Hard to shift

Old 01-25-08, 06:59 AM
Thread Starter
Join Date: Apr 2003
Location: USA
Posts: 118
Upvotes: 0
Received 0 Upvotes on 0 Posts
Hard to shift

I have a 2000 ford escort with 96,000 and a automatic
transmission. For the last couple of weeks I have had a hard
time getting the transmission out of park. It usually takes me about fifteen minutes to get into gear. It doesn't matter if the car sits over night or for fifteen minutes. I live in
Delaware but it hasn't been that cold. I have never has the transmission fluid changed! I would appreciate any and all
advise.Thank you in advance.
Old 01-25-08, 09:31 AM
Join Date: May 2006
Location: Iowa!!!!!
Posts: 3,860
Received 37 Upvotes on 36 Posts
Does the gear selector move, but the transmission just doesn't engage? If so I would get the fluid/filter changed as a starter.

If the selector doesn't move for you, raise the hood and locate the linkage point of the shift cable to the transmission, disconnect the cable and see if your selector will move then. If it does the problem is in the transmission, if not the problem is in the cable (could be stuck in the casing) or in the cab (take apart shifter mounting and lube to free it).

Hope this helps,

Old 01-25-08, 10:57 AM
Join Date: Dec 2007
Posts: 31
Upvotes: 0
Received 0 Upvotes on 0 Posts
One thing to remember is that the only way you can move the selector out of park is if you have the brake applied. Most vehicles use the brake light switch to energize a solenoid that releases the shifter lever and allows it to move out of park. The next time you encounter this problem see if the brake lights work. other models use a switch similar to the brake light switch but separate from it in which case the above test may not be valid. In any case when you apply and release the brake pedal you should be able to hear a distinct clicking noise of the releasing solenoid at the shift selector lever. If not then this is likely why you can not move it out of park.

Another of the more common problems I have encountered is the shifter area quite often gets a lot of coffee and soda spilled on it which can often times cause poor electrical connection at the shift release solenoid.

Last edited by the_tow_guy; 01-25-08 at 03:38 PM. Reason: Not necessary to quote entire post.

Thread Tools
Search this Thread
Ask a Question
Question Title: