Welcome to the DoItYourself Forums!

To post questions, help other DIYers and reduce advertising (like the one on your left), join our DIY community. It's free!

1997 Taurus stuck in Park


Rockerbraves's Avatar
Visiting Guest

Posts: n/a

11-13-03, 06:16 AM   #1  
Rockerbraves
1997 Taurus stuck in Park

Not sure if I've given enough information. This is my first time posting on the forum.

My son can't get his 1997 Taurus out of park. The car starts right up but he is unable to shift from park to reverse or drive. He's a relatively new driver and claims he's never had any problem in the past few days shifting out of park. He's tried rocking the car & adjusting the steering coumn with no luck. Any advice for a nonmechanic would be most appreciated.

Thanks


Last edited by Rockerbraves; 11-13-03 at 06:27 AM.
 
Sponsored Links
the_tow_guy's Avatar
Group Moderator

Join Date: Feb 2001
Posts: 11,475
FL

11-13-03, 09:08 AM   #2  
Barring an actual transmission problem itself (which are pretty much universal on Taurus/Sable transmissions), my guess would be the safety switch that has to be engaged when you step on the brake pedal that "unlocks" the shifter itself. Going to have to wait for someone more knowledgable for details or other ideas.

Check here to see what you can find:

http://www.cybrrpartspro.com/Manual%...delLookup.html

 
Lugnut's Avatar
Member

Join Date: Jan 2001
Posts: 1,172

11-13-03, 10:42 AM   #3  
I will second that motion. You must step on the brake while shifting out of park.

 
Rockerbraves's Avatar
Visiting Guest

Posts: n/a

11-13-03, 12:32 PM   #4  
Rockerbraves
Stepping on the brake does not get the car out of the park position Afraid to try and force it too much or I would likely snap something. Any other ideas I can try. Thanks guys.

 
darrell McCoy's Avatar
Visiting Guest

Posts: n/a

11-13-03, 12:55 PM   #5  
darrell McCoy
With the key in run position, not running, roll up windows and gently push brake, you should here a relay energize. If not your safety switch is either bad or out of adjustment. Not much up on fords so thats about all I can suggest.

 
Rockerbraves's Avatar
Visiting Guest

Posts: n/a

11-13-03, 01:51 PM   #6  
Rockerbraves
Thanks to all that replied. It's great to know there are people willing to give some advice to a guy like me who has limited auto repair knowledge.

FYI: I've learned that if you turn the key in the ignition to just the first slot you can take it out of the park position. The problem isn't fixed but at least I can start the car in the neutral postion.

Thanks again to all of you.

 
hogfan's Avatar
Member

Join Date: Oct 2003
Posts: 352

11-13-03, 06:39 PM   #7  
Check and see if you have any brake lights if you don't then that's the problem! Seen this often.

Fix It Right The First Time= FORD

 
davo's Avatar
Member

Join Date: Apr 2002
Posts: 2,417

11-14-03, 02:58 PM   #8  
Sounds like the brake/transmission shift interlock solenoid is going bad.Some cars you can replace them separately others require shifter replacement,not sure on your car.

 
Desi501's Avatar
Member

Join Date: Oct 2003
Posts: 2,207

11-14-03, 04:22 PM   #9  
Brake lights out most common cause

 
davo's Avatar
Member

Join Date: Apr 2002
Posts: 2,417

11-14-03, 05:02 PM   #10  
Are you putting in the run position and you can shift out of park as long as you don't start the car?I agree brake lights being out can cause problems but they would be out whether the engine was running or not.

 
hogfan's Avatar
Member

Join Date: Oct 2003
Posts: 352

11-14-03, 07:21 PM   #11  
If you turn the key to the first detent and take the car out of park and then start the car in neutral it will work without brake lights.
Davo, Not tring to be smart but I have only worked for FORD - 23 years. You do see things that happen? And to bust your bubble I am a senior master with ford you also have to have all 8 ASE's plus L1. Don't forget to be NICE because sometimes there are others that can HELP!

Fix it Right the First Time!

 
mike from nj's Avatar
Visiting Guest

Posts: n/a

11-14-03, 08:44 PM   #12  
mike from nj
****Are you putting in the run position and you can shift out of park as long as you don't start the car?I agree brake lights being out can cause problems but they would be out whether the engine was running or not.*****



maybe i misread that post

can someone show me anyone not being nice or helpful?

we don't need to be missing any more moderators this week!!!

 
KurtDixon's Avatar
Visiting Guest

Posts: n/a

11-14-03, 11:59 PM   #13  
KurtDixon
I don't get it either Mike. In fact I had to scroll up to see if Davo said anything nasty prior, but I couldn't find anything Weird

 
the_tow_guy's Avatar
Group Moderator

Join Date: Feb 2001
Posts: 11,475
FL

11-15-03, 03:51 AM   #14  
You guys didn't catch it? You have to read Davo's post BACKWARDS to catch the hidden meaning!

Speaking of backwards, Ford backwards - DROF - stands for "driver returning on foot".

 
darrell McCoy's Avatar
Visiting Guest

Posts: n/a

11-15-03, 07:10 AM   #15  
darrell McCoy
May be as simple as a bad fuse. Look in the owners manual for a picture of the fuse block. See what you can find. Then Check the fuses. SO, if it is a possible brake lite issue, check the light fuses.

 
Lugnut's Avatar
Member

Join Date: Jan 2001
Posts: 1,172

11-15-03, 08:10 AM   #16  
Howdy,

I am confused about this brake light 'thing'. Several folks seem to be saying that if the brake lights (or circuit) is not functioning, that this event alone, will prevent the shifter from moving out of park? Is that right? Or did I misunderstand the whole thing?

If that is right, I must admit, I find this to be quite interesting and would like to learn more.

 
darrell McCoy's Avatar
Visiting Guest

Posts: n/a

11-15-03, 08:17 AM   #17  
darrell McCoy
lugnut, I dunno, maybe the brake lights are hooked into the same circuit as the safety swx???? I am not up on fords wireing at all.

 
Desi501's Avatar
Member

Join Date: Oct 2003
Posts: 2,207

11-15-03, 08:38 AM   #18  
That's correct, many of them share the brake light switch with the lock release so if the brake lights don't come on it's an indication that the switch may have a problem.

 
darrell McCoy's Avatar
Visiting Guest

Posts: n/a

11-15-03, 08:46 AM   #19  
darrell McCoy
Thanks desi, thats what I assumed but didnt know for fact.

 
davo's Avatar
Member

Join Date: Apr 2002
Posts: 2,417

11-15-03, 10:05 AM   #20  
It was just a statement about the brake lights and a question to the original poster about switch position.

 
Lugnut's Avatar
Member

Join Date: Jan 2001
Posts: 1,172

11-15-03, 10:21 AM   #21  
Having read that explanation, I feel silly. Of course I now know what is going on, and I was just thrown off course in my thinking when everyone was talking about brake lights. Need more coffee Funny how the mind works, or not. Being focused on the park/lock and brake switch circuit, I did not make the mental connection between the brake lamps and the brake switch circuit.

Of course, the right thing to do now would be for me to go back and delete my stupid question, change my name and go live in the woods. But I know you guys would come find me, so I'll just sit here in the corner with the DIY Dunce hat and wait for the day I can give the hat to someone else. So where is it, who had the DIY dunce hat before me?

 
davo's Avatar
Member

Join Date: Apr 2002
Posts: 2,417

11-15-03, 10:57 AM   #22  
Originally posted by Lugnut
Having read that explanation, I feel silly. Of course I now know what is going on, and I was just thrown off course in my thinking when everyone was talking about brake lights. Need more coffee Funny how the mind works, or not. Being focused on the park/lock and brake switch circuit, I did not make the mental connection between the brake lamps and the brake switch circuit.

Of course, the right thing to do now would be for me to go back and delete my stupid question, change my name and go live in the woods. But I know you guys would come find me, so I'll just sit here in the corner with the DIY Dunce hat and wait for the day I can give the hat to someone else. So where is it, who had the DIY dunce hat before me?
My last post was not directed to you sorry if you misunderstood.No dunce hats on DIY as all are here to learn something.What we need to know now is does Rockerbraves have enough info to start a diagnosis?

 
KurtDixon's Avatar
Visiting Guest

Posts: n/a

11-15-03, 09:44 PM   #23  
KurtDixon
I was confused there too. I thought they meant if the brake light bulbs burned out of if there was a broken wire AFTER the switch then that would prevent the shifter from moving. But now I get it, if the brake light switch isn't working, neither is the park lock switch since they are the same right

 
mike from nj's Avatar
Visiting Guest

Posts: n/a

11-15-03, 10:18 PM   #24  
mike from nj
if this clears anything up

on isuzus, there is a very similiar sounding 'park' interlock.

with the key off, park is locked by the key being out.

in the first accessory position, you can shift out of park with the shifter button, because the column is unlocked, but the solenoid isn't energized yet(the solenoid which prevents it from coming out of park)

turn the key to 'run', now the solenoid is energized, and park is 'locked' until you hit the brake pedal, which de-energizes the solenoid.

so, if the brake lights don't work, there won't be a signal to the solenoid to disengage it, and it will be stuck in park, until you turn the key off, but don't remove it.

which sounds just like what the original poster described.

and like 'darrell mccoy' originally said, with the windows up, and hitting the brakes, you can hear the shifter mechanism clicking pretty loud, this would be the solenoid working, if this one was actually working.

anyway, that's how it would work on an isuzu, this ford sounds somewhat similiar

 
hogfan's Avatar
Member

Join Date: Oct 2003
Posts: 352

11-16-03, 05:00 AM   #25  
Thats, right if the brake lights dont work then the car won't come out of park because it blocks the shifter with the shift inter-lock solenoid. We have several tow in because of this? It's usually a brake light switch. I don't think that one bulb out will cause this. But also check the wire from the switch FORD sells the harness and switches daily. I think some of the later Taurus have a RECALL for the switch and wiring connector and harness. If you need this recall number let me know?

 
Search this Thread