Ford Explorer Transmission Problems & Cost | 5R55S / 5R55W

The Ford 5R55S, 5R55N and 5R55W transmission was used in both 2 and 4-wheel drive Explorers, and the 6R60 in V8 models. But they aren’t without their problems though, so let’s look at some of the most common Ford Explorer transmission problems, look at cost estimates and figure out what you can do about them.

Need a replacement transmission? Quality transmission suppliers can be hard to find. Have your 17-digit vehicle VIN# ready. Free estimates sent via text and email.

Ford Explorer Transmission Replacement Cost Estimate

Replacement Ford Explorer Transmission Prices:

TransmissionStreet Smart TransmissionAutozoneAdvance Auto Parts

Solenoid Failure

One of the most common Ford Explorer transmission problems is a failed solenoid. These little plunger like devices are used by the computer to route pressurized transmission fluid and change gears. To activate one of the solenoids, the computer sends an electrical charge though a coil of wire that wraps around the plunger mechanism. Heat and vibration can cause these wires to short out, which will lead to all sorts of transmission problems.

If you want to check the functionality of your solenoids, simply hook an ohmmeter to the two wires coming off of the solenoid. The reading should be somewhere between 20-30 ohms. If you  get a reading above or below that number, it’s a safe bet that solenoid won’t function properly.

Explorer Technical Service Bulletins (TSB)

2013 TSB 365099 / 13-5-31


According to the Technical Service Bulletin: “Some 2013 Explorer vehicles equipped with 3.5L GTDI (twin-turbo EcoBoost 3.5L) engines may exhibit long crank-to-start times and delayed/harsh downshift when commanded in the middle of a 4-5 or 3-5 upshift and delayed upshifts from 3rd, 4th or 5th gear when transmission fluid temperature is below 21 degrees Celsius (70 degrees Fahrenheit).”


To fix the problem, a Ford dealer will need to update the Powertrain Control Module (PCM) software.

2013 TSB 365977 / ASI-32216


Certain 2013 Explorers with the 6R35 transmission may experience a fluid leak from the left hand half shaft seal. This is likely due to premature bushing or seal wear, caused by the half shaft surface finish.


Fixing the problem will require the installation of an updated case bushing, seal and half shaft.

2002 TSB 190029 / 04-24-17


Certain 5-speed auto equipped 2002 models built before 03-04-2002, may experience slipping on the 2-3 shift, or a loss of 3rd gear altogether. This problem is most likely due to a broken intermediate band, which could trigger diagnostic trouble codes: P0733 and P0745


To properly fix this problem, you’ll need to replace both the intermediate and OD bands, along with the pistons. The direct clutch drum should also be inspected for damage.

2002 TSB 88202 / 01-10-7


2002 models of the Ford Explorer that were built between 11-13-2000 – 03-08-2001, might experience a problem where the Transmission Control Indicator Lamp (TCIL) flashes with different DTC / diagnostic trouble codes, like P0713, during the self test. This is likely caused by water seeping into the transmission solenoid body connector.


If this happens, the transmission wiring harness will need to be replaced with updated part # 1L2Z-7C078-AB.

Can I drive with a Ford Explorer transmission problem?

If your Ford Explorer can still make it up and down the road, you might say “It’s fine, I’ll just drive it until I can get it fixed”. But that is not always a good idea, depending on the symptoms. You see, there are a lot of (very expensive) moving parts inside of a transmission, and if something isn’t right, continuing to drive with a transmission problem could damage something else.

How often does a Ford Explorer transmission need to be replaced?

The overall lifespan of a Ford Explorer transmission largely depends on how well it was maintained. Factory design flaws also factor into this equation, along with how/how hard you drive. But on average, we’ve seen the Ford Explorer transmission last for between 80,000-180,000 miles. A high quality replacement transmission however, can last considerably longer if all of the factory design flaws have been addressed and the vehicle has been maintained.

How are Ford Explorer transmission issues diagnosed?

It is fairly easy to guesstimate what the root cause of your Ford Explorer transmission problems might be, but you won’t truly know unless you have the right tools and experience. A good mechanic or transmission repair center will be able to connect your truck to a computer and find out which diagnostic trouble codes (DTC’s) have been stored. Once they know what to look for, they can perform a visual inspection to verify the problem.

How is a Ford Explorer transmission replaced?

In order to replace your Ford Explorer transmission, the truck has to be lifted from the ground in order to gain access to all of the parts that will need to be unbolted. Then the transmission can be lowered to the ground (typically with a transmission jack), so the new transmission can be installed.

Recommendations for Ford Explorer transmission issues?

To save time and get back on the road faster, have your 17-digit VIN# handy and you can get an online quote for a reman Ford Explorer transmission here, then find a local shop using our Find a Shop guide to install it for you.

How to Solve Ford Explorer Transmission Problems

Solution A: Buy a Used Ford Explorer Transmission

The quickest way to fix your transmission problems is to simply buy a used transmission or used transmission. These can be found at most junk yards, and they often come with a 30-90 day warranty. However, there’s no way to determine the actual condition of the internal components, so you could be spending a bunch of money to have the exact same problems. Plus, that warranty only covers the transmission if it’s defective, not the labor costs that you’ll have to pay.

Solution B: Buy a Rebuilt Ford Explorer Transmission

Another option would be a rebuilt transmission or rebuilt transmission. A local repair shop will remove your transmission, then install a bunch of new parts during the rebuild. The problem here is, the skills and experience of each transmission rebuilder will vary widely from shop to shop, so you could have problems from something that wasn’t adjusted properly. And the 1-2 year warranty might only cover you at certain transmission repair shops, in a specific geographical area.

Solution C: Buy a Remanufactured Ford Explorer Transmission

Many owners depend on their vehicle to commute and get things done. Their gasoline engines are designed to go 100’s of thousands of miles, so it makes sense to invest in a remanufactured transmission.

Fair Replacement Transmission Cost by Vehicle

  1. Find your transmission model in the table below for fair prices from reputable suppliers. Also fair labor cost for local installation at a local auto repair shop.

  2. Get a free estimate on a remanufactured transmission by email.

Fair Remanufactured Transmission Price Ranges by Transmission Model Updated July 2018

transmission repair cost
Download Replacement Transmission Cost Guide PDF


How to Diagnose & Fix

  1. Check the OBD Codes
  2. Check the fluid level
  3. Test transmission pressure
  4. Drop the transmission pan
  5. Repair, replace or rebuild

What to Read Next

Related Forum Discussions

What Problem Does Your Explorer Have?

Let us know the year, mileage and problem you’re having as well as any trouble (OBD) codes you’ve found. If you’ve been given a quote or paid for a repair, we’d like to hear about that too!

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steve dake

i have a 2004 164.000 miles some time when i put it in rev it lock up going back an forth it go to working

Robert Anderson

I have a 2005 Exporer 5R55s trans, with 217000 miles the slipswhen shifting into 3rd and when in higher gears, had it checked and the trouble codes are Po401, Po703, and P1744, dose the trans. need to be rebuilt, or replaced?


Not necessarily. The codes that you have are not all related to a transmission issue. Has the transmission ever been serviced? A fluid flush or filter replaced? I would recommend having it checked by a professional before driving much more. It could be a simple inexpensive repair at this point, versus replacing the transmission. You could have a different problem that isn’t even related to the transmission and the PCM, (computer) could be effecting transmission function as a type of protect mode. The P0401 indicates an EGR system issue.

Mrs. Martinez

I have a 2004 Explorer. While on the interstate the OD light started flashing. Of course since I am a girl, I take it to an AutoZone and the guy instantly says…the code says you need a new tranny, can’t help you here. Is there a better way to determine this? I have heard that this could be as simple as a solenoid fix but as complex as a total replacement. Any suggestions?

Curtis Proctor

Depends on the code


The code would help diagnose the issue, BUT, the is NO SUCH code that exists, saying you need a new transmission. In fact, No vehicle would ever have any code that says that any particular part needs to be replaced. There is no such tool anywhere that says “replace this part” like those type of parts stores lead people to believe. If there was a tool that could do that, it would be fantastic!!!! But it would cost a billion dollars, and there would need to be 1 auto repair shop or dealership in a few hundred mile area. Basically…. Be cautious if ever told your vehicle has a code saying anything needs to be replaced.

louis wong

i have a 2009 ford ranger pj 2.5 tdci 5r55s … my problem is when i use drive gear and reverse the car just bump and shocking …. slow moving and no power ….when i try to push the gas pedal they just no respon … when i drive over 5km/h the car just get back normal driving … what part i need check ?

pierre plante

J’ai un ford explorer 2004 awd avec un moteur v8 4.6 avec 234000 kl les problemes ont commencé l’orceque je frainais brusquement , pour pouvoir repartir sa prenais 10 a 15 secondes avant que la transmission se recharge , jusque la ce n’étais qu’un petit désagrément mais depuis quelque temps et surtout par temps froid cela prend beaucoup de temps avant que la transmission se en marche et une odeur de brulé se manifeste quand je roule svp pouvez vous me dire s’il y a une solution a part la faire reconditionner . Merci a l’avance .


I have a 1995 Ford explorer 4×4 and I used to have to rev the engine to 6 to 7k before it would go forward reverse was fine until I had to back up a hill now I can redline in all forward gears and reverse and the truck won’t move what parts do I need to fix the problem

Nedal Alhorani

Hey all,
I have a 2008 V6 ford explorer. it is a 4WD and the transmission just went out and doesn’t work anymore at all. I looked for a replacement but all are expensive and I am on a budget. does any of you have any other options where to buy it.?
Does a 2005 or 2006 transmission work for a 2008???
Please help.

christine ford

I have a 2002 explore i took it to the shop because it was making a grinding noise underneath they told me it was my control arms the replaced them and i still had the problem. can anybody tell me what the problem could be. I took it back they checked my transmission fluid and what they fixed was not it. can anybody explain. The car has 127,000 miles in great shape.


My daughter was on the interstate today when the transmission suddenly acted like it was in neutral. Will not work in any gear selected. It has an automatic transmission with about 116,000 miles on it. The vehicle is in superb condition. Is this an easy fix?


I have a 2008 explorer that seems to have trouble shifting gears at times. Especially if I’m going uphill. Wrench symbol just showed up on dash. What could be the problem?


Hello Tracy and everyone else with a shifting problem. I have had two Mercury Mountaineers (06 and 08 – V8/AWD/6R TRANNY) and on both of these vehicles I have experienced the shifting problem. It gave all kinds of codes related to everything but the engine. On the 06, I had the tranny rebuilt with no success. I changed the spark plugs and wires and it ran great afterwards What I recommend is replacing all the spark plugs (if you haven’t already done a tune-up) and if the issue continues troubleshoot the Coil packs mounted on the individual spark plugs to see if one is defective. I replaced all of them just to be sure.

Carl Creech

I have 2007 ford explorer transmission wanto take off in drive but it will if you manual shift it will take off but some times drive is out and reverse then you cut it off and start it back up and it will pull in drive what is the problem

Jennifer Hunt

I have a 08 ford Expedition when I crank it continues to turn..also in low speed it hesitate like it’s not switching gears. Help?


Hello, will a 2006 4.0L motor fit an 2004 4.6L explorer with 4×4 drive ?


My 99 Explorer won’t downshift uphill, almost ever, unless I let off throttle, then ease on the gas again. Wheel speed sensor on DS front needs replace, ABS light on. Would it be more a speed sensor issue, or a transmission selenoid that may be causing the issue? Any help appreciated, thanks


Good mor sir
I am having ford explorer 2010 and I have problems with my trans that all the solinoid code if I clear then right away those codes are comes back please help


My 2002 Eddie Bauer Ford Explorer.acts up when I apply the brakes too fast, only several occasions it has stalled, but mostly it throws the transmission out. I will put it into park, when I put it back into drive it returns to normal.

tonya sobrero

I have a 2003 ford explorer Eddie Bauer 4.0L, V6 with 200,000 miles and the transmission slipping going from 1st to 2nd, the other gears shift fine and when warmed up my od off light flashes and check engine light and the code that comes up is p0775. We changed the transmission fluid and filter! What do I need to do to fix this?


I have a 2002 Ford Explorer (automatic) which is on its third transmission. Recently had shifting issues, took it to my mechanic who replaced the “56954K Solenoid Valve Pack-New(N)”, new Cas Merc V Trans Fluid(N), and TF340 Transmission Filter(N). Now when I hit the brakes hard it appears to shift into neutral. It pauses about 15-30 seconds and then engages and goes. This also happens if I am backing out of my garage, put it in drive, there is a pause before engaging. My mechanic has apologized because he has called everyone he knows, but cannot figure this out. So I am getting my Explorer back with the problem remaining.

Jackie Ettinger

This is what I am experiencing with my 2002 (automatic) Ford Explorer. The transmission was replaced back in 2008, and it worked fine up until about a month ago. Please let me know if you have found anything out! Thank you!


Have a 2001 Ford Explorer Sport Trac 4X4. Just changed the tranny filter and fluids a couple of months ago. I was driving to work on 3 lane freeway in the middle lane the car ahead of me and I ran over a big piece of truck tire. On the way home I noticed the transmission was jumping and slipping. I pulled over to check things out. Noticed a line from the transmission cooler was leaking pretty good. Luckily I had extra fluid in the truck from when I changed the filter. I sat and late everything cool down for well over an hour. Checked and topped off the fluid again to make it the last 3 miles home, which I did. Just replaced the line and topped the fluid off again. Unfortunately it won’t move in any gear. The truck is on it last leg and been a super… Read more »

Lisa Nolen

I have a 2007 Ford Explorer. The transmission shifts fine while driving, but when you apply the brakes to stop really fast…The transmission hesitates to go into gear. It only does this when you stop too fast.


Hi….. i have ford explorer 2006 v6 4.0 5r55s there is problem in transmission no drive no reverse!!! Can you tell me what I should to change parts of transmission to fix the problem??? Please I need your help guys.


Hi abdu, unfortunately it sounds like your transmission needs to be replaced. If you don’t think it has completely failed, you could try signing up to our forum here: and asking our expert Marc who will get back to you in a day or two.