Electrical Problem, Need Help Asap! - Taurus Car Club of America : Ford Taurus Forum
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post #1 of 57 (permalink) Old 03-08-2006, 11:48 PM Thread Starter
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'97 Taurus Vulcan 123K miles:

Experiencing loss of: power steering assist, all window controls (none are lit up), rear window defrost controls, half of the MFS controls (only Hi, Lo, and turn signals work), and radio only when car is in R, (D), D, and 1. Everything functions fine when put into P or N.

I was told that there might be a TSB on this problem, but I was not able to find anything on it. It was also mentioned to me that it might have something to do with the wiring getting chaffed on something within the steering column. Any help would be appreciated! I need to get LRB back to her old self ASAP. She's my daily driver and the "reliable" one.

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post #2 of 57 (permalink) Old 03-09-2006, 01:37 AM
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You need to adjust or replace and adjust the TRS (transmission range sensor). It's a black plastic box with a wiring harness connector plugged into it, that sits on the top of the transmission, and has the transmission shift cable connected on top of it.
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post #3 of 57 (permalink) Old 03-09-2006, 03:24 AM
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Thats a nasty fault. Hope you work it out.


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post #4 of 57 (permalink) Old 03-09-2006, 07:47 AM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally posted by gohim@Mar 9 2006, 02:37 AM
You need to adjust or replace and adjust the TRS (transmission range sensor).* It's a black plastic box with a wiring harness connector plugged into it, that sits on the top of the transmission, and has the transmission shift cable connected on top of it.
How would I go about "adjusting" it? And I'm not sure why it would be acting up now if I had the transmission replaced 11K miles ago?

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post #5 of 57 (permalink) Old 03-09-2006, 10:52 AM
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Quote:
Originally posted by gohim@Mar 8 2006, 11:37 PM
You need to adjust or replace and adjust the TRS (transmission range sensor). It's a black plastic box with a wiring harness connector plugged into it, that sits on the top of the transmission, and has the transmission shift cable connected on top of it.
Why would you suggest that? Her problem doesn't sound anything related to the transmission.

It sounds like a grounding problem or a charging problem. Make sure the black wire from the battery to the frame isn't loose or covered with corrossion (can't spell it). I replaced my negative battery ground and it improved the power. Also take it to have the charging system checked. Also check to make sure the battery connectors are on tight (including the rear wire connectors are tight). One time the red wire came loose and I couldn't tell until it came completely off while I was driving.


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post #6 of 57 (permalink) Old 03-09-2006, 12:58 PM Thread Starter
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Update: I'm on my lunch break now, and when I started my car and left work, everything was working fine until I got down the road about a mile when the radio stopped working (still lights up though), but the PS was working and so were the windows, rear defrost, and MFS. I drove down to the Ford dealer and asked to speak with a tech that had experience with the Taurus. This tech suggested that it sounds exactly like an MLP sensor going bad. He said the MLP is the same thing as the TRS.

Eric over at SHOCago suggested that it might be bad engine grounds. Wtf is going on?! Ah!

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post #7 of 57 (permalink) Old 03-09-2006, 01:09 PM
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I take it that you already checked the battery connections.

Interesting. I'm wondering when they re-installed your transmission that they damaged a clip to the TRS plug and it's coming loose. It doesn't make any sense that it would cause a complete electrical failure or/and or cause surges to other electrical componets? I'd take it back to the transmission shop and have them look at the connection, because it's not someone you can just look at and see for yourself. They can use a flex telescope and view it without pulling down the transmission.


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post #8 of 57 (permalink) Old 03-09-2006, 01:13 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally posted by mykej27@Mar 9 2006, 02:09 PM
I take it that you already checked the battery connections.

Interesting. I'm wondering when they re-installed your transmission that they damaged a clip to the TRS plug and it's coming loose. It doesn't make any sense that it would cause a complete electrical failure or/and or cause surges to other electrical componets? I'd take it back to the transmission shop and have them look at the connection, because it's not someone you can just look at and see for yourself. They can use a flex telescope and view it without pulling down the transmission.
When it started happening (which was on the highway on my way to Chicago), I was instantly running a list through my head of what to check for. The battery grounds are good (although the positive cable needs to be cleaned and has for a little while now), they are still functioning like they should. The underhood relays are fine and so are the under dash relays. Which is why I'm not understanding what's going on! At least the transmission is still under warranty and will be for a while. I'll probably go to the shop tomorrow, seeing as I get off of work tonight at 8pm and the shop closes at 6pm. I also might have one of the techs at work help me look.

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post #9 of 57 (permalink) Old 03-09-2006, 02:50 PM
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I'm a new poster, but I've lurked for awhile since my girlfriend's car is a '97 Taurus with the 3.0 Vulcan and automatic. Column shifter. Variable power assist. 118K miles.

Firespirit, your problem is very likely the transmission range sensor, or also called the neutral safety switch. I just replaced that part on my g/f's Taurus. Here were the symptoms that she had:
- Radio worked in P and O/D, but not R
- Radio randomly just went silent (LED display OK, dead silence from speakers) when in O/D and D
As time passed, the radio outages became more frequent.
- Random loss of power steering (sometime with a flashing seat belt warning light also)
These were rare, but getting more frequent as well. This symptom is what prompted me to start looking for answers, radio is annoying, power steering is dangerous.
- Eventually tranny refused to go into O/D, even on the highway at highway speeds.

I searched here, and googled it. There is a TSB concerning the power steering issue related to the transmission range sensor. A few other 96 and 97 year Taurus owners had similar problems, including the loss of some power accessories.

I picked up an 8 pin (there is also an 11 pin version, but you can tell which your car has by looking at the sensor under the hood) neutral safety switch at Advance Auto for $26 including tax. Replacement took less than 30 minutes. That was over a week ago, and NO symptoms have returned.

Ford calls it the TR sensor, everyone else lists it as neutral safety switch.

I can tell you more about how to replace it if you want to do the work yourself.

Good luck.
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post #10 of 57 (permalink) Old 03-09-2006, 04:31 PM
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Quote:
Originally posted by Linkman@Mar 9 2006, 03:50 PM
I'm a new poster, but I've lurked for awhile since my girlfriend's car is a '97 Taurus with the 3.0 Vulcan and automatic. Column shifter. Variable power assist. 118K miles.

Firespirit, your problem is very likely the transmission range sensor, or also called the neutral safety switch. I just replaced that part on my g/f's Taurus. Here were the symptoms that she had:
- Radio worked in P and O/D, but not R
- Radio randomly just went silent (LED display OK, dead silence from speakers) when in O/D and D
As time passed, the radio outages became more frequent.
- Random loss of power steering (sometime with a flashing seat belt warning light also)
These were rare, but getting more frequent as well. This symptom is what prompted me to start looking for answers, radio is annoying, power steering is dangerous.
- Eventually tranny refused to go into O/D, even on the highway at highway speeds.

I searched here, and googled it. There is a TSB concerning the power steering issue related to the transmission range sensor. A few other 96 and 97 year Taurus owners had similar problems, including the loss of some power accessories.

I picked up an 8 pin (there is also an 11 pin version, but you can tell which your car has by looking at the sensor under the hood) neutral safety switch at Advance Auto for $26 including tax. Replacement took less than 30 minutes. That was over a week ago, and NO symptoms have returned.

Ford calls it the TR sensor, everyone else lists it as neutral safety switch.

I can tell you more about how to replace it if you want to do the work yourself.

Good luck.
I thought I had remembered reading something here like that. Especially when gohim first mentioned it. It sounded very familar, mainly because it's such a random thing to cause all those problems.


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