2002 For Escort 4cly Automatic Transmission 98000 Miles

I hope people can give me advice on this before to long. My wife and I have two vehicles both seem to be on their last leg. The first is the one that concerns me the most

I am a divinity school student in Nashville and we have driven to PA a few times(750mi each way) This last trip on the way back we ran into problems. We were driving down the highway when it felt like the car down shifted on us and got stuck in a particular gear. I pulled over to the side of the road, turned the car off and then turned it back on. The problem seemed to be gone for another 30 minutes. Unfortunately we were still another 400 miles from home. Each time I turned the car off and back on the problem went away only to resurface later. We stopped using that car and are about to take it into the shop, which has put a strain on the other car.

Does anyone have any ideas as to what the problem can be? How much it might cost? and suggestions for a 1 income family to make up that kind of money? (Well the last part we can figure out, but any other help would be great.)

Try having the codes read. Some places will read them for FREE. Try Autozone or Advanced Auto Parts. Get the exact code (like P0123) not just their translation into English and post it back here. Also have someone check the transmission fluid. How does it look and smell and is it low?

There must be a problem the ECM has detected, and it is shifting out of overdrive in response. This is a ‘limp’ mode that kicks in when a problem is detected that may be very dangerous. Like the previous poster said, get the codes read. Your Check Engine light or O/D light must be on or flashing.