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Help with symptoms


Strosfan5

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Hi all,
New to this Ford Ranger world. Just purchased a 2003 Ranger (4 cyl auto) with 200k miles. Very clean and straight chassis.
Test drive went well. Starts right up, shifted fine, clean under the hood. Looks well taken care of unlike some trucks with that many miles. Rear diff even looks good.

Trucks shift “slightly” hard in all gears. I would call it a firm shift instead of a “hard kick” into next gear.
Today when starting it, CE light came on and while getting up to speed, had some slippage from 3rd to 4th (for the first time) A quick check at autozone pointed to faulty o2 sensor.
No big deal but would the o2 sensor have any relation at all to transmission issues? I understand it is a component of how the engine runs (and all things that would affect) but am unsure of anything past that.

Anyone have this same experience. My apologies if something this has been posted before - a quick search really didn’t come up with anything.
 


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Andy D

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Generic advice ,check ATF level, color and smell. I know if I had a Ford with an AT that was acting up at 200k , selling it would be a good option
 

Strosfan5

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Sad thing is I just got it. I’m pretty mechanically inclined and the test drive a look at the truck physically seemed pretty legit.
Just went for another short drive to learn more about it. Noticed when I shifted from D to R to turn around it shifted really
Hard while stopped. A shift from D to N to R (and taking a few seconds to do it) was fine. No hard shifting.
The initial slip I spoke of was still there though.
Thanks for anyone’s insight.
 

1990RangerinSK

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As far as I know, a faulty o2 sensor should have no bearing on your transmission.

Now that that's out of the way, I had a '91 Sable a number of years ago that slipped under hard acceleration shifting from 1-2, but only if I let it run up to the red line. If I backed off quickly a couple hundred RPM before redline, it shifted fine. It didn't slip shifting into any other gear, and if I wasn't accelerating hard, it didn't slip. I drove it that way for over a year, and then my wife drove it for another year, without the transmission imploding. Mind you, when I drove it, I made sure I backed off so that it wouldn't slip.
 

Uncle Gump

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If the O2 sensor was causing an engine driveability issue... it could cause funky shift patterns. But i don't think it's your case... you aren't here saying it runs bad.

In an automatic... I want a good firm/solid shifts. But it sounds to me like you are having a 3 -4 shift issues.

As you know... fluid condition is king here. Look at it... smell it... dropping the pan will tell you the story. Unless the fluid is clean... then the evidence will be in the bottom of the last technicians parts washer.

There are a couple transmission guys on here... hopefully they will chime in.
 

Strosfan5

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The fluid itself is not of a burnt color at all. Relatively "pink" so to speak. Checking it while running is a little tough as its really just all up and down the whole lower half of the stick. This being said, checking it while off this morning after it sat all night, it is way over full but I'm sure that's because it is not circulating around.
My only thought on the O2 sensor having any bearing on the trans performance is that if it's running a little "off" it may upset how things happen some. I've done all kinds of things on a car including head gaskets and such but my knowledge on trannys is just about zippo. I' don't even know where to start except this message board and "google", which kept me up for a while last night.
 

G8orFord

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Fix the code. If it continues to slip, be concerned then. How the engine runs and what the PCM sees all can affect the transmission shifting. It may be unrelated, but until you've fixed the o2 sensor problem you can't be certain.
 

Strosfan5

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update: had local repair shop pull the code. Points to a code OP171 - "Lean bank one". Repair mentioned that would be related to PCV valve, MAS or intake manifold.
 

Dirtman

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A single bank code rules out anything both banks have in common.... which is basically everything except the o2 sensors. And the transmission uses a variety of engine data to operate so technically yes, an o2 or lean code can affect how the transmission shifts. Fix the code, then clear the memory and go from there.
 

Strosfan5

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On the 4 cyl Rangers, is the intake manifold gasket a common issue, more than a MAS or PCV valve or related vacuum hoses? I'll pull the MAS and clean it, PCV valve as well. Just concerned more about the intake manifold than anything.
 

Dirtman

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Duh...forgot it was a 4 cylinder so only one bank. Yes, it can be basically anything then. Maf, vacuum leak, fuel pump, clogged filter, etc etc

Be careful with the pcv valve, its not fun or easy to get to. You need to remove the drivers side inner fender.
 


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