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Stuck shift on Maazda Miata 1991

Last week the shift got stuck in Park. I used the emergency release button to get into Drive. After this happened several times I took it to the mechanic who said the shift needed replacing. Got a new shift. The problem persists. I get stuck in Park about 1 in 6 times. Any suggestions?

If using the release button enabled you to get it out of park, it was either the brake light switch or the safety lockout mechanism that is supposed to keep you from shifting out of park without having the brake pedal pressed. I don’t know for sure, but your mechanic may have assumed the problem was one of these items when it was really the other. It’s time to find a mechanic with better troubleshooting skills.

Right - what Whitey said. ^

Many brake light switches are adjustable. Check yours. The next time it won’t come out of park try to see if the brake lights are working. This is easy with an assistant. Otherwise keep something handy that can hold down the brake pedal down for you while you go look.

The brake light switch should be sending an electrical signal to a solenoid that moves a blocking mechanism out of the way of the shifter. So the next thing to find out is if that is working. Chances are it is all gummed up and sticky after all of this time.

Thanks guys for the help. I think you solved the problem!