Question about 1997 Ford Expedition

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Unsafe rolling with parking break engaged!

Vehicle rolls with the ignition off (keys in pocket!), parking break engaged, and not necessarily on a hill! has been check by several mechanics and they have no idea why it does it on occasion. Could not find any recalls from Ford on this issue. Has anyone got any ideas?

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  • wellscyna Jun 18, 2008

    1997 Ford Expedition EB

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Ford had a recall on the atoumatic transmission shift cabel retention.if the transmission shift cabel assembeled to the steering column bracket is not fully seated,the tranmission shift cabel may slip out of the bracket.should the shift cabel become detached,the driver may not be abel to shift transmission gears or correctly determine the transmission gear position using your gear selector indicator.this condition could lead to unintended vehicle movement in direction other than indicated on your gear selector indicator.in addition,this condition could prevent the vihicle from being restarted. samboiv

Posted on Jun 20, 2008

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Its sitting in park.will roll back an forth like its in neutral. turn key,nothing happens. have full battery.could it be a neutral safety switch?


It sounds like your transmission is not going into park. There is a safety switch which is why you have to engage the brake while the vehicle is in park to start it. It is not sending current thru because it is not registering that the vehicle is in park. Try engaging the emergency brake and taking the transmission to drive then back into park and see if it engages. Then try to turn the ignition and see if you have power to your gauges and ignition switch.

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First off, I'd make sure the car was in park with the engine off and try that but I assume you already tried with it both OFF and ON. On should never work unless your foot is already fully engaged on the break. as many cars will not allow you to release the parking break unless you foot is on the break, some will not even allow it when the engine is not running, even in park. If you are running and the foot is on the break. Try SLOWLY moving backwards or forwards to disengage it since you may have pulled it a bit too far and the cable was real tight, this is easier to do when that parking break is too loose to begin with, and once the car rolled it got even tighter but moving the vehicle in the opposite direction that it rolled may loosen it enough.

If all else fails, you or a mechanic may go under the vehicle and simply loosen the cable to disengage it and then re-tighten it. Even if you are able to loosen them yourself you may want a mechanic to tightening the parking brake since is common chore for mechanics and it should not cost that much to do since it literally take only a few minutes once on the lift.

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Sounds like the shifter is stuck in reverse or drive since it will roll.
I would set the parking brake and have someone watch the shift lever on the transmission to see if it and the shifter inside is still connected.

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parking prawl in transmission not engaging or the linkage needs adjusting to get the parking prawl pushed up far enough to engage.

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The car should never be parked and held on the transmission alone; the handbrake should always be the primary means of holding the car from moving.

Both of these jobs are routine maintenance tasks but are not ones for an inexperienced mechanic.

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