I have a `95 explorer with the 4.0 motor. The electronic overdrive off indicator light (“O/D Off”) on dash started flashing today. The transmission seems to be shifting into overdrive. Owner’s manual says to have it checked as damage can be caused.
This is a fairly common problem, especially on the '95s. When the light starts flashing, the trans goes into 'cripple/limp' mode. This was Fords idea of enabling the owner to get it to a repair facility. I suggest pulling the codes. If they don't reveal anything, disconnect the battery for 5 minutes to reset the codes, and see if the light comes back on. On my 95, the light comes on about once a year, but the codes don't reveal anything. I disconnect the battery and it's good for another year. The one thing you don't want to do is drive it any great distance with the light flashing since there is added strain to the trans.
I used to have a '95 and had the same situatioin as marragtop. About once or twice a year the O/D light would start flashing. No codes would be set so I would pull the negative battery terminal and all was good for another 6 to 12 months. I think the '95s are particularly sensitive since it was the first year of the all electronic transmission in the Explorers. Mark, check with the previous owner about this, he might be able to help.
FYI, I posted this a while back. It is kind of long, but it might help some of you that have chronic o/d off flashing problems. It is probably cheaper for you to keep resetting the computer, but some of you may want to upgrade the PCM as I detail in the post below.
'95 flashing o/d off light possible solution
I have use this board many times to help me through common problems (TPS, IAC, radio fix for my father's explorer). I feel like it is finally my turn to return the favor. I apologize in advance if this gets long winded, but I feel my story my help others save $$$.
First off, I have a '95 Explorer Sport 4wd. I had very few problems with it until my o/d off light started flashing at 180K miles. I took the cheap route and found two guys that work at a Ford dealership who would rebuild the tranny for me in their garage. (first mistake). The rebuild lasted for 1K miles before I was left stranded on the side of the road. They rebuilt it again, but it was shifting very hard, and I knew it wouldn't last long. My shadetree mechanics disappeared, and I was on my own to figure out what to do next. Instead of waiting for it to have an expensive catastrophic failure, I took it to a local shop that has a very good reputation (this is what I should have done in the first place). He rebuilt the tranny again for $1100, and it was running great. 1,500 miles later, the o/d off light started flashing. I tried resetting the computer several times by disconnecting the battery for 5-10 minutes, but everytime I started driving, the light would start flashing again. I took it back to the local tranny shop, and he told me that the transmission was fine, but there was an electronics problem. This was not his specialty, so he could not help me. He recommended that I take it to a Ford dealership, and when I did all Ford wanted to do was replace the transmission. I just couldn't handle that.
I then purchased a subscription to Alldata.com and sifted through the reams of technical service bulletins on the 1995 model. TSB # 98-5-16 really intrigued me. This TSB says that there could be a problem with the powertrain control module (PCM) on Explorer's built in 1995. Basically, the computer has tolerances that each gear range should run within, and if there is any deviation outside these tolerances, the o/d light will start flashing. Ford apparently set the tolerances in the program too tight, and then issued the TSB along with information about the new PCM and calibration. Unfortunately, the PCM on the '95 model cannot be reprogrammed, so I had to buy a new PCM. Ford changed the part number of the PCM for the '95 from F5TF-ARC to F5PF-BRA.
I installed the updated PCM, and I have driven 3k miles without any problem. I now feel confident that I will get to 300K.
The reason that I think this is important is that I see a lot of "o/d off flashing" posts on this site, and many posters on this site respond with recommendations that you reset the PCM as the first option. I strongly agree with this recommendation. However, if this does not work, I recommend checking with your dealership to make sure you have the latest program calibration installed on your PCM. Unfortunately my PCM could not be reprogrammed because it is not OBD-II, but later models can just be reprogrammed. (it cost me $220 for a new PCM, but reprogramming only costs around $80).
Anyway, that's my little story. It turns out that my transmission may have never needed even the first rebuild, as the PCM may have been the problem all along. I spent a total of about $2500, when $220 may have been all I needed.
I hope this helps some of you, and sorry for the lack of brevity.
Thanks for the detailed description. I made the mistake of trusting the dealer when the O/D started flashing. The dealer replaced the Transmission, two months later the flashing returned. This time the dealer replaced the button on the gear shift lever. Both dealer visits were a complete waste of time and money, IMO. The OD light still flashes on occasion and instead of disconnecting the battery I just reset it through the diagnostic connector .
Based on your experience, I am going to update the module and hopefully eliminate the problem for good.
Overdrive off light flashing / stalling and bucking
I inherited a 95 F 150 ext cab longbed P/U with a 5.0. which was supposed to have the motor and trans rebuilt a year prior to that.
When I first got it, I was informed the front tank has rust and water in it and was under the assumption it had new plugs. Took the truck for a test joyride and while driving it running off the rear tank, the truck would lose power and not go after 20 mins of driving. Stop and let truck rest for 20 mins and it would go fine for the next 15, then it would buck , stall and lose power again. Had truck towed home and proceeded to replace both steel tanks with plastic tanks, new fuel pumps, new sending units and new hanger assemblies, I could not get new fuel lines so thoroughly flushed them till clean fuel ran thru. I was told of a fuel strainer under hood near where fuel lines connect to fuel rails in some models........neither I nor my mechanic were able to locate this. Ran the truck 30 miles up the interstate and back 4 times starting with Full tanks, water remover and fuel system clear in the first two tanks, and straight gas on the other 3 trips. After each trip the O/D light, stalling, and bucking at shift points returned after the second trip.
Disconnected the battery for 24 hrs and took 3 hr road trip. Vehicle ran fine both ways 3 hours each. soon as I got off the interstate, o/d light returned and stalled when taking off from stop.took truck home and parked it.
Finally I popped hood on truck and stood there staring at motor. I noticed some surface rust on the black painted metal of the spark plugs and having never seen rust on plugs before, pulled the plug to check it, plug was badly worn (Gap was 1/4 in Due to wear) heavliy carboned.
I changed the plugs only and all the problems i had .buicking, stalling, check engione light, o/d off light have gone away and haven't returned in 2500 miles.
Hope this helps anyone else who may have the same problem