Gearshift sticks in Park

Got in my 97 Tbird day before yesterday, started it, went to put it in reverse to back out, and it took me 3-4 minutes to get it out of park. It's continued to do this to where yesterday afternoon, it was
at least five minutes before I got the shifter to move.
Somebody suggested WD-40 sprayed around the button on the knob. Aren't there some electrical connections around there? Looked at some things on the Net, and one was caused by a bad wire on the brake light switch. Will look at that later this morning.
Anyone got an idea? Suggestion? Solution?
Thanks!
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Having gone through this for a couple of months with my F-150, I have corrected the problem by replacing the brake switch itself. I did this even though the brake lights always were always on when I pressed the brake but could not get out of park. It did correct the problem immediately. Meanwhile, I had My F-150 in under warranty twice but they could not fix the problem. I made the repair myself after it was out of warranty.
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On Thu, 1 Oct 2009 04:48:40 -0700 (PDT), Gerri

The most common problem is a bad brake light switch. Less than $30US aftermarket. About 15 minutes to change with ordinary tools. It is attached to the brake pedal under the dash. Your cruise control may also be a bit flaky about disengageing. You mignt also be sure the brake lamp bulbs are good. System is sometimes flaky with burned out lamps.
When it does this you should be able to place the ignition in the "OFF" position - not locked - and place the trans selector in nuetral where you can start the engine with the brakes applied of course. The interlock should only work with the ignition in the run or start switch position.
Lugnut
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wrote:

was intermittent - I could never prove it with an ohm-meter or anything but it would not release when cold, and occaisionally when warm. I decided not to spend the money to replace the part and just snapped off the linkage.
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Why do stuff right when you can be a fuck up....
If I did that to your car and you had an 'incident'... you would sue my ass off.... no matter how much money I saved you at the start...

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On Sun, 04 Oct 2009 17:43:47 GMT, "Jim Warman"

have a hard time explaining to the customer why after spending a few hundred dollars to replace everything that could not be proven defective it still jammed.. With my experience with the Mystique electrical system I cannot be sure there was not an intermittent connection in the harness somewhere either. The connections on that car have been better than 90% of problems I've had with it. Being my own car, and being in the winter, and being busy, I didn't have the time to chase down the intermittent - so I reached in with my "special service tool" and dissabled the linkage with extreme prejudice.
For a customer I'd tell him up front it is "time and material" to find and repair the intermittent - and there is no refund on any parts replaced, whether they solve the problem or not. Sometimes replacing a part to eliminate IT as the cause is cheaper than stripping out a harness to verify IT is not the problem.
I've done automotive electrical troubleshooting for many years - and am known to be pretty darn good at it. Non automotive electronics too. I'd give him 2 other options. He can dissable the interlock or (as many have done around here when possible repair costs get close to a thousand dollars) put another Contour/Mystique/Probe/Villager in the scrap yard.
In the local yard, of the last 15 or so Contour/Mystiques that have gone through, only ONE had any body damage, there has been virtually NO severe body rust, and most have driven in under their own power. They either needed work to pass the safety, didn't pass the E-Test, or were nickle and diming the owner to death with little things. Electrical parts get stripped out of them pretty quickly at the yard - if I want something I better be there in the first couple of days. Many of the electrical components/connectors I've needed have been bad on the cars in the yard too --- so going to the work of replacing the shift interlock with a used part was NOT going to happen.
So I drive vehicles that a customer could not afford to keep on the road. And what kind of "incident" is it going to cause? Cars do not go into gear and accellerate by themselves. The interlock prevents the DRIVER accidentally putting it in gear and accellerating. ANd in Canada we don't sue neerly as quickly as in the good ol' U.S. of A.
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Hey Lugnut!
Tried your idea...Works like a charm!
A few times since, I forgot to do this, and two or three times, the gear shift came out of PARK like it's supposed to.
But, when I turn the ignition to OFF, step on the brake, it comes out of PARK nice and easy, and starts in the neutral position.
Will check on the price of a new brake switch soon and see about installing it or having it installed.
THANKS!!
Gerri
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On Thu, 8 Oct 2009 06:39:11 -0700 (PDT), Nicole

Ur Welcome. Glad it works to get you out of a bind. The correct switch should be available at almost any decent dealer or parts outlet. It is hel in place by a hairpin sort of clip that is sort of twisted to unlock and remove. Once the under dash cover is removed, it can easily be seen how it comes out. with a good light. It took me a little time the first time with the bifocals with which I'm stuck.
Lugnut
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Gerri wrote:

My 08 F150 did this, and i recalled back to my days of my 95, when a brake bulb was burned out... changed the bulb, no problem... on my 08, it only did it once, for about 2 minutes, i had to turn the key ahead, put it in neutral and start the truck..
let me know your fix... my 08 was NOT the brake bulb
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Finally got my 97 Tbird into the shop. We checked and found out I did not have any brake lights!!!! Oh no!! My mechanic looked under the dash and found the connector to the stoplight switch was melted. He replaced both, and now I have: 1. Brake lights 2. Can start car in Park and then shift 3. My cruise control works again Fixed three things for only $60!
Now, if we could get rid of the cold weather here...
Gerri :-))
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