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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I have a 1993 Taurus GL 3.8 with approx. 91k miles, just recently the car started shifting erratically. When I am driving the car for no reason the car will sometimes drop to a lower gear and on one occasion has dropped into neutral. Also when I accelerate hard sometimes the car will shudder (but doesn't make a grinding sound) like it is in a higher gear than it should be in. I checked the fluid and its color is good and does not smell burnt at all. I took it to a vehicle shop and had them run the codes on the tranny and it came up with a faulty vehicle speed sensor. If this were the case wouldn't my speedometer stop working as well since the speedometer pulls its speed from the sensor? I am also contemplating having the fluid replaced and a new filter installed since the mileage is so high. What would be a good ATF fluid to use? I keep hearing Mercon V is a recommended fluid. Thanks!
 

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The VSS (vehicle speed sensor) wouldn't cause the speedometer to stop working since the speedometer is mechanical. It'd probably cause the needle to jump or bounce, but won't make it stop working.

Dexron III/Mercon is recommend for your transmission. You could put Mercon V in there, but why waste the money when you could just put synthetic Dexron III/Mercon. The tranny was designed for regular Mercon so it doesn't really matter if it's synthetic or regular fluid, but synthetic does help a bit for some people.
 

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IMO, the tranny is about to DIE. Maybe not right away, but it will eventually. I had a 93 3.8L, and at about 100k it started to do exactley what you're describing. Died at about 120K..... Just me wee opinion though. Good luck with it.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Thanks for the info! I was under the assumption that the speedometer pulled its speed from that sensor, but I guess I was wrong. I have never had a single problem with the car's transmission until now so hopefully getting that sensor changed and having the fluid and filter changed will fix it. Hopefully I will luck out and the transmission won't die anytime soon, I would hate to lose a good work vehicle, and I don't see myself spending $2k to rebuilt the tranny! Thanks for all the help!
 

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Since there is no burnt aroma to the fluid, it sounds like the expensive parts like the planetary gears are still alive and in good shape.

It sounds to me like a problem in the valve body, which can be (supposedly) serviced or replaced without removing the transaxle. I'd sure try this, as it will very likely save your trans.

Try calling your local parts store and see if they can get you a re-man valve body. I think NAPA does it.
 

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mine has similiar symptoms...

looked at napa parts, found a few "valve body gaskets", but nothing that indicates a part or location... the gasket looks like a tranny pan gasket... any further clues...
thanx... Joe
 

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1993 Ford Taurus LX Wagon
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I have a 1993 Taurus GL 3.8 with approx. 91k miles, just recently the car started shifting erratically. When I am driving the car for no reason the car will sometimes drop to a lower gear and on one occasion has dropped into neutral. Also when I accelerate hard sometimes the car will shudder (but doesn't make a grinding sound) like it is in a higher gear than it should be in. I checked the fluid and its color is good and does not smell burnt at all. I took it to a vehicle shop and had them run the codes on the tranny and it came up with a faulty vehicle speed sensor. If this were the case wouldn't my speedometer stop working as well since the speedometer pulls its speed from the sensor? I am also contemplating having the fluid replaced and a new filter installed since the mileage is so high. What would be a good ATF fluid to use? I keep hearing Mercon V is a recommended fluid. Thanks!
Hey I know it's been a few years but really hoping to get an update.

I'm having the exact same issue but my taurus only has 61k miles... It's from an older couple that put on 2k miles a year.

In any case, the transmission fluid doesn't smell, it's bright red and full.

It's a little slow finding the first two gears when accelerating but then seems fine - the biggest problem is when it's decelerating from about 45 or 35 mph it will downshift kind of hard, twice.

No check engine lights, two garages (one being a transmission shop) can't figure it out...

Any updates? Thanks in advance.
 
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