Car stuck in park!

I have a 1993 ford taurus 3.8L V6 automatic GL. I went to start my car and put it in gear but my gearshift would not move. It would not come out of park and go into gear. Can you tell me what is wrong with my car?

wiggle the steering wheel back and forth a bit. Sometimes the anti-theft interlock jams the transmission shift a bit.

Restart and try it again if it doesn’t work the first time. If you are parked on a hill, your shifter may be jammed if you didn’t use the parking brake.

Connect a jumper battery to your battery. Try again.

it sounded like the car started ok

In a car this old the linkages can eventually loosen and cause shifting problems. In a 92 Taurus I experienced this problem and found two small bolts that held together the shifting parts to be loose. The bolts were close to the column and can only be accessed by getting upside down on the driver’s seat with your head on the floor with a light (yeah). You may have something else, but this took a long time for me to find the problem.

I bet your BOO (brake on off) switch is broken. Do the brake lights go on? IIRC, you get around it this way: Set the parking brake. Turn the key to the position where the wheel is free. Shift to neutral. Start the car. Shift into drive. This is covered in your owner manual.

I have a newer car than you and had exactly the same problem. Luckily, on my car, there was an override and I was able to drive it until I could take it to be fixed. In my case it was the Brake Transmission Interlock Solenoid. Your car probably doesn’t have that exact same part, but probably something similar that tells the car that you have your foot on the brake and it’s OK to release the gearshift. It might be as simple as a neutral safety switch.

Just a pure guess. Before getting in car stand in back and push foward and back to rock it a little. I am not sure of your specific model but a stuck parking pawl can do this if car starts. The pawl is what keeps it “locked” in park. Wear and incline/decline can make it harder to release from park. Pretty much what PLEASEDODGE… was referring to.

First, to get it started use the post beadsandbeads wrote.
Second, forget all that other stuff. The brake safety interlock switch is the problem and most likely it is caused be a wire on the brake light switch being broken. Replace the switch and chances are your problem will be solved. Hope this works, please post back. If it does not let me know so I can kick the dog and blame him.