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post #1 of 6 (permalink) Old 09-30-04, 07:02 AM Thread Starter
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frown 94 Taurus Transmission shifting Erratically

I have an Automatic, with Overdrive.

I bought the car about one month ago, and don't know any history beyond that. I changed all fluids and filters, like I do everytime I buy a used car, including the tranny fluid and filter. It looked normal for a car with 100K miles on it. (No, I didn't flush it, just a change).

Ever since I bought the car, the transmission has always had a "bump" as you aproach a Stop -- it jerks the car in the last second before stopping. I don't know what the cause is, so I decided to "live with it".

Now, and quite suddenly, it started shifting very erratically. Sometimes, while accelerating, the transmission will slip, allowing the motor to rev quite high before re-engaging again. Other times when accelerating, it doesn't want to go into third. While coasting on the flat, it'll hunt from OD to 3rd to OD to 3rd (etc), which it never did before. But the scariest thing is that while you're coasting (down a hill), the transmission will suddenly (and violently) jerk into low gear and then back out. It feels like the brakes get jammed on and then released a split second later.

I tried to buy a Modulator Valve, but was told my tranny doesn't require one -- they told me "it's electronically controlled." The tranny pan says "AXOD", but can the tranny be an "AXOD-E"?

I thought maybe the speed sensor is at fault, but I think I have a Cable pickup instead (and the speedo seems to be working fine).

The "Check Engine" light does not come on (and I'm positive that the bulb is not burned out).

What is going on? ANY IDEAS AT ALL WOULD BE APPRECIATED!!

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post #2 of 6 (permalink) Old 10-07-04, 09:55 AM
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Re: 94 Taurus Transmission shifting Erratically

You know a lot of people complain that their Ford vehicle does that. I own a 99 Taurus and it has the same problem. I changed the torque converter in my transmission and it works fine now. It doesn't jerk is shudders right? And if you try and floor the pedal it loses power after it shifts and every now and then it'll burn out the tires correct?
It's the torque converter in automatics.
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post #3 of 6 (permalink) Old 10-07-04, 10:07 AM Thread Starter
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Re: 94 Taurus Transmission shifting Erratically

SKYEDRAGON,
The tranny has 100K miles on it, so it's understandably gonna' have some hard shifting or slipping. But this erratic shifting started suddenly and it's violent! When coasting downhill at 45 MPH and it decides to shift from OD to 1st and back to OD, you really get slammed!!

But I think I fixed the problem!! I noticed that the cruise control also stopped working at about the same time that the tranny started acting up -- which got me thinking. If the car doesn't know how fast it's going, it can't maintain it's speed (with the cruise control). And if that's true, it also doesn't know what gear to be in. So, I changed the speed sensor. FIXED!! Both the cruise and the tranny are fine. Yes, it still has a "bump" as you aproach a Stop -- it jerks the car in the last second before stopping. But again, I'm willing to live with that.

I had a misunderstanding about the speed sensor. I thought that only electronic dashes had one, and since I have a cable-driven speedo, I thought my car didn't have a speed sensor. But I was wrong! All Tauruses in 1994 have a speed sensor. Cars with a standard dash have both a sensor AND a cable, and cars with the electronic dash has a sensor only.


I almost took the car to a tranny shop and got an expensive overhaul (which would not have solved my problem). Instead, I paid $20 at Advance Auto and installed the sensor myself. Hope this info helps someone!!
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post #4 of 6 (permalink) Old 10-15-04, 05:18 AM
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Re: 94 Taurus Transmission shifting Erratically

We need more information springoflife, I have the same problem, the car jerks very hard in the second gear, or so, and it feels like you have pressed the brake. When the car neer to stop it also jerks but little softer than when driving.
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post #5 of 6 (permalink) Old 11-05-05, 02:30 PM
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Thumbs up Re: 94 Taurus Transmission shifting Erratically

Quote:
Originally Posted by springoflife
SKYEDRAGON,
The tranny has 100K miles on it, so it's understandably gonna' have some hard shifting or slipping. But this erratic shifting started suddenly and it's violent! When coasting downhill at 45 MPH and it decides to shift from OD to 1st and back to OD, you really get slammed!!

But I think I fixed the problem!! I noticed that the cruise control also stopped working at about the same time that the tranny started acting up -- which got me thinking. If the car doesn't know how fast it's going, it can't maintain it's speed (with the cruise control). And if that's true, it also doesn't know what gear to be in. So, I changed the speed sensor. FIXED!! Both the cruise and the tranny are fine. Yes, it still has a "bump" as you aproach a Stop -- it jerks the car in the last second before stopping. But again, I'm willing to live with that.

I had a misunderstanding about the speed sensor. I thought that only electronic dashes had one, and since I have a cable-driven speedo, I thought my car didn't have a speed sensor. But I was wrong! All Tauruses in 1994 have a speed sensor. Cars with a standard dash have both a sensor AND a cable, and cars with the electronic dash has a sensor only.


I almost took the car to a tranny shop and got an expensive overhaul (which would not have solved my problem). Instead, I paid $20 at Advance Auto and installed the sensor myself. Hope this info helps someone!!
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post #6 of 6 (permalink) Old 11-05-05, 02:51 PM
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Re: 94 Taurus Transmission shifting Erratically

I have a '94 Sable with the exact same problems.I knew it was something electrical because the tranny never slips and a fluid and filter change made no difference.It would downshift at highway speed,jerk down when coming to a stop,and the torque converter would not always lock up in OD.By the way the cruise will not work unless the TC is locked in.I could tell if it was locked in by watching the tach as I applied a little throttle at highway speed.If the tach jumps up it is not locked and the cruise will not engage.Also one day when it was in cruise the speed began to change erratically. This let me know that the computer was not getting a correct signal from the speed sensor, a sure sign of electrical malfunction.If any one is having the same problems with their mid 90's Taurus/Sable don't let someone talk you into a rebuild until you try replacing the speed sensor.It would also be a good idea to have the car scanned for trouble codes before doing anything at all.
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