Why wont the shifter on your 97 Mercury Cougar come out of park?
In order for this car to shift out of Park, the ignition switch
needs to be turned to the On position and the button on the shifter
handle (under the thumb) needs to be pressed. If the car is on and
the button is pressed, remote the shifter handle first (pulling the
u-clip out of the shifter handle in the notch facing the dashboard)
and check for mechanical problems.
If the rod in the center of the shifter is functioning properly,
you will need to check the connection within the ignition switch
and then move on to transmission issues.