Mechanics

WHY WILL MY VAN START BUT IT WON'T MOVE?

1999 Ford Windstar

My 99 Ford windstar will start but won't move anywhere. It's leaking transmission fluid terribly. This all started yesterday when I picked my fiance up from work he started driving but when he pushed on the gas for some reason the rpms kept shooting up to the highest level and it would not go past 35. I kept telling him not to push it and we'll see what the problem is but he did. He repeatively pushed on the gas in an attempt to get it up to 65 when we finally reached the rest area there was steam emitting from the engine, transmission fluid leaking like a water faucet on a low setting and now it starts but won't move anywhere. The o/d light was on, and the engine was very hot.
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AmberSchertz
May 30, 2012.



Get a new fiance? Make him pay for new transmission if it's needed after leak is fixed.

Tiny
Fixitmr
May 30, 2012.
I just want to fix the leak how do I do that?

Tiny
AmberSchertz
May 30, 2012.
Fixitmr is pretty smart but his computer isn't. It's rather difficult to see what's leaking from where we're sitting. That's a job for a live human being. Could be as simple as a popped rubber hose going to the transmission cooler in the radiator or as expensive as a leaking front pump seal. Given your description, I'd suspect a popped hose first. Regardless, continuing to drive it definitely caused internal damage to the clutch packs. Had he stopped right away when the slippage was noticed, repairing the leak and refilling with new fluid would have been the end of it. Instead, the loss of fluid prevents the hydraulic pressure from forming that is used to apply pressure to the clutch packs. That lets them slip and you lose speed while the engine speeds up. That slippage causes the clutch plates to overheat and be destroyed. THAT is what gets to be expensive.

If you're emotionally-involved with this fiance and don't want to replace him, you might look at this as an opportunity to trade the van for something else. Ford is having a huge problem with rear axles in them rusting apart. We'd hate to read that happened to yours after spending fistfulls of cash repairing the transmission.
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Caradiodoc
May 30, 2012.

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