Transmission problem: When cold, will not shift into gear.


Asked by thecookiemaker Oct 04, 2008 at 06:16 PM about the Ford Ranger

Question type: Maintenance & Repair

I changed the plugs / wires / dist cap in my ranger, (4wd) now in the mornings, I put her into reverse and she will move, but then when I go to shift her into gear, it does nothing, just sits there. Now I do not know if it is a coincidence, but I also have a 2000 ford ranger (2wd) and changed the plugs and wires in it also, and it does almost the same thing, will not shift into drive, just sits there.   Could this problem have anything to do with the plugs/wires?  Just seems kinda coincidental that it is happening to both my rangers now!  

9 Answers

Andrew Gilbert

How long does it take for it to finally get going? I don't know how plug wires would cause this, but I am not an expert.

Deven Prater

Possible the fluid may not be up to temp or they could possibly both be low on fluid. But i believe the plugs and wires would have nothing to do with the trans.


Since you worked on this yourself doublecheck all wire connections in the area that you might have bumped. It is easy to loosen one without realizing it.


Double check fluid level , low level will cause delayed engagement into gear. Also double check you didn't knock a wire connector loose when working on the spark plugs and wires.


you could also check the transmission filter if it is clogged up it could cause it to seem like the transmission is going out

Not Active

changing plugs and wires would not affect the tranny,if it was working before the tun up,you may have knocked off a vac line or unpluged a scensor connector.

2 out of 2 people think this is helpful.

I tend to agree with the thought you disconnected something. Perhaps go back though each of the steps you performed when changing the plugs wires. I think maybe command module in tranny. you should be able to get a code reader from local parts store plug it in and read codes.

1 out of 1 people think this is helpful.

I also tend to agree with the disconnect suspicion. (The first 3 times I responded to a check engine light on 2 different cars, it was disconnected O2 sensor after routine work. Can anyone suggest which connectors to look at? (I have the same problem on a ranger I bought just after the engine & tranny were rebuilt)


Your tranny problems are vacuum related or internal in the transmission. There is also a possibility that there is some type of solenoid that has gone bad. Depending on if it is automatic or standard

2 out of 2 people think this is helpful.

Your Answer

Add photo

Related Questions

  • why won't my truck shift out of third gear? 1 answer

    can't shift out of third it's stuck does this mean my transmission Is out or?

    1987 Ford Ranger STD Extended Cab SB


    Maintenance & Repair

  • 1991 ranger 3.0 manual wont shift out of gear. 3 answers

    I was driving and shifted into nuetral coming to a light. After I shifted the shifter into first gear and tried to go. it seemed the tranny was till in 4th or 5th and stalled. I pushed in on the clutc...

    1991 Ford Ranger


    Maintenance & Repair

  • Problems with Transmission 4 answers

    the best way to say whats wrong, is it has a roar when driven for a small amount of time...long enough to warm the transmission, about 20 miles. Then the problem is going from 2nd gear....roars until ...

    1994 Ford Ranger


    Maintenance & Repair

  • what kind of transmission oil,or gear oil does my 1991 2.9 ford ranger take? does the transmission take gear oil? 5 answers

    what kind of transmission oil,or gear oil does my 1991 2.9 ford ranger take? does the transmission take gear oil?

    1991 Ford Ranger XLT Extended Cab 4WD SB


    Maintenance & Repair

  • auto transmission 1 answer

    I just got a 2006 super duty,when its cold it takes awhile to shift thru the gears after its warmed up it shifts great,why dose it shift like that cold.

    2006 Ford F-350 Super Duty


    Maintenance & Repair

Looking for a Used Ranger in your area?
CarGurus has 7,025 nationwide Ranger listings starting at $995.

Search Ford Ranger Questions

Ford Ranger Experts

#1 tennisshoes
Reputation 430
#1 Tom Demyan
Tom Demyan
Reputation 430
#3 Tracy Hooks
Tracy Hooks
Reputation 380
View All

Related Models For Sale

Used Toyota Tacoma"
644 Great Deals out of 24,182 listings starting at $2,495
Used Ford F-150"
2,819 Great Deals out of 148,415 listings starting at $1,295
Used Chevrolet S-10"
55 Great Deals out of 1,971 listings starting at $1,695
Used Nissan Frontier"
356 Great Deals out of 21,570 listings starting at $2,750
Used Chevrolet Colorado"
241 Great Deals out of 8,408 listings starting at $2,700
Used Chevrolet Silverado 1500"
2,373 Great Deals out of 169,581 listings starting at $888
Used Dodge Dakota"
195 Great Deals out of 4,377 listings starting at $1,688
Used Ford Explorer Sport Trac"
100 Great Deals out of 1,851 listings starting at $2,499
Used Dodge Ram Pickup 1500"
807 Great Deals out of 14,934 listings starting at $1,395
Used Ford Mustang"
850 Great Deals out of 29,865 listings starting at $1,993
Used Jeep Wrangler"
1,314 Great Deals out of 53,485 listings starting at $1,800
Used Toyota Tundra"
490 Great Deals out of 24,942 listings starting at $3,495
Used Toyota Pickup"
131 listings starting at $2,995
Used Ford Escape"
1,229 Great Deals out of 59,783 listings starting at $1,400
Used Mazda B-Series Pickup"
4 Great Deals out of 244 listings starting at $2,350