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Shifter Won't Move

new2/3/2004, updated 2/5/2004

Got in the car to get to work - can't shift it. No brake lights. Crap, interlock?? Check fuses really quick all is good. Call the flatbed. Driver gets here pretty quick (Guess at 5:45 they weren't that busy). Asks for the key, I explain the symptoms, he smiles, gets in the car, unlocks the steering wheel, moves the shifter, starts the car.  Don't power the solenoid and it'll work to get you where you need to go. Well as I still had no brake lights, and I have one of those special yellow Illinois invitations to see the judge, off to the Ford Dealer.
*Holding checkbook tightly* Their service writer calls my cell phone, my trembling hand picks it up - Hi Larry your car is ready. HUH?? you've only had it an hour. Interlock switch is fine, found busted wire, replaced it. Bring $40.00. I'm going to buy a lottery ticket now.
Moral of the story - if it happens to you - unlock the steering wheel, put it in neutral, start the car and go on your merry way. Don't forget to check those brake lights though.

Larry E

For those who were wondering, the Flatbed was $0.00 - Thank you motor club. In order to free the shifter, move the key up one notch so you can feel the steering wheel unlock, then depress the button and move the lever. Don't go to accessory as you will be powering the solenoid and will get the same result. Also, another giveaway that the solenoid may be the problem is the absence of brake lights.


I don't know about y'all, but I just think it is very cool that the dealer didn't replace and charge for a complete wiring harness!!! After all, actually fixing what is broken is not what I (we???) have come to expect from our beloved Ford Dealerships. Did you get that lottery ticket? You'd better!

Karl H. Kramer, Jr.



Not uncommon on Ford's. Maybe not common on our cars. My 89 had one wire broken at the brake light switch connector when I bought it. The wire breaks under the insulation where it is crimped to the blade connector. It will sometimes cause an intermittent problem that will drive you nuts trying to track down.

Glen Murdock

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