The Ford C3 transmissions were designed for lightweight vehicles and the first C3 was made for the Ford Pinto. It was a three-speed automatic transmission. This design was replaced in the 1980s by 4-speed transmissions in the 1980”s. The first was the A4LD followed by the 4R44E. This automatic transmission was made for lightweight cars, trucks, and small SUVs built from 1995-2001. The vehicles this transmission was used in are the Ford Ranger, Ford Aerostar, Ford Scorpio, Ford Explorer, and Mazda B series.

The 4R44E transmission number tells the consumer what transmission can do. The R means that it is a rear-wheel-drive transmission. 44 represents the amount of torque the transmission has. The E means it is a transmission that is automatic or controlled electronically. This particular transmission was an upgrade of the A4LD and the feature that was most changed was adding electronic controls to the 4R44E.

This transmission was used in vehicles that had 4-cylinder engines. Of all the vehicles it was used in, the Ford Ranger is the most well known. There is a complete list of cars produced with the 4R44E transmission at

What Problems Did the 4R44E Transmission Have?

Sometimes the transmission slipped when shifting gears from 2nd to 3rd. This was caused by a worn part called a servo pin bore. The slippage needed to be fixed with a  new part or a different spring in the piston. Another mechanical problem was the 3rd and 4th gears failed to work at all. This was caused by a missing spring, or it was installed incorrectly. This caused the vehicle to only run up to second gear. Other issues were the 2nd and 4th gears did not work due to a faulty solenoid.

Another problem that occurred with this transmission is the driver could not shift to a higher gear, and it becomes stuck. The solenoid regulator most likely was damaged or needed to be aligned properly. One other problem with this transmission was it was hard to shift into reverse without a delay. This was often caused by a plate with pins that was not installed properly when it was replaced.

Ways To Keep A Transmission Running Effectively

Our company specializes in selling remanufactured transmissions. When you have a mechanical issue the transmission may need repair or to be rebuilt. We can find rebuilt transmissions like the 4R44E and find parts for your auto body shop. One suggestion we have to keep your transmission running well is to read your manual and never tow more weight than the vehicle can handle. Watch your transmission fluid and warning lights. When transmission fluids get very dark it needs to be changed. This fluid lubricates the moving parts in your transmission. You should have a reliable mechanic to check your transmission.

Your transmission should be checked every 50,000 to 60,000 miles. Signs of transmission problems are leaking transmission, fluid, problems with shifting gears, a vehicle that shifts in and out of gear, or grinding or clunking sounds. All these signs mean you need to have the transmission checked and possibly repaired or replaced. We can help your repair shop find the right rebuilt transmission or parts for your vehicle.

A grinding sound can be caused by worn gear teeth that press against each other to provide force to operate the transmission and its wheel assembly. When this occurs you are looking at major damage to the transmission. Your gears should shift automatically with no delays and when a delay occurs damage is present. A vehicle that vibrates when you shift gears is another sign of mechanical issues. When the transmission fluid overheats, you may smell a burning odour. The transmission is overheating because the fluid is there to cool the parts and keep them from overheating.

Transmission fluid leaks are caused by cracked covers or leaky valves and should be fixed. This fluid is not supposed to be burned off or leak out.  Finally, when the transmission light or engine light comes on this can signal a problem with your transmission. Any of these signs means it is time to have your transmission replaced. If you need a transmission replacement or know someone that does, read this article on the newest remanufacturing processes that allow for OEM or better quality rebuilt transmissions.