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I got into my 97 ford today crank it up depress my break and shifter won't come out of park do you have any idea whats wrong

I try minie times and raised column up and down to no avail

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Broken shifter

Posted on Apr 10, 2015

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You could have a shifter switch problem...check on the brake pedal depending on your car it might have 1 switch with 4 contacts;2 for the stop lights and the other 2 for the shifter release solenoid which might fail.You can contact a test using a voltemeter yo check for continuity on all terminals 2 @ a time.Then some other cars have 2 switches 1 for stop lights and the other for the shift solenoid.The other important thing is to check fuses,if non of the above doesn't work then U might need to open the centre consol to access the actuator that kicks open the locking mechanism and check if its not fried

Posted on Apr 10, 2015

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1 Answer

Got into my 97 crown vick today crank it up depress break as always went to shift to reverse and it was locked into park try to no avail do you have any ideas whats wrong


Confirm that there is no debris hung up in any of the linkage (any where). If the ignition key locks the tranny shifter, then this can be your focus -- something has come apart at the key barrel (inside column. (if not) Then check the linkage that the brake disengages to allow the tranny linkage to be moved. (if not that) Check the tranny linkage to ensure all pcs are still in place and have clips in place.

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You have to determine if its electrical or mechanical. Cars should come out of park with break depressed and and key in on position.

To get the car in gear and drive it to a mechanic:
Look for a round cap in the console/cover just in front of the shifter. Remove the plastic cap then you can push (down) the shift release with a small screw driver or pen. Break needs to be depressed and move this shifter all at the same time. I think it resets when you go back to park.

To troubleshoot:
Verify the brake light come on (part of interlocking system) if no check brake fuse. if break lights work check fuse that controls 'key lock control module' and its power source.

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Check and make sure the bell housing on the transmission isn't broke and trying to separate from the engine. Shifter shouldn't move while cranking unless transmission itself is moving.

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You may be able to shift it out of park if you unlock the steering wheel but not turn the key to On.

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1 Answer

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Try this. Remove the small plastic cap near the shifter. It is a circular shaped cap about the size of a dime, you can remove it by prying it out with a screwdriver. Insert a phillips head screwdriver into the hole, while pushing down try and shift into neutral. If that works than there could be a few things wrong. Check to see that both break lights are coming on, if BOTH are not coming on it is the break pedal switch. If either one is coming on then it is something more complicated that I cannot solve but someone else may be able to help.

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Sounds like the park release switch is bad (attached to the break pedal and allows the shifter to come out of park only when break is pressed) You should have a manual release on the floor shifter)

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Sounds like a problem with the shift interlock.Here's how it works:You put your foot on the brake pedal,the brake pedal switch sends voltage to a solenoid mounted on your shifter.The solenoid unlocks the shifter,and you remove it from Park.When the interlock doesnt work,it's usually the interlock solenoid mounted on the shifter malfunctioning,however the brake pedal switch,or wires to and from can also be at fault.

Jul 11, 2008 | 2001 Ford Escort ZX2

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