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my 2001 Ford Escape column gear shift is stuck in Park since

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my 2001 Ford Escape column gear shift is stuck in Park since I got home last night. This morning I can start the car but I can not go anywhere! The indicator does not have "P" circled, which it usually do when I start the car and goto "R" & "D", perhaps something is disconnected?

Hello Niro , I'm Chris, a current Ford Lincoln Mercury employee.


Thanks for visiting Just Answer. I will do my very best to help you resolve your concerns.


Press the brakes and see if the brake lights illuminate?

Customer: replied 7 years ago.
yes they do, if fact everything seemed to be working fine.

i was going to have it towed to a garage, but I can't even put it in neutral! I am afraid the tow truck guy is going to ask me to sign a damage waiver.

If you choose not to repair it yourself and have it towed you can manually put it in neutral. By opening the hood and disconnecting the shift linkage dirrectly above the drivers side axle halfshaft and shift the trasaxle to neutral so it will not have to be dragged up onto a rollback with the trans in park. Since the brakes work then odds are the shifter interlock or relay or fuse or diode is faulty.


Customer: replied 7 years ago.
Thanks for your explaination, I think I can try to disconnect this shift linkage...since my automotive knowledges limits to adding windshield wiper fluid, I have a few more questions, before I attempt this seemingly unnatural task:
1. You said I can disconnect the shift linkage by opening the hood and disconnect "halfshaft and shift the trasaxle to neutral." The diagram you included "behind dash panel, LH side," which I assume is the driver side, does this mean I have to take the entire dash panel off too?

2. If the car is dragged on to the flatbed truck in the park position, what would most likely be damaged and whats the worst case senario?

3. If by some miracle I successfully disconnected the shift linkage and my mechanic told me one of the faults you mentioned, do you have any idea how much something like that would cost?


When a vehicle is dragged up onto a roll back most always nothing gets damaged but it sure looks bad and I am sure it is not helping anything.

The trans linkage at the transmission is on the drivers side of the trans located directly above the axle shaft for the drivers front wheel. Once you disconnect it if you pull or push the manual lever on the transmission it will come out of park and start rollling.

The repairs if you attempt to do them yourself will require following the wire diagram I sent showing you were all the brake shift interlock components are which inhibit getting out of park unless the brakes are pressed.

At max it will need a new comlete shifter assembly which is the handle and all and the labor and parts is about 400$

Customer: replied 7 years ago.
Thanks for the quick response.
I took a look under my hood and it look like a can of worm to me. I have attached a picture of what I hope is what you are talking about. Can you tell me any of the labeled is the right connection to disconnect? And if I need any special tool to make the disconnection?

You pop the socket (shift linkage) off the ball ( transaxle manual lever) using a pry bar or screwdriver.



Chris (aka- Moose), Technician
Category: Ford
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Experience: 16 years experience
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