1997 ford explorer ... found a screw sitting on the driver side floor and it is now hard to use the column shift (P, R, N, D) have to 'wiggle' around to get car into gear ... what should I check??? thanks
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I had a 2003 Ford Explorer that this happened with. If I remember correctly on the underside of the steering column there is a hole or 'hitch of some kind you need to press in or down on while trying to shift out of gear. I'm sorry I can't be more specific or certain on what I had to do. It was about four years ago this happed. But I did find the answer in the owner's manual. AND I kept a screw driver in my car after that. Hope you get yourself out of gear. :)
On Many ford products. trucks and cars from around the mid 90's to present. the shift lever on an automatic transmission vehicle will become loose feeling. may not go into proper gear selected. If you lay on the floor and look under the dash. find where the shift cable connects to the shifter arm bracket which is mounted to the shift tube. if you grab it and it is loose ( you can wiggle it) there are 2 torx screws that need to be tightened. It is a very common problem and very easy to fix. I will usually remove the screws and use a thread locking compound (like Locktite) on the screws and reinstall them to stop it from happening again. I have done over 20 of them in the last few years. Sometimes one or both the screws can fall right out. if you have found a goldish colored Torx screw on your drivers side floor that is where they usually come from.
column or floor shifter ?
Brake Shift Interlock Actuator - Floor Shift
Removal and Installation NOTE: The brake shift interlock actuator is not serviced individually. If replacement is required, install a new floor shift selector lever assembly.
For additional information, refer to Selector Lever - Floor Shift in this section.
Brake Shift Interlock Actuator - Column Shift
Removal and Installation
Set the parking brake.
Remove the steering column shrouds.
Turn the ignition to the accessory position and apply the brake or actuate the brake shift interlock actuator (BSIA) override.
Put the selector lever into the NEUTRAL position.
Disconnect the BSIA electrical connector.
Remove the BSIA screw.
Gently pry the clip up and remove the BSIA.
NOTE: During installation, verify that the BSIA override has been activated and the slider is fully rearward. Before rotating the selector lever from NEUTRAL into PARK, align the selector lever tab into the BSIA. To install, reverse the removal procedure.
Sounds like you got a mistry shifter. It might just be out of ajustment, or just plane wore out. If its an old shifter you would be money a head to buy a new one and put it in. Summit racing sells them, Heck i'am not real sure but you might be able to get one at auto zone, or napa, or advance auto. There just a phone call a way. They might even sell kits to repaire yours.