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Old 10-04-2009, 18:59   #1 (permalink)
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confused Can't shift - dead tranny or a quick fix? Ford Escape

Hi everyone,

Signed up for this forum as I was not able to find my exact problem on Google. Calling up mechanics didn't help as they told me to just bring the car in. Just "bringing the car in" requires a pricey tow and my car will then be stuck there.

Here's the story:
I bought a 2001 Ford Escape (V6, automatic) 2 months ago. Used w/ about 58K miles. It now has about 60K. Ran just fine - didn't notice any problems other than a slight squeal from the steering when turning, and an occasional quiet "ticking" noise coming from the steering wheel as well (when turning).

One day, when trying to leave the house, I start up the car and shift to reverse. Thought it was strange as I did not hear the car change gears...I gas it and didn't move. Tried to switch to other gears, but it won't shift. I can pretty much only shift between park and reverse, and it's obviously not engaging into reverse. No indicator lights are on on the control panel. It's not making any funny noises. Pretty much an OK functioning car other than only being able to switch between park and reverse and not engaging into gear. This came from nowhere - has been driving fine the past 2 months. Tranny fluid is OK and no leaks were noticed.

I realize the Escape is/was prone to problems...I'm hoping my situation is only a broken cable or something small. I am NOT looking forward to a tranny rebuild :( Ideas on what might be wrong? Is there anything I can inspect myself on the car? Thanks in advance!
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Old 10-04-2009, 19:21   #2 (permalink)
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Re: Can't shift - dead tranny or a quick fix? Ford Escape

If the lever only moves to reverse and park positions, it's probably something with the cable or linkage. If you move the lever to reverse, with the engine off, will it move if you try to rock it?
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Old 10-04-2009, 19:39   #3 (permalink)
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Re: Can't shift - dead tranny or a quick fix? Ford Escape

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Originally Posted by rtg143 View Post
If the lever only moves to reverse and park positions, it's probably something with the cable or linkage. If you move the lever to reverse, with the engine off, will it move if you try to rock it?
Yep, the car will roll in reverse.
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Old 10-04-2009, 20:44   #4 (permalink)
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Re: Can't shift - dead tranny or a quick fix? Ford Escape

Since the lever only moves in the 2 gears, there could be a problem with the linkage inside the trans. I have heard that there were problems with the tansmissions on them. Hope it's an easy fix. You could start taking things apart but it might still need to be towed. Maybe someone else can enlighten you with the problem.
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Old 10-05-2009, 07:55   #5 (permalink)
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Re: Can't shift - dead tranny or a quick fix? Ford Escape

Moving post to the Escape Forum. Their may be more help here.
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Old 10-08-2009, 21:29   #6 (permalink)
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Re: Can't shift - dead tranny or a quick fix? Ford Escape

I called the tow truck today...and the tow truck driver was able to shift the gears w/ no problem...making me look rather stupid. The car had been tested at least 5 different times by different people and it wouldn't budge :( I wonder - before the driver came, I rolled the car a bit for easier access. Could this have [temporarily] fixed the problem? Maybe loosened or knocked something back in place? I still think I should get it checked out in case it happens again.
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Old 10-09-2009, 06:17   #7 (permalink)
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Re: Can't shift - dead tranny or a quick fix? Ford Escape

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Originally Posted by asnlc View Post
I called the tow truck today...and the tow truck driver was able to shift the gears w/ no problem...making me look rather stupid. The car had been tested at least 5 different times by different people and it wouldn't budge :( I wonder - before the driver came, I rolled the car a bit for easier access. Could this have [temporarily] fixed the problem? Maybe loosened or knocked something back in place? I still think I should get it checked out in case it happens again.
Whoops! Nobody said to try to rock it back/forth? That's a old trick!!
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