shifter stuck in park


Asked by Feb 02, 2015 at 05:42 PM about the 2010 Ford Escape XLT

Question type: Maintenance & Repair

Sometimes my shifter is hard to get out of park. what would cause this, and how would I fix it?

16 Answers


make sure the brake light switch is working , that sends currant to a solenoid on the shifter to release a latch, or take it apart and remove the latch

17 of 17 people found this helpful.

this is on the back of the break pedal?

16 of 16 people found this helpful.

Hey, or what else you can do not to have that problem, is when you arived to your destanation and ready to park or living the car overnite, is live the car in Drive, put your foot on the breakes, apply your hand breake, relise your foot of the break pedal, let the car settle( it most probably roll back or forfard an inch or less) and after that, push your shifter in to Park,, done, in the morning or when you ready to use the car again, after you start it , your shifter will slide out of park, as if it was smagaled in Butter!!! :)) hope it helps. Tony.

4 of 4 people found this helpful.

I agree with 7jimmy, brake safety switch, and yes that is by the brake pedal, it's to force you to have your foot on the brake pedal to shift a car out of park. (of course the problem might be elsewhere, but the first logical place to look is the brake safety switch.)

4 of 4 people found this helpful.

can the break safety switch be bypassed?

12 of 12 people found this helpful.

Yes but not a good idea, it's to keep you from shifting into gear without brakes being applied, to prevent the inevitable accident. It's a cheap part and not at all hard to swap out, I'm getting ready to do one on my nieces 98 Bravada. The amount of work you would put into bypassing the switch is as much as it would take to just replace it.

4 of 4 people found this helpful.

Ok if that doesn't fix it what would be the next step?

5 of 5 people found this helpful.

where is the solenoid and how hard is it to get to and replace if the break pedal is not the problem?

7 of 7 people found this helpful.

When this problem occurs, can you see if your brake lights are coming on when the brake pedal is depressed? Part of the shift interlock system is that you can't shift out of park unless the brakes are pressed, meaning the "brake pedal position" (BPP) switch is depressed, your brake lights are one, and the ignition switch is in the ON position, so that the shift interlock is then able to release the shifter. There is a manual override for the shift interlock. Your owner's manual should have the instructions, if not they are as follows: 1) Apply the parking brake and remove the ignition key. 2) Find the tethered cap (a small relief) in the console, next to the shifter. 3) Open it. 4) Using an suitable tool, depress the brake shift interlock override mechanism on the selector lever, apply the brake, depress the button on the selector lever and move the selector lever into NEUTRAL. 5) Start the vehicle. 6) To install, reverse the procedure. Here is a link to the above copy:

19 of 19 people found this helpful.
Best Answer

MOST of the time, it's just a faulty brake pedal position switch. If not, then you'll have to do a little troubleshooting, if the BPP switch is okay it could be a faulty shift solenoid, which in most cases is located in the console along the shift selector lever. However, when it goes it goes, because you have an intermittent problem I would think its the brake switch.

4 of 4 people found this helpful.

Yes KenF, sometimes the break lights come one, and sometimes they don't. When they do I can shift out of park. So I am going to assume its the break pedal switch. Thanks for all the help!


I just had this issue with my escape hybrid and after a while of forcing it, it became to easy to shift and when in park, the transmission wouldn't lock the wheels from rolling. The issue was started when my wife bumped into a large Rock with the front of the car. After pulling the plastic cover shield off the bottom of the car, I noticed a cable running up to the engine and then the shifter. It had a plate covering it, and the plate was bent in, preventing the cable to move the component under the plate firm moving. I bent this back, and the component was able to shift into the settings again. I then took apart my canter console and saw the cable, after teaching it, was no longer connected to the shifter. After reconnecting it, my transmission shifted normal again. Hope this may help.

2 of 2 people found this helpful.

Heres a Great Funny Tutorial Video that I think might be helpful, I have already done this myself and helped quite a few others, this seems to work well on a majority of vehicles take a look and see if this might work. thanks copy and paste below

45 of 45 people found this helpful.

This problem just happen to me today .. I could not shift out of park .. Take the cover off the fuse box .. On the back of the cover, look for the location of the brake light fuse .. it probably says STOP on the bottom right .. see if that fuse is blown and replace it .. I was stuck in a gas station and had no extra fuses, so I just switched it with the horn fuse and was back on the road again :)

1 of 1 people found this helpful.

I had the same problem getting my 2008 Ford Escape out of park. Switched out the brake light switch, and it hasn't been a problem since. Small note: if you're looking for the 2008 brake switch, it's probably the 2009 at most auto parts stores.

1 of 1 people found this helpful.

I had the problem with shifter stuck in park gear, after trying all the tips from online unsuccessfully, I tried to look under the steering just below the shifter its a small hole which I suppose will lead to the shift switch, I tried to push it with a screw driver and off it goes now the shifting is very smooth, hope this may find helpful to some of you overthere.

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