went offroad, now have tranny issues and flashing overdrive light - Ranger-Forums - The Ultimate Ford Ranger Resource


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Old 03-24-2011
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went offroad, now have tranny issues and flashing overdrive light

hey guys
i went and did some offroading tonight. some mud puddles and stuff, nothing too intense. not out for very long. i went to back up, put the truck in R, and it just kinda revved for a second, didnt do anything, then went reverse fine. put it in drive, same thing, except i manually put it in 1st to get up a trail and onto a road. once i got on the road, i put it in drive and it seemed ok. i got moving, and it shifts funny. like lagging shifts. and then the o/d light started flashing. on the highway for about 5-10 mins back to walmart to drop my buddy off, truck wouldnt go into over drive, but honestly drove fine other then that. we stopped at walmart (took pics of course, posted at end :-p) tranny looks fine, nothing seems to be leaking., but i def have mud/water and stuff EVERYWHERE. i turned truck off, and went to drive it. putting it in 1st/2nd works fine. but drive seems to work very odd in 1st/2nd but in time to shift to 3rd, doesnt wanna and like revvs but doesnt move. i drove home down the road (45mph limit) in 2nd, and it worked 100% fine, just revving a little high cuz it shoulda shifted. if i put it in drive at like 45, it was just do the revving thing and kinda jerk back and forth. its sitting in my driveway now, with battery unhooked.

any suggestions?
its a 2001 3.0 2wd extended cab with about 150k miles on it. i have flushed the tranny and a new filter within probably last 20-30k miles. it normally has an easy life, this was my 1st real time offroading...


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Old 03-25-2011
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On the surface of it, this sounds like it MIGHT be the electronic transmission controls. However, it's not good to guess because you could spend a pile of time and money before you hit the right solution.

The flashing O/D OFF light means trouble codes for the transmission and a Ford dealer or transmission shop can pull them using a diagnostic tool. This should give you or them clues for what to check. Note that an ordinary consumer level OBDII reader cannot access most transmission related codes.

There are a couple of simple things that I would try before getting the codes read.

First, pull the trans dipstick, look for evidence of water in the fluid and smell it to check for a burnt odor. If anything is abnormal, have it towed to a repair shop.

Assuming that the fluid looks normal, I'd move on to step two. Locate the large electrical connector on the driver side of the tranny and clean the outside. Open the connector, inspect for water/dirt, clean with electrical contact cleaner, air dry, coat the pins with dielectric grease, reassemble and give it a quick test to see if the gear control is back to normal.

Very important - As long as the transmission symptoms exist, DO NOT drive the truck any more! The actual problem is unknown and some problems can cause permanent damage. And it could be very expensive damage.

Mudding can be highly abusive and production pickups are not set up for it. I'd check the air filter for water/dirt and have a look for signs of water on the engine dipstick. Even if things look OK, consider doing fluid changes in the engine and transmission as a precaution. If the truck was in water up to the hubs, change the fluid in the diff. Listen for new noises from the alternator.

Last edited by V8 Level II; 03-25-2011 at 09:09 AM.
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Old 03-25-2011
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alright, ill take a look at those things. thanks for the help.
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Old 03-28-2011
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sooo seems to be good. cleaned that plug, i think that was the issue. no mor elight, little odd sometimes between shifts, but seems good.
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Old 03-28-2011
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that happened to me too turns out i had taken the trans cooler hose clean off, but if your still driving it and its not so bad then your probably ok.
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