By October 11, 2010 0 Comments Read More →

Transmisssion Issues

I have a Ford Taurus that was given to me by a friend 3years and 40k miles ago. The body has 173,000 miles on it now and the engine (I recently discovered when a repair shop ordered valves for a ’96 engine and they didn’t fit, that it was really a year 2000 engine) has somewhere less than that. I’m guessing it only has around 100k miles, since the car had service records dating back to 90k miles with no mention of an engine swap.

I have researched this car extensively since owning it, and discovered early that the automatic AX4N transaxle is the most reliable in its series used by Ford, but by far not the most reliable transmission in the Auto Industry.

My car has the original transmission in it (an exterior label on the pan has the date manufactured back in ’95), and I have only drained and filled (too scared to flush, because no prior records of the vehicle receiving trans service) twice since I got it. I do no towing at all, and usually carry only me and one other person, so there’s little extra weight to strain the transmission.

Several weeks ago, I started hearing a noise coming from the transmission. Sounded like a piece of metal being tossed at high speeds randomly in a tight space. Something being knocked about. It would make the sound no matter the outside temperature. Neither the amount of time the car had been running, nor the type or speed of driving affected its volume or frequency.

It was pretty much constant. Earlier this week, I noticed it stopped making the noise. Its been 5 days without hearing it so I don’t expect to begin hearing it again soon. Transmission still operates as it did before I started hearing the sound, Shifts fine when engine and fluid is cold, but goes hard into 2nd and 3rd when it’s heated up, hardest into 2nd.

I know adding an auxiliary oil cooler helps keep the temperature of the fluid down, resulting in longer life, but Do you think A.) is it too late to add one? and B.) is it worth adding it considering the age of my transmission already?
Thanks and God Bless,

Hey there Isaac,

I would not do anything in this scenario, just keep your fingers crossed that the noise will not return. I have heard similar noises coming from the cat converter coming apart and sounds like popcorn popping around. I WOULD however be on the look out for a new vehicle in the short term….I think you are pressing your luck with this one with those stats.

Austin Davis

Posted in: Transmissions

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Austin Davis, consumer car repair advocate. "Hi there! I love to help people solve their car repair problems and I hope my site was helpful to you today. Thank you for stopping by."