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My boyfriend's 2003 Taurus just recently had to have some serious (and expensive!) work done on it. We had a brand new transmission put in last week and it cost us $2550. We picked up the car yesterday morning and all seemed well. Now, he is stranded 2 hours from home. His car is running, but the transmission exclamation point on his dash is blinking. He doesn't have the user's manual and I can't find anything online to find out if he can drive home or we have to shell out more money (!?) to fix it immediately. PLEASE, HELP!
 

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There will be a code behind that blinking gear, and that will help guide you to the cause of the problem. Some auto part stores will read codes for free, like Autozone, but I'm not 100% sure their reader will pull the transmission codes.

Meanwhile... If you just spent that much on a tranny, it should be guaranteed. If the shop asks for more money, they are not practicing good customer relations.

He might first check to see that the shop actually put in enough transmission fluid. If he doesn't have an owners manual, this is done with the transmission warm, car on a level spot, engine running. You go slowly through all the gears and end in P. Leaving the engine running, you open the hood, pull the transmission dip stick, wipe it, re-insert it, pull it out and see where on the stick the fluid level is. If there's no fluid showing, the transmission is seriously low on fluid.

If the car will move forward, you might chance driving home. There should be a "limp home" mode, but you have to take back roads and drive slowly because the tranny won't go into higher gears, as is required for highway speeds.

However, it might be best to find lodging and call the shop in the morning to have them tow the car back (for free), check the transmission (for free), and fix it (for free).
 

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On further consideration, don't try the "limp home" mode. The shop may have messed up and not tightened fittings for the transmission cooler, allowing the fluid to drain. Or the tranny might be suffering infant death. Have the shop tow it back in the morning.
 

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Seeing as how the tranny has recently been messed with, have him check the tranny fluid level.
 

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I hope it's something minor that the installing shop can quick fix. They should cover the tow if he needs it! I had my Transaxle light come on a couple of times in my '01. It came on once when cruising uphill at a high rate of speed for a long time and once driving through a very heavy storm. After shutting down and restarting it went away and I never had anymore trouble with it.

OW, thanks for the tip on checking trans fluid level.
 

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If its still under warranty they should look at it and honor it.
 
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