1998 ford escort-automatic transmission

The gear shift is stuck in Park. I can turn the engine on but the stick is stuck. It is on the floor. Is there a way I can fix it myself or do I have to take it to an expensive shop???
thank you, Beverly
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In article <697decf2aae39dff0e95cff39ce3e9d1

that latch may not be working properly.
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I'd be willing to bet you don't have any brake lights either. It's most likely the BOO switch (Brake On Off). It's under the dash and is activated by the brake pedal. These are very common failures. Ford, in fact, had a recall on defective BOO switches, but I'm not sure the recall applies to your specific car. The BOO switch locks the gear selector so that the brake pedal must be depressed for the vehicle to be put in gear. It's a safety feature.
If you want to drive your car with the defective switch, put the vehicle in neutral before starting it. Then you can put it in any gear afterwards. Of course, each time you put it in park, it'll require you to shut off the engine, put it in neutral and restart it to get in gear again. Also be aware that the brake lights won't work, which makes you a hazard to others on the road.
The BOO switch is about a $35 part and most people can do it themselves if they know what they're looking for.
CJB

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compunerd99 wrote:

If you look to the right of the gear shift, you will see a small round button. Pry this out and use something like a dowel to push straight down. Unless you switch is really stuck, this should override the interlock and allow you to drive the car until you can get it repaired.
When this happened to my 1998 Escort, I didn't discover this until I had removed the all covers. In my case, all I had to do was clean out the previous owners dog or cat hair and lubricate the interlock parts.
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