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Taurus/Sable Transmission Problems

My transmission is making a whining noise when switching gears right after the car is started first thing. Any suggestions on what that might be?


  • rjflyfishrjflyfish Posts: 1
    I have a 1993 Ford Taurus w/3.8L V6 with high mileage 180,00)+ that has been a reliable car. Of course things are starting to wear out on it and I have given it to my son to drive and maintain. It just started having problems starting in park like the battery was dead but it was not - turns out it is the neutral park switch not being made due to excess play in the shifter on the steering column. It is normally supposed to stay in park when you are trying to start but you can move it to another notch like neutral to get it started. It has way too much play in it. Has anyone ever dealt with this problem and what parts are likely to need replacement. How difficult is it? thanx.
  • 1. My new (used) 2000 Taurus really picks up speed when traveling down even moderate grades. I watched it go from 28 to 32 Mph the other day while following another vehicle on a flat section of road WITHOUT my foot on the gas. The Tach was at approx 1500 Rpm and stayed there even after I put the car in Neutral, while still moving. Today, I was coasting down a steeper hill at approx 45-50 Mph and the Tach said 2K Rpm. I placed the transmission in Neutral again and the engine speed rose to 2200 Rpm and then settled back to 2K for the rest of the trip down the hill. Can anyone give me an explanation for this?
    2. Brake pedal effort is what I would consider "high" in this vehicle. You have to keep pushing on the pedal to keep it stopped at an intersection, etc. The pedal doesn't keep going down, but it is considerably harder to push than any other vehicle I've ever had (including my 2004 Freestar). The engine Rpm reads approx 800, and doesn't change when shifting from Park to Drive, etc. It's like the brake booster just doesn't give enough boost. The ABS seems to work fine but you can bottom the pedal during really hard braking before the ABS starts to work. Is there a way to increase the braking effectiveness and/or decrease pedal effort?

    Thanks everyone!

    Brian Reed
  • blaze07blaze07 Posts: 10
    I too have a 2000 Ford Taurus. I also experience fast gains in speed while traveling down hills. None of my other cars did that, so I took it to the dealership, but they hadn't a clue. And with the sudden speed-up's without being on the gas, I too have that happen once in a while. The dealership said that my throttle might be sticking, but that's all they could think of. About the RPM's, I can't help you there because half of the time my gauge doesn't work. If the needle goes past 4000 RPM, it falls over and will not move for several days. With the pedal being hard to push on mine as well, I didn't even bother wasting the money to have it looked at. :lemon:
    You may be able to mess with the ABS by tapping into the computer, but it would be rather challenging for most people. It might also be possible to adjust the brake pedal, but it too would be very complicated.
  • It is not leaking at all. It is using about a quart every 2 weeks or so. It does shift hard from 1st to 2nd. The car runs great has a 3.0 with 110,00 miles on it
  • I have a 98 Sable. This week, the button on the shift lever that releases it from park quit depressing and the cruise quit engaging. Being that you have to have your foot on the brake to disengage park and if you step on the brake, you disengage the cruise, and that they both went out at the same time, I'm wondering if there is a brake sensor that went out and if it's possible for me to replace it myself?
  • I have a wobble I believe is coming from my transmission. I thought I might have an unballanced tire, but when I placed the tranny into nuetral the wobble stopped. Any suggestions as to what it could be?
  • ted16ted16 Posts: 7
    Have an 02 taurus with 90,000 miles, has recently started making a noise similar to a belt slipping or a sleeve bearing in alternator, but sound seems to be coming from inside engine. Could this be rocker arms or cam shaft bearing. Has anyone experienced similar problem?
  • YES! I am working on my 2003 3.0L 12V 80,000 miles as we speak. I have exactly the same symptom. I thought is was the idler pulley. I just replaced it and I am still getting the sound. Upon closer investigation, it sounds like it is coming from around the pushrods or near the "rear" of the engine near the transmission??? Ted, did you figure anything out? Email me at if you see this!!! Anyone HELP!!
  • ted16ted16 Posts: 7
    I carried taurus to a repair shop. The shop owner asked if I had extended warranty(which I do not have) He recalled a similar problem where the the vehicle was under extended warranty and Ford replaced engine. He said problem was cam shaft & bearings but did not know the full extent of problem only that Ford replaced engine. This appears to be some type of manufacture flaw in some of these engines. Have not decided what remedy I will seek the car is perfect except for this problem. ted16
  • I ended up calling a friend of mine who is a Ford Master tech. He couldn't diagnose over the phone but could recall no engine noises such as this. He had me replace the PCV valve since I had told him it sounded like it could be near the intake. I did this yesterday and was very shocked find out the noise went away...for how long I don't know but it is gone. Good luck.
  • Hey everybody i have a 1997 ford taurus that can't get any pull when driving it straight ,But if i am going to make a turn it will get up 40(mph)when turning corners though and if given gas it will only get u to 15-20(mph)all the gears switch fine .Just got front motor mount on ,also have to put the back one on .my main concern is that i find my current problem and try to fix it so that i can get to necesssary places
  • So is ti like the water pump.a heat valve or something.?I need alittle more info.thanks though narrowing it down so i know i have to look at something dealing with heating system.So could it be the fan& belt u think?
  • wolfe2wolfe2 Posts: 2
    it is a 99 ford taurus. i have changed everthing. but nothing seems to work.thanks">
  • jacq63jacq63 Posts: 1
    Transmission sounds like a bad belt. The sound is from the transmission. Put belt ease on the Serp Belt then discovered the noise was coming from the transmission. Any Suggestions what this might be?
  • I have two problems I have questions about.

    1. When I turn my steering wheel to the right or put the vehicle in reverse the radio goes off and it may come back on or it might not.

    2. We are in SW MO and during the ice storm we had a little over a week ago I went out to my car and started it to come home from work. The car started fine but when I went to shift the gear shift it was very difficult to shift (automatic transmission). When it did go into gear it would not leave low gear. Now it will not shift out of low gear if I start out in OD.

  • I have a 2001 Taurus SES 24 valve, V6 just just over 100k miles. This vehicle has had all necessary and routine repairs and scheduled maintenance; never had any major problems and nary a thought of a transmission problem; a reliable and excellent vehicle. Out of no where The Transmission goes haywire, won't shift, wont go in gear, loss of reverse gear, shifting out of sequence, dropping into lo-gear. My first thought is some electronic gizmo in the tranny has quit functioning. diagnosis from local tranny shop? Replacement or rebuild tranny to the tune of $3500. Has any one experienced this same or similar problem. I'm finding it awful hard to believe a transmission can fail with no recognizable symptoms, no leaks.
  • I own a 97 Mercury Sable Vulcan V6. I've noticed lately that the car chugs to get into gear sometimes if the car is slowed down and then accelerated... is my transmisson dying?
  • geoff813geoff813 Posts: 2
    Its a bit late for an answer but I just signed up. Most likely answer is one of the linkage shafts above the steering column has loose or missing bolts holding it in place; these WILL loosen with time. Remove the panel below the steering column and contort yourself into position. There will be a small bracket with 2 vertically placed T30 head bolts. Tighten as necessary or replace the one that fell out. They are the same as the ones used to hold the panel so in a pinch.......
  • steve137steve137 Posts: 1
    I own a '97 Mercury Sable and up until now it has been pretty much a problem free car. A couple weeks ago when I would get in the car in the morning (after it's sat all night) I would shift the car into reverse and there would be about a 10 second pause before it would engage....however, I can feel something happening in the transmission when I do shift to reverse...It kinda just drops in very softly but not enough to move the car more than an inch or two. Same problem if I want to go into drive. I took the car to my mechanic who did a complete trans. flush and changed both filters. They said the filters were very restricted. They gave me the car back and said it will get better as I drive it. It's gotten worse. It's to the point now where in order for me to get the car in gear, I have to rev the engine for about 1 minute in neutral then shift to my desired gear. Thing is, once it's in gear it runs great..trans feels strong and firm as I drive. If I stop the car for more than an hour I will have the same problem but the longer it sits the worse it gets.Is my transmission headed for the graveyard?????? Any help would be greatly appreciated! Thanks.
  • Hi, I have a 98 taurus with 122,900 miles that I'm going to get the trans fluid changed in. Now my question...Should I get all the fluid changed with a flush where they don't change the filter or should I just have them drop the pan and change the filter and just the fluid that comes out with the pan off? Thanks for your thoughts.
  • i have a 93 taurus 3.0 car and the tranny is toast.... can i use a tranny out of a 93 taurus 3.8 car in it?
  • I too have a 1997 ford taurus and when i go up hills, my car doesn't want to switch gears, I really have to put my foot on the gas inorder for it to give me any pull (on the hill it drops form 30mph to 20mph). And when I go down a hill my car kinda "kicks" or aggressively slips into the next gear of RPM' it my transmission?
  • dmmnokdmmnok Posts: 1
    ECC will not read out fault codes
  • I am having some problems with my Ford Taurus:
    (1) My panel on my car as well as my headlights flicker and my battery light flickers too. When the battery light isn't flickering and its on, my panel and highlights come on strong.
    (2) When I go up hills, my car doesn't want to switch into gears, I really have to put my foot on the gas inorder for it to give me any pull (on hills it drops from 30mph to 20mph). And when I go down a hill my car kinda "kicks" or "slips" aggressively into the next gear of RPM'S
  • ronnie6ronnie6 Posts: 1
    I purchased a 1993 Ford Taurus and it was driving fine when i got into it the next morning and put it into drive and reverse it would not move at all. What could be wrong with the transmission.
  • mlkozmlkoz Posts: 1
    Can a Ford Taurus transmission be used in a Mercury Sable?
  • misiu1misiu1 Posts: 2
    I have a 97 sable with an electric/tranny problem. It runs fine in neutral and park but when you put it in gear or reverse the power steering, radio and power windows shut off. The radio clock still works but no sound and no power steering. But when i put it back to neutral or park i can operate the windows again along with the power steering?????? Any ideas ? Please HELP!
  • Did you ever change the transmission fluid?

    Once the fluid goes brown, it loses all lubricity, meaning you might as well have water in there. The tranny fails FAST after that.

    Check the fluid often (with each fillup) and make sure it is a bright neon red color and at the right level (read owner's manul instructions on how to check the level). Generally it should be changed every 40,000 miles or so, more often if you tow.

    For your car, it is probably too late. Most people never change the tranny fluids in these things, with predictable results....
  • misiu1misiu1 Posts: 2
    The tranny fluid has been changed regularly and it is all level and red. The funny thing is this morning my windows, power steering are back but still no radio it comes and goes. I thing I got and electrical/electronic/tranny issue.
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