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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I am at a complete lost to what on earth is wrong here so i'm hoping someone will know what this is.....

I bought a 1996 Ford Taurus Wagon LX with the best motor (DOC v6 duratec?, my friend always called it the "jaguar" motor") with 105,000 miles and it had a transmission that was out. I had it professionally rebuilt and it worked great coming from Florida to Missouri.

Once i got to Missouri about 3 months later it started slowly acting like a jerk to me....it started with the A/C which when it gets hot (hotter than 75) outside, it would be blowing darn cold then just STOP. After waiting a few secs, mins or hours it suddenly comes back to life like nothing was ever wrong....then does it again and again and again. If it's under 75 outside...doesn't do any of this (and yes when its doing this the compressor is not spinning and there is no belt slipping)

Then the transmission began to act up....whenever it's hotter than 75...and you have been driving for a few hours at 60+, it will suddenly kick out of overdrive into 3rd, then back in, then back out, then back in, then it decides it's mad and kicks into 2nd, then 1st and won't come back. HOWEVER....if you turn the car off, then back on....it works like nothing was wrong for another 10mins or so. WHAT THE HECK?

Furthermore....the steering wheel is very nice and moves very easily...except when it's hotter than 75...and the transmission begins to act up or just before it...the wheel will suddenly get hard to turn like the pump wasn't running, but after checking the belt IT IS RUNNING. Then the a/c goes off and it starts slipping again......

Finally when you park it in anger to find out what's going on....the motor will just die. It will start back up no problems...but it just dies without any warning.

Other than that...i have no issues with this car and totally wish to keep it.

WHAT THE HECK IS GOING ON? Do I have a bad computer? Is the sensor from the cooling department on the fritz? Is the car getting too hot?

Also let me add that the heat temp gauge randomly jumps around for no apparent reason...it will be normal, then go up, then go down, then go really high, then come back down...all in a matter of 1 min.

I'm lost, help me please? I really don't want to take it to the shop to find the problem and pay hundreds when it could be something simple and i can just take it in and say "this is the problem, fix it"


i'll also add that the service light is on, but it claims to be a sensor going off on the cad converter...however it appears to be good according to a repair shop, i figured the sensor is bad. From time to time the "low coolant" light will light up when you start it, sometimes it won't. I just don't get it :lol2:
 

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All of these could be related to the powertrain control module (PCM) as it correlates input from the transmission sensors, power steering pressure switch and engine coolant temperature sensor as well as the O2 sensor.

Or they could be problems with the individual sensors themselves.

You need to scan the PCM for codes.
 

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the TRS (transmission range sensor) can cause some pretty odd electrical "bugs" when it stops working one of them including the power steering cutting out. also one issue i have had with a bad TRS was shifting it locked out all gears on my friends 97 except for 1st gear. replaced that sensor for 10 bucks from a junkyard and everything as been perfect since.
 
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TRS (Transmission Range Sensor)
Symptoms (Each bullet point is a symptom that doesn't necessarily happen at the same time):

  • Loss of power steering assist, all window controls (none are lit up), rear window defrost controls, half of the MFS controls (only Hi, Lo, and turn signals work), and radio only when car is in R, (D), D, and 1. Everything functions fine when put into P or N.
  • Transmission randomly downshifts/upshifts suddenly while driving.

Symptoms, TSB, and Repair
Additional Info
TRS Alignment Procedure
TRS Alignment Shortcut
TRS Wiring Harness Pin-Out
TRS Wiring Pin-Out (AX4N)
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
TRS (Transmission Range Sensor)
Symptoms (Each bullet point is a symptom that doesn't necessarily happen at the same time):

  • Loss of power steering assist, all window controls (none are lit up), rear window defrost controls, half of the MFS controls (only Hi, Lo, and turn signals work), and radio only when car is in R, (D), D, and 1. Everything functions fine when put into P or N.
  • Transmission randomly downshifts/upshifts suddenly while driving.

Symptoms, TSB, and Repair
Additional Info
TRS Alignment Procedure
TRS Alignment Shortcut
TRS Wiring Harness Pin-Out
TRS Wiring Pin-Out (AX4N)

ok i have it in the shop right now for getting this sensor replaced. Drove the other day with no problems but the day before it was a huge mess...a/c wouldn't come on at all and it downshifted to 2nd gear and no matter how many times i stopped to cool down or whatever, wouldn't go out of 1st/2nd..no 3rd or overdrive.

drove it to the shop...acted like it never had anything wrong with it

hope its this sensor because that is insane! :huh:
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
the TRS (transmission range sensor) can cause some pretty odd electrical "bugs" when it stops working one of them including the power steering cutting out. also one issue i have had with a bad TRS was shifting it locked out all gears on my friends 97 except for 1st gear. replaced that sensor for 10 bucks from a junkyard and everything as been perfect since.
and thank you all for the suggestions and the help! btw sable23...love the trigun avatar!
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
i replaced the sensor, cost $150 (part was 88) to get it all done. shifts great now and doesn't act up that much. However my a/c is still going off and on and off and on, but when it's on..its super cold...any idea what that could be?
 

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what style hvac control is on the car?

the blend door could be broken
or the blend door actuator could be funny
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
what style hvac control is on the car?

the blend door could be broken
or the blend door actuator could be funny
It's an automatic system computer control. I checked the compressor when this occurs and it's not spinning. However when its not occurring, it's spinning and blowing really cold air....a guy at autozone thinks that it's a computer issue or that the temp sensor isn't reading correctly so it shuts off the compressor when its actually not suppose to

any guesses?
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Run the eatc self-test. Instructions are listed in the topic finder at the top of this page.
I ran the test and it gave me no codes...ended with the 888 indicating it was finished. I'm still at a loss here, but here's a clue. This a/c only does this when the temp outside is higher than 75. If it's below, the a/c works fine the entire time

any guesses on that? :huh:
 

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.... This a/c only does this when the temp outside is higher than 75. If it's below, the a/c works fine the entire time

any guesses on that? :huh:
Sounds like the evaporator is icing. If this is the case the A/C lines going to the evaporator will be frosted too. If that is the case the A/C compressor may be running too much, possibly caused by a faulty low pressure cycling switch.

Good luck
 

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take a look at the blen door the 888 is just telling you the system is working normally. if the door is broke it wont through a code. if the actuator is broke and not moving it will though a code. so if the act, is moving but door is broke you wont know
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
take a look at the blen door the 888 is just telling you the system is working normally. if the door is broke it wont through a code. if the actuator is broke and not moving it will though a code. so if the act, is moving but door is broke you wont know
I looked at the blend door, it is working just fine. The a/c has now moved to just working for 5mins then totally not working till you shut the car off for at least an hour.

I'm at a loss here...the compressor is fine, the connections are fine and it's full of freon so that's not the issue...the only thing i notice is this a/c issue mainly occurs when it's warm outside. At night, it usually works fine.
 

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Freezing issue?

Im by far no expert so take this or leave it.

I have, however, had experiences with home air conditioning systems freezing up because they're low on freon. Have you checked your low and high side pressures?
 

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I'm at a loss here...the compressor is fine, the connections are fine and it's full of freon so that's not the issue...the only thing i notice is this a/c issue mainly occurs when it's warm outside. At night, it usually works fine.[/QUOTE]


Check the air gap on the comp. clutch.
I had the same symtom with too large an air gap on the clutch, when hot it would slip / open and a/c would drop out in the hot daytime.
Removing a shim got me going again. There are lots of posts on that.
 
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