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Hello, i have a 2005 Escape V6 137,000K miles that has been hard to shift into first gear, all other gear shifts are fine.

When you shift into Drive, it takes like 3 to 20 seconds to go into drive and when it does, its kinda hard to really hard shifting into it, doesn't matter if its cold or hot out, just starting it in the morning vs running around all day, always does it. Sometimes it never goes into drive at all till you step on the gas petal. We had the transmission fluid flushed, and the level is good (in neutral level ground running)

When it does go into first gear, it drives great, all other gears shift fine, you can drive it all day just fine, but as soon as you shift it into N or R or P and go back to Drive, it does it.

Any ideas what that could be? and could this be something i could fix?

Thanks
 

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It could be the manual lever position sensor (mlps) or neutral safety switch. It can cause a number of issues.



Its not the best video but it goes over how to replace it if you go that route.


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Delayed Engagement
You hop into your car, turn the ignition key, shift to ‘Drive’ or ‘Reverse’, and there is a seemingly long delay before the transmission engages. Known as delayed engagement, it is one of the most common symptoms of problems with any automatic transmission. A delayed engagement is a type of slip that occurs when the clutches or bands, which allow the vehicle to move, do not operate instantly. Often, this occurs when the internal seals wear or become hard from infrequent fluid replacement.

Delayed engagement is characterized by a long delay (approx. 1.5 to 2 seconds) from the moment you make your gear selection (D or R), to the moment you feel the transmission engage. You’d notice this on your first drive in the morning, if your car were parked overnight. Delayed engagement could be due to a variety of reasons from something as minor as a low level of transmission fluid, infrequent fluid replacement, or a more serious issue like failing transmission solenoids.

Transmission Solenoid Failure
Also called a “shift solenoid”, in automatic transmissions, the solenoid is used to regulate the flow of transmission fluid. If the solenoid is malfunctioning, it can impact how the transmission fluid is distributed while you’re shifting gears causing delayed engagement. Solenoids can fail because of an electrical or mechanical malfunction. Because modern vehicles are heavily dependent on computers to manage the distribution and flow of fluids, these solenoids are integral to a transmission’s operation.
 
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