Replace Shift Interlock Module Ford Explorer

Article and Pictures by Mark Trotta

Started up my truck, went to shift into gear, and the shifter wouldn't move.

replace shift interlock module Ford Explorer Sport Trac

The first time this happened, I presumed it was due to the 178,000 miles I had on my 2008 Explorer Sport-Trac. I pressed the brake pedal on and off while rocking the shift handle back and forth until it moved.

A few days later, it happened again.

Thinking it was just a simple rod or lever adjustment, I googled "2008 Explorer Stuck In Park". I learned that 2006 through 2010 Explorers, Mercury Mountaineers, and 2007 through 2010 Sport-Tracs were equipped with a transmission shifter interlock solenoid and there's a module that goes bad.

replace shifter interlock module

What Does A Shift Interlock Solenoid Do?

Designed to be a safety feature, a shift interlock solenoid prevents the gear shift from moving unless the brake pedal is depressed.

After the brake pedal switch, but before the interlock solenoid, there is a small module. This module in nothing more than a tiny circuit board in a plastic holder.

Explorer shifter sticking in park

When the module (circuit breaker) goes bad, the interlock solenoid does not release the shift handle. Even with your foot jammed on the brake pedal, you cannot shift out of park.

Obviously, this is a big problem, because even though your vehicle will still start, you won't be able to put it into gear.

Shift Interlock Module Replacement

The Ford dealer wants $178.00 for the part and $600 with labor to remove and install the module. The better solution is to do it yourself and replace the faulty part with a Dorman 924-707 interlock solenoid module. It is a direct replacement for 2006 through 2010 Ford Explorers and Mercury Mountaineers, and 2008 through 2010 Sport-Trac pickups.

Is This Part Difficult To Install?

This is a labor intensive job, as it requires removal of the console. The module is located underneath the console, inside a small white plastic box, underneath the actual interlock solenoid.

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Tools Needed

A set of 1/4" drive sockets work best, as the console bolts are small, and some are in hard to reach places. Also a flat-blade screwdriver or gasket scraper will help pry off the side panels.

Console Removal

On my 2008 Sport-Trac, there were 6 each 10mm bolts and 10 each 7mm bolts. For the 7mm bolt heads, I used a 9/32" socket which fit snugger.

replace shifter interlock solenoid 2008 Ford Explorer Sport Trac

Removing the four lower console bolts require moving the front seats back and forth to access the bolts. So, if you have electric seats, do this step before disconnect the battery (which is advisable for safety).

replace shifter interlock solenoid

The two forward side panels have to be popped off the center console. Carefully pry the spring clips off with either a flat-blade screwdriver or gasket scraper. Use care, as you don't want to crack the plastic.

Explorer won't shift out of park

Once all the bolts are removed, and the electrical plugs are disconnected, the console will lift up (with a gentle pull or two). The chrome trim around the shifter will come right off when the console is lifted.

replace shifter interlock solenoid

At this point, I was able to prop up the front of the console, which allowed just enough clearance to pop off the white plastic cover and remove the old circuit board.

replace shifter interlock solenoid

From here, it was just a matter of swapping the new for the old, hooking back up, then re-installing the console.

replace shifter interlock solenoid

Console reassembly is basically the reverse of removal.

replace shifter interlock solenoid

The chrome trim around the shifter is directional. Notice the arrows on the back side facing forward.

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Conclusion

If you can't shift out of park on your 2007 through 2010 Explorer, Mountaineer or Sport-Trac, it's likely the interlock solenoid module went bad.

Replacing the shift interlock module is a hassle, but when you consider the fact that it's used every single time you put the vehicle in park, you can understand why it may eventually fail.

It took me over two hours to remove the console, disconnect and remove and replace the old circuit board, then re-install the console. This is really a design oversight by Ford, and the dealership does not offer a reasonably-priced repair for this. An access panel in the console would make this job much easier.

Designed to fit 2006 through 2010 Ford Explorers and Mercury Mountaineers and 2007 through 2010 Sport-Tracs, the Dorman 924-707 module is a direct replacement for the original circuit board which has been known to fail.

Explorer won't shift out of park

Shop: Dorman 924-707 Module

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