Ford Taurus strange transmission noise

Hey guys. I’m trying to help a co-worker figure out what may be wrong with his car. He drives a 1999 Ford Taurus with the 3.0L DOHC engine. The transmission makes a strange whine only when it is decelerating. It is quiet and smooth as it accelerates and drives, but let off the gas, and the whining begins. The whine changes pitch and intensity as the car slows down, and eventually fades away once you stop. Stranger still, the whine goes away if you shift to neutral and continue to slow down. It also goes away the instant you begin to accelerate again without stopping.

Someone told him it sounds like a torque converter going bad, but that doesn’t seem right to me. The whine starts as soon as you let off the gas, and has a steady decrease in pitch and intensity for speed to stop. It doesn’t matter if you slow down easy or quickly. I was thinking a bad bearing in the transmission somewhere in the final drive.

Anyone else have any ideas?

Planetary gearset, MAYBE a one way clutch, I would have to drive it to tell for sure.



If it is the one way clutch, what’s the dangers of continuing to drive it like this? I know if it is the planetary gearset, the transmission will one day die a horrible death as the gearset shatters.


“If it is the one way clutch, what’s the dangers of continuing to drive it like this?”

Same as a gearset, it will come apart. Has he dropped the pan yet and checked for any debris?? That would be my next step.


I’ll let him know. He was planning on a fluid change as soon as he can get it ‘emissions-ready’ and can tag it.