[This followup was posted to alt.autos.ford and a copy was sent to the
ken firstname.lastname@example.org says...
There is a shift interlock tied in with the brake. You must step on the
brake to activate a solenoid that releases the shifter.
If you are stepping on the brake, verify that your brake lights are
working. Both use the same switch.
Otherwise, the solenoid is dead or sticky. There is a slot in the side
of the console where you are supposed to use a screwdriver to help release
it. You need to do that every time.
Finally, check out the forums at www.contour.org
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it might be the brake shift switch or it might be the problem i had.. i
had the take the shift knob off my 96 contour V-6 automatic trans.. to
get the shift bezel(the part that has P,R, N, D, 2, 1 on it which had a
crack on the dial) the shift knob came off real easy but i messed up
and the two green wires that are inside the shift knob got tangled and
one broke(its the wires for the overdrive button right below the shift
knob lock button to get it out of park, etc.) well anyway the wires were
stopping the plastic rod that goes inside the shift column(the silver
hollow pipe that the shift knob attaches to from moving the plastic
rod.. the plastic rod has to be moved to allow the car to get out of
park and back into park etc.. but if you never had the shift knob
removed it is probably the brake switch that is bad??? go to
www.contour.org and ask the same question.. bet you will get some pretty
good answers and even some pictures of what to do... hope this helps.
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