Going to be looking at my sisters car later today. She says that with the
vehicle started and brake depressed all the way the shifter will not come
out of park. I also listened (via phone) and never heard a shift release
Guess I should first ask if this vehicle is equiped with an electronic
solenoid or cable actuated release? If electronic, is it wired direct or
does it pass through an ECU first. Any info ragarding these along with
most-likely cause/correction would give me a head-start and be much
Well, I dug into it already. Found it is solenoid actuated. There are 5
wires coming out of the solenoid. 3 of which go to a visible connector and
check out as follows - (y) always hot, (b) always ground, (bl) switched via
brake. I hear a slight click at the solenoid but get no extension even
though there is no binding of linkage. Manually operated the linkage moves
freely. The good ol' "Tap" test does nothing. ;-)
What I'm not sure about are the additional 2 (b) wires leading to the
solenoid along with the function of the circuit board that all five wires
are attached to on the side of the solenoid. Would hate to replace the
solenoid only to find there is actually some other cause related to the 2
onknown wires. Any ideas?
You aren't in North America, are you?
FWIW, if this is a floor shifter, it could be part of a key removal inhibit
circuit... but without accessing the circuit diagrams, it is simply a
Wish I'd thought about taking a picture of it while I had the center console
out. The most I can elaborate right now is that the solenoid (gold 1"x2 1/2"
round) has a small black box (1/2'x1"x1 1/2") attached to it with 5 wires
coming out of it. There is one each Y, B & BL wire (tests as noted
previously) leading to a white 2-pin connector 7" away while the remaining 2
B wires feed derectly into the chassis wiring harness that crosses between
If you really believe it would help for me to take a picture for visual
reference I'll see about getting in there again. Like I noted before, if I
just knew what the two additional B wires were for I'd feel more comfortable
deeming the solenoid as faulty. It also really surprised me to see a small
circuit board integrated in this one.
Btw, it's a 2001 North American Escort. Sorry for that slip-up. ;-)
Okay... three wires leading to a 2-pin connector?
The thing that puzzles me is why there would even be three wires, I'd
expect this to be a spring-loaded solenoid that pulls out of the
linkage when energized (releasing the shifter) and defaults back to the
locked position when power is removed.
The only thing I can guess is that the extra wires are for ignition
lockout when you're not in park (since in all other positions, the
solenoid must be in the "unlocked" position).
Has some sticky nasty muck like Coke recently been spilled into this
area of the vehicle?
<G> I'm really screwing up my communication skills!
It is 3 wires to a 3 pin connector. And yes you're correct, it is sping
loaded returning when not energized. As for the extra wires being for
ignition lockout, good thought, but looking at the way it operates the
solenoid seems to be in the same resting position with the shifter in any
position negating any sensor detection other than during brake application.
Activation just momentarily opens a gate for the shifter to pass through
after which it returns.
Epiphany time! How about the extra wires being a solenoid lockout? Think
about it. When first starting the vehicle the solenoid slams the lockout
lever forward allowing the shifter to be moved out of park subsequently
returning and effectively turning into a "park" lockout for safety reasons.
Once this action has completed you would not want the solenoid activating
each time the brake is applied. Maybe the additional wires are signals from
some other sensor such as a vss which would only allow solenoid activation
when the vehicle is completely stopped. The more I think about this scenario
the more it sounds quite plausable. If this is the case the most likely
failed culprit would have to be the solenoide itself considering I hear a
small click from within the slenoid. I'm assuming that if the extra wires
are ment to dissable the solenoid there would be no voltage transfer at all
therefore a completely silent solenoid.
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