1997 Ford Mustang

My 97 Mustang motor blew due to the Mass Air Flow sensor being stuck in the open position. The sensor and the engine have been replace. Now when starting out the engine idles low and stalls. It seems to be doing less of this over the last week. The other problem is that when cold and 1st starting out the car won’t shift out of 1st gear into 2nd gear. It never had this problem before. When I move the shifter to 2nd from Drive it immediately shifts into 2nd. Then I move the shifter back to Drive and it seems to work just fine from then on. Any ideas? The Ford guys want to tear down the transmission in the hopes of chasing the problem…

"…motor blew due to the Mass Air Flow sensor being stuck in the open position. "
Who fed you that load?

The Ford mechanics. Car was running at 80 miles per hour at the time motor went. 97,000 miles on car.

There’s no such thing as an “open position” for a MAF, and failure of an MAF does not lead to engine destruction. (It can lead to shutdown, but not damage.) Is there any chance you have mis-reported what they said?

That can’t happen. The MAF sensor is only a reference signal to the computer so the computer can compare the amount oxygen that enters the engine to the amount of oxygen the O2 sensor detects after the combustion process.

Ask that they try another lame excuse as to why the engine blew up.


the reason it blew is not my problem. the engine is replaced now. the problem is that it wont shift out of 1st gear while it’s cold. this is what I’m trying to troubleshoot. this wasn’t a problem with the old enginew,

Have you checked the transmission fluid level and the condition of the tranny fluid?


level and color both look good. once I shift it into 2nd and back to Drive it works like a champ.

Engine swap?

Check to see if there’s a connection between the engine and transmission. Such as shift cable. If there is, this could be out of adjustment after the engine swap, and could cause this problem.


The transmission is electronically controled, there are no adjustments to make. I would have the transmission scanned to see if it has any trouble codes stored. Could be a software issue or a bad connection between the transmission and the ECU.

I’ll try those ideas but what are the chances that the problems are related to the recent install of the new motor and or mass air flow sensor?