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Chris (aka- Moose)
Chris (aka- Moose), Technician
Category: Ford
Satisfied Customers: 48339
Experience:  16 years experience
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My 2004 Ford freestar needs to the trans brake solenoid

Customer Question

My 2004 Ford freestar needs to the trans brake solenoid replaced. Im trying to find out where it is and difficulty to replace.
JA: Are you fixing your Freestar yourself? What have you tried so far?
Customer: My FIL will be doing the repair, if its not too difficult. If its not something we can do, Im not sure itll be worth the cost to repair and keep it. The problem started out with trouble shifting and notification of trans overheat on occassion after a major engine repair. BUT when the trans was working fine, then the ABS system light would be on and it would vibrate when brakes were pressed. And when the ABS light was off the trans wouldnt shift properly. Now the trans wont shift out of 2nd (I think) at all, but the ABS light is off and they are no longer vibrating at all. It has totally stopped working.
JA: Is it just the ABS light? Or is the brake system warning light on, too?
Customer: Just the ABS light
JA: Anything else you want the mechanic to know before I connect you?
Customer: Oh ya and the brake light would come on sometimes.
Submitted: 8 months ago.
Category: Ford
Expert:  Chris (aka- Moose) replied 8 months ago.

Welcome, I'm Chris (aka Moose), my normal schedule online is around lunch and after dinner till early morning.

Have you ever scanned it to see which ABS codes are stored?

Does the speedometer work correct?

So 1st and 2nd work fine. It makes no attempt to shift to 3rd or 3rd acts like neutral?

When told you a brake solenoid was needed? I ask because there is no such part on this car unless you're referring to the brake shift interlock solenoid that allows for shifting out of park.

Customer: replied 8 months ago.
No havent checked the codes. Was told there was a trans/brake solenoid and since one would work when the other wouldnt that is what needs replacing. The speedometer works fine. When it first started acting up, It would shift from first to second but would go to neutral when it supposed to shift in to 3rd. And when it was doing that the brake system lights wouldnt be on and they were working fine. When the brake system lights ABS etc... were on and the brakes were vibrating upon being pressed, the transmission would shift just fine. There was not pattern or common denominator on when they would work and wouldnt. It was random. Now the brake system lights are never on and the trans I think is stuck in second. Except when its really cold when I crank it then the trans will shift normal for a while.
Expert:  Chris (aka- Moose) replied 8 months ago.

No transaxle warning lights on?

Do you have access to a scan tool so we can monitor things in the transaxle?

Customer: replied 8 months ago.
Customer: replied 8 months ago.
Ill just let the mechanic deal with it. Thank you. I was hoping to avoid that.
Expert:  Chris (aka- Moose) replied 8 months ago.

Here is a diagram showing all the solenoids your AX4N/4F50N transaxle has.

Here is the symptom chart for no 3rd gear.

Since it works when cold when cold but not when hot and there are no trans codes, the more likely causes for no 3rd are:

  • faulty trans range sensor
  • shift solenoid A stuck
  • shift valve s sticking
  • 2-3 accumulator seals faulty
  • direct clutch seals bad

Do you work on transmissions/transaxles?

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Thanks for using Just Answer, Chris

Expert:  Chris (aka- Moose) replied 8 months ago.

Hello again Chris here,

  1. I have to assume you were not pleased with my help, because you have not replied or rated the post.
  2. What would you like to do regarding your question now?
  3. Do you still need help? Please reply I want you to get equal to or more than what you paid for.
  4. This post is coming up on the 7 day mark where it times out. That can prevent me from being able to post answers to your replies.

Thanks Chris