2003 Ford Escape Torque converter shudder

Tiny
JAMES0919013816
  • MEMBER
  • 2003 FORD ESCAPE
  • 3.0L
  • 6 CYL
  • 4WD
  • AUTOMATIC
  • 150,000 MILES
My escape was making a weird sound at 35 - 45 mph, like shaking the car. So I took it to a ford mechanic and he said the sound was my torque converter, and said it would cost a lot of money to have a shop repair it. So I was wondering if I could do it by myself?
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Thursday, December 3rd, 2015 AT 1:26 PM

3 Replies

Tiny
JACOBANDNICKOLAS
  • EXPERT
To replace the torque converter, the engine and transmission need separated. It isn't a simple job, but I don't know how much you can do.
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Thursday, December 3rd, 2015 AT 6:29 PM
Tiny
CARADIODOC
  • EXPERT
First get a copy of the manufacturer's service manual and read through the pages of instructions before even thinking about attempting this. You will need to remove either the engine, the transmission, or both together.

Next, to verify this is the cause of the shudder, drive at a speed high enough to make the torque converter lock up, typically above 45 mph, in the highest gear, with the engine warmed up. Hold the accelerator pedal steady, then tap the brake pedal with your left foot. That will make the torque converter unlock, (in preparation for coming to a stop), then it will relock in two or three seconds. If you have a tachometer on the dash, you'll see engine speed increase around 200 rpm, then drop back down again. A shudder caused by slipping clutch plates inside the torque converter will occur when it relocks.

Most lockup clutches don't wear out yet by the mileage you listed. Another possible cause of the chatter, or shudder, is using the wrong transmission fluid. Some transmissions are real picky about having the right fluid characteristics. Adding a can of "mechanic-in-a-can" additives rarely solves this. A better attempt at solving this is to replace the fluid and filter. Dropping the pan to replace the filter will remove about half of the fluid. That is usually sufficient to get enough of the right additives in the system.
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Thursday, December 3rd, 2015 AT 6:40 PM
Tiny
JAMES0919013816
  • MEMBER
My knowledge about cars is rather low. The most I've ever attempted to do by myself was front brakes, rotators, adding oil, and a few other things. I like to say i'm good with loosing nuts and bolts. That's about it. And I don't know if this makes sense but I touched this button on the end of my shifter it says o/d and after I pushed it (by mistake) a light appeared on my dash saying (O/D off) lower right side of my dash, in the area where it says 4x4 when activated. And now my car isn't shuddering anymore. And I just had someone from AutoZone (not wise, I know) put some stuff in my transmission that's suppose to renew bad transmission fluid. (Transmission has never been serviced), mechanic advised me to not change it competitive, just to add this Lucas oil or whatever it was. But Ford is telling me to replace the whole transmission but that would cost more than my car is worth.
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Thursday, December 3rd, 2015 AT 9:45 PM

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