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Taurus/Sable Transmission Problems

ericandrewericandrew Member Posts: 1
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 Member 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.
  • breedatradbreedatrad Member Posts: 2
    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 Member 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.
  • salsbugiesalsbugie Member Posts: 4
    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
  • cbhenderscbhenders Member Posts: 1
    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?
  • jes070663jes070663 Member Posts: 2
    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 Member 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?
  • abognerabogner Member Posts: 2
    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 [email protected] if you see this!!! Anyone HELP!!
  • ted16ted16 Member 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
  • abognerabogner Member Posts: 2
    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.
  • fkmachnic31fkmachnic31 Member Posts: 2
    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
  • fkmachnic31fkmachnic31 Member Posts: 2
    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 Member Posts: 2
    it is a 99 ford taurus. i have changed everthing. but nothing seems to work.thanks">
  • jacq63jacq63 Member 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?
  • papa_keenepapa_keene Member Posts: 1
    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.

  • suchevsuchev Member Posts: 2
    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.
  • adc1caadc1ca Member Posts: 2
    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 Member 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 Member 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.
  • john_doe_wnyjohn_doe_wny Member Posts: 28
    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.
  • markandmemarkandme Member Posts: 2
  • markandmemarkandme Member Posts: 2
    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?
  • jessjessiejessjessie Member Posts: 2
    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 Member Posts: 1
    ECC will not read out fault codes
  • jessjessiejessjessie Member Posts: 2
    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 Member 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 Member Posts: 1
    Can a Ford Taurus transmission be used in a Mercury Sable?
  • misiu1misiu1 Member 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!
  • robertplattbelrobertplattbel Member Posts: 4
    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 Member 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.
  • viper122viper122 Member Posts: 1
    I have a 2000 Taurus SE wagon, just earlier today i parked the car, went inside, and came out to discover that the car rolled down the driveway. I started it up, pulled it back up and placed it in park. It seems though as if there is no park gear, while shifted in the park the car will freely roll as if it is in neutral. I shifted it into reverse, drive, neutral, park, all of that it seems to shift quick and smooth without any hesitation. There's no leaks it seems, and im lost on what it may be. Any Ideas? I don't know if this helps any but it did stall once earlier today when i started it, but I dont know if that at all is in relation to the transmission issue I have. I have it set with the parking brake for now but that's not very safe and im trying to really correct this issue.. any advice would help out. :confuse:
  • rjs2298rjs2298 Member Posts: 3
    I have a 97 Taurus V6 3.1L. I have had no problems with it at all until 2 weeks ago. I was driving at a normal speed not accelerating and all of a sudden I heard a strange grinding type of noise from under the car. I stopped saw nothing out of place, put it in gear and it drove fine. A mile or so down the road the grinding noise started I stopped again, nothing. This time the grinding noise did not go away. Transmission shop said it needs to be replaced at 2000. The car still drives and goes into gear does this sound right? We don't really want to drive it around for second opinions.
  • bahamamichaelbahamamichael Member Posts: 7
    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!

    Have no fear, there is a simple solution to your problems. I currently drive a 1997 Ford Taurus GL, and just this week my car exhibited the same problems that you described. My mechanic told me that I needed a Neutral Safety Switch. He changed the switch, and the power steering, the power windows, and the radio are now back to normal. So, you may try changing this switch. Best of luck.
  • homer23homer23 Member Posts: 1
    I have a 99 Taurus 3.0 12valve w/82k miles. While driving down the road the tranny quit, like it was in "N". No grinding, noise or fluid loss. The fluid is red, no smell and full. I replaced the tranny range selector switch - still have the problem. No matter where you have the range select lever the car will not move. The cable is ok. Any ideas?
  • twallintwallin Member Posts: 1
    I have a 93 taurus that slips coming out of first gear.
    The fluid is full. What may be the problem?
  • whitedove1968whitedove1968 Member Posts: 5
    i have a 3.0 1994 Taurus. I really love this car. I got great mileage when i ran. When i first bought it, i had trouble with the fuel cutting off for NO APPARENT REASON! i replace about 3 modules to no avail. finally we put it on some diagnostic computer and found the main brain module was cracked! my uncle went to the junkyard and still paid $150 for the part, now she ran great! But the new problem is the transmission slips out of gear when i come to a stop?? I have to put it into reverse and then back into drive for it to go forward. the transmission place told me that it's some pressure regulator piece that's inside the tranny, about $300 to replace it with labor.. but if he takes the whole thing apart and finds alot of metal bits in there then he'll have no choice but to rebuild it $1400, which i can't afford!! Please let me know if you've gotten this problem solved, and how.. i love my taurus and want to save it without having to clean out every penny! thanks. :sick:
  • dangthingdangthing Member Posts: 1
    I Have the same car with 65,000 miles. Went to take off from a light and the car rolled a couple of feet and the engine reved up like i was in neutral. The shift cable was moving fine. fluid level ok and pan gasket was replaced 9 months ago for a minor leak. No Reverse,Drive,L2,or L1. Park would function fine. In the shop now estimate around 1500.00 for Torque converter replacement.
  • dmysterdmyster Member Posts: 12
    Hey, I have a 2002 Sable LS with around 102,000 miles. the transmission light has been coming on since i bought the car in 2004. It has been in and out shops ever since, and i have put about $2500-$3000 into it. after 5 or 6 trips to the mechanic, the light still comes on, and when it does, the trans acts funny. when i come to a stop, it will be fine for a second or two, then i can feel it bump down through the gears, like it was stuck. i'm in college, and i really dont want to put any more money into this thing. the mechanic i have been going to says it is electrical. can i just ignore this? any ideas? thanks.
  • mschmalmschmal Member Posts: 1,757
    The pre 08 Ford Taurus requres a transmission service every 30k. Your transmission will eventually self distruct if you do not do this service. The fluid breaks down over time.

  • dmysterdmyster Member Posts: 12
    actually, the first thing the mechanic did was to flush the transmission. put additive in, cleaned it up, still had the light. so he took the trans out and replaced a bunch of parts, practically rebuilt it. still the light. its very frustrating...
  • cajagg25cajagg25 Member Posts: 1

  • whitedove1968whitedove1968 Member Posts: 5
    hi ronnie,lol, i've read alot of stuff on these trannie problems, and how you have to engage the reverse to get it to go forward...well there's bad news and there's worse the end the choice is yours...
    here's the bad news...
    the forward piston in your transmission's very common for this car...i've spoken to ALOT, and i do mean alot of transmission guys on this because i didn't want to get really ripped off...mine is currently being rebuilt, electrical replacement etc. $1100, was referred by someone. General cost is $1400. Good news, yes, there's good news,lol..the 3.0 engine in that car is supposed to be one of the best out there right now, as far as used cars goes. mine runs really well, so it's worth it for me to get it fixed, and the body is in good shape.
    the really bad news is that $1100 or $1400 is the going rate for a car like that. yah, you can find it for more at the dealer or less for a beat up on the street. so basically, it's up to you. if your car is in fairly good condition and you plan to drive it for a while than it's worth fixing. if not, then get rid of it..
    good luck..
    write back if you any more info..
    ps. i'm in northern illinois if you want my trans guy...
  • mschmalmschmal Member Posts: 1,757
    It is my understanding that the trans flush forces the flush liquid BACKWARDs through the trans. Because of this deposits that are knocked off of walls in the trans can clog things.

  • bb03791bb03791 Member Posts: 1
    I have a 2005 Mercury Sable-- with 99K miles-- was driving fine now will not pull in any gears. Does anyone have any ideas of what it could be -- the transmission fluid level is fine
  • imprittywhiteimprittywhite Member Posts: 1
    I got a problem my car started bucking a bit when it went into over drive so i called up a friend and he recommended draining the tranny fluid and putting new stuff in so i did the bucking is still there in fact its worse... i put 4 quarts of tranny fluid in.. is that to much? or to little... ALL tranny fluid was removed please help thanks
  • autowriteautowrite Member Posts: 226
    I have been told that since the transmission is a CVT your do not need to have a gear selection for 1 to 4,5,6 speeds just D for forward. Apparently some drivers need to use the shift; although each shift makes to difference. Correct me if I am wrong.
  • rhtransrhtrans Member Posts: 84
    The most likely cause is probably the splines in the torque converter that turn the pump shaft are stripped. very common problem with the taurus and sable. It will have to be removed to verify that, second likely cause is the pump itself.
  • bobcat68bobcat68 Member Posts: 1
    which is best way to r&r transmission on 98 merc sable??
  • rhtransrhtrans Member Posts: 84
    Support the engine from the top with a brace and chains and remove the frame from the bottom
  • rhtransrhtrans Member Posts: 84
    Hard to say..thats why there is a stick to show you when its full. As far as the bucking is concerned the most common cause is a miss fire in the engine...plugs...wires..fuel injector or sometimes egr problems etc.
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