1997 Ford Explorer – stuck in park

Dear Doctor: I own a 1997 Ford Explorer with over 200,000 miles on it. It is stuck in park. I checked the fuses but these didn’t correct the problem. I’m able to move the truck by turning the key one position, moving the column shifter to neutral, starting the truck completely and moving the shifter to drive. But the brake lights do not work and when I put the truck in park it gets stuck again. What else can I do? Tristan

Dear Tristan: A very common problem is the brake light switch, or broken wire at the switch — not a fuse. The safety shift interlock is powered from the brake light switch. When you step on the brake pedal, the shift interlock solenoid gets it’s power then releases the solenoid allowing the shifter to move.

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