'94 Taurus automatic transmission



Plain 6-cyl engine (i.e., not SHO). 85K miles. Works in R and in 1st. In D or OD it starts OK, but when it should shift to next gear it freewheels. Shifts down into 1st if it slows enough. Fluid level is OK.

Is that enough to figure out what’s wrong and how expensive, or should I just take it to a mechanic. Should I look for a transmission specialist, or is a “regular” competent mechanic OK?


I would have a transmission technician diagnosis the problem. He can scan the transmission computer to see if any codes are set. After anaylzing the codes, he should do a line pressure check standing at idle and under stall conditions. Then he should take the car out on the road and check the line pressure under the condition of failure. Hopefully, he may find a control problem but you probably are looking at a failure of second clutch, either frictions, hydraulic piston seals, or slip rings.


Looks like you are right on. I talked to a trusted mechanic who said “clutch packs”, and his shop does not rebuild; they just get a Jasper rebuild and put that in – roughly $2K. Then I talked to a recommended transmission guy who said he would see what needed done, starting with the cheap stuff. And even if it was expensive stuff it would be $1.6K to 2.1K.

So, he got the car this afternoon, and within an hour had ruled out the cheap stuff (no surprise), and said it’s probably the 2nd clutch. He’ll dig into it tomorrow, and I trust him to do the job cost effectively. I think I’ll make sure he is in the Mechanix files.


If you are going to swap in a trans rather than go with a local shop, I would look at a Ford reman rather than Jasper. The Fords are good and have a very long warranty.