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

asked by on November 08, 2016

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.

Was this answer helpful?
The statements expressed above are only for informational purposes and should be independently verified. Please see our terms of service for more details

Get an instant quote for your car

Our certified mechanics come to you ・Backed by 12-month, 12,000-mile guarantee・Fair and transparent pricing

Get a quote

What others are asking

I recently replaced the battery in my vehicle; after replacing the battery the car horn completely stopped working.

To diagnose this you can check for battery voltage at the horn terminals when you activate the horn button. If voltage is present, the horn is defective. If no voltage is present, trace the circuit back to the battery and...

My car changes gears while driving

It sounds like the transmission has delayed engagement. After the engine is started, how long do you wait until you put it in gear? As cars get older and racks up more miles, it never hurts to let the car...

Water pump leak

Hello. A very common concern and almost expected on earlier vehicles, the water pump is generally an easy fix. I will never recommend the use of a stop leak solution on any leak large or small. Leaks need to be...

Related articles

2012 Ford Mustang vs. 2012 Dodge Charger: Which One Should I Buy?
Technically these two vehicles have wildly different classifications: compact for the Ford Mustang and large car for the Dodge Charger. However, who would consider either one anything other than a muscle car? These cars are meant for speed, fun, and...
The Best Used Cars to Buy If You Love Camping
Do Do you love camping, getting back to nature and enjoying life in the great outdoors? If you do, then you know that getting there can be half the fun, and it’s even better if you have a great ride....
The Meanings of Automatic Gear Shift Letters & Numbers
A break down “PRNDL” and all its varieties, including D1, D2, and D3 modes.