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FORD CVPI: Avoid Overdrive Failures

The Ford CVPI has had transmission Overdrive failures for many years. And each year, Ford makes improvements to the Overdrive. Some have been subtle, like a software (flash) to increase hydraulic line pressure, clamping pressure. Some have been big, like the major change in the Overdrive band material. Some of these have been running changes within a model year, while some upgrades occurred at the model year change.

Over a dozen such changes have greatly improved the Overdrive issues, but they have not gone completely away. With the CVPI going out of production in August 2011, Ford is not likely to devote a lot of additional resources to fix the remaining issues. However, the officer driving the CVPI can help reduce Overdrive failures with one simple step: Shut the Overdrive off. The button is on the gear selector.

For fuel economy reasons, the CVPI transmission is in a big hurry to upshift all the way to Overdrive. If you need the power, the trans downshifts very well, with little “searching” for the right gear. However, at light throttle, it rapidly upshifts to Drive and then to Overdrive. It is these upshifts into and downshifts out of Overdrive that can lead to Overdrive failures.

If you use the CVPI for urban and suburban patrol, keep it out of Overdrive. The system defaults to “on” with each key cycle, so you will need to press the “O/D OFF” button each time the vehicle starts to stay out of Overdrive. Even if only some of your officers do this, or if they do this only some of the time, you are putting less stress on the Overdrive.

At higher speeds, rural and highway driving, let the Overdrive engage as normal for the best fuel economy. During an extended pursuit, if your officers can remember it, turn the Overdrive “on,” that is, allow it to engage. Some cooling functions on some model years of the CVPI were electronically tied to the Overdrive. For short pursuits, and most are, don’t worry about whether the Overdrive is “on” or “off.” Even in Drive, the CVPI will run over 120 mph. It doesn’t need to be in Overdrive to go that fast.

Save the Overdrive! Around town, simply shut it off.

Published in Police Fleet Manager, Nov/Dec 2009

Rating : 8.2

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