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Stuck in Park (Blown fuse?)

I have a 2003 Ford Focus that over the past few days has found itself stuck in park. When I start the engine, the release doesn’t trigger and I have to use the manual release in order to move the gearshift level to drive. The same happens if I’ve been driving, stop and put it back in park–the release button is locked and I have to use the manual release.

My owner’s manual suggests that I may have a blown fuse or my brakelamps may not be operating. My brakelamps are, so I’m looking to check the fuses.

My confusion now is coming from which fuse I need to check, and whether its in the fuse panel or power distubution box. The manual has a handy chart showing right where to look, but I don’t know what I am looking for.

http://www.focusplanet.com/downloads/focusmanuals/2003/2003_focus_owner_guidemanual.pdf (pg. 127-134)

I’m not too saavy with working on vehicles, should I just take it to a mechanic or is this something I can check and replace myself if blown?

Unfortunately the fuse descriptions in owner’s manuals are never very descriptive and the same fuse will support multiple things not all of which will be listed. In other words, the shift interlock is on one of those fuses but it won’t carry that label. Someone here might know specifically which fuse it would be on.

But if you haven’t noticed that there are other things not working then a bad fuse is probably not the issue. I’d guess that you’ll end up with a mechanic since you say you’re not that handy in dealing with vehicles and the center console trim will probably have to come off.

Even if it is only a fuse, someone will need to find out why it blew. Do you own an electrical multimeter and know how to use it? If so then there’s some relatively easy stuff you can do.

Ok, well if it sounds like its not going to be fairly simple and intuitive then it will be best that I take it to a mechanic and save myself the frustration in the first place.

If you know where the fuse panel is located just check for and replace any blown fuses with the correct amp fuse. You probably have two fuse panels, one under the hood and the other under the drivers side dash. Usually Ford has a fuse puller inside the fuse box under the dash or they can be pulled with a pair of needle nose pliers.