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Limp-in mode Windstar 96

06-06-2011, 11:10 AM
My windstar is having transmission issues. Today they are changing transmission fluid and filter (no fluid left). It was dirty (pan and filter) and slightly burned.

O/D light flashes, VSS is not working nor the lower wire (there is a joint between the 2 pieces cable and it's broken).

I bought internal wiring harness (one mecanic asked me to do it fast) to change it today which connects internally all selenoids, but the mechanic today told me that it could be a bad selenoid, he will change wiring harness anyway.

It runs well 3 or 4 days (changes are hard sometimes). But at the next day it enters at "Limp-in" mode. It stucks on 2nd and I have to remove PCM memory fuse to delete the code and it will start working fine again.CEL is on and the only code stored is VSS (Vehicle speed sensor).

Does anyone here has experienced any issues like this?

Could be T position range (TPR)? or VSS can cause this too? (I can buy the VSS but the wire is not here at any store).

Mechanic told me he was going to check all selenoids, Im still waiting for his testing.

Changing fluid could remove this issue (I don't think so)? Because changing VSS I think will take no effect (no wire to connect).


06-06-2011, 12:56 PM
Transmission got a little better after changing the fluid. The mechanic told me that one selenoid was bad (2nd) and he will replace it on the weekend together with the internal wiring harness. Im going to do a test drive, but it really seems to be better now. Let's see if limp-in mode disappears for now (or O/D flash light).

06-06-2011, 01:04 PM
You need to connect the VSS or you will continue to have problems. When my VSS came disconnected due to a broken connector "snap", the transmission shifted erratically, up shifting while coming to a stop, down shifting while starting up, or not shifting at all.

Also, when the O/D light has flashed, a code will be stored in the PCM. If you have access to a code reader, or you know of an auto parts store that will read codes, get your codes read in order to know the problem area to address. Normally your mechanic should have this tool (they can be purchased for under $100), so your mechanic may be able to tell you what codes have been set.

06-06-2011, 06:42 PM
I have an OBD II USB cable. Only code stored is: P0500 Vehicle Speed Sensor (VSS) malfunction P0503 VSS intermittent.

Today I called a transmission store and they are extremely busy this week, I have to call them in one week :( I will try to buy the speedometer lower cable and VSS sensor on ebay. It will take maybe 6 weeks to arrive here :(

thanks for your reply. And yes, I always suspected that VSS could cause to shift badly.

06-08-2011, 03:54 PM
Try They have everything you would need at a very reasonable price.

06-08-2011, 04:16 PM
First thing is to replace VSS, if that still makes it act funny the second option would be to replace the TRS as it is known to cause funny behavior from the transmission. You can do a searc on it to read some more posts regarding it.


08-20-2011, 12:23 PM
Today I got VSS changed, but there is a plastic gear connected to the VSS: bad news it doesnt make the wire to move. After looking on some junkyards we found a Mercury sable, took the VSS with the gear and got it changed.

Low speedometer cable was rusty and didn't move either. WD-40 did the trick. Got everything in place, and took it for drive test.

Transmission now works smoothly. Sometimes there is a small hard change when coming to a stop from 2nd to first. But so far no morr knocks.

O/D light went out and also check engine
(knock on wood).

Also speedometer works. By the way, in the counter are miles or kilometers? (Im 99.99 % sure that those are miles).


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