Car Won't Go Into Drive When I First Start It

ford
escort

#1

I have an automatic transaxle '93 Ford Escort LX. For the past few weeks, when I first get into the car the shifter is stiff and when I first try drive, the engine will rev, but the car does not move forward. Usually after a few times reshifting it goes.



Some days its been much worse then others; I had a repair shop rebuild the shifter, but the problem came back just 3 drives later. It seems like if I drive the car, stop it, and then drive it soon after its OK, but when it sits for a while (like overnight) the problem is worse in the morning.



There was one day too (and this only happened once) where I got the car into drive, and then while I was holding a steady speed, the engine would seem to rev up abnormally, like it was changing gears, but there was no additional speed. By the time I got it to the mechanic and he drove it around, the problem vanished again.



Do you think its the transmission or the shifter? I have a 900 mile drive coming up, and also need to know if driving the car will cause more damage. :frowning:


#2

It sounds like an issue with the shift linkage, but check the transmission fluid level just in case.


#3

One mechanic I took it to looked at the transmission fluid and said it seemed ok.

I have a big trip on Friday (NY to Ohio); will it be dangerous/damaging to wait to have it looked at in OH? Or should I have diagnostics done or something before I go.
Thanks!


#4

I would consider your car not reliable, until I knew that the problems are. In other words, unless you like standing by the side of the Pensilvania Turnpike, I would find other transportation or use the time staying home getting your car back in shape.


#5

Well, it’s possible that it could stop working at any moment, and it is possible that damage is being done while you drive it like this.