Yellow Flashing Gear-shaped Warning Light - Taurus Car Club of America : Ford Taurus Forum

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post #1 of 13 (permalink) Old 03-04-2009, 07:05 PM Thread Starter
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Hey - first time here - didn't know this place existed or it probably could have saved me $$!

Anyway, 2001 Taurus SE Auto DOHV (VIN S), about 160k miles.

Wife drives the car - we are the 2nd owners and it's had at least 3 accidents - all front-end although they were relatively minor fb's. (if this is relevant). I do all maintenance mostly - brakes, oil changes, etc etc.

My wife drives the car like it's a racecar - too impatient to let the auto tranny SHIFT before applying the gas. The tranny has been slipping for awhile now but nothing major - what you'd usually expect with a high mileage car.

Last weekend, after changing out the starter (#2), I noticed on the drive home that the gear-shaped warning light was flashing yellow indicating some sort of tranny issue. The fluid level was fine - rather dark but fine. It's never been flushed AFAIK.

On the ride home - no noticeable difference in driveability, although I thought I noticed that it could have upshifted at highway speeds, but that might have just been because I was thinking about it (2200RPM at 65-70MPH sound OK?). If you turn the car off then back on, the light will be off but then come on again after some period of driving. I think the duration of time off/driving might be linked so that would indicate a temperature problem although again this might just be because I'm thinking about possible issues.

I've never touched the tranny - fluid is the same as when we bought it ~ 90k miles ago, and it's never complained in that time either.

I asked a shop friend of mine and he suggested a flush & fill (tranny). I *could* do this myself but I frankly don't have the time so it's going in the shop on Friday.

Any thoughts? If the flush doesn't fix it, I'll try some of that Lucas stuff. This will be the end-of-the-line for the car - I'm not dumping $$ into a new tranny/rebuild.
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post #2 of 13 (permalink) Old 03-04-2009, 07:30 PM
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Well, right before you unload it on someone, pull the battery to reset the light and then put saw dust in your transmission.
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post #3 of 13 (permalink) Old 03-05-2009, 01:46 AM
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a flush may make it worse esp. if you've never done it it before

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post #4 of 13 (permalink) Old 03-05-2009, 04:56 AM
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You might check out Auto-RX for the tranny: http://www.auto-rx.com/auto-rxnet/index.html

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post #5 of 13 (permalink) Old 03-05-2009, 05:17 AM
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The RPM for the speed sounds right.

Doesn't the light mean it is overheating?

I'd rather have a rustbucket than a rice rocket!
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post #6 of 13 (permalink) Old 03-05-2009, 05:44 AM
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QUOTE (ZZman @ Mar 5 2009, 07:04 AM)
Quote:
You might check out Auto-RX for the tranny: http://www.auto-rx.com/auto-rxnet/index.html[/b]
It might mask the problem for a little while but in the end it will guarantee your transmission will be destroyed and probably cost more to fix than if you just fixed it now.


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post #7 of 13 (permalink) Old 03-05-2009, 08:15 AM
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If the light is on, there will be a tranny code stored in the PCM. Get it read by a local parts store, and report back.

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post #8 of 13 (permalink) Old 03-05-2009, 11:39 AM
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I too would suggest you have the computer scanned for trouble codes & post ALL the code numbers found & the sequence in which they were pulled.

If your of a mind to have the tranny fluid changed/flushed, maybe consider having them also drop the pan to inspect for deposit kind & quantity or pan debris, clean the pan & magnet & change the tranny filter, as a pan drop & filter change isn't normally done on a flush service.
So we have to ask for & pay a little extra for it.

As this tranny's service history is unkown, I'd also forgo the "solvent flush" part of the tranny service, because if you have heavy deposits of sludge, gum, tar, varnish, carbon, the solvent part of the flush could loosen too much, too soon & clog something important up.

As I mentioned, with the normal tranny flush service, the pan isn't normally dropped, to clean it or change the filter, so if you don't know how heavy the deposits are, any debris stirred up by the flush solvent & on their way out of the pan, will first have to be strained through the tranny filter, which isn't going to be changed, just further clogging it up. Not a good idea imo.

So consider having them do a pan drop, filter change, refill the pan & continue on with the full tranny fluid pumpout, (minus the solvet flush) while shifting through all the gears, to flush the valve body, torque converter, cooler & lines, might be a good way to go.

This way you'll get a new filter & all new fluid in there wihout the chance of stirring up so much debris with the solvent part of the flush.

The new tranny fluid has a detergent ad pack in it, so it will begin to sloooowly tidy things up inside, so you might get some shift improvement with just new fluid.

Seeing as how you don't know what the tranny deposit load may be, I'd not consider using any tranny additives just yet.

If the shop says things look ok inside after the pan drop & shifting improves with the new fluid, but doesn't completely clear up & you think lingering deposits may be the cause, then maybe consider Auto-Rx for trannies, or maybe half a can of Seafoam Trans Tune & see how things go.

So negoiate the tranny service routine & price. Around here a pan drop, filter change & fluid pumpout is about $150.

Some places will let you provide your own fluid, so that your sure the specified fluid is going in.

Tranny shops pump all kinds of different fluids through their machines, Ford Dealers are supposed to have a machine with dedicated resrvoirs for the different fluids, so they don't get mixed with the residuals of other fluids going in.

The Home DIY proceedure in the WIKI is easy to do & can save about $100, if we do the pan drop, filter change & tranny pump out ourselves. plus we know the right fluid is going in.

A whole bunch more tranny flush thoughts for pondering, let us know how it goes.

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post #9 of 13 (permalink) Old 03-05-2009, 06:44 PM
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QUOTE (Millermagic @ Mar 5 2009, 06:25 AM)
Quote:
The RPM for the speed sounds right.

Doesn't the light mean it is overheating?[/b]
The light being on can indicate the transmission is/has overheated. It could also indicate a fault in the transmission. The code will have to be read by a shop with the capability of reading trans codes. AutoZone, Advance, etc. cannot read trans codes.

On my '02 when the light came on, the cause was a stuck TCC valve in the valve body.

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post #10 of 13 (permalink) Old 03-06-2009, 08:15 AM
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QUOTE (rdh2 @ Mar 5 2009, 08:44 PM)
Quote:
QUOTE (Millermagic @ Mar 5 2009, 06:25 AM)
Quote:
The RPM for the speed sounds right.

Doesn't the light mean it is overheating?[/b]
The light being on can indicate the transmission is/has overheated. It could also indicate a fault in the transmission. The code will have to be read by a shop with the capability of reading trans codes. AutoZone, Advance, etc. cannot read trans codes.

On my '02 when the light came on, the cause was a stuck TCC valve in the valve body.
[/b][/quote]

Are you sure AZ, etc cant read trans codes? I know AZ, etc cant read C, B or U codes, but as far as I know all tranny codes are P codes, which the parts stores can read. Please correct me if I am wrong.

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