Sure, you MIGHT be able to have this notorious issue resolved without great expense. Or you can drive the car fine without "making" the transmission act up. But if you truly drive it "normally," and accelerate normally, drive spirited at times (this car is quite quick), shift through the gears normally, go into Park Reverse Drive, even shift down into manual Low; oh, if yours really needs serious repair, you will likely experience these issues if you try hard enough. So, you kind of have to learn to deal with it - or just keep throwing parts and money at it, and hope it gets resolved (as they say, your "mileage may vary.)
Unless you possibly want to throw $3,000 at it with a FULL transmission rebuild, like I did (and I hated to have to do it.) Here is a trick for you, shift the car down into manual Low gear, then, shift into Reverse, Drive, manual Low, and see what happens. Talk about all hell breaking loose. That is when I truly knew that this transmission was in bad shape. Because otherwise, it would only show its face at random - or never. But if you shift it down into manual Low, you will see the truth (if the truth is to be seen.) And if you are fine with driving a car that could possibly leave you stranded out in the middle of nowhere, fine. Unfortunately, I am not down with that.
I painfully bit the bullet and took my 2008 Taurus X to a very trusted transmission shop in east Cobb / Marietta GA (Guardian Transmission) that has worked on many of my other cars. (I had done all of the common computer module resets, tune-up, battery check, fluid change, etc that many have tried on here.) And I already knew it was not going to be some cheap fix. When they fix things, they fix them right, and fix them once. They did a complete transmission rebuild, also replaced all of those sensors everyone speaks of, and while they were in there they replaced the flywheel, because it's right there, you might as well. They also replaced all of the engine and transmission torque mounts. (Entire job was repaired with all oem parts - because they don't monkey-around with most aftermarket parts when it comes to this sort of job)
Nope, the bill was not cheap. But I can tell you, this car drives as smooth and silky and powerful and quiet as anything I have ever owned in my 35 years of driving. I would have no reservation driving it all the way to Alaska (from Atlanta GA) now.
I barely even feel the transmission shift gears anymore. And the engine is as smooth as anything. I no longer have to baby the thing and hope to goodness nothing bad happens. These thoughts are no longer haunting my brain.
Yes, it's a crappy/expensive decision to make - and you MIGHT not have to go that far. But would you rather: keep a good car (especially if you like the car) and just fix it, and hold on to it because you like the car and you want to keep driving it. Or send it to the junkyard, because that's pretty much all these cars are worth now - especially if the transmission is needing major repair or replacement.
I really like this car (2008 Taurus X SEL) . No, it is not very sexy, it is not an SUV, it is a station wagon in glorified form. But I like its performance, I like how quiet it is, I like its spaciousness, I like its features, I like that you don't see many of them on the road. It has really nice performance, as well as good fuel mileage. So, if you REALLY want to resolve this issue permanently (if yours is in NEED of such), unfortunately, you have to take it to a very trusted transmission shop (I don't recommend the OE dealer,) and just have them do everything to it. Because if you are going to have a shop bust into the tranny, you (anyone reading this) are a potential fool to only do PART of the job. Is it worth the risk? Otherwise, just drive the car "carefully", and hope that it does not fail on you out in the middle of nowhere - when you least expect it.
My car was a dirty, filthy, neglected, banged-up mess when I bought it (for only $800) a couple of months ago. Engine ran excellently, but, I already knew it had transmission issues when I bought it. But it was plenty driveable. So I did for a little while. I have spent all this time making many trips to the junkyard to get new used parts, freshen up the look, and more, including: restored the roof rack, also restored black plastic trim around the body, installed new stereo speakers, replaced the radio with the factory OEM radio (used,) repaired the broken door parts, switches, HVAC actuators, I even removed all the seats, shampooed all of the carpet, also installed a Mercury Sable steering wheel that looks awesome, also, had the headlights polished, installed a very nice set of Ford Edge wheels and tires, got new nice oem-style floor mats, replaced all light bulbs in the instrument cluster, resolved "water" in the lower door moulding area after hard rain, replaced many interior parts that were either broken damaged or filthy, all air conditioning vent trim, floor center console vent and cupholder replaced, new windshield, replace the rear tailgate eyebrow, replaced the roof mounted radio antenna, replaced Ford logo on the front grille, even replaced the rusty spare tire with an almost new used one from junkyard (only $25), also did a full tune up, clean the crap out of the thing, installed a trailer hitch, replaced all window scrapers, all windshield wipers, restored the windshield wiper arms, repaired Park Assist error, resolved gas cap error, reset all modules, installed all new struts and springs, new hubs/bearings, new brakes and pads, and probably some other stuff I can't remember right now.
This car has grown on me though, and I really like it. I am very impressed with his performance. I am actually considering further IMPROVING performance of this car as well.
I think it would easily keep up with my former 2007 Ford Mustang GT that I thought was quite quick. I have a YouTube channel and one of my Facebook pages of many of the fixes and upgrades I have done if anyone is seeking tips, ideas, using ForScan, etc.
https://www.facebook.com/horsepowerhous ... 2935446311
Dave in Atlanta
2008 Taurus X SEL with 160,000 miles (November 2019)
I use the ForScan software all the time with this car. One of the best things ever.