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The Most Common Ford Taurus Transmission Problems [+Solutions]

So, the time has come, you’ve run into a Ford Taurus transmission problem, and now you’re feeling hopeless.

Well, let me tell you a secret: you’re not alone here. Hundreds of drivers have experienced these issues before.

But we’ll learn more from those poor souls and find out what’s wrong with your vehicle.

Below, we’ll explore all these problems and how you can fix them. But before that, let’s take a look at what a transmission is.

What is a Transmission?

The transmission is one of the most essential parts of your vehicle. Without it, the car couldn’t power the wheels.

There are different types of transmissions out there, including automatic and manual transmissions. Nowadays, most vehicles use automatic, while older cars still use manual.

But at the end of the day, they all serve the same purpose: they send power from the engine to the wheels.

When you turn on the engine, all that power generated by the motor goes to the transmission.

After that, the energy goes to the wheels to control the speed and torque. Both the speed and torque will change depending on different driving conditions.

Common Ford Taurus Transmission Problems & Solution

1. Transmission Won’t Shift

Your transmission is supposed to operate smoothly, but if there’s something wrong with it, you’ll probably have a hard time getting out of gear.

While this issue could be related to several other problems, you might want to inspect the brake shift interlock cable.

If you don’t know what that is, it’s simply a wire which is in charge of making sure that the car cannot be shifted unless you depress the brake pedal.

But if the brake shift interlock cable got damaged, the car won’t come out of park no matter how many times you try.

Before jumping to any conclusions, make sure that this wire is indeed the problem. That said, here’s how to inspect the cable:

  • First and foremost, remove the center console to access the inside of the shifter housing. Once that’s done, find the brake shift interlock cable.
  • If you don’t know what it looks like, find the large cable that goes to the transmission and then look behind it. Now you should see a little cable. That’s what you’ll test.
  • Now have the vehicle in park, and then start pressing down on it using a screwdriver. If the cable releases abruptly, there’s something wrong with it. The wire should feel free and smooth.

That’s how you can diagnose which component is messing up the transmission. In this case, the brake shift interlock cable is the problem. To fix this issue, you have to replace both the solenoid and the cable.

2. Transmission Whining Noise

If you suddenly hear a grinding noise coming from the transmission, you got a Ford Taurus transmission problem.

So, why is the transmission making so much noise? Well, it might be time to get a new transmission fluid.

If you haven’t changed the fluid or the filters, the transmission will make some noise when shifting gears.

This happens to many drivers, so you shouldn’t worry too much about it.

Just know that the filter and the fluid must be changed after 30,000 miles, although some drivers would advise you to do so much earlier. Anywhere from 20,000 miles to 25,000 would be best.

However, if you already went through all those steps and couldn’t get rid of the grinding noise, it might not be the transmission.

For instance, we’ve come across some drivers that changed the transmission fluid and filter and later found out that the exhaust came loose, causing all the grinding noise they thought was coming from the transmission.

So, you’ll have to check several parts to track down the noise before throwing parts at your vehicle.

3. Transmission Slipping

If your vehicle’s transmission is slipping, fix this issue as soon as possible. If you let it go by, the transmission could go out of service, costing you a lot of money in the long run.

But before spending money on parts, take a look at the most commons problems to find out why the transmission is slipping:

  • Car won’t move at all — if your vehicle is not moving, then it’s safe to assume your transmission is slipping.
  • Poor fuel mileage — your fuel mileage will take a hit if your transmission is slipping.

Those two are some reasons why the transmission is slipping. But in many cases, you might be running low on transmission fluid.

If you’re running low on it, the transmission will start slipping since it cannot send any power to the rear wheels.

If that’s the case, get it fixed as soon as possible. Driving like this any longer will destroy your transmission.

And last but not least, be careful when getting your transmission serviced. If they put the wrong fluid, you’ll have to flush it. Using the wrong fluid could be the cause of this problem.

4. Burning Smell

Many times, a burning smell can come from the AC. But it usually goes away on its own.

But if that’s not the case, then the transmission fluid might be overheating. If you haven’t changed the transmission in a while, it can cause the transmission to run hot.

Transmission fluid is just as essential as engine oil. Your transmission needs that fluid to lubricate all the moving parts and cool down the transmission itself.

If the burning smell is coming from the transmission, then that’s most likely the problem.

To fix the problem, replace the transmission fluid, and you should be good to go.

However, make sure to use the correct transmission fluid. If you get it wrong, the transmission will run hot again.

Finally, make sure you’re not running low on transmission fluid. If the transmission fluid is not at the right level, the transmission will overheat, causing the burning smell.

5. Transmission Leak

Transmission fluid is highly flammable, and thus it’s hazardous if your transmission is leaking.

So, if you recently parked your vehicle and noticed fluid underneath the car, then it’s safe to assume there’s something wrong with the transmission.

But before replacing anything, let’s go over some of the most common reasons why your transmission is leaking fluid.

  • Transmission gasket — the transmission gasket can get damaged over time due to poor installation or high temperatures. When this happens, the gasket will go out of service, causing the leak.
  • The transmission pan got damaged — unfortunately, the transmission pan is constantly exposed to many things on the road. As a result, the transmission will get damaged from so many things hitting it.

However, in many cases, the transmission leak could be caused by the cap on the transaxle vent.

If there’s something wrong with it, the transmission fluid will come out of the dipstick, puking all over the floor.

That cap is designed to keep both dirt and debris from getting inside the transmission.

Unfortunately, these plugs can get plugged up over time, causing pressure to build in the transmission. As a result, the transmission fluid will come out of the dipstick.

Luckily, fixing this problem is relatively easy, and if you’re on a budget, this trick will get you out of this horrible mess. That said, to get around that,  follow these steps:

  • Pull the cap out, take a razor blade and then cross it out. Next up, clean it using brake clean and then blow it. Now you’re good to go, and the problem should be gone.

While this “hack” might seem silly, this will help relieve the pressure inside.

The cap itself has a cross pattern on the bottom, which serves the same purpose. You’re just doing it on top.

6. Transmission Light is On

Thankfully, technology has advanced to the point we now have a transmission light when we have Ford Taurus transmission problems.

Still, it can be a little bit scary to see that light going on and off on the highway. After all, nobody wants to drop $2,000 on a new transmission.

That being said, there are countless reasons why you’re getting the infamous transmission light. Here are some common reasons that might have triggered the transmission light:

  • Maintenance reminder — if you haven’t changed the transmission fluid in a while, the transmission light will remind the driver the fluid must be changed.
  • Low transmission fluid — drivers might also get the transmission light if the transmission fluid is not at the recommended level.
  • Overheating transmission — if the transmission is running hot, it’ll trigger the light to let the driver know something is wrong with it.

As much as we’d like to think that the transmission light doesn’t mean anything, you shouldn’t ignore it and call it a day.

There’s a reason why manufacturers spend so much time building systems to let drivers know when something is not working as intended.

7. Transmission Shaking

After getting a Ford Taurus transmission replacement, one problem drivers have reported is that the vehicle shudders after starting up the engine.

And for some strange reason, this only happens when the car is idling.

Well, this could very well be a torque converter problem. A faulty torque converter will make your vehicle shake randomly but only when starting up the engine or coming to a stop sign.

Moreover, if the torque converter went bad, you might hear some noise coming from the transmission.

To fix this issue, you have to replace the damaged torque converter.

Just keep in mind that you shouldn’t drive with a bad converter. Driving like this could damage the transmission.

How Much Does a Transmission Replacement Cost?

It’s the end of the month, and now your transmission decided to die on you. You have three options here.

First, you could try to fix the transmission. That is, finding out just what’s messing it up and then get rid of that problem.

Second, you could rebuild your transmission, which is somewhat tricky, but if you know what you’re doing, you could save up a lot of money.

Finally, you could get a brand-new transmission, which most drivers don’t want to mess with.

For instance, rebuilding a transmission can cost anywhere from $600-$700.

That’s including the parts and the labor. But if you choose to get a new one, expect to pay $2,000-$2,500.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Learning more about transmission is always a great skill to have under the belt. That said, here’s more information about the transmission in your vehicle:

Does Ford Taurus have transmission problems?

Most vehicles with transmissions run into transmission problems sooner or later. However, Ford seems to have a problem with their transmissions.

Countless Ford Taurus owners have expressed the number of times they’ve run into transmission problems.

What are the signs of a transmission going out?

If your car is not going into gear, then your transmission might be about to die. Noise can also be a good indicator.

Often, this means that you need to change the transmission fluid.

Is it worth fixing a transmission?

Yes, if money is tight right now, you could rebuild your transmission and save a lot of money upfront.

This job is by no means easy, and you’ll probably need to grab a diagram to rebuild it. But it’s worth the time and effort.

Can you drive with a bad transmission?

No, if your transmission is not working, please take the vehicle to the local mechanic. You should never drive with a bad transmission.

It’s extremely dangerous, and there’s a high chance you’ll damage your vehicle. In short, do not drive with a broken transmission.

Conclusion

The real power of knowing Ford Taurus transmission problem is that you can fix any issue that comes your way without taking a trip to the dealer.

When you have costs under control and know what to expect from the transmission, then you have nothing to worry about.

And there you go, that’s our extensive guide on the most common transmission problems found on the Ford Taurus. Now you’re ready to get the car back on the road.

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