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Old 04-01-2006, 11:37   #1 (permalink)
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98' contour tranny probs(auto)

when accelerating you have to work the gas pedal jus right in first gear or it wont shift it will jus redline, when you do get it to shift it skips second gear and goes straight to third which really bites when trying to go uphill. it also misses second gear when decelerating. im also wondering if its also supposed to have another gear that it doesnt shift into because at 90mph in the highest gear it will shift into the engine is running at over 5,000 rpm..... any ideas of simple things that could be wrong with it? if i need another tranny is it going to be ok to get a used one from a junk yard or is this a frequent prob with this car meaning that the one in the junk yard prolly has the same thing wrong?
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Old 04-10-2006, 20:16   #2 (permalink)
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Re: 98' contour tranny probs(auto)

I am having the same problem with a 1997 escort lx. Have you found out what is wrong yet, or can anyone help... Thanks
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Old 04-11-2006, 15:47   #3 (permalink)
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Re: 98' contour tranny probs(auto)

check engine light on? overdrive light flashing? i think a scanner will be needed to diagnose the problem, may not even be the tranny, could be tps or speed sensor.
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Old 04-11-2006, 16:18   #4 (permalink)
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Re: 98' contour tranny probs(auto)

Thanks for any help, I (mostly my daughter) really appreciate it... The check engine light came on after about 5-10 minutes of my test drive. I did not see a o/d light but I have no idea where that may be... No other lights were noted on the dash panel and it was very light when I test drove it so I did not notice if any lights were on on the gear selector panel.

A few things I did notice.

The car starts off in 1st gear and downshifts back to 1st after you stop. If I do not completely stop, the car stays in 3rd gear.

The car will stay in 1st gear and the engine winds out unless I take my foot out of the gas. Once I let up on the gas the car will shift into 3rd gear.

The car seems to miss 2nd gear completely, even like it knows it is not there.

When driving at 40-45 mph and flooring the gas pedal the car appears to downshift to 2nd gear, but just winds out until I let up on the gas, then it shifts back to 3rd gear.

The gears do not appear to slip when driving, although limited engine braking was noted when I take my foot off the gas.

Moving the gear selector from drive to overdrive does not change the engine rpm's (therefore no overdrive is assumed).

The car has more RPM than it should at 45-50 MPH (also making me assume no overdrive)

No shift is felt as the car goes up past 30-45 MPH, where it would typically shift to overdrive (thereby adding to the no overdrive assumption).

The tranny fluid appears to be good, with no burnt smell or grittiness noted.

My daughter purchased this car from someone she did not know when I was out of town. The previous owner told her that the tranny just stopped working correctly one day (doing what it does now). Supposedly the previous owner had not driven the car since it stopped. I drove if for about 1/2 hour to check it out and the check engine light came on after about 5-10 minutes.

Hot or cold does not seem to matter in the shifting.

The car appears to need a tuneup as it is running a bit rough, but not so bad as it stalls or anything, just a slight miss.

The previous owner told her that one trans shop stated it may be the solenoids and would try that for $175 and another trans shop stated it needed to be rebuilt. Two shops, two differing answers, imagine that... I would like to get an idea before I go shopping.

I am leary of transmission shops in the first place, but do not want to throw $175 at the solenoids if thats not going to help. If the trans is shot, I plan on buying a used one and paying someone to install (just not a trans shop...lol).

Thanks again for any help in this matter.
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Old 04-12-2006, 07:30   #5 (permalink)
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Re: 98' contour tranny probs(auto)

Common problems:
Is there any fluid leaking under the car?

Did u check if the fluid level is at the correct height?

Is there any fluid?

If there has been a loss of fluid in the transmissions life it would have increased the ware of almost everything dramatically, reducing the life of the transmission.

If its not any of these then it may be there is a loss of fluid pressure within the automatic transmission. The oil pump must not be working to its full capacity, resulting in a drop in pressure. The pump is ususally located at the front of transmissions, although some are located at the rear of the transmissions.

Rare problems:
Lock up bands and clutches are hydraulically operated which needs fluid pressure to work. It could be that the lock up bands need adjusting, they lock up a rotating drum which changes the gears. If they are too loose, gear changes are slow or dont even happen in your case. Another thing with the lock up bands is that the friction linings on the inner surface may be worn out which extends gear changing time.

There are clutch plates located within a transmission they may also be worn and they are also hydraulically operated.

The last thing i can think of is the valve body assembly, the valve body is usually attached to the under-side of the transmission. The valve body is the main and most important part of the hydraulic system, it houses many different types of valves, which open and block ports that change direction of the fluid. This action of the valves allows for the selection of different gears. The opening and closing of the ports drives little pistons which operate the locking and un-locking of the bands and clutches. The valves may need adjusting or may have worn out due to no fluid.

Well i hope that can shed some light onto your problem.

Matt
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Old 04-12-2006, 07:33   #6 (permalink)
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Re: 98' contour tranny probs(auto)

The fluid was checked and it look good, no burnt smell and at the correct level. No fluid leaks were noted.
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Old 04-12-2006, 07:39   #7 (permalink)
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Re: 98' contour tranny probs(auto)

Well then she needs to be opened up for furthur annualises and the cause of your probalem.
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Old 04-12-2006, 07:46   #8 (permalink)
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Re: 98' contour tranny probs(auto)

I was hoping someone could give me some probable causes so when I take it in I am not in the dark about what the trans shop is going to tell me.

I have a couple questions. Does 3 and 4th gear utilize the same band? How about the same planetary gears? How about 1st and 2nd?

It will help me to understand the workings of this tranny before I take it in, so the tranny shop can't just tell me BS to get me to pay for a rebuild. I don't know about Australia, but there are not many actual mechanics in this area. Most "mechanics" just replace parts until something works.
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Old 04-12-2006, 08:50   #9 (permalink)
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Re: 98' contour tranny probs(auto)

hmmm, 4th is an over drive gear which provides a 1:1 ratio. So the same speed your input shaft(back of engine) is doing is the same going out(to the wheels). Then 1st 2nd and 3rd are all reduction ratios, including reverse, meaning engine turns more time than your wheels turn, giving torque. Now to allow for a transmission to have ratios it has annulus or ring gear, which is connected to the back of the turbine in the torque conveter. The ring gear is what the planetry gear set drives around and then within that there is a sun gear which is connected to the output shaft. Then there is usually the same 3 things on the back of that shaft.These 3 thing, the ring gear, planetry gears and the sun gears. Now if you lock up a band it select a ratio(called the concentric parts), this will hold the ring gear stop in it from moving which make the planetry gears move and the sun gear, so the locking up of one band will only select one ratio. Then if the clutches are lock up either they will lock up the planetry gears or the sun gear, giving you another gear ratio. So the locking up of one or more things, usually not the same thing of the 3 concentric parts, provides wat gear to be selected.
Its very hard to explain from wats in my head and this little diagram im using from a automatic transaxle, meaning front wheel drive is now giving me much help. Its better if you have the actual part in front of you and you can lock up the gear to show wat gear is achieved.
Where ever you take your car get them to identify the problem then contact you and see if the can show you wats the problem. Most of the time they will say this past broken or this part is worn and needs replacing. So seeing it in front of you give you a better idea.
Try and speak to people that have been to the mechanic where you are going. Ask the about there service and where they able to identify, explain and fix the problem properly, and able to explain everything to the costumer.
In Australia we have our fair share of mechanics which are good in their job then you have the "Dodgy Dave" kind.
Well all the stuff is really only new to me, thats all i mostly know of automatics which i learnt today, as im currently training to be a mechanic, and i hope i have help out. Good luck with your car. Oh and most parts for an auto can be very expensive, so watch out.
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Last edited by AU dude; 04-12-2006 at 08:58. Reason: spelling mistake
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Old 04-12-2006, 09:06   #10 (permalink)
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Re: 98' contour tranny probs(auto)

Actually 4th gear is overdrive which provides .7 / 1 ratio. I understand the workings of an automatic transmission, but I am looking for some specific information. I appreciate your input and truly am thankful for your help (even though it may not show in typing like it would in person). I am actually pretty auto savvy having been a mechanic 25 years ago, but cars have changed so much that I am kind of lost with the electronic going on now. Give me air, fuel and spark and it will run...lol

My question is: Are there bands or gears which are common to both the 3rd and 4th gear which would preclude the band or clutch pack to be bad.? Also are there similar things common to the 1st and 2nd gear that would show that it is an electrical or solenoid problem, more than an internal problem.

It seems to me that the solenoids may be the problem as I have heard of these causing problems in the 2nd and 4th gears before. I am just trying to find out more of the exact workings of this transmission (f4eat - I believe) to try and trouble shoot it a bit before taking it in. If the 2nd gear and 4th (overdrive) gear utilize the same band or planetary gears etc... this may be the problem. If the 3rd and 4th gear utilize the same bands or planetary gears... this is not the problem. I am trying to find out what is the common denominator (if there is one) with the 2nd and 4th gear in this particular trans.

Thanks again for any help in this matter.
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