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Old 02-05-2014, 10:00 PM   #1
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Automatic shift frozen?

Temperatures have been averaging -15c (5 degrees F) here for the past few days. When I went out to my car the yesterday and today the shifter wouldn't move even though the car had been running for several minutes. Is this normal? Never experienced this on any other car.
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Old 02-06-2014, 06:20 AM   #2
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Definitely not normal.
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Old 02-06-2014, 07:53 AM   #3
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Does it eventually move if you continue to let the car run?
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Old 02-06-2014, 08:13 AM   #4
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Many people with many different types of cars have this same problem. Try Googling it and you will see. I had this same problem on my 95 T/A for years. It got worse and worse, and even the dealer couldn't figure it out. It got to the point where I couldn't even push the button in on my shifter unless I let the car warm up for about 15 minutes even in the 50s. It usually only happened once a day. I tried all different things but could not figure it out. Finally I replaced the shifter solenoid which is at the base of the shifter inside the console and it works perfectly now. I know mine is a Pontiac and you have a Ford, but it might be something to check out.
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Old 02-06-2014, 10:08 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GrabberMeBlue View Post
Many people with many different types of cars have this same problem. Try Googling it and you will see. I had this same problem on my 95 T/A for years. It got worse and worse, and even the dealer couldn't figure it out. It got to the point where I couldn't even push the button in on my shifter unless I let the car warm up for about 15 minutes even in the 50s. It usually only happened once a day. I tried all different things but could not figure it out. Finally I replaced the shifter solenoid which is at the base of the shifter inside the console and it works perfectly now. I know mine is a Pontiac and you have a Ford, but it might be something to check out.

So back to his original question...no it's not normal. OP needs to do some more troubleshooting or take it to the dealer.

OP, you don't want to get stranded some where when you can't move your shifter out of park.
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Old 02-06-2014, 12:03 PM   #6
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Originally Posted by 14rs3roush View Post
So back to his original question...no it's not normal. OP needs to do some more troubleshooting or take it to the dealer.

OP, you don't want to get stranded some where when you can't move your shifter out of park.

I was trying to offer him suggestions on where to look, not get off track.
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Old 02-06-2014, 12:09 PM   #7
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My father had this problem with his 97 thunderbird. The sensor behind the brake pedal broke and would work at random times. That unlocks the shifter from park. It could be that when its cold the contacts are farther apart cause metal will shrink and move at different temps. You could try and jump the wires to see if that is the problem if so you should be able to get a new brake switch easy.
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Old 02-06-2014, 12:15 PM   #8
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That's what I was thinking my problem was at first because that is what everyone talks about, but mine was the shifter solenoid.
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Old 02-06-2014, 01:57 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GrabberMeBlue View Post
I was trying to offer him suggestions on where to look, not get off track.
Oh ok...I thought you were trying to tell the OP that this situation is normal. LOL
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Old 02-06-2014, 02:11 PM   #10
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Not normal, just common. If his car is under warranty, it really shouldn't be up to him to solve anyway, but there may be other people reading this who also have the same problem with out of warranty cars that need to fix it on their own.
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Old 02-06-2014, 02:12 PM   #11
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Looks like he has a 1997, so there is no warranty left.
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Old 02-06-2014, 02:15 PM   #12
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Grabber and Mfore are making sense.
I'd start looking at the lock mechanism for the shifter, Steve.
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Old 02-06-2014, 03:25 PM   #13
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Where do you park? Is it level or an incline?
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Old 02-06-2014, 03:28 PM   #14
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The fact that temperature has an affect on really makes me think solenoid.
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Old 02-06-2014, 04:11 PM   #15
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Thanks everyone for the input. Now I have a couple of ideas where to start.
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Old 02-07-2014, 11:26 PM   #16
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Had the same thing happen to me this past week on my 97 GT it turn out to be a bad wire on the brake switch easy fix for me, hard part was trying to get up off the floor from under the dash.
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