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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
My question is whether an electrical issue, such as corrosion of a connection or ground, can cause the following transmission problem. I drove my 1995 Taurus LX Wagon 3.8L about 6 miles at 60-70 mph with a couple of stops for lights and it cruised fine in overdrive. At one stop it downshifted with a mild "clunk", which was unusual. A couple of miles later when leaving a stop sign the transmission went into limp mode (I.e only shifted to 2nd). I checked the fluid, which was at the normal level, clean and had no burned smell. The engine wasn't overheated and I drove it home at 3000 rpm in 2nd gear. A few days later (after a night's rain) I drove it about three miles and it only shifted into 2nd. (More about rain later.)

Four months ago it had what my regular mechanic said was a transmission pan leak and he changed the gasket, filter and fluid (synthetic used almost since new). It's been driven about 400 miles since then and the transmission shifted fine with no evidence of a leak.

Although its driven only at 25-65 mph for 35-40 minutes every 10 days so (150-200 miles a month), it generally runs fine and drives well. However, there is one occasional electrical issue where the horn won't work and then it will, especially after a rain. I suspect corrosion or a ground as I'd had some similar problems a couple of years ago with the radiator cooling fans. We swapped out a couple of modules and cleaned some connections and that's been working fine ever since, along with the air conditioning and the cabin fan performing well.

The car sits outside and we'd had continuous rain for almost two days leading up to the transmission issue. Thus, I'm wondering if there's any place to look for corrosion or a faulty electrical connection that may be affecting the transmission's shifting.

I recognize that might be wishful thinking, so I'm open to any and all suggestions on how best to solve the problem. Thank You!
 

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Which transmission do you have? I think the AX4N does have the second gear limp mode in case of an electrical issue (like if the connector is totally unplugged). - though in that case I think it just stays in second gear, no shifting to 2nd.
I think on that model year, the speedometer is mechanical, though the PCM still gets a digital reading. I've read the vehicle speed sensor (vss) can cause these sorts of issues, and it should only be replaced with motorcraft components.
 

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Have you run codes? You dont need a code reader. Just jump 2 pins on the EEC TEST connector near the firewall and count the flashes on the CEL. There are instructions on how to do this all over the web. Tranny codes are either 7xx or 8xx series codes.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
I very much appreciate your help and advice on how to troubleshoot this. I agree on replacement with Motorcraft parts as I've induced some other problems using aftermarket components. Here's part of the VIN sticker from the 1995 LX Wagon. Does that help ID the trans?
 
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