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97 Ford Taurus gear shift stuck in park

I have a 97 Ford Taurus. Over the past week, it has been difficult to get the gear out of park. It keeps getting stuck. I hold the brake pedal down hard and force hard on the gear shift and eventually it moves to other gears (reverse, drive etc). Yesterday, I could not move the gear out of park at all. Please help!!!

From the manual,
If you cannot move the gearshift out of P (Park)
with the brake pedal depressed:

  1. Apply the parking brake, turn ignition key to
    LOCK, then remove the key.
  2. Insert the key and turn it to OFF. Apply the brake
    pedal and shift to N (Neutral).
  3. Start the vehicle.
    If it is necessary to use the above procedure to
    move the gearshift, it is possible that a fuse has
    blown and the vehicle?s brake lamps may not be
    operating properly. Refer to Fuses and relays in the
    Roadside emergencies chapter.

So nice they write this stuff down somewhere, hope it works,

I had simular trouble on a different car, although this car at a push button on the gear shift that had to be engaged before moving the shifter to R,D etc… I took it to the dealership where I purchased it and it was some sensor related to the shifting button mechanism, although I had pushed it in, the computer was not registering that.

Depress the brake pedal. Are the brake lights ON, nice and bright? Check the brake switch output wire for voltage–should be the same as battery voltage. If not, the switch may be out of adjustment, or bad. Check the rest of the gear shift release circuit.

Thank goodness some body writes these this down. Putting the gear in neutral works like a charm. Haven’t had a chance to play with the fuse box due to weather but will follow that advice when the whether clears.

Sounds like the brake light switch has a broken wire or the park interlock is bad. I had a 98 and an 02 that this happened on. I replaced the brake light switch and problem solved.
Waterboy gave good instructions on getting it into gear.