Automatic Transmission

I have a 1993 Ford Taurus 3.8L V6 automatic. My automatic transmission has two drives and a 1st gear. When I put it in one of the drive gears it will jerk the car when you accelerate from a dead stop.Why does it do this and what do you think is wrong?

OK, let’s address the two drives first. One is regular drive. It only shifts through three gears, the top being a 1:1 gear ratio. The other has four gears, the top being OVERDRIVE. It has a gear ratio of something smaller than 1:1, like 0.86:1. That means that the engine turns over one revolution at the same time the final drive of the transmission turns one turn. Of course yours is a transaxle, so it’s not like that final drive is the driveshaft or CV shafts. I’m not sure exactly what your Tauruis has as a final drive ratio in OD. For most of your driving you will want to just put that baby into overdrive. It’s the one symbolized by the “D” with an “O” around it. (OD, get it?) The engine turns slower at a givin speed, and you save gas.

As for the jerking, the most common and cheapest to fix cause is a bad front motor mount. The engine flexes as you accelerate from a stop, and you feel the jerk. Unfortunately the type of drive you select should not effect that situation. You may have something else going on there. Is the fluid clean and up to the proper mark on the dipstick when checked hot, engine running in park? Does the fluid smell like burned toast. If so your tranny may be toast too. The '93 can be electronically scanned. My Autozone is not equipped to scan OBD I transmission codes for free. You may need to find someone who is. Be sure there is not a sign in front of the shop that says scAAMCO.

I would look at the right rear engine/transmission mount (passenger side).
This mount takes a real beating.
Strolling through the PullaPart yard one time and, just to satisfy my curiosity, strolled through the Taurus section on the way out. The vehicles are all parked on blocks with the wheels removed and I would say that about 90% of those Taurus/Sable cars all had a broken right rear mount.