OD light flashing tranny help please


jaygio31
06-10-2011, 11:00 PM
So i had my tranny done over about 2 years ago and 20000 miles ago. I have been experiencing some converter shudder recently and today on 2 occasions after driving about 20-30 minutes the OD light began to flash. I am also drove it around locally shopping and the light did not come on at all, only after long driving. It is under warranty so i am not worried about a repair bill but would like some knowledge heading into the shop on Monday as to what the problem may be. Also i had an antifreeze leak seemed to be somewhere behind upper intake area near the belts and it stopped leaking after a couple days. Not sure if its related at all. Car temperature gauge never reads too hot, always stays in the middle. any advice would be great

northern piper
06-11-2011, 07:05 AM
well the first thing is to check the fluid level. The trans on the windstar needs the fluid to be at the very top of the hash mark on the dip stick most people find. Make sure yours is topped up and that you use the right fluid.

Some people, me included, have had problems with the TRS and if yours hasn't been replaced it may be the culprit, but if your OD lamp is coming on and off, likely it's not the TRS as generally they turn the OD lamp on and it stays on (only turning off with key off).

So, I'd do a quick check on fluid and if ok, get back to the shop for them to look into it.

tomj76
06-11-2011, 07:09 AM
When the O/D light flashes, the PCM stores a code for the cause. However, after a number of days of use the code will be erased (provided the cause doesn't reoccur). When the TCC chatters, the PCM can (but not always) store a code for this. I don't know what causes this chatter, in fact I have tried many times to get the chatter on mine resolved without long term success.

The antifreeze leak you describe appears to be at the gasket between the head and the intake manifold. It can be resolved with replacement of the gaskets. That repair would cost $800-$1000 in a shop, although the gaskets cost <$100.

jaygio31
06-11-2011, 12:44 PM
The antifreeze leak you describe appears to be at the gasket between the head and the intake manifold. It can be resolved with replacement of the gaskets. That repair would cost $800-$1000 in a shop, although the gaskets cost <$100.[/quote]


wouldnt i get a mix of oil/coolant during the leak. seems to be straight antifreeze. oil level is ok and seems to be just oil.

tomj76
06-11-2011, 07:18 PM
Not necessarily. You could get both leaking from that gasket, but not always, maybe not even 'normally'. The lower intake gasket seals pressurized water passages and intake air passages. There are no oil passages in that part of the engine, although the lower manifold also acts as a "top cover" for the engine. There may be some oil splash that could move through a series of leaks in this gasket, but not as easily as the coolant. You may notice that coolant needs to be added occasionally.

You could have the engine oil analyzed to check it for traces of coolant. Of course, this isn't the only possible place for coolant to leak into the oil, but this test would tell you if there is a leak or not.

northern piper
06-11-2011, 09:54 PM
if you haven't, I'd send a sample of your oil and trans fluid to Blackstone labs for an analysis. It's an inexpensive way to do "bloodwork" on your van. I've done it on all my vehicles and caught what could be potentially costly repairs before they were obvious. I'd suggest 2 samples be sent and see what they find.

jaygio31
06-12-2011, 12:26 PM
if you haven't, I'd send a sample of your oil and trans fluid to Blackstone labs for an analysis. It's an inexpensive way to do "bloodwork" on your van. I've done it on all my vehicles and caught what could be potentially costly repairs before they were obvious. I'd suggest 2 samples be sent and see what they find.

Maybe i should have been clearer, i wasnt worried about a blown gasket really. my van shows no real signs of this, white smoke, loss of power or anything like that. the leak was very noticable by the fluid on the ground. it wasnt a disappearing and i couldnt locate where it was going it was coming out of the bottom of the van very quickly until i release the pressure fron the coolant res. cap. my concern was why have i just stopped losing fluid, maybe some particles temp blocked the hole, is that possible. why does my od light flash after 25 minutes of driving. it doesnt come on during short trips, culd this be a sensor

tomj76
06-12-2011, 05:04 PM
>why does my od light flash after 25 minutes of driving. it doesnt come on during short trips, culd this be a sensor

OK, as mentioned, there should be a code stored in the computer (non-MIL code) that will explain why the O/D light was blinking. The only way I know to determine the cause of the blinking O/D light is to read the diagnostic code.

Other wise, if you don't believe that there bad gasket or seal, then the only a few places to loose coolant without running the risk of getting it in the engine. One is the knockout plugs, another is the water pump seal, and the last is the coolant hoses and pipes for the radiator and the heater core.

jaygio31
06-12-2011, 06:27 PM
>why does my od light flash after 25 minutes of driving. it doesnt come on during short trips, culd this be a sensor

OK, as mentioned, there should be a code stored in the computer (non-MIL code) that will explain why the O/D light was blinking. The only way I know to determine the cause of the blinking O/D light is to read the diagnostic code.

Other wise, if you don't believe that there bad gasket or seal, then the only a few places to loose coolant without running the risk of getting it in the engine. One is the knockout plugs, another is the water pump seal, and the last is the coolant hoses and pipes for the radiator and the heater core.

if it was a bad gasket would it tend to enter somewhere else and mix with another fluid. thats was my belief. it seemed to be straight coolant leaking out and all my other fluids seem to be ok.

tomj76
06-12-2011, 09:11 PM
if it was a bad gasket would it tend to enter somewhere else and mix with another fluid. thats was my belief. it seemed to be straight coolant leaking out and all my other fluids seem to be ok.

Bad gaskets can leak externally, internally, or both.

This is the reason an oil test was suggested, since a small amount of coolant in the oil can damage the engine bearings but won't show much change in the appearance of the oil. The composition of engine antifreeze (i.e. water, glycol, sodium silicate, disodium phosphate, sodium molybdate, and sodium borate), contains components that will damage engine bearings if mixed with the engine lubricant.

For example, Sodium silicate solution is used to inexpensively, quickly, and permanently disable automobile engines. Running an engine with about 2 liters of a sodium silicate solution instead of motor oil[/URL] causes the solution to precipitate, catastrophically damaging the engine's bearings and pistons within a few minutes.[URL="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sodium_silicate#cite_note-helliker-6";] (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Motor_oil) (from wikipedia)

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