1997 Fort Taurus GL won't go forward

While driving 50MPH one day the car suddenly started making a very noisy, loud sound and would not accelerate when the gas pedal was depressed. I put the car in neutral and pulled off the road. The engine is running great but the gears are now all screwwy. R = neutral, and all other positions “N D 3 2 1” go forward. I put the car into one of the forward gears and it moves, but only about 20 feet before it ceases to move without a LOT of gas, then it is only 1-2 MPH. So my question is what do you think happened and will a new/used trany fix the issues?

It certainly sounds like the transmission needs to be overhauled or replaced.
When the shift quadrant is “out of synch” with actual gear selections, it is usually an indication of broken motor mounts and/or broken transmission mounts, but this car sounds like it also has serious internal transmission issues.

However, I am assuming that you have already checked the dipstick for the transmission, and verified the level, color, and odor of the fluid. What did you find when you checked the trans fluid?

As long as you are prepared to pay more than the book value of the car for transmission repairs, you can get this car back on the road.

The ultimate question is:
Is this 13-14 year old car in good-enough condition to warrant spending more than its book value on transmission overhaul/repair? It may be time to move on to something newer, but only you know the overall condition of the car.

The transmission fluid looked and smelled ok to me.

I’m asking myself the same questions. I’ve never replaced a transmission before but might attempt if I can find a used transmission for cheap. The car is a paper weight now, I can’t make it any worse.