Mercury Tracer
Classic 1964-1978 Ford Mustangs
Late Model 1979-New Ford Mustangs

Why might your 1997 Ford Mustang not be able to shift out of park?

User Avatar
Wiki User
2007-11-13 18:33:19

Having the same problem with my 98 Mustang. Found the following

answer on another site about 1990 Taurus. Might help: There is a

solenoid in the shifter mechanism which prevents the shifter from

being moved out of park until it is energized. The brake pedal

switch closes when the pedal is depressed energizing the


With the ignition key in the run position, but without starting

the engine, depress the brake pedal and listen for the click of the

solenoid energizing. It is not very loud, so turn off the radio and

blower. Also have someone tell you if the brake lights


If you hear the click, but cannot move the shifter, the solenoid

may be out of adjustment or the lock out pin is jammed. The shift

mechanism will have to be disassembled to determine the cause.

If the click is not heard, but the brake lights illuminate, then

the solenoid or the wiring to it is faulty. First have the wiring

at the solenoid checked for voltage. If there is 12 volts at the

solenoid, and the connector is intact, tight and free of corrosion,

then the solenoid should be replaced. If there is no voltage at the

solenoid, then trace the wiring back until the voltage

discontinuity is found.

If the click is not heard and the brake lights do not

illuminate, the brake pedal switch is faulty or out of adjustment.

The switch is mounted to the brake pedal bracketry under the

instrument panel. Examine the switch and try to actuate it

manually. If this illuminates the brake lights, then adjust the

position of the switch so that the brake pedal arm contacts it and

closes the switch when the brake pedal is depressed.

If manually actuating the switch does not cause the brake lights

to illuminate, examine the wiring and connectors to the switch for

breaks and loose connections. If the wiring is intact, replace the


There is a manual override for when the vehicle requires towing

and the battery is dead. Consult your owners manual for this


Please let us know if this advice helps you solve your vehicle

problems and if you have additional questions and observations.

Also let us know what the final resolution is so that we may help

others with similar problems.

Copyright © 2020 Multiply Media, LLC. All Rights Reserved. The material on this site can not be reproduced, distributed, transmitted, cached or otherwise used, except with prior written permission of Multiply.