2004 Sable transmission died on I-10, need your urgent help
My car was 2004 Sable 12V with AX4D ATF. It has 10,4000 miles on it.
This noon I drove it on I-10 to see a friend 60 miles away.
When I have driven about 40 miles, suddenly I noticed the
rpm of the engine went up from ~2800 to over 4000, and
the speed dropped a little bit. I involuntarily press the gas pedal,
but the rpm rocketed to almost 6000, yet the car speed further dropped.
I realized it may be a transmission issue, and release the gas pedal,
hoping it may help to relieve a hang-up shift. The speed was
further reduced to below 40mph gradually . I tried to switch from 'D' to '2'
and '1'. No good luck yet.
I was so embarassed when this happened, since I was just on the
long bridge across the big swamp west of baton rouge, Louisiana.
It's really the worst situation in the worst scenario, and there is
no place to even park it. Fortunately, I found there is an exit
about 1.5 miles ahead. The car barely reached the exit and
it almost made a complete stop. I had to switch to "N" to
allow the car to slide along the exit. A 10-wheeler behind me
honked desperately .
This car is only 5 yrs new and I cannot image this transmission
is so weak. Also I heard the newer version AX4D is much more
reliable than its predecessor AX4S. By the way, there is no
warning light in the panel cluster when this happened.
The car stayed there for the whole afternoon, and when I came back
to it and push into the gear, there is no response at all, no matter it is
in 'R', 'D', '2', or '1'. It feels that the transmission is dead.
I need to tow it to a professional and reliable transmission shop
to get it fixed, but I don't want to be cheated. I know that transmission
service is a big job and the charge is dependent partially on the
labor hours and partially on the conscience of the mechanic.
Also from what I described above, what internal part may fail
in this situation? I got it in Oct, 2006 at 89,000 miles and haven't
replaced the ATF fluid ever since. I checked the fluid today in the parking lot.
The color is good (reddish pink) and the level is normal. There is no
burning smell neither. I know that the ATF fluid overheating is a
notorious issue in this transmission, and a lot of taurus/sable
owners installed external cooler. I started to think to replace
Mobil #1 mercon V ATF fluid a year ago, and planning to do it
this summer. So bad luck today.