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Escort ZX2 Shifter able to be pulled up and pushed down

I’m not sure if it’s a missing bolt or another issue, but my shifter just started becoming “sticky” while in neutral. Sticky meaning when I go to slide it side to side while in neutral it’s slow, and it’s slow to return to the middle when I release it on the left just under 1st (while in neutral). I noticed that I can pull up on the shifter and it actually lifts and glides easily then, but add I shift over the day it pushes back down and repeats. Goes into and out of gear ok, I hear some grinding nose even in neutral unless I lift up on the shifter.

Side note that may be unrelated, my hand break stopped laying flat when disengaged. I it pops up slightly causing the break light to come on. Both began about the same time.

Thoughts? Solutions?

Manual or automatic?
“brake”

Year?

Tester

Sorry, I thought that was included. It’s manual, the hand/ebrake,
1999 escort zx2

You need to have someone remove the center console to determine why the shifter is loose and why the parking brake doesn’t function properly.

Tester

Thanks, I’m going someone has had this happen before. I will pull the consul when I have time and see.