Car Information:
Year: 2000
Engine Size: Standard
Trans: Automatic

Issue / Question:
My car will not shift passed second gear. The overdrive light flashes on the dashboard. Could this be a sensor problem instead of a transmission problem?

We have seen just about everything cause this condition on AX4S Transmissions including several electrical problems ranging from speed and wheel sensor problems to manual lever position sensors failing. A defective 2-3 solenoid could also cause this problem. Mechanically, the list is huge. Valve body problems are very common with this tranny: sticking valves, damaged or worn check balls, and blown valve body gaskets. A no 3rd condition could also be caused by a bad intermediate servo not engaging the band. This problem is so common a company called Sonnax even makes a sleeve repair kit for it. Best thing to do is have it scanned and find out what codes are stored in the computer system. If it’s a code for a solenoid or sensor, start there. If it’s a code for a speed sensor, there may be a fluid starvation issue like a loose supply tube in the sump pan. The bottom line is to start with the scan and address the code. If it’s electrical, start there. If it’s a speed sensor code, I would clear the code and overfill the transmission with fluid and test drive it and see if I have 3rd gear without the flashing OD light. If so, it may just be a loose supply tube in the sump pan. Let us know what you come up with or if you would like for us to take a look at it.

I know you’re a ways off, but if it isn’t checked as I described I’m afraid someone will sell you a new tranny without taking the time to diagnose it thoroughly. If it is a worst case scenario, there’s always a possibility of installing a good used transmission to save you some money. Call us if you need us, or if you need more info.

For professional auto repair & services in Orlando you can call our shop today at 407-629-2661.
Magic Mechanic
1432 Lee Road OrlandoFL32804 USA 
 • (407) 298-7447