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Need advice with AX4S transmission

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oldad
Regular Member
Posts: 19
Joined: Sun Aug 26, 2012 12:03 pm

Need advice with AX4S transmission

Post by oldad » Mon Sep 17, 2012 5:55 pm

Hi All, we have a 2001 Taurus LX (3.0, OHV, AX4S) with over 180,000 miles. Recently, my daughter was driving on the freeway at 65 mph for about 15 minutes & the car ran great. She got off the freeway to drive a few miles on city streets. After a couple miles in stop and go traffic, the transaxle light came on. A short time later she noticed the RPM started jumping up like she was revving the engine, even though she was only going between 20 to 40 miles per hour. When she took her foot off the gas, the RPM jumping stopped & the car went back to regular idle. After just a few minutes of this my daughter noticed that the car was not shifting properly, up or down. (From what she described, it sounded like the trouble was shifting from 2nd gear to 3rd & from 3rd gear to 2nd.). I posted this trouble earlier on this forum on another thread and was advised to check the fluid & change if old & burnt, and also to pull the engine codes. We changed the filter & dumped the pan fluid (it was old/dark) and put in about 6 ½-7 quarts of fluid. I then drove the car for about ½ hour on the freeway & never had any trouble. My daughter, and then my wife, each drove the car for about 15-20 minutes and they got the transaxle light flashing again along with the RPM jumping up. My daughter had the shifting trouble again as well. *Important to note: through all of this trouble with the flashing transaxle light on the dash, the RPM jumping, and trouble shifting, the check engine light has never come on. However I hooked up my little code reader but it didn’t show any trouble codes at all. I borrowed my brother’s code reader, which is a little better unit than mine, but it didn’t show any trouble codes either. All I can imagine is that our code readers do not have the ability to read transmission codes. Does anyone know if transmission trouble codes will cause the ‘check-engine’ light to come on? If not, how do you know to look for them? Do I need a special code reader for transmission codes? Anyway, I could sure use some help and advice on what it is, and if I am looking at something simple or a whole new transmission (remanufactured/rebuilt). Would a valve body change fix this, or a new torque converter? Thank you all for the help given in the past, and thanks in advance for the advice to come.


oldad
Regular Member
Posts: 19
Joined: Sun Aug 26, 2012 12:03 pm

Re: Need advice with AX4S transmission

Post by oldad » Tue Sep 18, 2012 10:17 pm

Hi All, I had a day off so I found a transmission shop that would do a code read & diagnosis for free. Anyway, I drove the car to the transmission shop, and made a couple of stops along the way trying to get the symptoms that my wife & daughter experienced to reoccur. NO luck. The car ran fine. When I got to the transmission shop I gave the auto-tech there the list of symptoms. He got out his code reader and just like mine, no codes came up. He asked if we had reset the codes recently because he said it was showing "incomplete". (we had looked for the codes a few days ago with my little code reader, but there was nothing there to reset). Then we took a short drive with the tech behind the wheel. Of course the car ran and shifted great. When we got back to the shop he was thinking it could be just overheating and in need of a good size trans cooler.(it has been VERY hot in southern cal the last few weeks) The tech got out a different type of code reader, for transmission codes, and then he said it came up with a 4th gear ratio problem. He showed me the display, but is was in the sun so it was hard to read. But it did say something about a 'gear ratio'. He told me that unfortunately it meant taking the tranny out to fix internally. And as always, if the tranny has 180,000 miles it would be wise to rebuild it (for $1,800 bucks - but this is southern Calif so I am sure things cost more). He said the car will run like it is for a couple of months, but that it will get steadily worse. He also said he is busy for the next few weeks and could not work on it now. I asked about installing a 'shift kit' and he said the extra pressure would help. However he said you have to take the transmission out to install the shift kit. So, anybody know if this sounds like it is the problem? Anything else I can check?

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