Brake Light Switch and Car not going into gear


I have a 1999 Ford Escort.

Last night I noticed that my brake lights weren’t turning off, even when I removed the keys from the ignition.

To get to work and back today, I have to disconnect the brake light fuse when the car was idle.

Tonight I switched out the brake light switch. It could have been that the plunger just needed to be changed, but, for $10, I changed out the entire brake light switch.

Well, the brake lights no go off, but won’t come on. ALSO, the car will not move out of Park. It’s as if the fuse was still unplugged.

Did I just do a bad job putting in the brake light switch? Is the fuse out? Thoughts and solutions would be greatly appreciated! Thanks!

New to Car Talk and very excited to hear from everyone.

Thanks, again!

Without seeing it or having you get and report some voltage readings, it’s impossible to answer if (1) you did a bad job, (2) the fuse is blown, or (3) there is another (likely related) problem.
Do you have a voltmeter?
BTW, on most (but not all) Fords, you can put the key in the unlock (but everything still off) position, shift into neutral, and then start the car.

There are two switches at the brake pedal. The brake light switch and the shift lever interlock switch. Is it possible that you substituted the brake light switch for the shift interlock switch?