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1996 windstar trans problem.

06-26-2011, 09:57 PM
Hi everyone I don't post or check in here much but if I have to find something out this is the place I go to , Ok here is my problem I bought a 96 Windstar about 4 yrs ago and the transmission has always been a little quirky it runs great but to get it going I start out in 1st then up shift to 2nd then drive then its fine all day till I hit a stop sign when I will drop back into 2nd`then back up to drive but it shifts fine all the rest of the day as long as you don't come to a stop but today the OD light started blinking but it still seems to be shifting and driving fine but what is happening what should I be looking for I need help I am on a limited budget and need any help I can get thanks for any help or suggestions George

06-27-2011, 08:08 PM
Hi George,

I'm no expert but I'll try to help.

If you're on a tight budget it might be easier to have it diagnosed by a transmission shop or this situation could quickly become an endless money pit.

My first suggestion would be to inspect the Transmission Range Switch, it is a common problem with windstars and can cause funny shifting behavior. See if your van starts ONLY in P and N and if the backup light light up only in reverse. Failure of any of these will indicate a bad TRS switch and needs to be replaced.

Another possibility is to swap it with a friend's and see if the problem goes away. It sits on top of the transmission at the driver's side and can be traced by following the shift linkage to it. You can see it behind and under the air filter housing.


06-27-2011, 08:41 PM
You may have a OBDII code stored in the computer.
For this, you can get your codes read for FREE at many auto part stores, like AutoZone.
Make sure to get the actual numeric code from them.
I have listed most of the OBDII codes in the sticky posts.

As mentioned, you may be lucky and have something simple, like the Transmission Range Sensor (aka neutral safety switch) or Vehicle Speed Sensor (VSS).

The other thing is to check the fluid level and check your records to see if you have changed the fluid, is should be changed every 30K miles for normal service, 21K miles for severe service.
The correct fluid is now Mercon V.
If the level is even slightly low, it can cause shifting issues.

06-28-2011, 02:03 AM
Thanks for the ideas I will try and check some of them tomorrow the weird thing for me is once I start out the transmission works good and shifts perfect until I come to a stop Then I shift it into 2nd just to get it moving so it wont lurch once I am moving its as smooth at shifting as it can be thanks George

09-19-2011, 08:53 AM
Where you able to find out what the problem is and fix it?

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