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I have a 2000 Ford Explorer XLT 4.0 OHV that is giving me some issues.

The transmission was replaced 50,000 miles ago and is now experiencing some issue. It won't shift into overdrive and randomly starts flashing the overdrive light on the dashboard.

It drives okay, other than not going into O/D on the freeway, bringing RPMs up to about 3,300 at 65mph.

The codes being thrown said something about 2nd and 5th gear shift points.

I took it in to the shop and they said I need a new transmission again. I'm having a hard time with this, there isn't a way to repair it?

Any thing I can try to diagnose exactly what the issue is?

The exact codes being thrown are P0732 and P0735.

Transmission gear 2 incorrect ratio
Incorrect gear selection
Open circuit
Short circuit
This DTC may be caused by:
Shift solenoid
Internal components may be faulty

2 Answers 2

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For a vehicle that old, I certainly wouldn't put a "new" transmission in it. A rebuilt or even a used one is probably a better idea.

But there is significant labor involved so it's going to be costly either way. I doubt that after 50K miles there is any warranty left on the first replacement.

Yes, transmissions can be repaired but usually it's less expensive to just put in a rebuilt unit. Companies that rebuild transmissions can do it cheaper because they specialize in that.

From the codes my first concern is that there is some sort of electronics issue, either internal to the unit (i.e. the sensors and actuators) or externally in the control unit.

A first step might be to find a powertrain control unit for this model and drivetrain and swap it out to see if that corrects the problem.

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  • I'll have to go dig out my scanner and see what the codes are. I'll do that now.
    – matt.
    May 6 at 20:50
  • I've included the error codes now, thank you.
    – matt.
    May 7 at 2:15
  • Isn’t a “rebuilt unit” just a repaired one? How can a “rebuilt unit” be cheaper than getting one repaired?
    – HandyHowie
    May 7 at 7:46
  • @HandyHowie Of course you know this but I mentioned the reason in my original answer.
    – jwh20
    May 7 at 12:02
  • @HandyHowie repair is a specialist putting your transmission on the bench and probing what is wrong with it. Rebuilding is getting 1000 old transmissions, tearing them down into parts, testing all parts, replacing all common wear items and reassembling and dyno testing. If 50 of 1000 fail testing, throw them in the trash, sell the rest. Only need semi-skilled labor for what is assembly line work. May 8 at 0:22
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It would be helpful to have the codes. Does the OD light flash when driving city speeds, highway speeds or both? There are a number of issues that could cause the issue you are experiencing. Not all of them are transmission related. It could also be a torque converter issue. There are a number of possible causes but here are some likely ones.

  • Low transmission fluid. Easy to check if that year model has a tranny dipstick.
  • Dirty transmission fluid. When was the tranny fluid last serviced?
  • Transmission solenoid pack. This can be replaced by dropping the transmission pan, replacing the pack and refilling with tranny fluid.
  • Faulty torque converter clutch and/or solenoid valve.
  • Torque converter clutch solenoid valve harness shorting or poor connection.

To test if it is the torque converter drive around for 10-15 minutes to bring your transmission up to operating temperature. Now get on the highway and bring your car up to a steady 60-65 MPH. All your shifts should have completed. Make sure you are on flat stretch of highway (no hills) and slowly and gently accelerate. If the tachometer increases as you accelerate the torque converter clutch has not engaged and it is a torque converter issue. If this is what is occurring it is safe to drive the vehicle, you will experience slightly degraded fuel mileage.

If the light flashes immediately when you first start to drive your vehicle it is likely not a torque converter issue.

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  • I've included the error codes now. Thanks.
    – matt.
    May 7 at 2:14
  • The codes are set when the vehicle’s computer calculates the engine speed versus the transmission output speed. If the computer identifies it as not being ideal it sets the code and the check engine light comes on. The P0732 is the second gear shift and the P0735 is the fifth gear shift. An independent specialty transmission shop would be able test drive the vehicle and provide a more definitive diagnosis.
    – MJH
    May 7 at 20:17
  • I will try fluid first, it hasn't been serviced in over a year. If that doesn't work, I'll try the solenoid pack and go from there. The light appears quite randomly. Sometimes it will come on just leaving a parking lot, while yesterday, I drove 400+ miles on the highway and it only come on after I stopped at a rest station.
    – matt.
    May 8 at 16:14

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