Ford Explorer will not shift into drive.


Asked by Jun 20, 2016 at 12:58 PM about the 2001 Ford Explorer XLT 4WD

Question type: Maintenance & Repair

2001 Explorer XLT 4WD Automatic, 235k miles.

Will not shift into drive. Shift lever moves to "D" position but gears do not
engage, acts as if in neutral. If I shift into "2" the transmission engages and
it will drive. I can then shift from "2" to "D" and it will drive normally with all
gears unless/until I come to a stop or very slow for turn, then reverts to the
neutral type behavior.

Problem surfaced when car was stopped pointing up steep slope and
shifted from R into D. No apparent noise, per the driver.

Is this likely repairable shy of complete transmission overhaul or
replacement?  I can tolerate this "semi-automatic" transmission for a while,
my wife not so much.

2 Answers


It could be TCM, gear selector switch or shift solenoid problem, your best bet is to take it to a tranny shop, they can plug in and override the onboard controls and see if the trans and other components respond to what they tell it too do, then they can tell you what it is going to take to fix it. It doesn't sound like it needs overhauled as the gears will work if shifted manually.

1 out of 1 people think this is helpful.

Thanks! Better than the dealership's answer ;-)

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