Shuts off when shifting from park to drive, or park to reverse

Tiny
ADAM MILLER
  • MEMBER
  • 2005 FORD ESCAPE
  • 3.0L
  • 6 CYL
  • AWD
  • AUTOMATIC
  • 198,000 MILES
I' have owned this since 2007 and 40,000 miles. The first start up of the day it shuts off when you shift it into gear. It seems a little hard to restart and once it is started it will shut off again when shifted into gear. It will shut off like this six or more times before it will finally go into gear and finally stay running. It is not an issue the rest of the day, it will start and shift out of park into gear without stalling the engine just fine. I checked all of the vacuum lines, sprayed some electronic cleaner on the MAF sensor, cleaned the IAC valve with throttle body cleaner. No check engine lights. When I cleaned the MAF and IAC sensors, it did not stall when shifting from park for about three mornings. Now it is doing it again. Just a coincidence?
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Saturday, February 18th, 2017 AT 5:54 PM

5 Replies

Tiny
KEN
  • ADMIN
Hey ADAM

It sounds like the transmission torque converter clutch is locked up, when you shift it into gear does the car BANG! And then the engine stalls?

Best, Ken
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Monday, February 20th, 2017 AT 1:28 PM
Tiny
ADAM MILLER
  • MEMBER
It does not seem to bang. As soon as you shift it into drive (or reverse) it just makes a jerk and instantly kills. I guess it feels similar to letting the clutch out in gear on a manual transmission when it makes the jerk.

It is not an issue any other time of the day. Stop and go traffic is fine, and when you come to a stop sign it is fine. The only time it will do it is first thing in the morning, you can leave it sit the rest of the day and start it that afternoon/night and it starts and goes into gear just fine.

When you start it in the morning it idles a little higher (about 1,300 rpm) for the first minute or so and then drops down to normal idle (about 900-1,000). If you wait to put it into gear until that happens, nine times out of ten the engine will not shut off. That is what made me think it was a sensor issue of some sort. I took the IAC sensor off again to re-clean it. It does not look like the plunger closes fully. Not sure if it is even supposed to close tightly or if the spring in there is weak causing the small air gap and allowing the air to force past it. I will get a new IAC sensor and try it.

I was reading about possible torque converter issues on the internet so I drained and refilled the transmission a few times but it did not help. The fluid was dirty but not burnt. I did not do a flush because of the miles on the transmission.
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Monday, February 20th, 2017 AT 2:21 PM
Tiny
KEN
  • ADMIN
Yep it sounds like the torque converter is failing apart, Next time in the morning try pointing the car downhill and letting it roll before putting it in gear, if the engine does okay you know its the torque converter.

Please let us know what you find so it will help others.

Best, Ken
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Monday, February 20th, 2017 AT 6:31 PM
Tiny
ADAM MILLER
  • MEMBER
Even if there are no other drivability issues throughout the day at any other speeds, highway or in town, starting or stopping, you still think it's the torque converter?

Pretty hard to let it roll before putting it in gear as I park in a garage and I'm on all flat ground but I'll have someone give it a push to get it moving and then try it like you suggested.
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Monday, February 20th, 2017 AT 6:42 PM
Tiny
KEN
  • ADMIN
It is tough to tell since Im there to watch the car, can you take a video and upload it to youtube so I can see what the car is doing?
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Tuesday, February 21st, 2017 AT 12:17 PM

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