Shift lever stuck, not moving on Lincoln Aviator

A frozen shift lever may be caused by either a bad brake switch or a broken gear lever mechanism. If the switch is bad it will not send the correct signal to allow you to shift. The solution is to replace the switch. If the switch is good, you will most likely have to replace the shift lever mechanism itself.

RepairPal Verified
Average mileage: 102,027 (32,000–165,000)
Drive Trains affected: 2WD, 4WD
3 model years affected: 2003, 2004, 2005
41 people reported this problem
29 people shared problem details
shift lever was stuck in drive as I entered my garage. I could not move the lever to park or any other gear. I couldn't remove the key. AAA had to remove the covering to release the lever. A broken wire and a shift lever part is needed to repair. The Ford dealer says the cost will be $950 dollars.this should not have happened, Ford should check the shift lever as part of normal service. This is a flaw in design and a hazard to the driver and the public.
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2005 Lincoln Aviator120,000
I parked the car and attended a short sporting event, when I got back in the car to leave I could not get the gear shifter to move from park to drive. I had the car towed to my house and began to work on it trying to find out what was causing the problem, and found that the plastic rod that moves up and down when you shift gears was broken. I checked my local Lincoln Dealer and found that it would cost approx.$1200 parts and labor as you can not buy the plastic rod by itself, you have to buy the assembly and have the Dealer replace this assembly. My 75 year old dad, who is a fix it all type guy made a retro fit part and installed in my car for a cost that was way under the $1200, the shifter is now working the way it was before it broke. My dad said it only cost $250 for the parts. maybe the Dealers should call my dad to fix the Aviators that have broken shifter units.
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2005 Lincoln Aviator124,000
I can not move the shift lever from one position to another . The problem is that FORD allowed a plastic rod to be designed for this operation [gear changing]and the plastic rod is not strong enough to withstand the day to day use and a FORD RECALL should be issued. The repair parts to repair this shifter problem is $950.00 FORD I need HELP as I do not have $950.00 for these parts
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Mine didnt stick in drive, it just broke all together. We pulled off the top part of it and have just been using the rod part poking out to shift and havent had any problems since.
2003 Lincoln Aviator118,400
I was in drive then I shifted into reverse to back up a little, then I tried to put it back into drive; it would not go. I was able to move the shifter into drive, but when I let up off the brake a little, the Aviator was still moving in reverse. I tried park and neutral, but it was still in reverse. So, I just turned the engine off. I tried to start it again, but of course, the truck will not start in reverse. Stuck in the middle of a grocery store parking lot, I called AAA. The AAA guy got under the truck and fiddled around with something and came back out with part of a broken plastic piece of something. He said it gets hot under the truck and over time the pieces dry out and get brittle then break. He was able to get it into park. I had it towed to the Lincoln dealer. I have not gotten their estimate yet.
ISSUES WITH THIS VEHICLE SINCE EARLY ON ! ! ! CAR RAN TERRIBLE AND AFTER 4 VISITS TO DEALER REPLACING 1 0R 2 COILS AT A TIME (SAID THAT WAS ALL THEY WERE ALLOWED TO DO) TOLD THEM TO KEEP IT ! ONLY THEN DID THEY REPLACE ALL COILS AND THAT PROBLEM WAS RESOLVED. //// FIRST WEEK OWNING VEHICLE ME AND MY FAMILY WERE STUCK IN STADIUM PARKING LOT AT 11PM AND 40 MILES FROM HOME DUE TO VEHICLE SHIFT LEVER BEING STUCK. AAA TOWED BACK TO DEALER AND TOOK US HOME. ISSUE WAS FIXED AND HAS HAPPENED TWO MORE TIMES SINCE (BRAKE KIGHT SWITCH) AT A COST OF $300.00 EA. TIME (HAPPENED AT 35,000, 60,000 AND 105,000). WORST CAR WE EVER BOUGHT.
2005 Lincoln Aviator- 4WD101,000
Just to shed some light of the sticking gear selector/ brake switch. It is a common problem with all manufactures. I was talking with a friend of mine that is a service tech for Honda. It happens to them and many other makers and he says due to all those parts being made of plastic it happens and is very common. This is the only problem I have ever had with my Aviator since I got it with 22k miles. I just hope its the brake switch and not the pricey gear selector!
2003 Lincoln Aviator144,000
NOT FIXED :-(
2003 Lincoln Aviator- 4WD115,000
Shifter sticks in park. Says it will cost $1200.00 for the part alone.
2004 Lincoln Aviator- 4WD100,000
Gets stuck in park..but if I lightly press the shifter release thingy while applying/releasing the break I can feel when it will engage and I can then move out of park. It doesn't get stuck all the time, just sometimes but I seem to always be able to wiggle my way out of it. The tech opened the side panel by driver right leg and showed me how to unlock it and that is where the bad part is??? Guess I'll find myself good and stuck one day.
2005 Lincoln Aviator- 2WD37,500
NOT fixed. Cost is over $1,200.00, according to North Park Lincoln. Going to DIY some changes and trade the car.
I change the bracke switch but a couple month later it's star again And again. The good think is tat pies has guaranties
2004 Lincoln Aviator- 4WD85,000
Car is in shop...been there almost 3 weeks already and they tell me gear shift mechanism on "nationwide backorder"....due MAYBE end of the month. MAYBE?? Also- will not provide a loaner- I must rent a car on top of the $1400 fix! Unbelievable.
2003 Lincoln Aviator- 2WD140,000
When I start the car the shift lever won't go in. The car used to make a lil click sound when I put my foot on the brake and it would engage and get out of park. Now I have to push the brake pedal up and down and wiggle the shifter and it usually pops in and I can move the shifter. I can usually get it to engage after a min or two. I know it's not brake switch cuz brake lights work perfect. I'm thinking the plactic piece on the passenger side under the plastic. I'm hoping I'm not going to have to spend thousand dollars...
2003 Lincoln Aviator- 4WD111,000
Shifter sloppy when engaging in gear, $1100.00 + to fix, WHY ISNT THIER A RECALL!!!!!!!!!!! On line repair kit found after fix = $40.00
Shift lever stuck
Brake switch melted and could not shift car. Brake lights stayed on. Could smell electrical melting. Pulled fuse to prevent fire. Second time switch changed since 9/2014. Hard wired half of switch and corrected problem. Now won t engage cruise control
It slowly became next to impossible to switch out of park when on an incline, which is my driveway unfortunately. Eventually the shifter completely snapped and broke, leaving me to have to tow it to the shop. It cost me $1400 to replace the entire shifter assembly. It's been 2 years since then, and now the problem is happening again.
2005 Lincoln Aviator- 4WD135,000
My shift lever went to and stuck in the park position as I was driving home. It wouldn't move from park or into any other gear. Lincoln should have issued a recall as my children and I could have lost our lives. I'm suing.
2003 Lincoln Aviator- 2WD112,000
Vehicle drove fine no noise parked at store when went to shift to reverse wouldn't engage. Looked under vehicle shifter cable was off
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