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"Overdrive Off" light flashing

Discussion in 'Stock 1995 - 2001 Explorers' started by Green '01, June 7, 2010.

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    1. Green '01

      Green '01 New Member

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      City, State:
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      Year and Model:
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      Can anyone suggest where I need to start looking to solve this problem? The truck has been running fine and then the dash light that indicates the "Overdrive is off" started flashing constantly (no pauses). Pressing the O/D off button on the shifter stalk does nothing anymore.
      It's a 1995 Explorer XLT 4.0L V-6.
      Thanks in advance for any help.
       
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    3. Shawshank

      Shawshank New Member

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      Is your check engine light on?
      If not, do you know for sure the check engine light works?
      Have you checked for codes yet using a code reader?
       
    4. Green '01

      Green '01 New Member

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      Check engine light does work, and is not on. Cannot read trouble codes if the "Check Engine" light is not on - has not stored any trouble codes. I have a code reader, but it's for OBDII computers and would not help me with a '95, anyway.
      Any ideas?
       
    5. chapsdeva

      chapsdeva Active Member

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      That O/D light flashing on and off is a signal that a problem with the transmission has been detected. You need to get that code read to determine what the issue is. It could be something simple or a major problem. I'm far from being a tranny expert, so I can't even begin to suggest what may be wrong. I would suggest finding a reputable transmission shop (Not always easy to find unfortunately....) to give you a diagnosis. You can then post what they say on this site and let the guys who know about tranny issues give you some advice. Just my $.02!!
       
    6. CypherSTL

      CypherSTL Member

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      This is also happening on my '00 Sport. No check engine codes related to the transmission, or power train.

      Right before mine comes on, I'm usually accelerating and going from 2nd into 3rd. Does a hard shift into third, and then when slowing down it does another hard shift from 3rd to 2nd, or 2nd to 1st, forgot which one exactly.

      A few other threads on here have said to check out the range sensor, shift linkage on the drivers side of the transmission to make sure they're good and aligned. Also, the transmission is operating in "Limp Mode" while the O/D light is flashing.
       
    7. Green '01

      Green '01 New Member

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      Okay, thanks guys. Guess I'll be looking for a good shop. I'll let you know what I find, but it'll be a while before I do.
       
    8. greg883

      greg883 New Member

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      Been reading here for a couple of years and have saved some serious $$$ from the advice, so my turn to pay some back to the forum-

      Had the same on my 96' AWD a few months back - "Clunk", WTF? Flashing O/D light. Park it and plug in the reader, code says bad transmission speed sensor.

      Carefully drive to to the dealer. Replacing the speed sensor with a new unit didn't fix and the original sender tested out OK. It took three hours of diagnosis and it finally led to a bad main computer.

      Nothing wrong with the tranny or its sensors, but it (the main computer) stopped processing the data from the transmission and triggered the flashing light/"limpback mode".

      So it might not be a transmission problem.
       
    9. blueka

      blueka Elite Pickler Elite Explorer

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      before driving off, take the OD off, so the light is on. put it in D and go... see if this stops the problem.

      Or try driving off in 2, then shifting to D when you're going fast enough.

      If you drive with OD off and the light stays off, then there's a problem with the OD solenoid I think...


      Si
       
    10. FloridaState

      FloridaState Active Member

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      This happened to mine.

      Ended up being the torque converter. I also got the tranny rebuilt.
       
    11. Green '01

      Green '01 New Member

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      Thanks for the ideas. I have a small code reader, but it's for OBDII and won't work on a '95. Pressing the O/D off button on the shifter stalk does nothing anymore. The "O/D Off" dash light flashes all of the time - no matter what you do with the Overdrive button. Still haven't been able to take it to a repair shop to get the code read.
       
    12. CypherSTL

      CypherSTL Member

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      I tired that with my 2000 Explorer a while back, just turning off the Overdrive before leaving the house, got about 5 miles and it started flashing at me.

      I haven't tried the starting off in 2nd, then shifting it into Drive.
       
    13. blueka

      blueka Elite Pickler Elite Explorer

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      We had problems with the fil's tranny when he got it last November. Got the codes read (his is a 96) and it said that solenoid 1 was out and 1st gear range. So after swapping solenoids (we couldn't get the exhaust off to swap the tranny) we got it fixed. It was a long process of investigation, but it worked in the end.


      Si
       
    14. Green '01

      Green '01 New Member

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      Finally got to drive it today. I can feel it shift from 1st to 2nd, from 2nd to 3rd, can feel the converter go into lock-up in 3rd (and see RPMs drop), can feel it go from 3rd to 4th (Overdrive) - but I can't feel the converter lock-up in Overdrive. It's still holding right at 2,000 RPMs at 60 MPH.
      If the converter goes into lock-up in 3rd like it should, it's strange that it won't in overdrive (4th). Also, it feels like it may have developed a slight shudder at highway speed - maybe because the converter won't go into lock-up?
      If the "Check Engine" light is not on, but "O/D Off" light is flashing, the computer should still have some trouble code stored, right?
      Looking into getting codes read.

      Oh yeah, forgot to mention that the overdrive button on the shifter does work. Pressing the button will turn off OD, and pressing it again will turn it back on.
       
    15. Dino61

      Dino61 New Member

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      My newly purchased 97 was putting the flashing light on during highway running, and was shifting pretty 'sloppily".I cleared the light flashing once by clearing the codes with a cheap reader, but when it came back on again I did the band adjustment as per the details here, and this seems to have cured the light from coming on as well as tightening up the shifting.
       
    16. imp

      imp Well-Known Member

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      Later gen. transmissions have speed sensors on 3 locations, which allows pinpointing a problem more closely. For example, my '04 is flashing the "OD OFF" light because the computer does not "see" equal speeds between the engine and trans. input shaft: that can only mean the torque converter clutch (TCC) is NOT engaged when it should be.

      You can check the TCC yourself, at speed, say 50 mph cruise on level road. Slight increase in gas pedal pressure should NOT cause eng. rpm increase, if TCC is engaged. Also, climbing mild hills, no downshift happening, the tachometer should read constant rpms if car speed remains constant. imp
       
    17. Green '01

      Green '01 New Member

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      Thanks for your input, IMP. Sorry I didn't reply sooner, but light went out on it's own and there has been no shudder, so I've been gone from the site for a while. Before the trans light issue, we just had a coolant leak fixed by milling the heads (one was warped), replaced valve stem seals, cleaned the valves and combustion chambers and installed a top-end gasket set, then just 2 months ago, had to replace the fuel pump (in-tank). All was great until this past Monday morning when my son totalled the truck. He's fine thanks to fifteen-year-old air bags still functioning properly, but the truck is trash.

      Ask him how he likes riding the bus again.
       
    18. aj2005

      aj2005 New Member

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    19. jiminohio2010

      jiminohio2010 New Member

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      Does your speed OD work?
       
    20. Green '01

      Green '01 New Member

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      Sorry, we don't have the truck anymore. My son wrecked it back in November and even though he's okay, the truck was a total loss.
       
    21. coldon3

      coldon3 New Member

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      My 1996 Ford Explorer wont shift into 2nd gear on its own, it stays in first gear and wont shift, until you "manually" do it by letting off the gas pedal for a moment. When im driving it, the o/d light starts blinking at around 55mph as well. Does anyone know how to fix the problem. I love my truck i bought it for 750$ and had to replace the plugs/wires, oil pressure sensor, fuel pump and some lines. i also had to repair the vacuum pump for the a/c (it wouldn't git off defrost) I (think) i even finely got the 4wd working still have to go play. i have invested a lot of time in to her and cant believe that a little light is making me and so many other people nuts. It seams like ford would do something for the problem but no recalls yet just a bunch of mad people because they have spent the 1k for a new trannie or a rebuild. I don't have 1k lying abought so any help would be appreciated thank yall ever so much.
       
    22. rikalod

      rikalod New Member

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      O/D Light Flashing

      Hi guys - I know this is an old thread, but I thought I would share my latest episode of the "O/D OFF" Light flashing on my dash and the RESOLUTION to my issue. I have a '95 Explorer XLT with 298,400 miles (shooting for 500K!!) on the original eng and tranny.

      After starting my X the other night and letting it warm up for about 10 minutes, I hopped in and noticed the O/D OFF light flashing on my dash. After some quick searching around the forum, I understood that this prompted Ford's "Limp Back" mode. The tranny was acting noticeably different - shifting harder through all gears, etc. The OD switch on the gear selector still moved between OD and OD OFF, but the dash display was still blinking. I drove home about 30 miles of highway without any further issue, and did some more research.

      What solved this for me was simply resetting the Primary Control Module (PCM) by disconnecting the negative battery cable for 5 minutes or so. After doing this, i started her back up, did a little test drive including taking it in/out of OD and have since not had any other issues. Tranny is now acting normal. Hope this helps someone out!
       
    23. gatzdon

      gatzdon Active Member

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      The light started flashing because the PCM found something that was incorrect. Unfortunately, by having reset the PCM, you not only got out of limp mode, but you also cleared any data about the condition from memory.

      That said, on a 1995, the only access I know of to get that info is to count the flashes (should be three or four digit code). I don't know how else you could get that info from a 1995.

      For those with a 1996, I recommend instead of clearing the condition, to use an OBDII reader with cheap/free software for pulling the extended codes. After seeing the codes, you may still say 'screw it' and reset the computer, but at least you will have the data.

      On my 2000 Ex, pulling the codes told me exactly which shift solenoid was acting up. The part was only $60 and thanks to Ford engineering, I didn't even have to remove the valve body in order to change the solenoid.
       
    24. intelisevil

      intelisevil Elite Explorer

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      gatz

      Any suggestions on which reader to use?

      I know I'm living on borrowed time. My '00 has been flashing (after driving a few blocks or 20 miles) for 5 years and 40K miles!

      In theory my NGS scanner should be able to read them because it was the ONLY thing Ford Techs had for several years. I haven't found a manual for it yet to be able to find everything it can do . . .

      Thanks,
       
    25. gatzdon

      gatzdon Active Member

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      I personally use ScanTool OBDLink MX Bluetooth (~$100 on Amazon) and Forscan Lite on an Android phone (~$5 in play store).

      I would avoid WiFi based readers as they have a history of connectivity issues.

      Pulling the diagnostic codes in Forscan Lite is pretty easy. Getting at the PID values takes a small learning curve, but well worth it the first time you figure out the cause of a problem without even popping the hood.
       
    26. rikalod

      rikalod New Member

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      Gatz,

      Thanks for your insight a few months back. I read it then, and couldn't agree more, but never took the time to reply.

      All has been well with the truck since then, until my wife just mentioned that the OD light started flashing again today. So, I'm taking your advice and getting the data this time, hoping for some good news, but might be neck deep in a trans swap soon, as I have 303k on my original 4.0 and trans.

      Will provide an update as soon as I have one.
       

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