Trans help

Okay so my 2003 Ford Escape has been down, car starts up fine and everything but it doesn’t click into drive reverse or anything. We think it could be the transmission filter or the shift serlanoid lmk thank you!

Is it stuck in P then? You can’t move the shift lever from P to D? If so, that’s likely a brake interlock problem. First test, check to see if both brake lights come on when you step on the brake.


No I can move it into different functions, just revs up and doesn’t drive it catches a little bit for the most part it just revs up my engine.

Have you checked the fluid level?

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It could be either the filter or solenoids or neither. It needs to be towed to a transmission shop (not AAMCO!) and diagnosed. It could be cheap or expensive, there is not way to know from the wilds of the internet.

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Isn’t there a shift lock on most modern vehicles? I think in most there is a small plastic tab that can be removed and then the lock can be disengaged. Might be worth exploring that. I believe the interlock is with the brake pedal. There are quite a few 2003 Escape transmission failure stories at (a partner of CarTalk), but I read them over and don’t see this symptom. Perhaps that is good news for you?

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Thanks guys! I really appreciate it!

As mentioned above…did you check the fluid???

If this is a standard shift, the clutch may betoo far gone.


Agree w/the others above, sounds like a fluid level problem or a repair or major transmission overhaul is required. If the fluid level is ok, I’d start with a proper transmission service. What that is depends on the car, but it often means dropping the pan, cleaning it out while sieving for signs metal debris, replacing the filter, and refilling with fresh fluid. If they want to do a “flush”, ask if it is possible to do that in conjunction w/dropping the pan and replacing the filter. I’ll add that when that symptom developed on my Ford truck, it was in the shop for a complete transmission overhaul within a week. Fixed the problem 100%.