Blogs Car Info Our Show Deals Mechanics Files Vehicle Donation

'99 Ford Windstar transmission

We have an older van with 166,000+ miles. We had transmission work done in 2006. In June this year, it broke down again and our mechanic rebuilt the transmission again. Since then we have driven approximately 5,000 miles (or less). Last week we had a problem. I pulled up to a light and the care shuddered. At the next light the shudder was worse and when I accelerated on the green light there was a loud noise which sounded like something breaking in the engine and I was unable to accelerate in drive, dr 1 or dr2. I was within 2 blocks of the mechanics so I coasted in. The mechanic was able to get it into reverse but not drive. Coincidentally, this was a similar scenario to the situation that caused us to take it in in June, only the loud breaking noise didn’t occur at that time. Today, I picked up the car and was ‘spoken to’ by the mechanic. He showed me the part, which had broken into 2 pieces. He called it a low gear band drum. He informed me that this part ‘never breaks’ and that he had never seen one do what this one had done. He stated that the only way it could have occurred is that we had used the car in a way that it was not intended to be used. When I asked him to provide an example he said he didn’t know but something ‘like someone got mad and did something’. He went on to say that when he had these kinds of discussions with his customers there was almost always a teenage male driver involved that had used the car and ‘done something’. We are in our late fifties and do not have teenage children. I reminded him that he had worked on each of their cars as well and that my husband and I use the car exclusively. He was undeterred and continued to repeat that we had ‘done something’ to the car. As it turns out, he warranties his transmission work so he did not charge us for the repair but he assured me that if it were to come in again in in a couple of months with the same problem he would not do the work for free again. “This is a part that NEVER breaks. The car can fall apart and stop running but this part doesn’t break under normal, intended vehicle use. Period.” The car is driven in town and on the highway, to the grocery store, shopping and work. Occasionally we carry misc building supplies, gardening materials and groceries but nothing that would weigh more than five full grown adults that occupy it on occassion. I am suspicious that there was some sort of metal fatigue unrelated to hard use or misuse, that he didn’t notice in June or that something happened to it during the rebuild. Either that or the part is not as indestructable as he insists it is. The cause he states simply does not occur with this vehicle. Could you respond with your thoughts on this? Part of my concern is that there is an underlying reason that he is missing as a possibility and we need to know what it is so it doesn’t happen again. Thanks for any help you can give us.

Is this what he showed you?? This is a Low band drum.


That is exactly what he showed me. The center part that looks like part of a gear was broken off.