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Ron Z.
Ron Z., - Ford Tech -
Category: Ford
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Experience:  18+yrs experience. State Inspector & Ford Diagnostics/Repair
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ford escort wagon: I have a 1998 ford escort wagon, automatic,

Resolved Question:

I have a 1998 ford escort wagon, automatic, the transmission select handle is stuck in park, the push button on the handle is pressing in but it won't release from park, how do I free it? Derrick
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Ford
Expert:  Ron Z. replied 1 year ago.
Hello! Welcome to the site! Thanks for coming! I'm Ron Z. I'm here to provide as much information and insight as I can, to best answer your question.

When the Shifter will not release from Park, first, check the rear brake lights and see if they are working when you step on the brake pedal.

If the brake lights are NOT working, check the fuse labeled "STOP" in the instrument panel fuse box. If the fuse is good and yet still not shift from Park, the problem will lie in the Brake Light Switch, located at the top of the brake pedal arm. This switch controls the rear brake lights, and it also sends a signal to the Shift Interlock telling it to release when the brake pedal is depressed. Carefully inspect the electrical connector and wire harness for any loose, broken or damaged wires. Inspect the switch mount and contact points on the pedal arm for any broken or misaligned parts. If the visual inspection checks ok, replace the Brake Light Switch.

If the brake lights ARE working, then the problem will lie in the Interlock System. A common fail item here is the Shift Interlock Actuator. The actuator is located on the side of the shifter, behind the shifter assembly bezel. Again, carefully inspect the electrical connector and harness for any broken, damaged or pinched wires. If the visual inspection checks ok, suspect a faulty Actuator.


Please remember the website WILL NOT automatically compensate me with a part of your deposit or from your subscription WITHOUT YOUR RATING! Please use the Rating System and *Rate My Service* if the information/advice I supplied has helped you. If you have any more questions, use the "Reply" tab – I'm always happy to answer follow-up questions! Follow-ups are always FREE! Even after you rate! Thank-you!


Customer: replied 1 year ago.

Hi, Ron, the brake lights work OK, how do I get to the shift interlock actuator to check it?

Expert:  Ron Z. replied 1 year ago.
Sorry for the delay... it took me a few to get the information together.

For easier viewing/printing, I've wrapped up the procedure to access and then test the Actuator into a PDF file. Remeber to inspect the shifter internal workings for any broken items at this time as well! Download the PDF file ((HERE))

Please remember the website WILL NOT automatically compensate me with a part of your deposit or from your subscription WITHOUT YOUR RATING! Please use the Rating System and *Rate My Service* if the information/advice I supplied has helped you. If you have any more questions, use the "Reply" tab – I'm always happy to answer follow-up questions! Follow-ups are always FREE! Even after you rate! Thank-you!


Customer: replied 1 year ago.

Thanks for the PDF file, do I have to remove all the plastic covering around the shifter, if so how, I have tried to get these off and haven't had any success.

Expert:  Ron Z. replied 1 year ago.
Yes, the bezel will need to be removed to gain access. Sorry. I thought you had this removed already. Here's the PDF file ((HERE))

Please remember the website WILL NOT automatically compensate me with a part of your deposit or from your subscription WITHOUT YOUR RATING! Please use the Rating System and *Rate My Service* if the information/advice I supplied has helped you. If you have any more questions, use the "Reply" tab – I'm always happy to answer follow-up questions! Follow-ups are always FREE! Even after you rate! Thank-you!


Customer: replied 1 year ago.

Thanks again Ron, the only thing now is item 7 in the instructions says put shift into L position and I can't do that because it is jammed park, I have removed the top off the shifter will that enable the removal of the cover?

Expert:  Ron Z. replied 1 year ago.
Yes. Putting it in "L just makes it easier to access. It's not a "necessity". It will still come loose.
Ron Z., - Ford Tech -
Category: Ford
Satisfied Customers: 14839
Experience: 18+yrs experience. State Inspector & Ford Diagnostics/Repair
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Ron Z.
Ron Z.
1912 Satisfied Customers
18+yrs experience. State Inspector & Ford Diagnostics/Repair