98 Ford Escort Shifter Bulb Replacement

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The shifter bulb, also known as the transmission shift position indicator lamp, on a 1998 Ford Escort is located beneath the center console. This lamp illuminates the shifter position indicator panel when the headlight switch is turn to the “On” position. This helps the driver view the gear selector’s position in low-light situations. When this bulb burns out, the position indicator panel remains dark despite the headlight switch’s position, making it difficult to determine the position of the gear selector at night or in dark environments, such as garages. Replacement shifter position indicator bulbs are available from most auto parts stores.

Things You'll Need

  • Wheel chocks
  • Flat-head screwdriver set
  • Phillips screwdriver set

Removal

  • Park the vehicle on a level surface and place wheel chocks behind the rear wheels. Slide both front seats to the maximum forward position. Remove the two screws on each side of the rear end of the console, next to the rear cup holder, with a Phillips screwdriver. Set the parking brake.

  • Grip the rear half of the console that surrounds the parking brake lever with two hands. Gently pull up on the console until it separates from the front half. Remove the rear half of the console and set it in the back seat.

  • Remove the two shift panel console screws located in front of the parking brake lever with a Phillips screwdriver. Use a flat-head screwdriver to remove the four pushpins holding the console to the steel skeleton near the parking brake lever.

  • Turn the ignition to the “On” position and move the shifter into the “L” position. Pry the beverage holder out of the console with a flat-head screwdriver. Grip the shifter console with two hands and lift it directly upward and off the shifter.

  • Move the shift lever into the “P” position. Grip the shifter bulb between your thumb and forefinger. Push the bulb down and turn it counterclockwise to remove it.

Installation

  • Place the new shifter bulb into the socket. Press down on the bulb while turning it clockwise until it locks into place.

  • Slide the shifter console over the shifter and set it into position. Place the beverage holder in the shifter console and press it down until it locks into place.

  • Move the shifter to the “L” position. Press the four pushpins down into the steel skeleton near the parking brake lever until they lock into place.

  • Set the rear half of the console into position. Press it forward so the front locking tab on the rear half of the console clicks into the back end of the shifter console. Install the two screws on each side of the rear console.

  • Turn on the headlight switch and verify the shift position indicator bulb properly operates. Verify the console is properly installed and doesn’t shake or rattle.

Tips & Warnings

  • Failure to place wheel chocks behind the rear wheels with the parking brake disengaged could allow the vehicle to roll backward, causing serious injury. Always chock the rear wheels whenever you’re working on anything related to the parking brake.

References

  • AllData Repair Database: 1998 Ford Escort: Transmission Shift Position Indicator Lamp: Service and Repair
  • Haynes Repair Manual: Ford Escort & Mercury Tracer: 1991 thru 2000; Alan Ahlstrand, John Haynes; 2000
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