Hard to shift


Old 03-27-12, 06:25 AM
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Hard to shift

I have a 2003 Ranger, some times it's very hard to get the shift lever out of park. It seems like if I press on the brake pedal a few times hard, it helps somewhat. I checked the fluid level and it seems ok, maybe a little high, but I have the truck 6 yrs. and never added fluid. Could this be a brake issue??
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Old 03-27-12, 06:56 AM
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Check the switches down near the brake pedal arm. May have two or just one. They activate a solenoid that allows the shifter to be moved out of park. If you just have one it also activates the brake lights most likely. They may need adjusting or replacing.

It could also be the solenoid itself. Listen carefully in the area of the shifter when stepping on the brake pedal...you should hear a very faint click when the solenoid activates.
Old 03-27-12, 07:03 PM
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As Gunguy45 says, but it could also just be a sticking linkage cable that either needs to be lubricated or replaced after 10 years. Usually the switches at the brake pedal also operate as was mentioned rear brake lights and also the cancel function of the cruise system if you have one so if there has been no issue with any of those, these maybe still OK. Because it is a 'sometimes' problem I would check out the cable as a first step. Check and lubricate at the shifter point by lifting up the console, or shifter bezel if that is all it has, but also the connect point at the transmission is something to check and lubricate. When it does come out of park, how smooth is the shift selector up and down the range and as another check do the shifter letters and numbers when lit up always align with the actual transmission position?
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