Ford Explorer Transmission Problems & Cost | 5R55 | 6R60 | 6F35

The Ford 5R55S, 5R55N and 5R55W transmission was used in both 2 and 4-wheel drive Explorers, and the 6R60 in V8 models. After it switched over to a FWD/AWD platform in 2011, the 6-speed 6F35 was used. 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? Get an estimate for replacement transmissions and local installation. Look up your transmission model by vehicle make and model.

What Transmission Do I Have?

Ford Explorer Transmission Replacement Cost Estimate

Replacement Ford Explorer Transmission Prices:

TransmissionStreet Smart TransmissionAutozoneAdvance Auto PartsDealer Retail
5R55S/N/W/E1970188019493169
6F50 / 6F352420235526493387
6R602390231023793500

What are the DTC codes related to Ford Explorer transmission problems?

Trouble CodeDescription
P0703Torque Converter/Brake Switch B Circuit
P0705Transmission Range Sensor Circuit Malfunction (PRNDL Input)
P0707Transmission Range Sensor Circuit Low Input
P0708Transmission Range Sensor Circuit High Input
P0711Transmission Fluid Temperature Sensor Circuit Range/Performance
P0712Transmission Fluid Temperature Sensor Circuit Low Input
P0713Transmission Fluid Temperature Sensor Circuit High Input
P0714Transmission Fluid Temperature Sensor Circuit Intermittent P0715
P0715Input/Turbine Speed Sensor Circuit
P0717Input/Turbine Speed Sensor Circuit No Signal
P0718Input/Turbine Speed Sensor Circuit Intermittent
P0720Output Speed Sensor Circuit
P0721Output Speed Sensor Circuit Range/Performance
P0723Output Speed Sensor Circuit Intermittent
P0729Gear 6 Incorrect Ratio
P0730Incorrect Gear Ratio
P0731Gear 1 Incorrect Ratio
P0732Gear 2 Incorrect Ratio
P0733Gear 3 Incorrect Ratio
P0734Gear 4 Incorrect Ratio
P0735Gear 5 Incorrect Ratio
P0745Pressure Control Solenoid 'A'
P0748Pressure Control Solenoid 'A' Electrical
P0750Shift Solenoid 'A'
P0751Shift Solenoid 'A' Performance or Stuck Off
P0752Shift Solenoid 'A' Stuck On
P0753Shift Solenoid 'A' Electrical
P0755Shift Solenoid 'B'
P0756Shift Solenoid 'B' Performance or Stuck Off
P0757Shift Solenoid 'B' Stuck On
P0758Shift Solenoid 'B' Electrical
P0760Shift Solenoid 'C'
P0761Shift Solenoid 'C' Performance or Stuck Off
P0762Shift Solenoid 'C' Stuck On
P0763Shift Solenoid 'C' Electrical
P0765Shift Solenoid 'D'
P0766Shift Solenoid 'D' Performance or Stuck Off
P0767Shift Solenoid 'D' Stuck On
P0768Shift Solenoid 'D' Electrical
P0770Shift Solenoid 'E'
P0771Shift Solenoid 'E' Performance or Stuck Off
P0772Shift Solenoid 'E' Stuck On
P0773Shift Solenoid 'E' Electrical
P0774Shift Solenoid 'E' Intermittent
P0775Pressure Control Solenoid 'B'
P0777Pressure Control Solenoid 'B' Stuck On
P0778Pressure Control Solenoid 'B' Electrical
P0795Pressure Control Solenoid 'C'
P0797Pressure Control Solenoid 'C' Stuck On
P0798Pressure Control Solenoid 'C' Electrical
P0817Transmission Fluid Pressure Manual Valve Position Switch Reverse with Drive Ratio
P0817Starter Disable Circuit
P0960Pressure Control Solenoid “A” Control Circuit/Open
P0961Pressure Control Solenoid “A” Control Circuit Range/Performance
P0962Pressure Control Solenoid “A” Control Circuit Low
P0963Pressure Control Solenoid “A” Control Circuit High
P0972Shift Solenoid “A” Control Circuit Range/Performance
P0973Shift Solenoid “A” Control Circuit Low
P0974Shift Solenoid “A” Control Circuit High
P0975Shift Solenoid “B” Control Circuit Range/Performance
P0976Shift Solenoid “B” Control Circuit Low
P0977Shift Solenoid “B” Control Circuit High
P0978Shift Solenoid “C” Control Circuit Range/Performance
P0979Shift Solenoid “C” Control Circuit Low
P0980Shift Solenoid “C” Control Circuit High
P0981Shift Solenoid “D” Control Circuit Range/Performance
P0982Shift Solenoid “D” Control Circuit Low
P0983Shift Solenoid “D” Control Circuit High
P0985Shift Solenoid “E” Control Circuit Low
P0986Shift Solenoid “E” Control Circuit High
P1762Nissan DTC: Direct Clutch Solenoid Valve
P2763Torque Converter Clutch Pressure Control Solenoid Ctrl Circuit High
P2764Torque Converter Clutch Pressure Control Solenoid Ctrl Circuit Low

Ford Explorer Transmission Technical Service Bulletins | TSB

TSB 01-10-2 – Fluid leak from the transmission cooler lines at the transmission case connection
2002 Ford Explorer – 2002 Mercury Mountaineer
Problem – On vehicles built from 11/13/2000-4/2/2001, there may be a transmission fluid leak at the cooler line-to-case connection. This can be caused by contamination of the tube nut, threads, flare, or improper installation torque.
Solution – The transmission cooler line and tube nuts will need to be cleaned and an O-ring installed in the case fitting.

TSB 01-10-7 – Transmission control indicator lamp On with P0713 DTC, along with other OBDII codes
2002 Ford Explorer – 2002 Mercury Mountaineer
Problem – On vehicles built between 11/13/2000-3/8/2001, various transmission trouble codes may appear due to water intrusion into the transmission solenoid body connector
Solution – Install an updated transmission wiring harness – part number 1L2Z-7C078-AB

TSB 01-22-3 – Buzzing noise from the transmission when the converter is engaged
2002 Ford Explorer 4.6L – 2002 Mercury Mountaineer 4.6L
Problem – On vehicles produced between 11/15/2000-11/11/2001, equipped with the Ford 4.6L engine and the 5R55W transmission, a buzzing noise may be heard when the torque converter engages, due to a higher fluid velocity inside of the valve body / main control unit.
Solution – Install updated 5R55W valve body

TSB 01-20-7 – Ticking noise coming from the front or intermediate servo cover area
2002 Ford Explorer 5R55W – 2002 Mercury Mountaineer 5R55W
Problem – A ticking noise may be present when the vehicle is idling in Park or Neutral.
Solution – The separator plate or valve body may need to be replaced.

TSB 02-08-03 – Transmission fluid leak at servo cover
2001 – 2002 Ford Explorer Sport Trac – 2001 – 2002 Ford Explorer Sport – 2001 – 2002 Ford Ranger
Problem – On vehicles equipped with the 2.3L, 3.0L or 4.0L engine with the 5R55E transmission, operating in cold climates may cause a transmission fluid leak at the servo cover.
Solution – Install updated servo cover(s).

TSB 02-13-8 – Low line pressure at wide open throttle (WOT), slipping and or delayed gear engagement
1995 – 2001 Ford Explorer – 1999 – 2002 Ford Explorer Sport – 2001 – 2002 Ford Explorer Sport Trac – 1995 – 2002 Ford Ranger – 1997 – 2001 Mercury Mountaineer
Problem – Vehicles built prior to 12/1/2001 may experience a number of transmission problems including; no 2nd gear, no 3rd gear, no engine braking when in manual 1st, slipping and/or delayed gear engagements, DTC’s P0732, P0733 and/or P1762
Solution – Modify or install updated valve body

TSB 03-25-4 – No 3rd gear or slipping on the 2-3 shift
2002 Ford Explorer 5R55W – 2002 Mercury Mountaineer 5R55W
Problem – Certain vehicles may exhibit no third gear, slipping on the 2-3 shift and P0733 and P0745 DTC’s due to a broken intermediate band inside the transmission.
Solution – Install new 5R55W intermediate band, OD band and pistons. The direct clutch drum will also need to be inspected for signs of damage, cracking etc.

TSB 05-21-8 – Delayed or harsh reverse engagement – 5R55S Transmission
2004 – 2005 Ford Explorer – 2004 – 2005 Ford Thunderbird – 2004 – 2005 Lincoln LS – 2004 – 2005 Lincoln Aviator – 2004 – 2005 Mercury Mountaineer
Problem – Some vehicles may experience a delayed or harsh reverse gear engagement due to improper pressure control
Solution – It may be necessary to place the solenoid body assembly, valve body and/or an in-line filter

2002 TSB 190029 / 04-24-17
Problem:
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
Solution:
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.

TSB 06-25-10 – Shifter requires manual override to get the vehicle out of Park – 6R60 Transmission & 5R55S Transmission
2006 – 2007 Ford Explorer – 2007 Ford Explorer Sport Trac – 2006 – 2007 Mercury Mountaineer
Problem – Some vehicles may experience an intermittent condition where the shifter gets stuck in the Park position, requiring the use of the manual override function to shifted out of Park. This transmission problem may be caused by chemicals from the shifter lubricants corroding the shifter switch contacts.
Solution – If no electrical problems are found, a new transmission selector lever will need to be installed.

TSB 07-6-3 – DTCs related to the Mechatronic assembly – with or without the wrench light on – 6R60 Transmission
2006 – 2007 Ford Explorer – 2007 Ford Explorer Sport Trac – 2007 Ford Expedition – 2006 – 2007 Mercury Mountaineer
Problem – Some vehicles may experience transmission problems, along with the following diagnostic trouble codes: P0658, P0657, P0972, P0973, P0974, P0975, P0976, P0977, P0978|, P0979, P0980, P0981, P0982, P0983, P0961, P0962, P0963, P2763, P2764, P0985, P0986, P0711, P0712. This can be caused by contamination at the Mechatronic assembly (i.e. the valve body).
Solution – Install new protective barrier strip on the valve body.

TSB 11-12-10 – Sluggish acceleration from 0-5 mph (0-8 km/h) followed by harsh bump or slip on takeoff – 6F35 Transmission & 6F50 Transmission
2010 – 2011 Ford Taurus – 2009 – 2011 Ford Edge – 2009 – 2011 Ford Flex – 2011 Ford Explorer – 2010 – 2011 Lincoln MKS – 2009 – 2011 Lincoln MKX – 2010 – 2011 Lincoln MKT
Problem – Some vehicles may experience sluggish acceleration or a hesitation feel during a rolling stop, followed by a harsh bump or slip feeling. This can be caused by a design flaw in the 6F35 valve body / 6F50 valve body.
Solution – On transmissions originally built for Mercon LV transmission fluid (listed on the dipstick), the valve body will have to be modified by deleting one hole in the valve body separator plate, and removing the check ball in the area of the deleted hole. If this modification is not performed properly, the transmission may experience a loss of reverse or a 2-3 shift flare.

TSB 15-0047 / 17-2219 – Push button start – Shift to Park or Transmission Not In Park message – discharged battery – unable to remove key
2011 – 2017 Ford Edge – 2011 – 2017 Ford Explorer – 2011 – 2017 Ford Flex – 2011 – 2017 Ford Police Interceptor Sedan – 2011 – 2017 Ford Taurus – 2011 – 2016 Lincoln MKS – 2011 – 2017 Lincoln MKT – 2011 – 2015 Lincoln MKX
Problem – Vehicles equipped with a floor shift selector lever and push button start, may display a ‘Shift To Park’ or ‘Transmission Not In Park’ message, even though the transmission is actually in Park. It may also not be possible to remove the transmitter key, and the battery may discharge due to the warning message remaining illuminated.
Solution – Install new park detect switch

2013 TSB 365099 / 13-5-31
Problem: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).”
Solution:
To fix the problem, a Ford dealer will need to update the Powertrain Control Module (PCM) software.

2013 TSB 365977 / ASI-32216
Problem:
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.
Solution:
Fixing the problem will require the installation of an updated case bushing, seal and half shaft.

Common Ford Explorer Transmission Problems

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.

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.

Need a replacement transmission? Get an estimate for replacement transmissions and local installation. Look up your transmission model by vehicle make and model.

What Transmission Do I Have?

 

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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Leave a Comment

Kent

I have a 2013 Explorer xlt fwd and the other day I was sitting in park with the engine idling for approximately 5 minutes. When I backed out of the parking space reverse worked fine and when I put it in drive nothing happened. I raised the engine RPM and then had a bang noise and the car lunged forward. I had this happen 3 times that day and after the noise and lunge the car shifted fine. I had the fluid level checked, all was fine. I have been driving for 4 days with no noise or issue, do you have any ideas on what could have caused this?
Thank you Kent

Ricardo Souza

My 2016 Ford Explorer XLT V6 3.5L is having some issues with the shifting gears. After 30 minutes driving over 80 mph on a highway, I’m having trouble on the shifting between 2nd and 3rd gears when I slow down (down shift) and when I speed up (up shift). I feel a bump right on the moment of the change of gears. I did the update of the software (Powertrain and transmission) but the problem continues. Anyone can help me out in telling what could be this problem? The problem just happens after I drive on the highway, doesn’t happen in town. Looks like the temperature of the fluid gets really high and then the problem comes.

Jerry M.

My 2006 rebuilt explorer tranny won’t take a gear until we turn off the park aid. Then it goes fine until I turn off the key and park aid resets to on. What’s up with this vehicle?

Mildred F Rhoat

2006 Ford explorer sport Trac will not shift in to reverse

Daniel

2003 explorer jumps wen in gear and stopped nuetral it is fine

Stacey

2003 Ford Explorer xtl 4by4 Reverses God is good An slips the gear wen shifting

Sharon Macrunnels

2004 explorer 4.6liter shifter moves linkage on tranny hut no gear engages

Cyndy

I have a 2013 explorer with 66,000 miles. Had a roaring sound under the car. Faster I went. Louder the sound. Took to dealership and they said it needed an axle replaced. Got the work done. Two days later same problem. Now they say it is transmission. Said axle problem caused transmission problem. Had my car over 2 weeks and still can’t tell me what is wrong. Any advice or suggestions.

RON COMSTOCK

after doing a rebuild, is it normal for the output shaft to only turn counter clockwise , looking at rear, and not clockwise when in neutral? also input shaft won’t slide out through pump once its tightened down.
2003 explorer 5r55w trans

LLOYD BLEAM

2005 ford explorer sport trac will not shift in to reverse

Kim

If the torque converter and the shift selonoid is a manufacturing defect, why is it not recalled? Why do I have to pay for the repair? It’s like $2200

Jon Dillon

95 ford explorer slow about changing into 4th gear. Over drive lite flashing do you know how to get codes from transmission without OBD1 scanner ,have OBD2 scanner but it doesn’t have the OBD1 interface cable went to 3 parts places and 1transmission shop and 1 repair shop. Does anyone have a clue?

Irasema

My 2009 Ford Explorer was fine. Then one day all of sudden it did not want to accelerate. I wrench would appear in the dashboard. I had to pull over and turned it off. I then turned it back up and it would run for a couple of minutes and then the wrench would appear again and the truck would again decelerate. They changed the body throttle and some sensors and still does the same thing. Mechanic can’t find what’s wrong he is now saying it might be the computer. What is a computer? I’m concerned its already been a month since its been with the mechanic.

Janine McKay

I have a 2008 Ford Explorer and when I drive it and it gets hot it will break speed down to one mile per hour. And it only does it when the motor gets hot . It has only 75000 miles on it

Ryanredcard

Hi i have a 2003 explorer sport trac. There is nothing when it goes in reverse…just revving of engine. I am fairly sure the reverse band broke as i heard a noise. Ive tried in 4high and low as well..same thing.

I believe my transmission is a 5r55e. I have found one from a 2007 ranger, both with 4.0l engines.
Will the ranger 5r55e work in my 2003 sport trac?

Toni Schelm

I have a 2006 Ford Explorer 4.o V6 4×4. Wrench light came on and was not shifting from 2nd to 3rd properly. Took go auto store to have it checked. Said it was Solenoid A. Replaced the solenoid block, filter and gasket. Still doing it. Have to get RPM’s up to atleast 3k let off gas and it shifts smoothly into 3rd. Wrench and engine light came on diagnosed again and same solenoid and gear. The rest of gears are perfectly fine and smooth. So is my only option is to replace either the gear or transmission? I do not work as i am waiting on a decision for disability with my many health issues. Trying to fix as cheap as possible as I have already sunk $400 into it and it is still not fixed. Please help!!!! My only transportation.

Bowe Osborn

Did you rest the pcm after you replaced the solenoid pack? If not unhook negative battery terminal and keep the positive on take a wire w a clip and clip the positive to the unhooked negative cable bar metal pat for about 8-10.minutes. then it should rest the first 10 minutes of driving should fix it if it was the solenoid pack

Karen Edwards

I have a 2008 Ford Explorer with 130,000 miles. The “wrench” light appeared in the dash, but before I could get it to a garage to have it checked the transmission died. Really mad Ford makes vehicles with sealed transmissions which force the people to find a garage to check the transmission fluid levels when a simple dipstick would have told me the fluid was down….totally upset. Feel this cost could have been prevented if these companies would go back and make their vehicles driver-friendly!

Richard

My 2007 4wd v8 Explorer did not seem to have transmission issues until the PCM software was updated. Now it hard shifts. It seems to be getting worse. Was thinking of putting Lucas in. I had it flushed and a new filter and made no improvement. Problem gets worse when it’s warm.

AprilShell

Never flush your transmission. Only drain and fill. The transmission will need to be replaced shortly after, unfortunately.

JP

Very true. Same happened to mine. Will never have a transmission flushed again!

Herb

2008 FORD EXPLORER WITH 4.0 L 4 WHEEL DRIVE–TOWED IN WITH NO FORWARD OR REVERSE AND NO FAULT CODES

Juan Aceves

i have the same problem did u ever find out what was causing that

Curtis

I have a. 98 Ford explorer and it stalls when I put it in drive, it drive in reverse and runs great

Elaine O'Neil

I’ve got a 99′ and out of the blue I went to leave and it wouldn’t drive…it was no warning …no sounds …ran great …till I had to drive it backwards 5 blocks to tow it home…..was it a solenoid? Or a relay switch by chance?