Huge win for car owners! All TSBs to be made public. The Center for Auto Safety just made the NHTSA (US Government) make public the full text of all TSBs from now on. They are the same organization that has petitioned the NHTSA & filed lawsuits to protect car owners over exploding gas tanks & other major safety issues. Whenever you drive in your car, you are safer thanks in part to a lot of work over the years by this small but very effective consumer advocacy group.

Please take a moment & say thank you by donating $5 or whatever you can to the Center for Auto Safety.

8.0

pretty bad
Typical Repair Cost:
$80.00
Average Mileage:
63,667 miles
Total Complaints:
3 complaints

Most Common Solutions:

  1. not sure (1 reports)
  2. o-ring on servo needs heat shield (1 reports)
  3. replace faulty trans connector (1 reports)
2003 Ford Ranger transmission problems

transmission problem

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2003 Ford Ranger Owner Comments

problem #3

Mar 072016

Ranger F4 4.0L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 78,000 miles

A D V E R T I S E M E N T S

overdrive light flashing but no problems still working

wow another problem . this should be on a recall list. Ford you need to back your products. is this one of your cheap mexico products? Better start building them here again you seem to have forgotten how to build a car . RECALL THESE NOW AND I HAVE ANOTHER FLASHING LIGHT BUT I CAN ONLY BRING ONE UP AT A TIME

- , Apple Valley, CA, USA

problem #2

Feb 152011

Ranger XL 3.0L V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 70,000 miles

With about 70K miles the o/d light began blinking mid-trip. From each stop, when tranny shifted from 1st to second it was if truck was hit by a battering ram. Very disconcerting! After researching I see many people with same problem and all types of fixes which include complete tranny rebuild for big money. And still the problem continues! I opted to do nothing. This blinking light happened 3 times in a row and then quit for months. When it returned, I shifted into neutral, shut off the car, restarted it while still traveling, shifted back into drive and kept on going. The shut-off reset the computer chip and got rid of blinking light. I now have 80K miles. I will continue this as long as possible as it seems that spending money on the problem does not help. Also, I am inclined to believe that the cause lies somewhere in the computer chip or something closely connected. I have to wonder if this is not an accidentally-on-purpose programmed error. Ford could generate huge amounts of money this way.

Update from Oct 22, 2011: Jim, who read my post sent this message. I don't see it showing up here so I'm adding it as it sounds like a possible correct diagnosis and fix.....

MESSAGE: "i have the answer to the o/d light on and rough transmission shifting on auto trans on ford ranger and probably all the others as well. first time it happened to my truck, i was told trans needed to be rebuilt. did so for $ 1600. one and half year later same thing. took to another shop and the mechanic charged me 120. and fixed it in 30 minutes. the problem was the oring on the servo. the truck had no shield between the transmission and the catalytic converter and the converters heat fried the oring on the servo and it leaked inside the trans and caused light and rough shifting. have thoroughly researched the problem and this is the answer. dont replace your trans or have it overhauled. not when the problem is easily fixed. truck has been great for over a year now and runs brand new. check and i bet you dont have a heat shield on you truck or car. find a shop that knows how to replace the oring or gasket on the servo and install a heat shield. it will solve your problem. 30 mins at most."

Update from Oct 22, 2011: MESSAGE: i have the answer to the o/d light on and rough transmission shifting on auto trans on ford ranger and probably all the others as well. first time it happened to my truck, i was told trans needed to be rebuilt. did so for $ 1600. one and half year later same thing. took to another shop and the mechanic charged me 120. and fixed it in 30 minutes. the problem was the oring on the servo. the truck had no shield between the transmission and the catalytic converter and the converters heat fried the oring on the servo and it leaked inside the trans and caused light and rough shifting. have thoroughly researched the problem and this is the answer. dont replace your trans or have it overhauled. not when the problem is easily fixed. truck has been great for over a year now and runs brand new. check and i bet you dont have a heat shield on you truck or car. find a shop that knows how to replace the oring or gasket on the servo and install a heat shield. it will solve your problem. 30 mins at most.

- , Plant City, FL, USA

problem #1

Oct 062010

Ranger Edge 3.0L V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 43,000 miles

Bought my Ranger in September. Almost a month later, the O/D Off light started flashing. Truck only had 43,000 miles, so I became beyond pissed off. Ford transmission codes cannot be read by simple scanners, so I had to take the truck to the trans shop. Got the diagnosis from the tech as a faulty shift solenoid. However, before I had gone to the trans shop, I read up about the O/D Off light, and realized that nobody ever really gets this problem fixed. So, I decide not to follow the tech's advice and study the problem at hand myself. My truck only seemed to throw the light at highway speeds, and would only do it periodically on the same exact roads. The truck had absolutely no physical symptoms like hard shifting, the light would just start flashing by itself. When the O/D Off light comes on, Fords are setup so that the transmission goes into "fail safe" mode. This is the computer sending full fluid pressure through the trans to prevent the trans from slipping, allowing you to "limp" home. This action is characterized by very rough 2nd and 3rd gear shifts. It is a NORMAL process, but I do not advise you drive like this. And it is a pain in the ass requiring the truck to be shut off before it stops. Since the truck had absolutely no physical symptoms before the light came on, there was no doubt it had to be electrical. One day I decided to press all the connectors on the outside of the trans for one last ditch cheap effort. Well, the very last connector I push, happened to snap in, like it was loose. For the next week I did not get the light. Then, the light came back on. I decided to try to press the connector again, but for an entire two weeks. So each morning I pushed the connector in, and when I got to work, I pushed the connector in again for the drive home. And sure enough, the light did not return for those two weeks. So I decided to inspect the connector. It turns out that the locking metal tab on the connector had broken, and was not locking the connector onto the trans. Due to the trans normal movement/vibrations, this locking piece is essential to keeping the connector in place and from shaking loose. Since mine was broken, it was allowing the trans connector to come loose, and when the trans would perform it's next scan, it would get a faulty signal from one of the loose connections, and this is when my O/D Off light would flash. This connector is located on the driver's side of the trans, and it's the one closest to the engine. Mine has a little blue cover over the wiring and the connector, to keep dirt out. Unfortunately, I have had a hard time locating a new connector, so for the last month or so I have had to crawl under the truck constantly to check the connector, but the light has yet to return. This is by far the cheapest fix for a Ranger transmission problem, however it is NOT always the cause of the O/D Off light. You will need to have your own specific codes read to find where the possible culprit is. But as a word of advice, do NOT believe what the trans tech or the scanner says. Trans techs are trained in the general issues of a transmission, not the problems that affect a specific transmission like those 4R44E-5R55E autos found in Ranger. You need to CLOSELY monitor your trans' performance, and note what happens before the light comes on. Give ALL this info to the trans tech, and make sure you get a few opinions from different trans techs. Also, it helps to join a Ranger oriented forum, as individuals like me who have been in this situation before can chime in on your issue and possibly get you the best next course of action for your specific issue. I hope this helps many of you out, and saves you money that you'll probably waste shall you not know what you're dealing with.

- , Belleview, FL, USA

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