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does the vehicle speed sensor control trans shifting? would a faulty one cause my car to shift in and out of overdrive?
 

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Yes, it does control shifting.
 

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I want to go ahead and throw out this information for people experiencing similar problems. My 1995 Escort LX 1.9 Automatic started to shift eratically and sometimes wouldn't shift at all. On a cold start if you tried to drive the vehicle it would not shift out of first gear. You had to drive for a lengthy period of time before the transmission would react, when it finally got out of first gear it would go through all the other gears like normal. But once I reached about 50 mph it would start shifting eratically going from a lower gear to higher gear. When I would slow down the transmission would shift into lower gear way to early. It usually took about 20 mins of driving to get the car to shift. Anyway, i picked up a VSS at autozone for about 50 bucks and the transmission no longer has any of these problems. It runs like a dream =). It took me a while to find this type of information so i figured i would post something useful.
 
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