Mechanics

ZX2 SHIFTING BAD

1998 Ford Escort

Transmission problem
1998 Ford Escort 4 cyl Front Wheel Drive Automatic 115000 miles

MY car doesn't shift out of first till around 20 mph or 3000 rpm's. I had my CEL scanned and it said my 1-2 solenoid was malfunctioning. I had it fixed and the codes are gone but the problem is still there. I though maybe it was my trs or my tps, but I couldn't get the tps off to test it. Currently 70mph is about 4000 rpm's, I really need some help I have no clue what to even start checking, I can answer any questions needed I dont really know what to add.

I dont know if it mean anything but I was having problems where my car would feel like my car would slow while I was driving but only for a fraction of a second, but it would do it over and over again, when I would hold speed at 55 mph. Well I took it in to a shop and they said they fixed it. Now when I let my foot off of the accelerator in over drive my rpm's drop to idle ( around 800) very quickly. In drive the rpms drop much slower.

thank you in advance for any help im really lost.

-I should also add i'd be more than happy to donate more on a correct diagnosis.
Avatar
Matthew.moran
March 28, 2010.



Hello matthew. Moran

Ford has issue a tsb 06-14-4 about mercon atf being replaced by mercon v atf as service fluid for 1981-2003 ford escort.
I want to make sure you know that.
Make sure the transmission fluid is correct when engine is hot.
Replacing parts or solenoids on transmission will sometime require the pcm/tcm a certain relearn procedure, ask your dealer for that procedure if there no engine codes.
You should also give time to the computer to make sure that the code is not coming back or the code is already pending if the problem was in the circuit not the solenoid self.
Look in” pending code” when diagnosing it again to make sure the code is not there.

Tiny
Mathiaso
Mar 29, 2010.
Im was mistaken my error code was

P0751 Shift Solenoid A Performance

I'm having a hard time figuring out what to do to program the pcm, online searches are ot getting me far and my ford garage is less than helpful.

Tiny
Matthew.moran
Mar 29, 2010.
Hello matthew. Moran

Perform this ford company drive cycle.

1). Install scan tool. Turn key on with the engine off. Cycle key off, then on. Select your Vehicle & Engine qualifier. Clear all DTC's/ Perform a PCM Reset.

2)Begin to monitor the following PIDs: ECT, EVAPDC, FLI and TP MODE.
Start vehicle WITHOUT returning to Key Off.

3)Idle vehicle for 15 seconds. Drive at 64 Km/h (40 MPH) until ECT is at least 76.7 °C (170 ° F)

4)Cruise at 64 Km/h (40 MPH) for up to 4 minutes.

5)Cruise at 72 to 104 Km/h (45 to 65 MPH) for 10 minutes (avoid sharp turns and hills) Note, to initiate the monitor: TP MODE should =PT, EVAPDC must be > 75%, and FLI must be between 15 and 85%

6)Drive in stop and go traffic conditions. Include five different constant cruise speeds, ranging from 40 to 72 Km/h (25 to 45 MPH) over a 10 minute period.

7) From a stop, accelerate to 72 Km/h (45 MPH) at 1/2 to 3/4 throttle. Repeat 3 times.

8)Bring the vehicle to a stop. Idle with transmission in drive for 2 minutes.

9) from a stop and in overdrive, moderately accelerate to 80 Km/h (50 MPH) and cruise for at least 15 seconds. Stop vehicle and repeat without overdrive to 64 Km/h (40 MPH) cruising for at least 30 seconds. While at 64 Km/h (40 MPH), activate overdrive and accelerate to 80 Km/h (50 MPH) and cruise for at least 15 seconds. Stop for at least 20 seconds and repeat step 10 five times. Executes the transmission

10) From a stop, accelerate to 104 Km/h (65 MPH). Decelerate at closed throttle until 64 Km/h (40 MPH) (no brakes). Repeat this 3 times.

11) Access the ON-Board System Readiness (OBDII monitor status) function on the scan tool. Determine whether all non-continuous monitors have completed. If not, go to next step.

12) With the scan tool, check for pending codes. If the vehicle still not running right.

Park vehicle for a minimum of 8 hours. Repeat steps 2 through 12, check for pending codes if the vehicle is not running right.

(one time small donation is enough)

Tiny
Mathiaso
Mar 30, 2010.
My fluid was really low, I filled it and I am still having the problem.

Codes did not come back

Shifting is better but im still not getting into 4th and im pretty sure not 2nd. My mechanic says he can hear the 1-2 shift solenoid working when his machine tells it to, and sometimes I can get a shift in L which I think its only 1st or 2nd gear.

My fluid is clean no crap in pan and the trans is 15-30k old

Any more ideas? Or am im gonna be stuck with a rebuild or new car?

Tiny
Matthew.moran
Apr 1, 2010.
. There is no codes, but the fluid was very low. For an automatic transmission to function normally, the fluid level must be between the " full" and " add" marks on the dipstick. If the fluid level is low, the transmission may slip or engage slowly. If the level is too high, the fluid can become mixed with air (aerated) causing shifting problems.
A visual inspection of the pan gasket and driveshaft seals will tell you where the fluid is going

Tiny
Mathiaso
Apr 1, 2010.
I filled the fluid to the correct level. ( I don't know why my mechanic under filled it)

I at least assume he did because I don't have any leaks that I can see and there are never puddles under my car.

Im have not worked with transmission but I am pretty good with the rest of the car. So if the code is not coming back but the problem persists would it be ok to assume its mechanical?

Or could I still have an electrical problem. Im a computer scientist and am pretty good with a multimeter so should I check the harnesses? (I found a guide online)

Tiny
Matthew.moran
Apr 1, 2010.
Hello matthew. Moran

Check for a binding in the throttle linkage and the TPS.
Here’s a quick check you can use to check for a
faulty TPS: First, with the engine and ignition off,
unplug the electrical connector and attach an
ohmmeter between the center terminal and one of
the outer two terminals on the TPS.
Manually operate the TPS by s-l-o-w-l-y opening
the throttle. Note the ohmmeter reading. It should
increase or decrease smoothly as you exercise the
sensor through its full range of travel.
Next, connect the ohmmeter between the center
terminal and the other outer terminal. Repeat the
same test. The ohmmeter reading should again rise
or decrease smoothly as you exercise the sensor.
Check for the proper reference voltage between the TPS
Vref wire terminal and ground with the ignition on.
Less than five volts indicates a wiring or computer
problem. Check for a good ground connection between
the ground wire terminal and ground with the key on. The reading should be less than 0.1 volt.
Check for a voltage output signal between the signal wire and ground with the key on. This should vary from less than one volt at idle up to nearly five volts at wide-open
throttle.

Tiny
Mathiaso
Apr 1, 2010.
Tps looks good.

Is there a chance its my 2-4 band and servo?

Tiny
Matthew.moran
Apr 2, 2010.
Hello matthew. Moran
I found information about this transmission: Drive Train: POWER TRAIN: AUTOMATIC TRANSMISSION: CONTROL MODULE (TCM, PCM)
Service Bulletin Number: 42107
NHTSA Number: 10014086
Model Years Affected: 1998,
Date of Bulletin: 04/2005
Bulletin Summary: GENERAL (PCM) POWER TRAIN CONTROL MODULE PROGRAMMING PROCEDURES.
If the transmission is still having a problem and there are no codes, you will need a Ford Transmission Tester (Rotunda 007-00085) and follow the appropriate tester instructions to determine if the problem is internal. Essentially, this involves checking internal transmission pressures and the operation of the various sensors and control solenoids.

An early symptom of transmission failure is often a noticeable change in engine rpm of 200 to 300 rpm while driving at highways speeds in overdrive. This is often due to the transmission losing lockup pressure.
I could not find band and servo adjustment but vehicle speed sensor like to go bad on this model.

Tiny
Mathiaso
Apr 2, 2010.
99% of the time when a 98 - 02 escort auto tran goes from 1st gear directly to 3rd and will not go into 4th, its in " limp mode " and I have found that in most cases it is either one of two grounds causing the problem, there is one small ground wire comining of top of trans, going to the frame rail right below the air intake box, very common for this connection to corrode, the other ground that can cause problem is where the negative cable leaves the battery and grounds to the firewall, also very pone to corrosion, I would def look at these two connections before doing any other repairs, , like I said either of those two problems will cause your exact syptoms

Tiny
Got2bford
Feb 3, 2014.