1997 Ford Explorer Flashing O/D Off Light

Tiny
WOGSY
  • MEMBER
  • 1997 FORD EXPLORER
  • 6 CYL
  • 4WD
  • AUTOMATIC
  • 149,000 MILES
What might be causing the "O/D Off" light to start flashing when I've been driving on the highway for a while?
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Saturday, July 25th, 2009 AT 8:46 PM

15 Replies

Tiny
KHLOW2008
  • EXPERT
Hi wogsy,

Thank you for the donation.

When the OD starts flashing, it means an error has been detected in the transmission system and a trouble code has been stored in the PCM.

A scanner is required to retrieve the trouble code to understand what is causing the problem. Most parts houses provides the scanning services free or for a nominal fee. Get the scan done and let me know the exact trouble code so I can get the correct data for you.
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Tuesday, July 28th, 2009 AT 12:04 PM
Tiny
WOGSY
  • MEMBER
Thank you. I'll take the car over to a parts store as soon as I can and let you know what they tell me.
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Tuesday, July 28th, 2009 AT 12:19 PM
Tiny
WOGSY
  • MEMBER
As a follow-up to KHLowe2008 - I've had no luck finding anyone who can/will the PCM for me. AutoZone says their scanners only read "check engine" messages. There aren't a lot of other parts stores in the area, and the ones I called dais they don't do the scanning.

The local service station offered to do it for $59. For that kind of $$, I'll take it directly to the transmission guys.

Thank you for tyring to help.
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Friday, July 31st, 2009 AT 7:13 PM
Tiny
KHLOW2008
  • EXPERT
Too bad you are not able to get the codes.

By the way did you notice any irregularities with shifting when OD light is flashing?
Is the speedometer working correctly?
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Saturday, August 1st, 2009 AT 6:53 AM
Tiny
WOGSY
  • MEMBER
It was frustrating. No, there doesn't seem to be any difference in the way the car runs. It starts on the highway so there isn't much shifting, but the light will stay on when I get off the highway and it seems to shift fine. When I am on the highway, if push the button used to switch the O/d on and off, I can feel it shift.

I think the speedometer is workiig right. Maybe not. This car is much different than my last car so I don't have as good a sense for speed. However, the last time I drove it on the highway, and the light was flashing, the speedometer said I was doing 90 mph and it didn't seem possible that I was going that fast. I also thought it was registering high when I was off the highway and driving on the toiwn road. But, I only noticed the speed thing that one time and, again, wasn't sure if it was the speedometer or me.
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Saturday, August 1st, 2009 AT 10:23 AM
Tiny
KHLOW2008
  • EXPERT
When speedometer is not accurate, it could be a fault with the VSS and this would cause the OD light to blink.

Guess you might have to get the vehicle to the dealer to have it scanned to retrieve the code.
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Saturday, August 1st, 2009 AT 5:27 PM
Tiny
WOGSY
  • MEMBER
Thank you. Just one more question - what is the "VSS"? And, if it is the VSS, is it likely to be a major repair?
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Saturday, August 1st, 2009 AT 6:11 PM
Tiny
KHLOW2008
  • EXPERT
Sorry for giving only the abbreviation.

VSS = Vehicle Speed Sensor and it is the sensing unit for the speedometer.

The sensor is not a very costly item and sorry I do not have the price list.
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Saturday, August 1st, 2009 AT 10:06 PM
Tiny
WOGSY
  • MEMBER
Thank you. You've been more heldpful than I can tell you. I will get it in to have it checked and fixed as soon as I get my check next week.

Again, thank you.
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Sunday, August 2nd, 2009 AT 8:06 AM
Tiny
KHLOW2008
  • EXPERT
You are welcomed and glad to be of service.

If you have any questions, just reply to this post and I will get back to you.

Thank you for using 2Carpros.
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Sunday, August 2nd, 2009 AT 9:43 AM
Tiny
WOGSY
  • MEMBER
Me again. Aamco has a promotion where they will scan PCM's for free. So, I FINALLY, got the scan done. They said the error # is 741 and that means the "clutch converter is slipping". Does that sound right?

They said if it only needs the converter replaced, it would cost about $925. But, he said that there's a good possibility (more likely than not) that something has leaked into the transmission and the trans. Will need to be overhauled. The price he gave me for doing that was $1900-2000. Does all this sound reasonable?

(Note - I will check around and see if Aamco is the best choice or if I should go to the local transmission guy a couple of people have recommended.)

Thank you again for all your help.
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Thursday, August 13th, 2009 AT 11:38 AM
Tiny
KHLOW2008
  • EXPERT
DTC P0741 = Torque Clutch Converter Engagement Error.

It is either not engaging, slipping or cycling on and off. Aamco is a reputable trans specialist and I do not think they would be giving you inaccurate information.

Anything below $2000 for a trans rebuilt should be reasonable but since you do not have any issues with shifting, TCC replacement should be sufficient. They recommended rebuilding the trans so as to protect themselves because if the trans were to fail after replacement of the TCC, they would have a hard time explaining to you.
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Thursday, August 13th, 2009 AT 12:29 PM
Tiny
WOGSY
  • MEMBER
Thank you. The mgr. Seemed to be a pretty straight shooter, but that last bit of information is very helpful. I'm going to have to chance driving it for about another month. (I'd prefer not to but I won't have the money until then.) The Aamco manager seemed to think I'll be OK but did say there was some chance of doing more damage, or having the converter thing give out totally.

Again, thank you for your help and for explaining things in such a clear way. I'm really glad I 'stumbled' across this site.
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Thursday, August 13th, 2009 AT 5:39 PM
Tiny
KHLOW2008
  • EXPERT
Life is full of surprises and nice ones are always good to receive.

Have a nice day :)
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Friday, August 14th, 2009 AT 9:15 AM
Tiny
PEBCO2009
  • MEMBER
That's what AutoZone will tell you. They will also tell you that the light has to be on at the time when they read it. Don't believe them. Ask them if they will just hook up the reader anyway. They did it for me and it threw the code for a "Torque Converter Clutch Solenoid" which was stored in the PCM. My O/D light had stopped flashing and had only done it twice before for a very brief time over the past two weeks. Mystery solved and the had the part. And to think they insisted they would not be able to read the code to begin with. Those crazy guys must not want to sell their stuff!
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Monday, August 3rd, 2015 AT 12:00 PM

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