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How long until my 2005 Mercury Montego trans fails?

My 05 montego has 85k and transmission downshifts hard when coming to a complete stop. How much longer before it quits?

When was the last time that the transmission fluid was changed???

Check the transmission dip stick. Does the fluid smell burnt, and what color is the fluid if you wipe it on a white paper towel.
Your owners manual will tell you where the dip stick is and the procedure to check the level.