How to Diagnose a Ford Expedition Transmission Problem?

Stalling at Stop Without Clutch Engaged

Question: Ford Expedition Transmission Diagnosis

I have a 2000 Ford Expedition Eddie Bauer, 5.4 liter Triton V-8 with 85,000 miles. It is clean with no problems of any kind since new. Last week, the transmission slipped three times in about 30 to 40 miles when pulling away from a stop, once it chattered in reverse.

Last Saturday, the engine just quit when pulling up to a stop sign as if I didn't push in the clutch, It's an automatic transmission.

I tried to re-start but the battery was dead, it was the factory battery.

After testing and replacing the battery with a new fully charged one, I re-started the engine, with no problem. The charging system tests out fine. Now the gear shift lever gets no response.

The engine idle changes slightly as the lever is moved through the different positions but no transmission response what so ever. The shift lever cable connects to an electronic switch underneath mounted on the transmission with wires going to the top of the transmission.

All the fuses and relays under the dash and in the engine compartment test out okay. The transmission fluid is clean and full and was flushed with a new filter about 10,000 miles ago.

I'm guessing that it is an electrical problem, not mechanical. Is the transmission is controlled by the computer? Is there a transmission reset switch or procedure? Could there be a solenoid or something on the trans that could have gone out?

I purchased a Chilton manual, but it just talks about generic R&R, not transmission diagnosis and doesn't even show or discuss the electronic shift switch. Where can I get documentation that will discuss how the electronic shifter and transmission work and how to diagnose it?

Have you heard of this problem before?

Please let me know what your thoughts on this are.

Thank you,

Answer: Possible Bad Torque Converter Control TCC Solenoid

The stalling at a stop when not pushing in the clutch is indicative of a bad Torque Converter Control (TCC) solenoid. Not an uncommon problem on any vehicle.

I can help you out with a description of how the Electronic Transmission works. As for troubleshooting, your best bet would be to get the Motors Manual Transmission book from the library. Troubleshooting this transmission is complex and requires some special test equipment that the average DIY does not have, or is cost effective for them to purchase.

Electronic System Description

The Powertrain Control Module (PCM) and its input/output network control the following transmission operations:

  • Shift timing
  • Line pressure (shift feel)
  • Torque converter clutch operation. The transmission control is separate from the engine control strategy in the powertrain control module, although some of the input signals are shared. When determining the best-operating strategy for transmission operation, the powertrain control module uses input information from certain engine-related and driver-demand related sensors and switches.

Using all of these inputs signals, the powertrain control module can determine when the time and conditions are right for a shift, or when to apply or release the torque converter clutch.

It will also determine the best line pressure needed to optimize shift feel. To accomplish this, the powertrain control module uses six output solenoids to control transmission operation.

The following provides a brief description of each of the sensors and actuators used by the PCM for transmission operation.

Mass Air Flow (MAF) Sensor

The Mass Air Flow (MAF) sensor measures the mass of air flowing into the engine. The MAF sensor output signal is used by the powertrain control module to calculate injector pulse width. For transmission strategies, the MAF sensor is used to regulate Electronic Pressure Control (EPC), shift and torque converter clutch scheduling.

Throttle Position (TP) Sensor

The Throttle Position (TP) sensor is a potentiometer mounted on the throttle body. The TP sensor detects the position of the throttle plate and sends this information to the powertrain control module.

The TP sensor is used for shift scheduling, electronic pressure control and Torque Converter Clutch (TCC) control.

Intake Air Temperature (IAT) Sensor

The IAT sensor is installed in the air cleaner outlet tube. The IAT sensor is also used in determining Electronic Pressure Control (EPC) pressures.

Powertrain Control Module (PCM)

The operation of the transmission is controlled by the powertrain control module. Many input sensors provide information to the powertrain control module. The powertrain control module then controls actuators which determine transmission operation.

Transmission Control Switch (TCS) and Transmission Control Indicator Lamp (TCIL)

The Transmission Control Switch (TCS) is a momentary contact switch. When the switch is pressed, a signal is sent to the powertrain control module to allow automatic shifts from first through fourth gears or first through third gears only. The powertrain control module energizes the Transmission Control Indicator Lamp (TCIL) when the switch is off. The TCIL indicates overdrive cancel mode activated (lamp on) and Electronic Pressure Control (EPC) circuit shorted (lamp flashing) or monitored sensor failure.

Anti-Lock Brake Speed Sensor

The Programmable Speedometer/Odometer Module (PSOM) receives input from the rear brake anti-lock sensor. After processing the signal, the PSOM relays it to the Powertrain Control Module (PCM) and the speed control module.

Turbine Shaft Speed (TSS) Sensor

The Turbine Shaft Speed (TSS) sensors a magnetic pickup that sends the Powertrain Control Module (PCM) information on the rotation speed of the coast clutch cylinder assembly The Turbine Shaft Speed (TSS) sensor is mounted externally on the top of the transmission case.

The Powertrain Control Module (PCM) uses Turbine Shaft Speed (TSS) sensor signals to help determine Electronic Pressure Control (EPC) pressure, shift scheduling the Torque Converter Clutch (TCC) operation.

Output Shaft Speed (OSS) Sensor

The Output Shaft Speed (OSS) sensor is a magnetic pickup that provides transmission output shaft rotation speed information to the powertrain control module. The Output Shaft Speed (OSS) sensor is mounted externally on the top of the transmission extension housing. The YCM uses the Output Shaft Speed (OSS) sensor signal to help determine Electronic Pressure Control (EPC) pressure, shift scheduling and Torque Converter Clutch (TCC) operation./P>

Transmission Solenoid Body Assembly

The powertrain control module controls the transmission operation through three on/off shift solenoids, one Pulse Width Modulated (PWM) shift solenoid, and one variable force shift solenoid. These solenoids and transmission fluid temperature sensor are housed in the transmission solenoid body assembly. All are part of the transmission solenoid body and are not replaced individually.

Transmission Fluid Temperature (TFT) Sensor

The Transmission Fluid Temperature (TFT) sensor is located on the solenoid body assembly in the transmission sump. It is a temperature-sensitive device called a thermistor. The resistance value of the transmission liquid temperature sensor will vary with temperatures change.

The powertrain control module monitors voltage across the transmission fluid temperature sensor to determine the temperature of the transmission fluid.

The powertrain control module uses this signal to determine whether a cold start shift schedule is necessary. The cold start shift schedule lowers shift speeds to allow for better cold engine operation. The powertrain control module also uses the transmission fluid temperature sensor input to adjust electronic pressure control pressure for temperature effects and to inhibit torque converter clutch operation during the warm-up period.

Coast Clutch Solenoid (CCS) The coast clutch solenoid provides coast clutch control by shifting the coast clutch shift valve. The solenoid is activated by pressing the transmission control switch or by selecting the 1 or 2 range with the transmission range selector lever. In MANUAL 1 and 2, the coast clutch is controlled by the solenoid and also hydraulically as a fail-safe to ensure engine braking. In reverse, the coast clutch is controlled hydraulically, and the solenoid is not on.

Torque Converter Clutch (TCC) Solenoid The Torque Converter Clutch (TCC) solenoid provides torque converter clutch control by shifting the converter clutch control valve to apply or release the torque converter clutch.

Electronic Pressure Control (EPC) Solenoid

CAUTION: The Electronic Pressure Control (EPC) solenoid pressure output from the variable force solenoid is NOT adjustable. Any modification to the electronic pressure control solenoid may void the transmission warranty.

The electronic pressure control solenoid is a variable force solenoid. The variable-force type solenoid is an electro-hydraulic actuator combining a solenoid and a regulating valve. It supplies electronic pressure control that regulates transmission line pressure and line modulator pressure. This is done by producing resisting forces to the main regulator and the line modulator circuits. These two pressures control clutch application pressures.

Shift Solenoids SSA and SSB

Shift solenoids SSA and SSB provide gear selection of first through fourth gears by controlling the pressure to the three shift valves.

Digital Transmission Range (TR) Sensor

The digital transmission range sensor is located on the outside of the transmission at the manual lever. The sensor completes the start circuit in Park and Neutral, the back-up lamp circuit in Reverse and a neutral sense circuit for GEM control of 4 x 4 low engagement. The sensor also opens/closes a set of four switches that are monitored by the Powertrain Control Module (PCM) to determine the position of the manual lever (P, R, N, (D), 2, 1).

4x4 Low (4x4L) Switch

The 4x4 low (4x4L) range switch is located on the transfer case cover. It provides an indication of when the 4x4 transfer case gear system is in the low range. The powertrain control module then modifies shift schedule for 4x4L operation.

Brake Pedal Position (BPP) Switch

The Brake Pedal Position Switch (BPP) tells the powertrain control module when the brakes are applied. The torque converter clutch disengages when the brakes are applied. The BPP switch closes when the brakes are applied and opens when they are released.

Electronic Ignition (EI) System

The electronic ignition consists of a crankshaft position sensor, two four tower ignition coils, and the powertrain control module. The ignition control module operates by sending crankshaft position information from the crankshaft position sensor to the ignition control module. The ignition control module generates a Profile Ignition Pickup (PIP) signal (engine rpm) and sends it to the PCM. The PIP is one of the inputs that the PCM uses to determine transmission strategy, Wide-Open Throttle (WOT) shift control, torque converter clutch control, and EPC pressure.

Distributor Ignition (DI) System

The profile ignition pickup sensor sends a signal to the powertrain control module indicating the engine rpm and the crankshaft position.

Air Conditioning (A/C) Clutch

An electromagnetic clutch is energized when the clutch cycling pressure switch closes. The switch is located on the suction accumulator/drier. The closing of the switch completes the circuit to the clutch and draws it into engagement with the compressor drive shaft. When the A/C clutch is engaged, Electronic Pressure Control (EPC) is adjusted by the PCM to compensate for additional load on the engine.

Manifold Absolute Pressure (MAP) Sensor

The Manifold Absolute Pressure (MAP) sensor senses atmospheric pressure to produce an electrical signal. The frequency of this signal varies with intake manifold pressure. The powertrain control module monitors this signal to determine altitude. The powertrain control module then adjusts the 4R100 shift schedule and EPC pressure for altitude. On diesel engines, the manifold absolute pressure sensor measures boost pressure. The powertrain control module monitors this signal and adjusts EPC pressure.

Additional Information provided courtesy of ALLDATA