Mike Steen, Author at Transmission Digest
Once More, Not the Transmission

It’s very simple to get steered in the wrong direction when you’re diagnosing a transmission complaint. There are so many different sensors and components that can cause transmission-like symptoms that at first it seems as if without a doubt you have a transmission problem, and from a customer’s perspective they are convinced it’s going to cost them an arm and a leg, which provides you the opportunity to be a hero and gain a customer for life.

Chrysler Transmission-Range Sensor

The transmission range sensor (TRS) has three primary functions:

1. Provide a Park/Neutral start signal to the engine controller and the starter relay.
2. Turn the backup lamps on when the transmission is in Reverse and the engine (ignition) is on.
3. Provide a transmission-range signal to the instrument cluster.

Cooler Bypass

External cooler bypass valves are becoming more and more popular, it seems. There are also many different variations of these bypass valves. It’s important that you check the cooler lines and cooler closely to see whether the vehicle you’re working on has one of these bypass valves. In most instances they can be removed and cleaned.

5R110W Filter Change

Until mid-2008 Ford trucks equipped with a TorqShift transmission, otherwise known as the 5R110W, came from the factory equipped with an inline filter installed in the cooler lines. In most instances this filter is a replaceable element inside a canister in the cooler lines (Figure 1). This requires the technician to remove the canister and replace the filter element after a flush service or a transmission replacement, at a cost of about $8 for the filter element.

Chrysler 41TE & 42LE Range Sensors

Have you ever been here? It’s late in the day (usually Friday), and you’re just about to button up the 41TE or 42LE job you promised. Everything is going as planned. You go to plug in the range sensor, only to find out that the range-sensor pins are different and the vehicle harness won’t plug in.

AX4S or AX4N?

Their turbine-speed sensors look similar but won’t interchange.

At first glance you might think the AX4S and AX4N turbine-speed sensors are the same. However, a closer look will show you that the AX4S sensor is a little longer – which means you easily could install the wrong sensor in a unit by mistake.

Micro Cleaning

Cleaning’s not technical, right? You take a little soap and water and scrub and wash, scrub and wash some more, rinse, and the part’s clean. Or maybe you use some solvent, different chemical cleaners to get the really hard stuff and get it looking like new, so clean you can eat from it.

KM End-Clutch Failure

Have you ever noticed that most of the complaints or failures you have with a KM involve a burned end clutch? The complaints tend to be sliding 1-2, 2-3 spin-up, neutraling on the 3-4 shift, delayed engagements, no forward or no reverse.

I’ve seen every one of these complaints, only to find the end clutch burned. You might be thinking, “What does a burned end clutch have to do with a sliding 1-2 shift?”