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My nephew has a 2004 SES. Recently (2 months) when he shifts from Park to Neutral the car makes a pretty loud clunk when going into reverse. Does not seem to make this noise if shifting from Park to drive. Any ideas? Car has 114,000 miles / no transmission fluid changes that we are aware of. Purchased used. CV Joints? Transmission?

SUP
 

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I suggest changing the transmission fluid and filter, since you don't know when, or if ever, it was done last. Most of Ford's transmissions will start having hard shifts when fluid changes are neglected. The clunking going into reverse could also be ply in the cv joints, I wouldn't worry about them unless they start clicking in turns, or cause a shimmy in the steering wheel when you accelerate/coast. CV joints start to get looser when they get miles on them. Another cause could be worn/broken engine/transmission mounts.
 

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pop the hood, stand in front of the car when your nephew shifts the trans, should give you an idea as to whether it's drivetrain or suspension related.
 

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Motor / tranny mounts.
 

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About 18 months ago, I bought a 2000 Taurus with 50k miles. I believe in preventive maintenance so I immediately went to synthetic engine oil and also had the trans and coolant flushed. The trans has actually been done twice now since I passed 75k miles.

The car engaged very harshly into reverse, especially if its parked on an incline with the front facing up. When the dealer was doing the oil change, I asked what they thought of the clunk, the mechanic said he didnt think it was too bad...?

More recently, I had the starter changed by a "backyard mechanic". It made the clunking noise there as well and as Jeff K said above, he also thought it was mount related.
 

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He wouldnt happen to be parking on an incline or decline when this happens, with the car resting on the parking prawl?
 
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