I have a 1994 ford taurus and it does the same thing. From what I understand, all ford taurus'es from 1986 to 1998 had the exact same problem.
The forward piston clutch in the transmission cracks.
After 3 trys, Ford finaly came out with an updated piston for it that corrected the problem. Its made out of some kind of a hardened temepred steel that replaced the aluminum piston.
Does the car feel like it goes into "netural" whenever it gets warm and you come to a complete stop?
I know I had very few problems with it during the winter but now that it is getting warmrer it acts up more.
I've priced the vehicle I have around town and everyone is telling me anywhere from $800 to $1,000 to fix the problem. I guess its only a $10 part but the bulk of the cost is labor.
So you don't damage the transmission any more, and until you can get the money to repair it, what might help you and what I have been doing is driving the car in REGULAR DRIVE, NOT OVERDRIVE. For some reason the car does not come out of gear when its in regular drive. I know its going to screw up your gas milleage, but I only noticed about a 1 or 2 mpg loss. The car is driveable. I've been dirivng mine like this since Novemeber, and I've put almost 10,000 miles on it. Every place I took it to all told me the most it would last is 2 weeks.
Once in a great while after I have been driving it and I stop at a store or something, when I put it in park it will come out of gear when I start it back up and put it into drive or reverse. What I have found works at putting it back into gear is to put the car into reverse, and wait. If you have to, give it a very little bit of gas to get it to go back into gear, BUT DON'T PUNCH THE ACCELERATOR because whats happening when you feel that "slamming" effect is the pistion is suddenly and violently going back into place, and it can cause even more dammage if it goes back into place to hard.
I know this may also sound silly, but you may also want to take the reverse lights out of the vehicle until you can get the transmission fixed. The reason is because until I figured out that I could drive the car in regular drive without any problems, the only way I could get it back into gear wren I was at a light, without hitting the gas and slamming it back into gear, was to put it in reverse whenever I came to a stop. Whenever I did this it usualy caused all kinds of problems with the people behind me. They would start honking their horn, screaming and cursing out their cars, and I even had a guy get out of his car over this, thankfuly the car went into gear before he could approach me.
If you can, try googiling "Taurus goes into Neutral When Warm" and it should give you the Ford Service technical bulletin about this. You may want to print it and take it with you when you do have the car repaired and if any shops give you a hassel about it not being the problem, or won't at least consider it a possibility and they blow you off, then take the car some where else. This has been a persitant problem with the taurus and any reputable transmission shop will know about it. There are three different versions of that pistion out there and if they don't replace the defective one with the updated one the problem WILL re occur, its just a matter of time.
Also, even if they scan the computer for any transmission error codes I doubt anything will show up, cause according to my computer everything is good, which its not.
I hope that helps. Other then the transmission its a great car, nothing else wrong with it. 130k and the engine still runs strong.
Monday, June 4th, 2007 AT 12:21 PM