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Discussion Starter #1
Hi Everybody,

Thanks for any advice you could throw my way. 1999 DOHC with AX4N. When engine is cold trans works fine. After about 20 miles, leaving a stop trans won't shift out of first. I let off the gas and after the rpms come down it shifts and then okay from there. Fluid is clean and on the lower end of the crosshatch but is still within the good zone. My code reader will not show trans codes and I only have the 171 and 174 which I know is probably a vacuum leak. I may stop at a local trans shop on the way home tomorrow and see if they will tell me what codes they find. I am going to bring the fluid up a little to get it farther up on the cross hatched area. I had this trans rebuilt about two years ago and it has been okay since. I am wondering if the VSS could be causing this? The speedometer and tach work fine. I would think if it did it would happen all the time. I also think that if it was a sticking shift solenoid it would happen when it was cold sometimes. Any ideas? Also if I decide to change the solenoids, when you take off the side cover does the trans fluid drain out or is that area of the transmission not have fluid in it? Thanks.

Ed
 

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Well, add a little fluid first.

Sounds more like a TR sensor, also known as a neutral safety switch or manual-level-position sensor. I had a similar issue on a Ford transmission with intermittant issues not going out of first. It's mounted on the outside of the transmission, and the shifter linkage will attach to it. Swap it out (shouldn't be too expensive).
 

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Before throwing parts at the problem, unless the store provides free no hassle returns on electrical components I would get the transmission scanned for codes. That is after you get the fluid level brought up into the cross hatches.
 

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That is true as well-meant to edit saying go ahead and have a scan done. Thanks.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Topped off the fluid and will see how it acts tomorrow. I do plan on getting it scanned before going any farther. Just trying to do some research so I know what to do when I get a firm diagnosis. I didn't think about the Trans Range switch. It selects each range. It is one of the easiest this to try. Has anybody had a similar problem caused by this switch? I hope to get it scanned on the way home tomorrow. It is funny how I can drive to work , no problems and then it acts up half way home in the afternoon.

Ed
 

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Get it scanned, but yeah, I've had that happen.

When the switch on my F-250 was going bad, it would at times pop into neutral when downshifting from Overdrive, and as it got worse, it would stick in first and only go to second if I moved the shifter. Contacts were corroded, replaced the switch, problem solved.
 

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Ed, a slipping (hesitant) 1-2 shift on a 99tec ax4n when warm is a prime symptom of a faulty vss. I've had to change 5-6 of them on 99tecs for that very issue. No funky speedos and no codes on all but one. I now consider it a maintenance item on a 99tec, lol. Your generic obd2 scanner/code reader ought to pull tranny codes such as the p0700/p1700 series, etc. P0500/501/502/503/p1500 are vss codes, but I've never had one appear. Always acted out after the tranny had warmed.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
On the way in to work today, at about 60 mph the overdrive kicked out and rpms went up (of course) then it re-engaged. I am definantly going to the shop on the way home to get codes read.

Shelia, is this also a possible sign of the VSS? I have read your posts on how to change it coming down from the top by feel. I can barely touch the top of the sensor from up top. You must have long skinny arms. LOL.

Ed
 

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So to break into this thead, but can the same thing (faulty VSS) happen on a 99 vulcan, or is it just the Duratecs? I have an AX4N and have had some 1-2 shift issues.
 

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On the way in to work today, at about 60 mph the overdrive kicked out and rpms went up (of course) then it re-engaged. I am definantly going to the shop on the way home to get codes read.

Shelia, is this also a possible sign of the VSS? I have read your posts on how to change it coming down from the top by feel. I can barely touch the top of the sensor from up top. You must have long skinny arms. LOL.

Ed
Did you do something that would cause it to downshift to 3rd? To me, slipping into what sounds like a 'false neutral' is a classic sign of a TRS. But let's get the codes read first.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
I didn't do anything to make it drop out. I was cruising at a steady speed of about 65 and the overdrive kicked out. It gets your attention as you think the transmission just let go.

Ed
 

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Ed, I actually have alligator (T-Rex) arms, lol. I lie over the pass. fender and intake performing this repair. It may help to remove the pass. cowl or uim, but I never have. I'm lazy and a glutton for punishment. I did remove the black plastic evr (egr vac. regulator/solenoid) once for fear of breaking it. The last '99tec I did was a son's whose car was out of state and displaying worsening symptoms before I got to it. By that time, it exhibited many erratic shift points, funky speedo, flashing green "od off" light but no code(s). A vss swap cured everything. Replacements are ~$20-25 depending on where you source. Dbeach84, I don't have any experience with a 99 Vulcan ax4n, as I've never owned one. Sorry.
 

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Discussion Starter #13
Went to a local shop and had them hook up their scanner. I stood right next to him and watched. No codes for the transmission at all. Only had 171 and 174 that I was already aware of. We took it for a test drive and it failed to shift out of first like it has for me unless you let up on gas. He said it basically was internal wear and needed a rebuild. I did not tell him that it had been rebuilt about 2 years ago. I asked why no codes triggered and he said it was pressure related and not electrical so it wouldn't throw codes. The car is not worth a trans rebuild and I don't think it needs it. I think I will try the VSS. I am not looking forward to changing it. Like I said I could only barely get my hand on the top of it coming down from the top. My arms need to be a foot longer lol. Thanks and I will come back after this weekend with results. If the weather is good.

Ed
 

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Ed, I was told the same thing (needs rebuilt) when I took my 1st '99 with these issues to a reputable mom 'n pop tranny shop. Prior going, I had tried a fluid/filter pan drop with no success. After reading and researching, I figured I'd roll the dice and try a $20 sensor vs. a $1500 rebuild. Afterwards, returned to the shop to tell them about the fix and all I got was a smug expression and eyeroll from the owner. Ed, if you're up to the task, you might remove the pass. cowl and/or intake, as I'm sure it'd give you more room, esp. the intake. I just reached down directly behind the evr 'til I felt the foil heat shield to slide up for access. All performed blindly and by feel. Remember, I was fighting short arms (albeit skinny) and boobs too, lol!!!
 

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Discussion Starter #15
Sheila,

I live in Florida. Where have you found that sensor for $20.00? I have called a few places and they want 50.00 on up. Thanks. I have a 40.oo credit at Autozone I have been saving, may have to use it.

Ed
 

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Ed, the last 1 I bought at AZ was $20. The Borg-Warner ones I've gotten from Advance Auto/O'Reilly were $25. Make sure they're quoting the correct vss for a '99 Duratec 24v dohc (eng. type "S") ax4n (19 pan bolt) tranny. No speedo cable, mechanical instrument cluster. Edit: Ed, I just checked the 3 parts store sites: AZ Duralast (Wells) vss part#SU1067 @$19.99. Advance Auto/O'Reilly BWD vss part#S8318 @$29.99. The AZ ones I've used have been fine. Lifetime warranty at all 3 stores. Also found 1 at Napa: Proformer by Mileage Plus Electrical (Echlin) part#MPE VSS318SB @$19.80, but with only a 1yr. warr.
 

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Discussion Starter #17
Thank you Sheila, I must have looked up the wrong part. I want to thank you for all the help you gave me and others. Even when I am not working on my car I like to read the forum and you are always ready to help. I hope good karma comes your way. It is supposed to be 70% chance of rain here so I may not get to it this weekend as I have to work outside. Thanks again.

Ed
 

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Ed, I was told the same thing (needs rebuilt) when I took my 1st '99 with these issues to a reputable mom 'n pop tranny shop. Prior going, I had tried a fluid/filter pan drop with no success. After reading and researching, I figured I'd roll the dice and try a $20 sensor vs. a $1500 rebuild. Afterwards, returned to the shop to tell them about the fix and all I got was a smug expression and eyeroll from the owner. Ed, if you're up to the task, you might remove the pass. cowl and/or intake, as I'm sure it'd give you more room, esp. the intake. I just reached down directly behind the evr 'til I felt the foil heat shield to slide up for access. All performed blindly and by feel. Remember, I was fighting short arms (albeit skinny) and boobs too, lol!!!
Wait...you are Mrs. Sheila?! I never knew!
 
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