Stuck in park! | Page 2 | Ford Explorer Forums - Serious Explorations

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Stuck in park!

So after lots of testing wiring was fine
The solenoid tested good
At some point someone installed a cheap switch and it took a crap

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The burning of contacts might indicate excessive current flow above that for which it was designed. Then, too, the contacts are made as tiny as can be gotten away with. Contacts in heavy duty equipment like motor starters are made of pure silver.

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Chinesium. That reminds me of the news lady saying the names of the 4 pilots on the plane that crash landed in San Francisco years ago.
The lady who owned the Chinese restaurant in Salem, MO claimed she spoke "Chinglish"!

The lady who owned the Chinese restaurant in Salem, MO claimed she spoke "Chinglish"!
Chinglish is a thing, just like Spanglish. A few sign examples.



Whew, long hot day for me today, and I was stuck in park for a minute or two. I try hard not to park on an incline up or down, that makes it much harder to get out of gear when I start the truck. But today it really didn't want to come out, and after several tries, I ended up forcing it finally. I still think my truck has the park pawl as the big issue, but maybe the interlock solenoid is also being hurt with it on a hill. I better try harder, to only park sideways on inclines, that is much easier on the park mechanism.


Cool to see you fixed it and thanks for the great "tell all" pics.

This thread should be a sticky -


Just throwing this out there for you, since you will more than likely have another person in the drivers seat as you're testing the electrical system.

My Ex's factory original brake light switch died with a weird symptom when it went out about 6 years ago.

When you initially put your foot on the brake pedal, all 3 brake lights lit up as they should.

BUT, as your foot pressed down further on the brake pedal to bring the vehicle to a complete stop, somewhere along that downward brake pedal stroke, all 3 brake lights went out...

Found out about this condition from a city cop that was behind me minding his own business, when he saw this occur at a stop light an uphill grade. He was cool about it, more concerned about me getting rear ended in a traffic situation, so it was all good - no ticket.

After our encounter I went right to the auto parts store up the street, bought a Standard Products brake light switch, installed it that afternoon, and the problem was solved.

This is the long way to say that while testing, make sure the person in the driver's seat is holding down the brake pedal to the floor, and that all 3 lights stay illuminated, before telling them to "release".

HTH and good luck!
I started having problems with my '96 XLT not shifting out of park on some occasions. It seemed to be sensitive to how hard I was pressing the brake pedal, so I looked at the brake lights while I pressed the pedal (at night with the vehicle backed up to my garage door). As I pressed the pedal, the lights went on briefly, then went out as I pressed harder, but I pressed REALLY HARD, they came back on. I bought a new Standard Products switch and went to install it, but discovered that one wire in the connector was barely attached and it come off as I moved the switch off the pedal. I soldered up the broken wire and now my lights work fine. The 25 year old Motorcraft switch is still good.
So check the connections from the wiring harness to the connector as well as the switch itself.