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Ford Mustang Shift Lock Release Guide
How to manually change the automatic transmission from "Park" to "Neutral" in a 2015 to 2022 Ford Mustang.

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2019 - Gear Selector
Lift Up Rubber Cover
Rubber Cover Removed
This automotive maintenance tutorial was specifically written to assist owners of the S550 sixth generation 2015, 2016, 2017, 2018, 2019, 2020, 2021 and 2022 Ford Mustang in changing the gear selector from "Park" to "Neutral" by releasing the automatic transmission's shift lock mechanism in order to manually move a disabled vehicle due to a weak or dead 12V battery, running out of gasoline, needing to be towed or some other mechanical issue.

(The 7th generation S650 Ford Mustang is supposed to be released in 2022 as a 2023 model year vehicle.)

Owners of other Ford and Lincoln vehicles such as the Fusion, Taurus, Escape, EcoSport, Flex, Expedition, Bronco, Ranger, Transit, F-150, C-Max, Fiesta, Focus, Edge, MKZ, Continental, Corsair, Nautilus, Aviator and Navigator may also find these DIY instructions to be helpful.

The tools needed to complete this procedure include a plastic pry bar tool and a flat head screwdriver.

Please be sure to fully engage the emergency / parking brake and also place wheel chocks on both sides of the tires to help prevent the vehicle from moving unexpectedly.

The first step is to pull the rubber cover out of the storage compartment in front of the gear selector and just below the A/C and stereo controls.

Set the rubber cover aside in a safe place.


Pry Up Chrome Ring
Gently Lift Trim Cover
Plastic Trim Removed
Carefully insert the plastic automotive trim panel removal tool in between the front edge of the chrome silver plastic trim ring and the center console panel.

Gently pry up the chrome silver trim cover.

You may need to remove and re-insert the plastic pry bar tool in several locations around the chrome trim ring to release all of the retaining clips.

Avoid using excessive force to prevent from breaking the chrome silver trim ring!

Set the chrome silver trim ring aside in a safe place.

Pry Up Black Cover
Gear Selector Cover
Shift Lock Mechanism
Next, use the plastic pry bar tool to gently lift up the black plastic gear selector cover.

Gently pry up the black cover at every edge to release all of the white plastic friction fasteners.

Try to avoid using excessive force to prevent from cracking the gear selector trim cover.

Lift up the faux leather boot around the gear selector shaft.

It is not necessary to fully remove the gear selector cover.

Locate the white plastic shift lock release mechanism just in front of the gear selector shaft.

Use Flat Head Screwdriver
Push Forward White Piece
Shift Lock - Released
Please remember to push down the brake pedal to help prevent the vehicle from moving unexpectedly when you shift the gear selector from "Park" to "Neutral".

Use a flat head screwdriver to gently push the white plastic piece forward to release the shift lock mechanism.

Hold the white piece in the forward position (closer to the front of the car) with one hand.

Move To "Neutral"
Close Up - Shift Lock
Place Screwdriver Here
Use your other hand to move the gear selector back from "Park" to "Neutral".

Keep your foot firmly pressed down on the brake pedal!

Have your assistants manually push the car into the desired position.

Take a look at the close up pictures of the shift lock release mechanism to view the "locked" and "unlocked" positions of the white plastic piece.

Push White Piece Forward
Hold - Move Gear Selector
Replace Black Cover
Once you are done manually moving the disabled vehicle, shift the gear selector forward from "Neutral" to "Park".

Lower the black plastic gear selector cover back into place over the center console.

Line up the white plastic friction fasteners with their slots.

Push down on the cover to secure the retaining clips.

You should feel or hear the clips "click" securely into place.

Push To Secure Clips
Line Up Chrome Ring
Push Down Trim Cover
Then line up the chrome silver plastic trim ring with the top of the gear selector cover.

Carefully push down on the cover to secure the plastic retaining clips.

Plastic Covers Secured
Lower In Rubber Cover
Reassembly Done!
Replace the black rubber cover into the storage pocket in front of the gear selector.

Make sure the gear selector is securely in the "Park" position and the parking brake is fully engaged before you lift your foot off the brake pedal to help prevent the car from moving unexpectedly.

For more, please check out all of the 2015-2022 Ford Mustang DIY Repair & Maintenance Guides.

If you found this guide to be helpful, please consider making a small donation by clicking on the "Donate" button located to the right of this paragraph. Thank you!
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