2000 Ford Taurus • 135,000 miles

Just bought this car - test drove it, it idled really high in park. It takes off from a dead stop and gets up to 30mph just from idling, no gas. Drove it home, about a 30 minute highway drive, parked it, opened the hood, and the transmission itself was glowing red hot! It does have tranny fluid in it. Seemed to shift ok.
August 22, 2013.

Are you sure it was the transmission and not the catalytic converter? Also, as far as the high idle, have you checked for vacuum leaks and checked the Idle air control valve (IAC). The IAC is responsible for maintaining the engine idle speed.

It was the catalytic converter that was glowing. Idling high can mean its running too lean or too rich? Is it safe to say that if I changed out the air control valve, that that should make everything run fine? Someone told me this is the start of a bunch of problems, debating on if I should waste my time fixing it

Aug 23, 2013.
If the converter was glowing red hot, that is most likely the entire problem. Replace it. It was red because it is plugged up inside. That is most likely what was causing the idle issues.

Let me know if it takes care of the problem. By the way, this doesn't mean it is the start of a lot of problems. We now know the converter is bad. That should take care of the problem. If you want to try it before you get a new one, just remove the old one and start it that way. It will be loud, but you should be able to tell a difference in the way the engine is running.

PS: An extreme rich mixture could have caused the converter to plug. However, age and miles do the same thing.