gear shift problem or transmission problem?

I have a 2000 Mazda Protege, automatic. I've been having a problem with my gear shift; at least, I think that's what the problem is. Whenever it's fairly cool (less than 60 degrees) and dark outside, my car won't
shift out of park. It's as if it doesn't realize that I have my foot on the brake. Sometimes if I stomp on the brake, that will work, but not always. Right now, the sun comes up over my apartment building and hits my car between 8 and 8:30 am (depending on my parking spot). Literally minutes later, my car will work fine. Any suggestions on what the problem might be? Thanks!
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snipped-for-privacy@cox.net wrote:

Being a Protege it's similar to an Escort, so I won't smack your hand for posting on a Ford group ;) The problem is in the shift interlock. It's a solenoid and linkage on the shifter that is controlled by the brake lamp switch. Usually this symptom points to a problem with the brake lamp switch, BUT, I had a lot of experience with these cars some years ago. They do not like sugary drinks spilled into the shifter mechanism. It will goop up the interlock linkage every time. Soda pop, coffee, sports drinks etc. runs right down into the shifter if dribbled or spilled. It mixes with the lubricant and forms sticky "goo". When warm, the goo thins slightly and the interlock mechanism will work. When cool, the goo prevents it from moving. When you step lightly on the brake with the key on, you will hear a faint click from the shifter area. Put your ear right down by the console. This indicates the interlock is trying to work. To check for goo, I recall that you need to remove the center console first. I don't think the selector housing will come off first. Solvents won't cut the sticky stuff, soap and water works best. I used to remove the entire shifter and scrub it in the mop sink with a brush and Dawn dish soap. Remove the interlock solenoid first and clean it separately so water doesn't get in.
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wrote:

Sounds like a reason to drink diet soda, which has no sugar, so it won't goop up the mechanism as much. ;-)
plus, it helps with preventing diabetes and early death.
Jeff

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Jeff wrote:

I drink diet soda (Diet Pepsi fan since the saccharin days) for the reasons that you mention, but, diet soda gets really sticky when it dries too, you should see my computer desk... hmm... Never really thought about why, but it does. Darn you Jeff, now I have to figure out why diet soda gets sticky when it dries...Aarghhh... Then I'll have to buy a Protege and pour it into the shifter to see if it gums up the works like regular soda... Then compare different brands of diet soda for stickiness... then... If only I had tasted the different goo from all of those Mazda shifters back then to see what it was made of, I could have saved myself some work now. ;)
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Or.. you could just get a packet of the pink stuff, mix it with 1/4 oz of water and pour it on your keyboard.. same effect and costs less than a car.
--
Yeh, I'm a Krusty old Geezer, putting up with my 'smartass' is the price
you pay..DEAL with it!
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Well, I could see how spilling something would cause the problem, but I've never spilt anything on it. Unless the previous owner did so, but then wouldn't it have been a problem since I bought the car a year ago?
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