Mechanics

PARKING BRAKE NOT HOLDING

2000 Ford Explorer • 170,000 miles

The parking brake in my 2000 Ford Explorer is not holding. Rolling backwards when in park with clicking sound. The gear selector looks like it is in park, but I have to put it in park again w/ more force to get it to stay.
I bought this used w/ 150,000 miles on it 2 yrs ago and took it to Ford dealer to fix known problems, 2 of which were parking brake not holding and gear selector not always going into park. They replaced the shifter cable and the rear parking brake cables. A year & 10,000 miles later, the gear selector felt looser and not always truly in park. Now 2 yrs later and at 170,000, it is rolling backwards and today it wouldn't start (wouldn't shift into any gear). A friend looked underneath and "pushed the lever at the box where the cable assembly hooks into transmission" and the gear selector moved again and it did start.
Am I going to need the same repair again that I got 20,000 miles ago? Pretty pricey. Or can we fix ourselves? Thank you!
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InFordExplorer
June 27, 2012.



It sounds like the cable is loose where the outer casing is attached on the ends. That will prevent the cable from moving the lever on the transmission. The bracket holding the casing could be loose too. Someone will have to watch what it does while a helper works the shift lever inside.

As for the parking brake, Ford wrote the book on cables rusting tight and not moving within a year or two, especially if you live where they throw a pound of salt on an ounce of snow in the winter. The clue is the pedal will feel normal or unusually high. It can also become sluggish first leading to a parking brake that doesn't fully release.

Parking brake cables can stretch too over time and from frequent use, and need to be adjusted. The clue there is the pedal will go close to the floor with little resistance.

Caradiodoc
Jun 27, 2012.
So it sounds like both cables need to be looked at. I wondered if the gear selector not being fully in park was causing the rolling, but that might not be the case---really could be two different problems? I remember the first repair, Ford said the shifter cable was stretched out. Thank you for info!

Tiny
InFordExplorer
Jun 27, 2012.
It does suggest there's two different problems. You do not need to set the parking brake with an automatic transmission, but if it's not going fully into park, the parking brake should hold the vehicle from rolling.

Ford had a huge problem in the '70s and a lot of lawsuits and news stories over transmissions popping out of park and rolling away. That has been resolved. With those problems the shifter felt normal. Your observation about the feel says the loose casing is the likely culprit.

Caradiodoc
Jun 27, 2012.