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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Well, I am stuck with what decision to make. I have a 97 Taurus with 93K miles on it. Everything has been running fine so far (except I lost a heating coil on one of the cylinders) and then my O/D off light flashed, then the check engine light came on. Took it to Ford and they call saying it is somewhere inside the cover of the tranny and it is going to be 4 to 5 hours to get to it (at $62/hour). So then they call and say that it is the main control and it will be around $1500. Then I ask about a rebuilt transmission and they say about $2750. So I am stuck with the problem of to sink the $1500 into it now and then possibly have a problem down the road or just suck it up and put the $2700 into it. Any opinions? What does the main control do anyway? The just told me it was a machined piece. I had a 94 Taurus that had the transmission replaced at 120K and I was told that the gen3 trannys are more reliable. Was I lied to?


Nope, you weren't lied to. The AX4S in the Gen 3's is pretty reliable, although it did have its' share of failures. I guess at this point, it's a matter of how long you plan on keeping the car.

Premium Member
1,234 Posts
With the Gen 3 you might have either the AX4S or AX4N transmission (mine has the N)

The O/D light started flashing on my 96 last May. This was before I found TCCA
I had gotten away from working on cars for many years and auto transmissions are out of my league anyway. So, thinking they'd be the best informed, I took mine to the local Ford dealer.

They told me the torque convertor was bad and that I could either pay $X to fix that which came with their usual (60 day I believe) warranty or have a new transmission installed for about the price you quoted (high $2000s) and have a three year warranty. So, I had the new transmission installed.

I had then spent so much many on the car that I had to keep it for a long time. Thus, I needed to fix it up, which brought me to TCCA, but that's another story.

Having now read a lot of information about the Taurus, I've found that the Ford garages are not necessarily all that competent, and certainly the most expensive way to go. You may well be better to pay Ford the $35-50 "examination fee" for whatever they've done so far, and get another quote from a reputable transmission shop.

If you are going to have the transmission apart or replaced, you may want to consider the shift kits that are available for the transmission. Many of these are only reasonable to install when the transmission is already out
TransGo shift kits for Ford Unfortunately, I didn't know about this when I had mine done.
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