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Discussion Starter #1
Hi everyone! I've had my 2004 taurus for about 2 months now, and I have discovered an issue. Normally, my 1-2 shift is very good, as well as all the other shifts. Very crisp. However, after driving on the highway for 15+ mins, the 1-2 shift gets very harsh, but intermittently.

Example. I took the taurus on a 300 mile round trip 2 weeks ago. All highway. Got about 25 mins into the trip, and got detoured through lansing due to an accident. Starting from the first stoplight after getting off the highway, the 1-2 shift was very harsh, it knocked my sunglasses off my visor. Starting form the next light about 1/4 mile from the first light, the 1-2 shift was great! As was the next one! Then, again, the 1-2 shift was very harsh. Its very random, but ONLY when the transmission is well warmed.

I noticed that if I keep the gas pedal around 1/4 - 1/2 of the way down when starting out (merging on highway from rest area, for example), and it decides to shift hard into second, it will SLAM into second, then shift back into first, then SLAM into second again, until I let off the gas and let it settle down. Then all is well. Really weird! Otherwise it shifts great!! If it cools down for a half hour, the transmission shifts excellent, good as new!

I checked the transmission fluid and it is almost to the top of the hash marks when warm, in park. It is not burnt, or browned. It looks new. I have no codes. Cruise control works, speedo works (reads about 3 mph slow, but thats normal I think). All my research points to replacing the vss (OSS), but I wanted some other input before I start throwing parts at it.

It's a 2004 with a 3.0 Vulcan, AX4N transmission. The car has 146k miles, and otherwise runs like brand new. Thanks!
 

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AX4N, ughhh my 99 has one, when I had company cars my 2005 and 2006 must have had one, they all had and have a lousy 1-2 shift especially if you get on it.
Yours sounds different though seems to get worse as the tranny gets hot.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
yeah I keep hearing not so good things about it lol! The thing is though, when the transmission stays cool (short trips, even short highway trips less than 15 mins) it shifts through all gears like a brand new transmission! I'm stumped. I might just replace the OSS just to see if I get anywhere.
 

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Missed a couple, my 92 and 93 did it too. 92 was brand new, Ford changed the tranny under warranty by the time I sold it in 96 it was on it's way out again. The 92 was a 3.8l and they did not have the recall on poor head gaskets at the time, hello auto-wreckers LOL

Be wary of fluid levels Ford's seem to hate low tranny fluid, maybe have someone do a filter, oil change and tranny flush.
 

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I would lean toward the OSS(some parts places still call it a VSS) with my folks 2003 Sable(with the AX4N and Vulcan engine) after driving for about 15min to 30 mins(when the car was fully warmed up) it would shift harsh into 2nd from first or bang into gear or slip. it would also slip going around the corner. The fluid was in good shape and at proper level. Transmission shop and Ford dealer told them it was time for a new transmission. After reading on this forum, I deduced it was the VSS/OSS and for the $40 bucks it cost at the parts store, I figured what the heck, lets try.

After putting the part in(took 15 mins due to the plenum style of the 2003 models) and removing the battery cable for 15 mins, it drove like a new car.

Now don't be alarmed if the VSS/OSS issue on your car does not show the other symptoms as theirs did not have a check wallet light or or have codes stored and the speedometer worked fine.

Now I just replaced mine on my 2006 and my 2006 has a different upper intake plenum then the 2003 that makes reaching down from the top of the passenger side of the engine not possible. I am too much of a fat a$$ to crawl under the car even with the front jacked up and sitting on jack stands.

I was able to get at the VSS/OSS easily from the drivers side. I removed the snorkel that runs from the air filter box to the throttle and put it off to the side and remove and replace the VSS/OSS easy.

Good luck
 

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Discussion Starter #6
I would lean toward the OSS(some parts places still call it a VSS) with my folks 2003 Sable(with the AX4N and Vulcan engine) after driving for about 15min to 30 mins(when the car was fully warmed up) it would shift harsh into 2nd from first or bang into gear or slip. it would also slip going around the corner. The fluid was in good shape and at proper level. Transmission shop and Ford dealer told them it was time for a new transmission. After reading on this forum, I deduced it was the VSS/OSS and for the $40 bucks it cost at the parts store, I figured what the heck, lets try.

After putting the part in(took 15 mins due to the plenum style of the 2003 models) and removing the battery cable for 15 mins, it drove like a new car.

Now don't be alarmed if the VSS/OSS issue on your car does not show the other symptoms as theirs did not have a check wallet light or or have codes stored and the speedometer worked fine.

Now I just replaced mine on my 2006 and my 2006 has a different upper intake plenum then the 2003 that makes reaching down from the top of the passenger side of the engine not possible. I am too much of a fat a$$ to crawl under the car even with the front jacked up and sitting on jack stands.

I was able to get at the VSS/OSS easily from the drivers side. I removed the snorkel that runs from the air filter box to the throttle and put it off to the side and remove and replace the VSS/OSS easy.

Good luck
Awesome, thank you very much for the information. I'll switch out the OSS and go from there!
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Just wanted to update the thread. The problem (so far) has been fixed by replacing the OSS. Thanks to everyone who responded, and I hope this helps anybody with the same issue!
 

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Hello everyone in this thread.

Have a 2000 Merc Sable 24V having the above described symptoms, want to replace the OSS, I'm looking at it here:



Where did you guys get your replacements? Guy at Autozone looked at me like I had 2 heads, even after showing him the photo. Is it commonly referred to as something else?

Also, is there any threads or how-to's for removal? Looks fairly straight-forward, not sure if those are allen head screws...hope they're not because they look rounded off...
 

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Discussion Starter #13
The problem was fixed, but just came back today. All shift are good except for the 1-2 (only after long drives on the highway). Does anyone have any idea why? The sensor fixed it for a month or two but all of a sudden the symptoms came back!
 

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^ Classic symptom of a faulty vss/oss on a '98/'99 tec/ax4n. Dunno about an '04 FFV Vulcan/ax4n? I'd recommend a BWD (Borg-Warner) or Motorcraft unit from Advance Auto or O'Reilly.
 

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Nobody, huh? Lol. I might just replace the sensor again.
No. Hook your OBD port to a proper scan/software program. It'll tell you all sorts of information as to what is actually happening. Shift times, sensors,solenoids etc.

I solved a problem with my car last night because a buddy brought his laptop over with ScanXL Pro which had enhanced Ford package. It gave so much info it took a while to go through it. Invaluable tool.
 

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Discussion Starter #17
No. Hook your OBD port to a proper scan/software program. It'll tell you all sorts of information as to what is actually happening. Shift times, sensors,solenoids etc.

I solved a problem with my car last night because a buddy brought his laptop over with ScanXL Pro which had enhanced Ford package. It gave so much info it took a while to go through it. Invaluable tool.
I'll see what I can do. Unfortunately, I don't have lots of money to be spending on programs or taking it to someone who does. I have forscan, (still working my way around on it) would that show me what I need?
 

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I'll see what I can do. Unfortunately, I don't have lots of money to be spending on programs or taking it to someone who does. I have forscan, (still working my way around on it) would that show me what I need?

Forscan is excellent, no need to spend money on other programs.
 

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Discussion Starter #19
I know this thread is a few months old, but my hard shift issue is back. I noticed it only happens when temperatures are warm outside, with the ac on. Im thinking that the transmission is getting too warm, but im not sure. any ideas what I can do next to fix this once and for all?
 

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I'm having the same issue on my 2007 Taurus. I’ve been scouring this forum for ideas on what it may be and how to fix it. We replaced the VSS twice – worked for two days each time then started doing it again. We replaced the Neutral Safety Switch – and it has worked for a week with no issue, then started doing it again today. When I reset the PCM by disconnecting the battery, it will work for a day or two then start acting up again. Transmission was recently serviced and received a clean bill of health. I’d sure like to know what the issue is. It has to be a sensor or something similar if it will stop doing it when the PCM is reset. Any other ideas?
 
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