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Old 10-09-2010, 10:42   #1 (permalink)
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Floor Shifter Sticking

I have a 97 Cougar with the V8 and auto trans that has an issue with the shift not wanting to shift out of park.
Issue: The car will start and run fine but when I try to shift out of park the release button will not depress all the way and I have apply a good deal of pressure to it while working the shifter lever back and forth before it finally moves out of park.
Once I get the car out of park for the first time everything works fine. I can move through all the gears including park without issue. It is just that first time where the shift is sticking.
I have tried setting the parking brake, making sure the car is level and the trans is not bound, pumping the break while working the shifter everything I can think of to prevent the shifter from sticking but no change.
The problem has slowly gotten worst over time with at first the button sticking a bit but then going in, to the current condition of the shifter just not working at all. This will occur any time the car has been put into park and shut off. No matter if the car is level or on a hill or incline. The mornings are the worst when the car has sat over night with it taking several minutes of working the shifter to get it out of park. After that it will still stick but not near as bad.
So, is this a neutral start/safety switch issue? I have been reading up on this and what problem these cause when going out and none of those issues are a clear path to my problem. Those appear to be more the car not starting or turning over at all vs. the shifter sticking
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Old 10-09-2010, 12:01   #2 (permalink)
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Re: Floor Shifter Sticking

Turn the key to run then turn it towards off one click. Then try to move it out of park. Try that and post back what happens.
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Old 10-09-2010, 18:06   #3 (permalink)
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Re: Floor Shifter Sticking

Hello Bert

Just tried that. Key forward to run then back, did not start engine.
With foot on brake, still stuck.
With foot off brake, worked it as normal and it finally moved out of park.
Not much of a improvment. It did seem to release soon this time.
This was the first time for the today if that helps

I did find the post on the site before I posted mine. This is much like what I am dealing with

98 Mustang Shifter completely stuck please help!

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Old 10-09-2010, 19:52   #4 (permalink)
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Re: Floor Shifter Sticking

Did you try what they mentioned in that thread? When you did what I mentioned, you just have to turn the key toward off enough to have it off of run. Did you try it more than once?
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Old 10-10-2010, 09:30   #5 (permalink)
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Re: Floor Shifter Sticking

Hi

About the post, I have not tried those. I wanted to ask for feedback first as they are two different cars. I will look into that as it would not suprise me that the area just needs some lub

I tried your suggestion twice with same results, and did turn the key just enough to ping the starter. I did not start the car, just "tap" it, then let key move back to the normal run postion.

Thanks
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Old 10-10-2010, 11:17   #6 (permalink)
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Re: Floor Shifter Sticking

You have to move it one notch toward off from the run position.
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Old 10-10-2010, 17:38   #7 (permalink)
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Re: Floor Shifter Sticking

On this model the radio setting is all the way forward to the drive.
So if I turn away from me, I have run, start. That is it.

Some more info from another test. Had the car running level and in gear (drive). With foot on brake, shifted to park, and then tried to shift out of park to neutral. That worked fine with no sticking.
Then I took foot off the brake, and repeated the test. This time the shifter would not move. When I applied the brake, the shifter would move but it was sticking again. At least the button was sticking.
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Old 10-10-2010, 21:40   #8 (permalink)
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Re: Floor Shifter Sticking

I know what they're like. There is a position between off and run and nothing is on. I know the radio position is counterclockwise from off.
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