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Used Cars for sale - Used Trucks for sale [3777800349] Buy Used Cars

96 Contour v-6 automatic flashing overdrive light

- Ford-Contour

Forum Post
10/23/08 15:55

96 Contour v-6 automatic flashing overdrive light

Car funs great, then the overdrive light starts to flash for no reason and the transmission begins to shift with a jerk. Any Ideas?
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This post has a total of 7 replies. Your feedback, comments, opinions and questions are welcome and encouraged.

This forum post has messages dated from 10/23/08 through 08/13/10, please be sure to read all the messages. If you feel it is old or outdated, please follow up with a question or comment and someone may be able to update it, or reply with newer information if you have it.

03/23/09 00:15

I have a 4 cyl. 96 Contour with the same problem. Have you checked your tranny fluid? That did a little help with the shifting with mine. You might also want to think about getting a new transmission. I'm getting one put in soon by my dad. You can get ones in a junk yard for like a hundred bucks. Just before you buy one, make sure you can get it tested. You walk out with it, often times you can't take it back. If you can't do the work, as long as you have the tranny, most garages will only charge labor. It can get expensive, but changing a tranny isn't an easy job. If you don't wnat to get into that much work, it might be easier to get rid of the car. I just have a dad that loves my "tinker toy" as he calls it and he always does my work on my car.

Good luck.


04/09/09 11:38
Justin Bellmore

I have a 1996 Ford Contour with a V6 that was doing the same exact problem driving down the road and the overdrive light would flash on and off, I took it to the trans. shop and they said it was something within the wiring harness causing it to short out, and would cost $1200 to replace the whole wiring harness. They by-passed the problem by wrapping a ground wire around the wiring harness. Worked fine for awhile, but still acts up again, so back to square one sounds like its a common problem with this type of car.
05/11/09 12:00
Jim Rahrig

The CD4E automatic is a weak point on the Contour/Mystique/Cougar. The symptoms you describe suggest the transmission is overheating due to the torque converter refusing to lock at cruise.

First: Get the Check Engine Light (CEL) code(s) read at an auto parts store. Write down the codes and perform a SEARCH for those codes on Goggle or

Perform a few 4 qt drain & fills on your transmission one weekend. It may help and will cost little to try.

09/13/09 10:11

Thought this might be helpful to you. Maybe Shawn can take the car to one of the auto parts stores and have them test it
01/21/10 15:09


my 99 ford contour has the same problem, i just rebuilt the transaxle and of course the wiring herness would be the first place you wanna check, a personal diagnostic would be to check all wiring harnesses as well as a fluid change, be sure there is a correct level of fluid in the car and see if that helps, if not the next step would be to take it to like auto zone or some sort to get the codes checked, from then on the best ebt would be to replace or repair your transaxle.

08/13/10 19:34

It could very well be in the wiring harness. This may sound crazy but try this. Clean the engine compartment with high pressure water hose. Then test drive it while its still wet. I just bought this 97 ranger about a week ago and it supposed to have a bad trans.. and all week I have been driving it and slips every time out of first then slamming up and down gears, overdrive light flashing with check engine light, constant. So I was cleaning the motor to sell the truck and as always you start it to dry it out. I I shift into reverse and it was smooth, then drive and gave it throttle and no slip? So now I drive around the block, awesome this must be my lucky day, im thinking. I reset the check light, took it on the freeway no more flashing overdrive light. I took it straight to the smog shop and it passed. As soon as I left the CE light back on, slipping again. Went home sprayed more water on the motor and back in business. Mine is definitely a short in the harness, now I just have to pinpoint it.
08/13/10 19:45

Mine was jerking into reverse, and while up and down shifting. I am glad that I didn't put in another tranny. Would have been a waste of money, and I bet it cost me zero to fix the problem once I find the short, haven't tried yet. I bet there are many Ranger owners that have replaced tranny and didn't need to, finally I am not one of them. Funny! as soon it dries the problem comes back, spray some water on it and all better. I am able to do a little burn out from dead stop, before would slip.
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