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Discussion Starter #1
I have a 2011 Mercury Milan Premier with a 4-cylinder engine. At times I am not able to shift from park because the trigger will not engage (depress). As a result, I am not able to move it to drive, reverse, etc. Fortunately, at some point it has always eventually engaged (depressed). Sometimes after one try sometimes after 50. This happens randomly, but when it does occur it seems to be bunched (several times over a course of days). It has been happening a lot over the past few days. There is no issue shifting between gears. Only getting out of park.

I have tried to see if there is anything that correlates to this happening, or letting the trigger again begin to work. About the only thing that might be a correlation is depressing the brake pedal. I have noticed a few times that if I hold down the brake pedal and as it slowly moves down the trigger will work. But, not always. Is there a relationship? Is there some sort of sensor on this trigger mechanism that is tied in with depressing the brake? The brakes seem a little mushy to me, but not bad and the brakes work fine. I have also noticed that I have never had a problem first thing in the morning (when it has been sitting overnight???).

Any ideas? As I mentioned I have never been stuck with this. It always eventually begins to work. But, I am about to take it in.
 

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Your best bet is to remove the center console trim and measure the voltage across the solenoid when the brake is depressed.
It's also possible that it is binding mechanically.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
switch

Thanks for the tip. I stopped at a shop and asked for ideas and they said it could be 3 possible reasons starting with a switch on the brake that releases the trigger.

My guess that it is related to the brake was correct. He also suggest (and was correct) that there is a short procedure in the manual on how to release the trigger manually if it gets permanently stuck.

I have not yet reached the level of annoyance to make an appointment. But, in the interim it would be nice to have a little insight on what I might expect. You know, a little knowledge is a dangerous thing.
 

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I have a 2011 Mercury Milan Premier with a 4-cylinder engine. At times I am not able to shift from park because the trigger will not engage (depress). As a result, I am not able to move it to drive, reverse, etc. Fortunately, at some point it has always eventually engaged (depressed). Sometimes after one try sometimes after 50. This happens randomly, but when it does occur it seems to be bunched (several times over a course of days). It has been happening a lot over the past few days. There is no issue shifting between gears. Only getting out of park.

I have tried to see if there is anything that correlates to this happening, or letting the trigger again begin to work. About the only thing that might be a correlation is depressing the brake pedal. I have noticed a few times that if I hold down the brake pedal and as it slowly moves down the trigger will work. But, not always. Is there a relationship? Is there some sort of sensor on this trigger mechanism that is tied in with depressing the brake? The brakes seem a little mushy to me, but not bad and the brakes work fine. I have also noticed that I have never had a problem first thing in the morning (when it has been sitting overnight???).

Any ideas? As I mentioned I have never been stuck with this. It always eventually begins to work. But, I am about to take it in.

Hi jimrays. I'm a little confused by your description of the problem, so here comes a silly question. Are you aware that you must depress and hold the brake pedal before you press the button on the shift handle and try to shift out of park? There is a shifter/brake interlock switch, so you cannot shift out of Park unless you depress the brake and hold the brake before trying to shift out of park. So that may be the problem. However, if you are depressing and holding the brake pedal before shifting and still having an issue, then it is likely the brake interlock switch needs to be replaced or there could be a problem in the shifter mechanism (as eGuru alluded to).
Good luck and let us know how you make out.
 

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There is a FET in the SJB that drives the solenoid. There is no dedicated brake switch that only drives this circuit. Check F5 in the SJB for corrosion, etc as it feeds that FET.
If you don't want the dealer to tell you that you need a new SJB at several hundred dollars, I would suggest you take a look yourself and measure that voltage. If it's ok - then it is either binding due to a some mechanical issue or the solenoid itself is defective - that'd be a lot less expensive repair than a SJB.
 

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Hi eGuru. Thanks for that FET (Field-Effect Transistor) information! I looked it up, it's good to learn something new everyday.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Hi jimrays. I'm a little confused by your description of the problem, so here comes a silly question. Are you aware that you must depress and hold the brake pedal before you press the button on the shift handle and try to shift out of park? There is a shifter/brake interlock switch, so you cannot shift out of Park unless you depress the brake and hold the brake before trying to shift out of park. So that may be the problem. However, if you are depressing and holding the brake pedal before shifting and still having an issue, then it is likely the brake interlock switch needs to be replaced or there could be a problem in the shifter mechanism (as eGuru alluded to).
Good luck and let us know how you make out.
I have been driving a long time and have never had a problem like this before. Indeed, I have been paying close attention to my "technique" since I realized that the brake was involved in this process. It had never occurred to me before that there was an interlock switch on the brake. Just never thought about it.

So, I have been very careful to start the engine, depress the brake pedal and engage the shifter. Perhaps I had gotten sloppy. I have noted that at times I must depress the pedal a ways before I am able to move the shifter (rather than just a tap to the brake pedal). I think it has still given me a problem a time or two. I am going to see what evolves. That said, I think I have some really good suggestions and I am well armed should I need to take it to a mechanic. I don't think I can deal with this on my own.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
brake lights

I am also having issues with the rear brake lights. Any possible connections there?
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Thanks

Thanks. I think we've now nailed both the problems. Potentially an easy fix to boot. Certainly a much cheaper option than having to replace the rear LED lights.
 

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Thanks. I think we've now nailed both the problems. Potentially an easy fix to boot. Certainly a much cheaper option than having to replace the rear LED lights.
I read your other thread about your brake light issue.
I don't see how the failure of only the passenger side light would be rectified by fixing the brake switch.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
Bought a brake light switch and installed it following the video. Very easy. Cheap. $35 Hope that solves the problem. So far, so good.
 

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I have a 2011 Mercury Milan Premier with a 4-cylinder engine. At times I am not able to shift from park because the trigger will not engage (depress). As a result, I am not able to move it to drive, reverse, etc. Fortunately, at some point it has always eventually engaged (depressed). Sometimes after one try sometimes after 50. This happens randomly, but when it does occur it seems to be bunched (several times over a course of days). It has been happening a lot over the past few days. There is no issue shifting between gears. Only getting out of park.

I have tried to see if there is anything that correlates to this happening, or letting the trigger again begin to work. About the only thing that might be a correlation is depressing the brake pedal. I have noticed a few times that if I hold down the brake pedal and as it slowly moves down the trigger will work. But, not always. Is there a relationship? Is there some sort of sensor on this trigger mechanism that is tied in with depressing the brake? The brakes seem a little mushy to me, but not bad and the brakes work fine. I have also noticed that I have never had a problem first thing in the morning (when it has been sitting overnight???).

Any ideas? As I mentioned I have never been stuck with this. It always eventually begins to work. But, I am about to take it in.
I had the exact same problem in my 2010 Milan Premier V6. It was a bad brake switch. Pretty easy fix.
 
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