Question about 2006 Ford Explorer

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2006 Explorer can't move shifter from park

2006 Eddie Bauer, 4L six. I press the brake and start engine. Then I release brake to allow engine to idle. I then press the brake to put the transmission in gear and can't move the shifter out of park. It is an intermittent problem and I can usually solve it by releasing the brake again and then re-applying the brake slowly and holding it. I can hear the relay pick up and then can shift. This has been going on for about two weeks and it does not happen every time. If it finally locks up for good is there a way to override it so I can get somewhere to fix it?

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  • Mara1234 Jul 09, 2008

    I have 2006 4.6L EB Explorer and exactly the same problem. Occasionally the shift lever is stuck on park. It looked like the brake switch in the foot compartment was bad... and tried to fiddle with that to see if it is the root cause. Sometimes it seemed to help but sometimes not.

    Since then I tried to look my brakelights at the same time to see if they are related, but it seem that the brakelights do work fine. So It doesn't seem like the switch is the problem. (Unless the switch is double pole switch were one circuit is for lights and other for transmission?)

    It happens very rarely for me in summertime but little more often in winter. The temperature seem to have effect.

    My last take is that there may be a loose contact in the wiring that goes to the solenoid located in the shift lever itself. This is because when this happened to me, I just hit the shift lever with my fist and it has always worked. Maybe if someone can try and confirm this?

    The next question is that if anyone knows how to open the shift lever handle... it doesn't seem to have any exposed screws or anything obvious how to open it.


  • chinglish Aug 27, 2008

    I too have a 2006 Explorer XLT V6 with the same
    problem. It seems to lock up intermittently
    in park, about every 5 starts or so. Along with that though it is also
    gearing between neutral and 1st gear (intermittently as well) but eventually
    kicks into gear. Has anyone else encountered this?


  • Anonymous Jan 24, 2009

    Could it be the relay located by the fuse box?

  • Kim294 Jan 24, 2009

    Can it be the relay located above the fuse box, if I move it the car will shift.

  • neil334 Mar 21, 2009

    My 2006 Explorer won't shift from park. Press the O/D button on the shift lever to go out of overdrive and things go OK. The problem isn't fixed but you can make the car go.

  • rznjff Apr 07, 2009

    I have the same intermittent sticking of the shift lever and usually I can also get it to work by pressing the break on and off or hittint the shift lever. I thought that ford builds tough. Yha right!!!!!.

    Fix Or Repair Daily.

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For 2006 up it is none of the above. The problem is a little $5 switch on the right side of the shifter. If you take the console cover off from around the shifter and look at the right side while you step on the brake and squeeze the shifter button you will see a horizontal pin slide up and down. There is also a solenoid that pushes a plastic piece out of the way of the pin. Ford insists on charging you for a whole new shifter assembly insted of replacing the little switch. They knew the switches were bad and gave you an access hole in the console to get to it with a long skinny screwdriver. Look under the rubber bottom piece of the cup holder and you will see a small square hole to stick the screwdriver in to get the switch to manualy release.

Posted on Dec 21, 2009

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This has nothing to do with switches on brake levers. It is a fault in the hydraulic pin on the switch lever. It is under recall and will be fixed free of costs by your Ford dealer. Make an appointment with the Ford dealer, tell them your problem and they will fix it free. I had the same issue and it took about 2 hours for them to fix it. Although frustrating your gear shift will not become permanently locked. It just takes 30-60 seconds for the hydraulic pressure to build up enough to disengage the pin that holds the gear shift in the locked position.

Posted on Sep 10, 2008

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Had same problem. 2006 with automatic. Take off chrome bezel around shifter (pops off). Remove the cup holder around shifter. You will notice on the right a black piece of plastic. This will touch a whitish bezel. This is a solenoid. You can manually move the black pice forward to release the shifter from park. Step the the brake petal and you will see if this functions. Mine was sticky and needed to be cleaned and lubed. No cost.

Posted on Sep 10, 2012

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I took it to the dealer, the replaced the shifter and it works fine now. So glad I bought the extended warranty!

Posted on Oct 03, 2008

  • chinglish Oct 03, 2008

    Took it to the dealer and they replaced the shifter knob. Unfortunately they did not provide with specifics as far as why but it solved the problem.

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New revised part released which is gear selector lever, its intermittent fault.

Posted on Jul 11, 2008

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Good Day,

There is typically a switch on the top part of your brake pedal (location varies on diffrent vechiles) which tells the car that you are pressing the brake so it can allow you to shift from park. When these switches start to go bad it can cause problems like yours. It can be fixed by replacing the switch.

Although you could pull the wires out of the switch and connect them to each other, this will "fake-out" the switch. I do not recommend you doing this as it will allow you to shift without pressing the brake pedal.

Hope this helps

Posted on Jun 12, 2008

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Same thing happened to my, i took it to the ford dealer on Findlay and they didn't wanted to fix it for free they wanted to charge me 400$$ ....whyif it was a recall...

Posted on Sep 09, 2015

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The shifter is bad, not enough have locked up so Ford will not issue a recall, however, they will replace it. It's sad that when they know something is back they just don't issue a repair notice to the owners instead of causing this inconvenience.

Posted on Oct 03, 2008

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Can it be relay related??

Posted on Jan 24, 2009

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