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Old 12-20-2008, 08:29 PM   #1
elfinia
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Gearshift Stuck in Park

Hi! I happened across this site and I am a new focus owner. I bought my car used after my first car was stolen and have had many issues with it. I am out of money to give to garages. I have put a lot of money into this car. I am a dog groomer and am pretty handy. I have taught myself to fix my clippers, dryers etc. I'm fairly confident I can fix some things on this car and save myself some MUCH needed cash. I have a haynes manual coming in the mail, at the suggestion of a groomer friend that in another state that has been fixing her honda for years.

The most bothersome issue right now with the car is that the gearshift will not move out of park without using the release button beside the shift. I don't know how long we can keep starting the car using two keys so I feel I probably need to tackle this first. The brake lights do work, I checked that first cause that's an easy fix I've done before on my previous cars. They turn off when they should and work as they should. I'm going to look at all the fuses in the panel under the steering wheel tomorrow because the manual seems to be hinting at that. I would be very thankful for help! And to put it honestly I don't know a lot about cars (so not too technical please), but I am a quick learner and a motivated one. Thanks! This seems like a nice forum.


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Old 12-20-2008, 10:22 PM   #2
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the shifter is locked into park with a electronic solenoid, its released when you press the brake if its sticking then there may be a problem with the solenoid
When the brake pedal is depressed it signals a relay to supply voltage to both the shifters solenoid and the brake lights, you will have to get a multimeter to verify if its voltage related or solenoid related

when you have problems does the side button refuse to go in or does it go in and the shifter refuses move down

you will have to remove the center console to gain access to the underside of the shifter theres 1 bolt under the rear cupholder cover and one screw under each of the front cupholder inserts

The second picture is the Solenoid thats preventing the shifter from being moved out of park

in the third picture is the electrical connector that controls everything on the shifter when you press the brake you should get 12volts DC between the 2 points in the arrow if you get 12volts and still won't release the solenoid is either sticking, damaged or defective



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Old 12-23-2008, 03:18 PM   #3
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Also if you're not getting a 12 volt signal check the switch above the brake peddle.
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Old 12-23-2008, 06:04 PM   #4
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Guys...if you actually read her post she said she doesn't know anything about cars. I HIGHLY doubt she's going to be able to make sense out of your post, Feral.

She said she couldn't move the shifter WITHOUT pushing the button...sounds perfectly normal to me? Maybe she's used to a column shifter.
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Old 12-23-2008, 06:24 PM   #5
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> She said she couldn't move the shifter WITHOUT pushing the button...sounds perfectly normal to me?

What she actually said was, "using the release button beside the shift. I don't know how long we can keep starting the car using two keys..."


The "two keys" bit is a clue...


I think she is talking about the "emergency" procedure in the owners manual where you use the key to override the transmission lock:

(From the owners manual):

"Brake-shift interlock
This vehicle is equipped with a brake-shift interlock feature that prevents
the gearshift lever from being moved from P (Park) when the ignition is
in the ON position unless the brake pedal is depressed.
If you cannot move the gearshift lever out of P (Park) with ignition in
the ON position and the brake pedal depressed:
1. Apply the parking brake, turn ignition key to LOCK, then remove the
key.
When the key is in the ignition and in the OFF position, the
automatic transmission shift lever can be moved from the P
(Park) position without the brake pedal depressed. To avoid unwanted
vehicle movement, always set the parking brake.
2. Using a screwdriver (or similar
tool), remove the protective cover
to the interlock access hole on the
console. Insert the key to release
the interlock.
3. Apply the parking brake, then shift to N (Neutral).
4. Start the vehicle.
If it is necessary to use the above procedure to move the gearshift lever,
it is possible that a fuse has blown or the vehicle’s brakelamps are not
operating properly. Refer to Fuses and relays in the Roadside
Emergencies chapter."
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Old 12-23-2008, 06:26 PM   #6
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she referred to using the Emergency Shifter release button which is is where she said she jams a key into to get it out of park

the Button i was referring is the one on the stalk at the top next to the OD button

Ive had cars that you can depress that button fine but still give trouble to shift out of park
the questions I asked are fair and not worded for technical people
it doesn;t take a Ford tech to unscrew the console where I have provided all the locations of the screws and to prod the probes of a multimeter

if all I know that plug is damaged/corroded due to its location which is directly under the drip hole which is a bad spot to begin with due to this

its common for these plugs to get water damage if someone spills liquid on the shifters face as you can see in the pic how the liquid and contaminants will seep down and land on the shifters main plug and the SRS module

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Old 01-09-2009, 04:11 PM   #7
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Brake Shift Interlock help

Hey Feral, Thanks for the pics. I have an 02 Wagon with a related program. Mostly when the car is cold the key won't come out of the ignition after I put it in park. I took off the center console and looked at the solenoid interlock device. It had coffee and junk spilled all over it. What is happening is that the little white button on the front is sticking so that when I go to put it in park and trun off the car, the button (which would normally make it impossible to move the shifter when the car is off) sticks and doesn't actuate the release mechanism in the ignition. And, you can still move the shifter even though the car is off.

So, I tried to clean it up with rubbing alcohol and q-tips but it only seemed to improve a little. My question is: How do I get that solenoid out of there? I want to really clean it or replace it. Do I have to remove the shifter? Also, do you know which wires are responsible for the switch and would it make sense to just bypass it? Thanks so much!
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Old 01-09-2009, 04:59 PM   #8
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give me about an hour to get some pictures for you on how to remove the solenoid..

Im unsure if it can be opened tho.. you may need to buy a can of contact cleaner and a can of lithium grease to fix this problem if it is in fact a sticky solenoid
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Old 01-09-2009, 07:11 PM   #9
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I am pretty sure about the sticking part. When my key gets stuck I have gotten down on the floor to look and the little white switch is not visible. (You can see it in your 2nd pic, on the right hand red line of the box. There is a white shaft that comes down from the shifter handle and at the bottom the little white switch/button). Although I guess it could be an electrical issue with the solenoid, but the thing seems to be spring activated - if I push it in with a knife/screw driver it normally just pops back. The probelm seems to happen mostly in the morning when things are cold. THANKS!
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Old 01-10-2009, 01:16 PM   #10
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If anyone can just give me instructions for removing the whole shifter assembly that would be great. I can see the 4 nuts that hold it to the frame. How do you disconnect the rod that goes forward from the shifter arm into the transmission. There is a red/blue connection (see pic), and I don't want to just rip it out.
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