Common Problems for The Ford 5R55E Transmission: Do You Know What They Are?
Posted by Regis F. on Monday, February 18th, 2013
The 5R55E is an automatic transmission made by Ford. It is the first 5 speed automatic made by any manufacturer, and was commonly used in both 2 and 4 wheel drive vehicles. It was extensively used throughout the different Ford brands, including Lincoln and Mercury. Because this transmission was widely used the changes of you running across a damaged one is pretty high. Here are a few things that every shop owner and vehicle owner should know about the 5R55E transmission.
Common problems with this transmission are:
Failure of the solenoids: This is an electronic transmission and it uses electrical solenoids to control many of the functions of the transmission, including the shifting between gears and the lock up torque converter.
There is an easy and inexpensive way to check your solenoids to see if they are bad. Get out your ohm meter and check the resistance of the solenoid. Hook the wires from your ohm meter to the two leads coming off the solenoid. If you get no reading that means the solenoid has failed due to a break in the internal coil wiring. If you get a very low reading that meaning there is short in the internal coil. Most properly functioning solenoids will return a reading of somewhere between 20 – 30 ohms. Solenoids are fairly inexpensive as far as replacement parts go and are also fairly easy to replace.
The transmission is likely to overheat: Similar to any other automatic transmission, the 5R55E is subject to overheating, especially if you abuse it. Towing over the maximum recommended max load or staying into the throttle hard going up a steep hill on a hot day will cause the transmission to overheat. If you suspect your transmission is overheating, pull over and give the transmission some time to cool down. Overheating a transmission is the number one cause of transmission failure.
Recommended add-on items:
Transmission cooler: Buying a transmission cooler is great insurance to help prevent your transmission from failing due to overheating. Coolers come in all shapes and sizes and most are of a universal design, making them relatively easy to install. Some are available with built in fans allowing you to install them wherever you want. Remember; for every 20 degrees you go over 200 degrees, you cut the life of the transmission by a factor of two.
Invest in a hand held tuner: A hand held tuner is a great accessory for your transmission. Because the transmission is electronic, the line pressure can be increased electronically. The higher line pressure provides more holding pressure for the bands and clutches, helping prevent them from slipping and creating excessive heat.