Q: Gear shift is broken off. The car is stuck in park and cannot be moved - 2002 Ford Explorer

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The issue had been the gear shift would not shift out of park. It was stuck and could not be shifted unless I took my key and put it in a slot under the wheel and that way was able to put the car in neutral in order to be able to start it. While coming home the other day, I tried to start it that same way and it would not shift out of park at all. In the process of trying to get it out of park, the gear shift broke off and we had to tow the vehicle back to my apartment because it cannot be driven.

My car has 210000 miles.
My car has an automatic transmission.

Hello. If your vehicle’s shifter was broken, then it will need to be replaced before the vehicle can be driven again. Once the shifter is replaced, I would also recommend taking care of the issue that is requiring you to use the key in order to shift the vehicle. It sounds like your vehicle’s shifter interlock solenoid may be bad, as the vehicle should not have trouble shifting out of park under normal circumstances.

Similar issues can also be caused by wiring problems or an issue with the stoplight switch. I would recommend having a professional technician, such as one from YourMechanic, come to your location to diagnose the cause of the stuck shifter.

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