Can a brake problem disrupt the transmission from functioning properly?

Asked by Jul 31, 2015 at 02:02 PM about the 1994 Ford Explorer 2 Dr XL SUV

Question type: Maintenance & Repair

My anti-lock break light has been on for a little while, but car has run fine besides that. My
breaks are very touchy, especially when first using them after starting the car. That said,
yesterday I was driving to the store, when suddenly the car became somewhat sluggish,
would not accelerate very fast and was making a funny noise, shaking more than usual.
Coming back from the store, it ran fine. Went out again to another store later, it ran fine.
Upon coming come, after turning a corner on the highway, it would not accelerate faster
than 25MPH and was making that weird noise, and shaking a bit. It would not switch
gears, it just stayed in the one gear. My breaks felt completely different as I turned
another corner to get off the highway. They were a lot stiffer and harder to push. I kept
trying to accelerate, but would never go past 25MPH. Its almost as if the breaks were
engaged by themself, preventing it from accelerating? Good thing I was very close to
home, being a single mom w/kids in the car! Got home, the engine was smoking a bit w/a
weird burning smell. I let it rest overnight. This morning, I checked the tranny fluid, it didn't
look low, but I added not even a quarter bottle to make sure. It smelled not good on the
dipstick. Checked all other fluids, nothing else was low. Turned it on, was making funny
clicking broken parts sound for a minute, then started to sound better. Drove around a
quiet neighborhood for a minute, breaks were back to being touchy as usual. Couldn't go
too fast because in a neighborhood, but it accelerated fine and it switched gears. Its an
automatic. Can a break issue disingage the transmission from switching
gears/acceleration? When you press the breaks does it disengage the transmission from
switching gears? The two seem to be conne ted because they coincide with each other
when the car is malfunctioning. Can it be a censor? Thanks for any ideas.

3 Answers


Hi this car sometimes have the speed sensor in the hub or wheel bearing. When you have the front wheel-bearing bad , the speed sensor don't read good and the ABS module don't know the real speed, in this moment the ABS module try to control the speed of the wheel with the bad lecture. You can feel more that problem when you are driving and turn the direction, remember the speed sensor is inside the front hub and wheel-bearing. Or maybe is simple a bad speed sensor.

1 people found this helpful.

Thank you Jerryautospecialties for the suggestion. I looked up VSS and that is my exact symptoms, even down to the spedomotor acting up/going haywire. Next question is, where is this VSS located/what area of the vehicle? Is there one VSS sensor or four (one for each tire)? My vehicle is the 4dr 2wd XLT model.


you need to verify but i think you have two sensor each one in front wheel and one in the rear differential. maybe you have 3 for this car.

1 people found this helpful.

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