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I have a 2000 ford ranger sport with 135,000 miles. It is an automatic, starts out great but will not shift into 3rd gear. Took it to cottman transmission and they said that the trans was no good and that they could do a rebuild for $1450.00. So I got it done. 141 miles later and its doing the same thing again. Since its covered under warranty I brought it back to cottman. They told me the same thing as the first time but said that they would also change the electronics on it too. Contacted me 2 days later and said they are having the same problem. If anyone out there has any idea on what could possibly be wrong PLEASE let me know, thanks
 

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check if you have a transmission lever position switch on your transmission., if your ecu thinks you have selected 2nd gear it will not let you shift to third., my windstar did this and thank god i found it ., turned out the used car dealer used a power washer in my engine compartment and it breached the seals of the switch., when it failed it progressively limited me from od to 3rd and then finally caused a 2hr drive home in first with some unhappy children. a enhanced scanner from a friendly mechanic can monitor the computers interpretation of the currently selected gear position. good luck., let me know how it works out.
 
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