Lincoln LS Transmission Issues

Hello and thanks for reading!

My father currently owns a 2001 Lincoln LS equipped with the V8 and 5-Speed Automatic Transmission. He purchased it about 5 months ago and after putting in some TLC this once “lemon” of a car is a very nice vehicle to drive.

Mechanically sound the engine was fine upon purchase, after replacing some struts, brakes and other work the car drives like it’s brand new.

Except for one thing. The car comes wit ha 5-speed automatic and when placed in D (D5) it shifts through all 5 gears effortlessly. However, when one selects the “D4” position, nothing changes, it still shifts through all 5 gears. In fact, the indicator on the dash still reads “D5” when in “D4”. When selecting 3, 2, or 1 the indicator will change to reflect the selected gear position. But for some reason “D4” doesn’t work.

I am assuming that it is an electronic problem with the shifter and not the transmission itself since it shifts through all gears, including 4 just fine.

My father was planning on taking it on a cross country trip in a couple of weeks and I was wondering if this minor annoyance may actually be a major mechanical malady waiting to happen.


I would guess a linkage adjustment, but I am not sure about your particular car.

You don’t seem to be getting any action here. Try

Possibly the MLPS (Manual Lever Position Sensor) mounted on the outside of the trans at the shift linkages. A trans shop will be able to check this for you with a scanner.


I have an '04 T’bird which uses a similar engine and transmission set up. The D4 is not a big deal on that car. It might be nice to use in the mountains but not essential. I suspect it is something in the electronic control box of the floor shifter and not a transmission fault. In other words the little switch is probably bad and fixing it would cost somewhere between a little money and a boatload of money.

You can have it evaluated by Ford or a transmission shop, but I suspect the car is fine for the trip.