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Shifting issue

1999 Ford Explorer. 225,000 miles. After backing out when you go to put it into drive it won’t take. So you need to put it into second and then put it into drive and you can go.The transmission seems fine when driving. Any ideas? Thanks.

Is the transmission fluid at the correct level? Is it the correct color?

And has a transmission fluid and filter service been done recently?

Sounds like your shift cable (linkage) may be out of adjustment. Pulling the shifter past D and into 2 then back again may be just enough to allow the detent to snap into place.