Car Information:
Ford/Windstar
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?

Answer:
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