I have a 96 Ford Taurus and the shifter is giving me issues. For some reason it won't move out of park and I do not want to try to force it to shift and cause further damage. I'm aware that I need to press the brake pedal in order to shift into gear but I always do and the problem still occurs. What is the problem? What is the range for repair costs? Any insight would be greatly appreciated.

  • In general, having the key in the car, and pressing the brake pedal will cause something in the shifter to click into place or open so you can change gears. It could be a simple electrical connection or a little actuator. I'll let someone that knows more about your car answer, but for now, do your brake lights work? Can you press the button on the shifter, or will that not even press?
    – JPhi1618
    May 5, 2016 at 17:50
  • 1
    Is this a column or floor shifter? There may be a note in the owners manual on how to disable the shift interlock... this would generally be done to get the car to a mechanic for a repair. Not a "do this daily in order to drive" process.
    – zipzit
    May 5, 2016 at 17:55

1 Answer 1


First have someone check to see if your brake lights work.

If they don't check fuse 28 in the underdash fuse panel.

If fuse 28 is OK locate the stoplight switch on the brake pedal. Key on engine off, use a paper clip and jump the 2 terminals.

If you can shift out of park and the brake lights come on replace the stoplight switch.

If the brake lights come on and it still won't come out of park.Check fuse 5 in the underdash fuse panel.

If fuse 5 is OK, locate the shiftlock actuator on the bottom on the steering column. Check for power on the grey/yellow and red/light green wires, check for ground on the black wire.

If power and ground are OK, replace the shiftlock actuator.

  • Awesome great answer. Brake switch is most likely. They definitely wear out with repeated braking. The contact points in the switch erode (same as old school ignition points). Good news is brake switches are pretty cheap, dealer item < $22
    – zipzit
    May 6, 2016 at 0:52

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