and moving shifter into nuetral pos. then start car and put into gear give that a try, if it does the shift lock isn`t working.

Feb 29, 2012 | 2001 Ford Escape

1 Answer

I have a 2001 Ford Escape (alternator just replaced) and as I was backing out of my parking space, and shifting into drive, the gear shift lost all tension and wouldn't shift. I turned off the engine....

seems like your shift cable is disconnected , you might have hit it when you were working on the alternator just go back and re-trace your steps

Sep 22, 2011 | 2001 Ford Escape

1 Answer

I need to the piece is that keeps the transmision

You need a gear shift cable. just had one replaced. The little plastic ring piece at teh end broke and fell off the cable and Ford stated that I needed to replace whole cable since the little piece was not sold as an individual part. To get it fix ranges from $200 -$300 unless you know how to take off steering column and replace it. The part/cable actual costs about 70-80 bucks. Good luck!

May 15, 2010 | 2001 Ford Escape

1 Answer

Cannot move Column Shift Lever.

Shift interlock malfunction.....see a Tech

Oct 22, 2009 | 2001 Ford Escape

1 Answer

Gear Shift not shifting properly

Depending on whether it is a column shift or floor, you have to get the linkage loose enough to get the car in neutral, move the selector back to the proper setting, and tighten everything up.

If the car is not setting on a hill or incline, you should be able to move the shift levers by hand when you've loosened the linkage and move it until it is in neutral. Put on jack stands and chock the wheels that are on the ground.

May 25, 2009 | 2001 Ford Escape

1 Answer

Van locked up, no key will turn ignition

did you try rocking the wheel side to side while turning the key? will the key turn at all or just wont start the car? -jeff

Sep 02, 2008 | 2001 Ford Windstar

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