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Ford escape dash says its in drive but shifter in park and wont start

wsmith5 wsmith5
New User | Posts: 6 | Joined: 08/10
Posted: 08/26/10
05:47 PM

the shifter is in park but the dash readout says its still in drive and the car wont start....changing the position of the shifter doesn't change anything . car wont start when the shifter is in neutral or park obd tool wont connect to the computer to check for error codes..the dealer called and they don't know whats wrong and they cant connect to the computer either....when I couldn't start the car I did jumper the battery and wrongly connected the terminals briefly in case that matters here....the battery shows full charge no check lights or alt lights before it died..I drove the car 200 miles parked it the driveway and came back 5 minutes later and it wouldn't start...any help greatly appreciated.............Wayne  

waynep7122 waynep7122
Addict | Posts: 4547 | Joined: 08/09
Posted: 08/26/10
06:58 PM

i knew a wayne smith when i was growing up in hollywood.. must be a Lot of wayne's scattered around... i know i am scattered..

well back to your problem.. i have not had to examine one of these that was exposed to reverse polarity...

the manual lever position sensor on the shift shaft of the transmission may have taken a hit..

i am taking that you can feel the gear shift actually move the parts in the transmission so you don't just have a broken shift cable...

you did not post a year..  

usually when the battery is jumped in reverse...   the fusible links burn... to prevent damage to the various components..

online at     or     and sometimes on 6 or 7 year old or older .. will have some limited wiring diagrams..  for free....

warning.. most 1999 and newer models might have over 100 pages of wiring diagrams..  this actually makes it simpler.. as each circuit is diagramed..  sometimes you have to print 8 or 10 pages to get a complete idea of where the power all comes from...

it is also possible that fuses have burned....

you will need a digital volt meter...  8 bucks.. to about 30 bucks..    these items below are available in multiple stores... i posted links to give you ideas on what you will need...

a computer safe circuit tester... (test light with red and green LEDs instead of a bulb.. to prevent computer damage) like this one

depending on your year...   an OBD2 scan tool.....    130 bucks...  to 8 grand..  but the harbor freight 98614 will usually handle most engine problems for 130 bucks.. 96 and newer only...

if you have the car...    test each item .. see what turns on.. and what does not...   many fords can be forced to crank by jumping the starter  or starter relay...    but you did not post a year...

so... i am thinking..

fuses...   fusible links...   manual position sensor on the side of the transmission..  possibly the ignition switch..  but not likely..  

wsmith5 wsmith5
New User | Posts: 6 | Joined: 08/10
Posted: 08/27/10
08:23 AM

thanks for the reply must be a different Wayne though I'm in western NY....the jumper screw up was after the shifter problem so not related but your probably correct about me frying the fuse link for the computer .. my car is a 2006 Ford Escape 3.0 4wd with 115k miles really good shape up to now....I have a obd scanner I just bought but it wont link with the computer on the car...the shifter does seem way to easy to shift now so whatever the shifter link is might be broken ....Wayne  

waynep7122 waynep7122
Addict | Posts: 4547 | Joined: 08/09
Posted: 08/27/10
09:46 AM

well covers up to the 05 ford escape

here is the wiring diagram for the manual position lever sensor...

here is the view of the transmission range selector on the top of the transmission..

here are a bunch of links to the power distribution diagrams   you might want to copy and paste this text into an email to your self.. it should me the links clickable...

this is where to start at....

i also seem to recall that the shifter cable ends have fallen off..  but i think that wan on an much earlier model...  

wsmith5 wsmith5
New User | Posts: 6 | Joined: 08/10
Posted: 08/27/10
02:51 PM

thanks for the info its nice to know where the prndl is located......Wayne  

wsmith5 wsmith5
New User | Posts: 6 | Joined: 08/10
Posted: 09/07/10
07:14 AM

ok,a final update...the car is fixed the dealer said it was a corroded wire under the battery box. no parts were replaced $194 I came very close to buying a new pcm on ebay glad I didnt, I went to the dealer to get the numbers off the pcm and the car was in the lot so just for jiggles I tried to start the car and voila it started right up....seems like a lot of money for what they fixed but its all labor.......thanks for your kind input guys........Wayne...... p.s. a green wire  

Ginya Ginya
New User | Posts: 2 | Joined: 09/10
Posted: 09/09/10
06:19 PM

I've got a similar problem with my 2005 escape.  My problem was caused when some liquid was spilled on my console.  The car doesn't show it's in park so I can't get my key out of the ignition.  The car still starts and goes into park actually but the computer or whatever is not recognizing it.  Dealer says I need a "release switch" at a parts cost of $224 but nobody else seems to know what this part really is.  Does anyone have a clue what I need to do? Frown  

wsmith5 wsmith5
New User | Posts: 6 | Joined: 08/10
Posted: 09/11/10
12:17 PM

I wonder if they mean a PRNDL switch or neutral safety switch but im just guessing here...its what I thought was wrong with mine but I would definitely check the wiring harness under the battery box for corrosion on the wires.........  

waynep7122 waynep7122
Addict | Posts: 4547 | Joined: 08/09
Posted: 09/11/10
04:40 PM

well there is a shift interlock diagram for the 2005 escape..

i went looking for it a few days ago.. but had to take a few days off so i could focus on my computer screen...

looks like fuse number 4 in the smart junction block powers the shift interlock....  i worry that the water or liquid damage might have damaged things... and that can only be verified with a take it apart and look....  

the smart junction block for the 05 models is shown in this image   looks like its down low in the center...

i will continue looking for info as i know other people are going to have problems...  

Ginya Ginya
New User | Posts: 2 | Joined: 09/10
Posted: 09/11/10
07:03 PM

Thanks Wayne!  I hope you're able to find good news...I can't hide that key under a towel much longer! Crazy  

waynep7122 waynep7122
Addict | Posts: 4547 | Joined: 08/09
Posted: 09/11/10
07:18 PM

i cannot seem to find much data on it and i don't have a car to work on first hand....

i am taking that its a console mounted shifter...

i seem to recall that other people have had problems with the cables and linkages getting sticky and hanging up....

you might want to just take it apart and start examining how it all works....    usually it won't come out of park...   not that it locks the key...

that is a safety feature that prevents the key from being turned all the way off if the car is not in park....

and i don't know how it works on that model....

probably a cable to the ignition switch ...  i just have not found the info...   most of my service manuals are older than 97.... as are most of the cars i work on... actually.. most are mid 60's as the older ones and early 90s as the newer ones...

i have not found the full text of these...

Component Description:
Bulletin Number: TB-21019
Bulletin Date: Apr 2010
Vehicle: 2,008 Ford Escape


TSB Number: TSB-09-19-5 NHTSA Number: 10032612 TSB Date: April 1, 2010 Date Added to File: April 19, 2010
Failing Component:
Power Train:Automatic Transmission:Lever And Linkage:Floor Shift
Ford: some vehicles equipped with a 6f35 transmission may exhibit diagnostic trouble codes (DTCs) P0770, P0772, P0773, P0774. The DTCs indicate open, short to ground or short to power in shift solenoid e (sse) circuit. Erratic shift and/  

wsmith5 wsmith5
New User | Posts: 6 | Joined: 08/10
Posted: 12/22/10
01:25 PM

problems back, we keep blowing the #11 fuse which is a 10 amp fuse in the box next to the seems to blow after we park the car in the garage ,it happens about once a week...........  

waynep7122 waynep7122
Addict | Posts: 4547 | Joined: 08/09
Posted: 12/22/10
07:04 PM

the first link i posted shows part of the wiring diagram for fuse 11....  once a week is going to be hard to really find...

i have a question... do you have an after market alarm system installed???? a replacement car stereo... or additional amplifier???

you could also be having rodent damage to the wires...

something failing...

most cars have keep alive circuits.. that might stay powered for 2 to 5 minutes after the key is turned off...

this intermittent problem is going to take an EXACT wiring diagram that covers all the branches of that circuit...

you are going to need a tool to monitor the amp flow while you are wiggling...
30 Amp Automotive Fuse Circuit Tester Item #67724

this thing plugs into your fuse holder.. has a built in amp meter...  and you plug the proper rated fuse in the side...

please don't buy HF fuses... buy only name brand fuses..

this i think is the tester for the smaller fuses used on some later model cars...

probably good to see if there is an update on the TSBs or do a google search for your problem on other cars...

you need to figure out which circuits are active... or at exactly what point the fuse blows out...

identify... if the fuse is blown when you come to the car before turning the key...  or if it blows when you first go to start it...  

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