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Old 10-19-2003, 21:27   #1 (permalink)
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confused HELP- Symptoms of bad speed sensor? transmission problems- Ford Taurus

Aside from a "jumpy" speedometer, does anyone else know the symptoms
of a bad speed sensor on the FWD Fords? I know that on my old 91 Honda Accord- the speed sensor went bad and the speedometer would "jump" and the "S" light would illuminate and the transmission did wierd things. Replaced the sensor and it make the speedometer work properly and the shifting went back to normal. I am not sure about the Ford transmissions. My speedometer on my 98 Taurus sometimes fluctuates at a steady speed (mainly above 55mph) and I have
recently noticed my automatic transmission is acting strangely. Sometimes
when I slow down at a turn then accelerature after the turn- it will jerk a little when downshifting to the next lower gear (1st). Sometimes it
shifts fine. Today, upon heavy acceleration at one time- it tried to
shift to higher gears before it should. Also- one today- it seemed like it "skipped" 2nd gear and went from 1st to 3rd gear. Is this a bad problem with
my transmission, or could the speed sensor be causing this? Problem seems to be worse the warmer the car is. By the way- my car has 245K highway miles and it is a 1998 Taurus LX. I was warned about bad transmissions in Ford Taurus, but I bought this car anyway, as the transmission worked perfectly during test drive. Thanks for any information.
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Old 10-20-2003, 19:06   #2 (permalink)
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Re: Symptoms of bad speed sensor? transmission problems- Ford Taurus

Must be a rare problem. Thanks anyway.
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Old 10-20-2003, 20:23   #3 (permalink)
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Re: Symptoms of bad speed sensor? transmission problems- Ford Taurus

have you even scanned for any problems? A simple scan of the OBDii computer will output any issues you may be having. With that you can tell if it is the sensor, the tranny or something else. Without any further information it could be any number of things.

I would personally look at it being a tranny issue itself. but with no diagnostics or real information other than that you have posted it is a little difficult to tell you what the actual problem will or could be.

If you tranny is skipping gears or is not changing gears at the right time it could be that your pcm may need to be flashed. It could be as bad as the tranny actually needing to be rebuilt due to worn parts.

Since you are in the US I would suggest that you go to AutoZone and get the thing scanned and record the error codes that are given. with those you can make that diagnostics a little easier. Also, they will do this for free. SO if it is a concern of money then you dont have to worry about that part atleast.
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Old 10-20-2003, 21:59   #4 (permalink)
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Re: Symptoms of bad speed sensor? transmission problems- Ford Taurus

Thanks. I was planning on taking it to AutoZone or the repair shop I usually take my cars to have it checked. Probably on Wednesday. The "service engine soon" is indicating a problem. I am hoping it is as simple as a speed sensor (if speed sensor is simple on these cars). I know that on my old 91 Honda Accord- it was about a 10 minute task to replace the sensor. On the Honda- the "check engine light was illuminated and the speedometer did fluctuate and it shifted oddly. The new sensor eliminated all of those problems. I certainly hope it is not something so severe on this Taurus that the transmission has to be rebuilt/replaced, because if that is the case- I will probably sell it for whatever I can sell it for and take a loss. The transmission seemed fine during the test drives. Just my luck that it would start acting strangely after I buy it. I will post whatever I find out. Thanks again.
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Old 10-20-2003, 22:29   #5 (permalink)
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Re: Symptoms of bad speed sensor? transmission problems- Ford Taurus

no worries there.

Just let us know I can decipher any codes you need.
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Old 10-22-2003, 12:27   #6 (permalink)
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Re: Symptoms of bad speed sensor? transmission problems- Ford Taurus

Thanks. I took the car today to AutoZone to get brakes for my 92 Buick. The computer showed two codes. They went ahead and told me what the codes were. One was code was "P0401", which was "EGR", which I think should not be a costly repair. The second code may be more severe. It is showing code "P1744" "torque convertor clutch system performance", which could be costly.

I called three transmission shops a little while ago (we have about 100 here locally) and I got a variety of answers. A couple said it could be the converter itself, or a solenoid, or a pressure leak. One place said it would be $350 if it was the converter and up to $650 if it was more severe. One place said that since it has 245K- it would be best to have a complete overhaul- which would be $1464! The last place I called said it could be 40 different things causing it. They said it could be something simple and cheap- or something major and expensive. They said they would need to hook it to their computer. They will check it for free for the 1st series of tests, but if it requires further testing- it will be $49.95, but that will be deducted (so they say) if they fix it. I have to take it there at 3:00 tomorrow. This particular place is 25 miles away on a highway- so I hope it will make it down there before it goes out. If it requires more than $100 to fix it- I will probably sell it- or take it back to the car lot and request another car. I do not want to put a lot of money into a car with 245K. The transmission seemed fine during test drives, but it is after it fully warms up that it has a jerky feel to it. Thanks again.
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Old 10-22-2003, 13:22   #7 (permalink)
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Re: Symptoms of bad speed sensor? transmission problems- Ford Taurus

Quote:
Originally Posted by TaurusLX
Thanks. I took the car today to AutoZone to get brakes for my 92 Buick. The computer showed two codes. They went ahead and told me what the codes were. One was code was "P0401", which was "EGR", which I think should not be a costly repair. The second code may be more severe. It is showing code "P1744" "torque convertor clutch system performance", which could be costly.

I called three transmission shops a little while ago (we have about 100 here locally) and I got a variety of answers. A couple said it could be the converter itself, or a solenoid, or a pressure leak. One place said it would be $350 if it was the converter and up to $650 if it was more severe. One place said that since it has 245K- it would be best to have a complete overhaul- which would be $1464! The last place I called said it could be 40 different things causing it. They said it could be something simple and cheap- or something major and expensive. They said they would need to hook it to their computer. They will check it for free for the 1st series of tests, but if it requires further testing- it will be $49.95, but that will be deducted (so they say) if they fix it. I have to take it there at 3:00 tomorrow. This particular place is 25 miles away on a highway- so I hope it will make it down there before it goes out. If it requires more than $100 to fix it- I will probably sell it- or take it back to the car lot and request another car. I do not want to put a lot of money into a car with 245K. The transmission seemed fine during test drives, but it is after it fully warms up that it has a jerky feel to it. Thanks again.
Actually most lots.....now this is not the case in all states....have a 30day return. Check your local laws concerning this. If it was something that they have hidden or even covered up...which by clearing the codes will do, they can be held liable for fraud. Now just so you know both of those codes take between 25 - 30 miles to activate the CEL.

Just some food for thought.

I would ask the shop that says that initial scan is free and further diagnostics are charged....what is it that they are running to consume these diagnostics charges. The scan will tell you what you need to know. Looking at the tranny while out or partially disassembled will tell you if it is a solenoid, sensor or TC.
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Old 10-22-2003, 14:42   #8 (permalink)
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Re: Symptoms of bad speed sensor? transmission problems- Ford Taurus

I know the owner of the lot fairly well. I have bought about 6 or 7 cars from him over the past few years. My grandfather and uncle also knows him fairly well. My uncle has also bought a few cars/trucks from him. I think he would let me exchange the car for another, but at this time- he has nothing I am really want. I really like this Taurus and actually hope it is something minor and can be repaired at a low price. Most have been fairly good cars and I have actually made a profit on most of them even after driving them for a while. I bought a 94 Lumina from him and put 20000 miles on it and only had to install a new fuel pump. I sold it and still made a $500. profit. He gets most of them at a auction in North Carolina, or some locally. Most are late model used cars, with high miles, or requiring some type of repair. He currently has a 99 Ford Ranger ext. cab 4x4 for only $4900, but I am sure it has some type of problem. I signed a "as-is" paper, so will that keep me from being able to exchange the car legally, if he does not want to exchange cars/refund my money. I knew the "service engine soon" light was illuminated when I bought it- but I was thinking it was something minor. I had no idea it indicated a possible severe transmission problem.

I am not sure about the scan they are going to perform. I am in the dark when it comes to this transmission stuff. I really do not want to pay $49. more just for a test- because if it requires major service- that is that much more money I am going to lose if I sell it. He said it was some sort of a diagnostics test. On your reply- did you say that this testing will say what exactly is wrong? I was hoping it was the speed sensor- since the speedometer jumps around at speeds above 50mph when the engine is warm. Thanks again.
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Old 10-23-2003, 14:44   #9 (permalink)
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Re: Symptoms of bad speed sensor? transmission problems- Ford Taurus

I just got back from the transmission shop. Still not 100% sure. They said there was 2 different issues. One was with the engine. The tech said it had a miss- which I cannot detect. He said the engine would effect transmission performance. The transmission was showing other codes. He said they have a $20K machine that shows detail that the $2K AutoZone computer does not show. He said they will need to drop the transmission pan to be able to see what that looks like. He said the fluid was full and was clean upon checking that. They wanted me to leave it, but I told them if I wanted the further testing, that I would have to bring it back. I told them it acted normal when cold so now they want to test it cold as well. Tech said he noticed downshift "clunk" and some early upshifting at times. On my drive back (mostly highway) when I got into the city limits and was in city driving (about 10 miles to house) - I noticed excessive jerking from the transmission. It was doing it more than I have ever felt it do before- I guess because it was hotter than it had been- since I was driving it on the highway. The shop said if it was internal and needed rebuilt- it would be about $1300-$1400- which is about what I gave for the car. He said it could still be something simple- but I doubt it. I am either going back to the lot to get another car, or refund - or sell the car (tell what I know about the transmission) and maybe have to take a loss. I guess it is possible I can still get my $$ back out of it. They reset the service engine light, but he said it would come back on in a while. It illuminated again within about 10 minutes after starting back home. Just no luck for me this time. Thanks again for all of your help.
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Old 04-24-2009, 12:48   #10 (permalink)
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Exclamation Re: Symptoms of bad speed sensor? transmission problems- Ford Taurus

The exact same thing is happening to my 97 Ford Taurus now. Did you ever find out what it was? I've got 160,000 miles on my car and last year we replaced the catalytic converter when it started having the issues. It worked fine since but that was fall and winter and the warmer it gets out the worse it gets.
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