2000 Vulcan won't shift out of 1st gear to 2nd - Taurus Car Club of America : Ford Taurus Forum
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post #1 of 19 (permalink) Old 08-20-2015, 08:24 PM Thread Starter
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2000 Vulcan won't shift out of 1st gear to 2nd

I'm new here and relieved to see there is some information on this vehicle. I acquired a 2000 Taurus SE with 167K on it from my grandfather who passed away. It has the Vulcan engine and AX4S transmission I guess. When I found the vehicle, it was covered in and packed full of stuff. It was buried with 4 flat tires for 6 years in a garage. I had heard it had a "blown engine" and the "trans is junk", but nobody really knew.

Needless to say, I have replaced the fuel pump and the engine is currently running again, but when I went out to drive it, it has some tranny issues, so I'm trying to see if there is an easy fix for it .

I know this isn't exactly an uncommon problem and I've read numerous threads similar to it, but I'm looking for more of a solution. Looking at the tech manual for the tranny, it appears that it could be around 5 different things from VSS, TPS, shift solenoids, etc, but I'd rather ask people with experience on the matter.

Here is what I have:

The car if it is "1" drives perfectly fine. I can mash it and spin the tires with no slipping and it will drive all the way through that gear perfectly fine. If I let off the gas, it will engine brake...just as it should. "R" is also fine. The problem lies in "D" and "O-D". Whether I hammer it or go gently, is irrelevant. It will drive up to 20-30mph, then completely let go and rev out with no power going through the drivetrain(it doesn't accelerate).

It's not an engine issue. There are no abnormal sounds when it drives or "let's go"...no slipping or anything...it just let's go. It simply gets to 20-30mph then revs out without acceleration. It feels like it's reached the 2nd gear shift point, and the tranny is suppose to initiate the change, but either mechanically can't or it's not getting the proper information to do so. Transmission fluid level is adequate and the color is tolerable. The speedometer "works", but it is kind of odd how it stays put while I'm accelerating for a couple tenths of a second, then begins to work...I don't know if that's normal or not with this vehicle.

My question now is what am I looking for? Would it be a simple VSS change out and it would fix it, despite the speedo "working"? I don't know how the TPS relays information and whatnot. Am I looking at something in terms of bad connection/wiring, or a bad fuse on either fuse box? I'm just at a crossroads. If it's fixable for a tolerable amount of money, then I'll go ahead and get it fixed. If not...I really don't know.
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post #2 of 19 (permalink) Old 08-20-2015, 08:50 PM
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I would suspect the VSS.

John
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post #3 of 19 (permalink) Old 08-22-2015, 02:03 PM
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If you can scan it for codes it might reveal other conditions too, such as a bad solenoid.
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post #4 of 19 (permalink) Old 08-22-2015, 02:57 PM
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Take it autozone to scan for codes. Some basic scan tools don't get further than the engine ecu.

Drop the pan to get a better idea of the fluid condition. Pulling the dipstick doesn't always give the whole story. Dropping it will show if there's a lot of metal or friction material in it. And if there is, then scrap it. If there's no "shavings" in it, change the filter and make sure the 3 tubes are in place and tight, refill to spec with new merc v. If it's no better then you probably don't want to get any deeper into it.
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post #5 of 19 (permalink) Old 08-23-2015, 07:55 AM
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I would take it for codes, but it sounds like a bad solenoid. I had an 03 duratec with ax4n, and I had to replace mine about that time. My trans was an ax4n though, so I'm not too familiar with the 4s.

If it is the solenoid, you have an easy fix and a good - running car for practically nothing- congrats!
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post #6 of 19 (permalink) Old 08-23-2015, 09:08 AM
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Possible TRS problem. You need to use a good scan tool like Forscan to see what gear the PCM is commanding.

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post #7 of 19 (permalink) Old 08-23-2015, 06:46 PM
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The exact same thing happened to me I had to drive back roads for about 50 miles wouldn't shift pass 2nd gear transaxle light flashing, check engine light on and it was dark out,found out next day it had a bunch of codes I decided to check all fuses that mention transmission and found 1 fuse blown underhood fuse box, dont remember which one maybe 28 (but check all), next day I cleared codes. transaxle light went out. Some trans fluid came out trans dip stick that night think I added a little, but I thought for sure the trans went out I was going about 60 and loud bang (which now I know was it was just coming out of O/D), but that was all it was 1 little blown fuse that caused all that.

Last edited by 02TaurusGuy; 08-23-2015 at 08:24 PM.
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post #8 of 19 (permalink) Old 08-24-2015, 11:13 PM Thread Starter
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Is a scanner at auto zone or oreilleys going to suffice? I currently have no check engine or warning lights on. The battery and parking brake light are always on but that's it. Is there any special way to get codes like key on or key off or engine running? I'll have it scanned tomorrow.
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post #9 of 19 (permalink) Old 08-25-2015, 09:05 AM
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For the parking brake issue, locate the parking brake switch located a few inches above your parking brake foot lever. There is a simple up/down action on the switch. Spray some WD40 on it and makes sure it moves up and down freely. For the battery light issue you probably should have your alternator output checked, assuming your battery is in good condition and the terminals are clean.

Spock

Last edited by Spock; 08-25-2015 at 09:09 AM.
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post #10 of 19 (permalink) Old 08-25-2015, 09:24 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by goodbrosuit View Post
Take it autozone to scan for codes. Some basic scan tools don't get further than the engine ecu.

Drop the pan to get a better idea of the fluid condition. Pulling the dipstick doesn't always give the whole story. Dropping it will show if there's a lot of metal or friction material in it. And if there is, then scrap it. If there's no "shavings" in it, change the filter and make sure the 3 tubes are in place and tight, refill to spec with new merc v. If it's no better then you probably don't want to get any deeper into it.
If you don't have the inclination to do this yourself take it in and have the shop drop the pan and change the filter and fluid. Good starting point. As for the scan, I'm betting on the VSS.

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