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Car works in reverse but not in Drive

Hi, I have a 1999 crown Victoria…it’s been sitting for about a year in my driveway…it worked perfectly before not using it bc of tags, now I go to sell it, I find out it will only reverse but won’t drive…sometimes when I play with it a little and get it to run on the lower gears it’ll allow me to then put in D and drive away…

The problem might be with the park/neutral/transmission range switch.

This switch tells the computer which gear you’ve selected and operates solenoids within the transmission to put it into that gear.

If the vehicle sat for a long period of time, the contacts in the switch may be corroded making a poor contact for that gear.

Before replacing the switch, turn the ignition switch to on, and run the shift lever through all the gears rapidly to see if’s just poor electrical contact from the vehicle sitting.


Could be your transmission needs a proper servicing. Depending on the tranny design, this usually means to change out the fluid, clean the inside of the pan, sieve old fluid looking for bits of metal, & replace the transmission filter.

Check the fluid level, fluid may have leaked out while it was parked.

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What kind of money does one ask for a '99 Crown Vic assuming it can be persuaded to go forward? Just curious.

The older Ford transmissions would sometimes lose drive while parked and a dose of Trans-X or Trans-Medic would often get them operatiing again and for $6 it seems like a good shot in the dark. Just check to see that there is enough fluid in the transmission and pour in a bottle of whichever snake oil suits you, back an old truck up to the front bumper of the Crown Vic with an old tire wedged between them. Start the car, shift to drive, go enjoy a game of pool and then come back and check it out. The last person I gave that advice to had a late 70s E-150 that he was about to sell for scrap but he changed his mind when it fixed itself idling in the barn.

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