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Shifter ford focus 02

I have a 2002 ford focus automatic, the button you press with your thumb, on the shifter, to get out of park will not engage easily, i have push forward, backward, up and down til i finally get it to engage. i now have to laeve it in nuetral with the e-brake on for fear off being stuck. the car has 33000 miles on it any ideas? thanks chandler


The problem could be with the brake light switch which also includes the interlock switch for the shift lever, or the interlock solenoid at the shifter.

This is a safety system that requires that the brake pedal must be depressed before you can shift the vehicle out of park. If either of these components is malfunctioning it can become difficult to shift the vehicle out of park. But what can also happen is, because the shifter is on the center console, over time debris can fall down into the center console on the interlock solenoid for the shifter. This can then cause this solenoid to stick or get jambed.

What you need to have done is have the brake light/interlock switch tested to see if it’s supplying voltage to the interlock solenoid. If it is, then you must remove the center console to determine if there’s debris preventing the solenoid from functioning, or if the solenoid is defective.


Sounds like crap is stuck in the mechanism.Or else the brake pedal is not depressed when you shift.

I am a little unclear about one thing. Had you been using the parking brake or were you just using the park position of the transmission when you parked?

That manual brake is not emergency brake. It is usually of little use in an emergency, it is there to keep your car from rolling down hill when parked. That park position on the transmission is a backup and using it without using the parking brake can wear and damage the transmission’s brake.

Frankly I believe that Tester has the right answer in this case, but the above is also possible.

What about the owners manual that states it could be a fuse.