1994 Ford Taurus Wagon Transmission Problems

Tiny
TAURUS93
  • MEMBER
  • 1994 FORD F-150
Hello,

I recently purchased a mint condition 1994 Ford Taurus Wagon with only 24,500 miles on it. The previous owner was an elderly woman who had purchased it brand new and only put about 1,800 miles per year on it before she passed away. Here is some general information about the car:


1. Year, Make, Model - 1994 Ford Taurus Wagon
2. Engine - 3.0L
3. Transmission - Automatic
4. Mileage - 26,500
5. 2 Wheel Drive
6. U-Haul Tow Hitch - rated for 3,500 pounds
7. Strange sounds - Very faint metallic ringing type sound when gas pedal is depressed. Also, a faint hissing sound under the hood for about a minute after the car is shut off.
8. Fluid leaks - Leaked about 7 quarts of transmission Fluid. No leaks since I refilled transmission fluid. I have put about 500 miles on the car since refilling the fluid.

I purchased the 1994 Ford Taurus Wagon only 2 months ago (April 2007). I then had a trailer hitch put on the car to tow a 1993 Coleman popup with a dry weight of only 995 pounds. The tow rating for the Taurus is 2,000 pounds. I only put about 100 pounds of extra camping gear in the popup, as well as about 300 pounds of gear distributed fairly evenly in the wagon. The combined weight of me and my wife is approximately 350 pounds.

The car ran great until we went on a camping vacation. I mean it really is in mint condition, and was garaged since it was purchased. But now something is wrong with the transmission.

Last week we drove the car with the popup camper in tow for about 200 miles - from Connecticut to Lake George, NY. My average speed was probably in the 70-80 mph range. It was all highway, but the last 20 miles were pretty hilly.

The car made it to the exit for the campground fine, but once we got to the bottom of the exit ramp the transmission started slipping. I kept driving the 2-3 additional miles to the campground.

Once we got to the campground, however, the car couldn't really move anymore, so the owner of the campground towed my popup to the site and called a mechanic he knew to take a quick look at my car.

The mechanic came to the campground and briefly checked out my car. He then topped off the transmission fluid in the car with about 7 quarts of fluid and I was able to drive it normally again. He told me not to tow the popup camper until I had the transmission serviced, but told me that I could probably drive the Taurus back to Connecticut, stopping every 60 miles or so to rest it for at least 20 minutes, which I did. I left the popup camper in storage at the campground.

My wife and I decided to try to enjoy the rest of our vacation. Luckily the transmission has not leaked again. We drove it for about 150 miles while in the Lake George area, and then the 200 miles home, plus about another 150 miles since then, and the fluid stick still shows it as totally full.

However, the car only shifts gears correctly if I keep it in Overdrive. In Overdrive the car runs pretty much the same as it did when I purchased it. If I put the car in 1st gear it also seems to be running correctly. But if I put it in Drive it seems like it is only shifting into low 2nd gear, basically because it really starts winding at about 35-40 miles per hour.

So basically I need to know the following:

1. What is wrong with my car?
2. Will a transmission cooler prevent any future transmission problems and allow me to safely tow the popup camper?
3. What is a fair price for a rebuilt transmission if I need one?
4. What is a fair price for a Transmission cooler?
5. How can I find a good transmission shop in Connecticut?

Any information and/or advice that you can provide would be greatly appreciated.

Thanks,

Joe
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Wednesday, May 30th, 2007 AT 10:22 AM

4 Replies

Tiny
TAURUS93
  • MEMBER
Xxx
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Wednesday, May 30th, 2007 AT 2:07 PM
Tiny
TAURUSWHEEL
  • MEMBER
Well, right now you need to do one of two things, if you're going top keep the car, which it sounds like you are, run out now and buy a 30 dollar obdI tester. Use it to read your computer, if there is an issue with the trans, codes may show in the hard memory. These codes most likely will not set the check engine light to come on, in most cases, the other is have the local auto parts store do irt for you, however #1 is the way to go, very useful to own
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Wednesday, May 30th, 2007 AT 5:41 PM
Tiny
GOLEMBESKY
  • MEMBER
Trans cooler more than a good choice, its your only option if you want to tow with that car, and it will benefit all around. A good setup costs about 150 bucks, the cheap route about 50. A fair price for a remanufatured tranny 800-1200 bucks, but I would get it rebuilt at a shop, expect to pay 1400-1900 with a cooler installed. If your gonna have the car a while, make sure to change the trans fliud and filter every 30,000 miles.
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Wednesday, June 6th, 2007 AT 9:17 PM
Tiny
MICHAEL081278
  • MEMBER
First off, not to sound rude, but if your going to tow a camper, or anything else for that reason, you need to buy a truck.

The ford AX4S transmission is not designed to hual anything other than what you put inside the car.

Unfortunately, you've burned up your foward clutches in your transmission and will require an ovehaul.

I'm from south carolina, and I see transmission problems all the time from people towing with vehicles that are not meant for towing.

I hate you had to find out this way!
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Thursday, June 7th, 2007 AT 12:12 PM

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