Possible transmission problems in a 2000 Ford Taurus se

My daughter is a thousand miles away with our 2000 Ford Taurus se (88,000 miles) so I’ve not experienced this problem myself.The car was slow to get moving when put in drive or reverse. Once it warmed up the behavior was less pronounced. We purchased it used so I cannot speak about its history. It was the same owner for 9 1/2 years and appeared to be well maintained. The Ford dealership near her tells me that it has pressure problems with the transmission. I get the same info from another well known transmission shop.Both places want to change or rebuild the tranny. A third mechanic recommended a fluid change.I opted for the change and the problem seems to have gone away. The fluid was not dirty or low prior to the change.Can I be this lucky or could something more ominous be looming in the future?

No, I think you were lucky. Possibly the mechanic changed the screen at the same time, and if so, that helped. If you are worried about it, have your daughter smell the transmission fluid. Or have her boyfriend do it. If it has a neutral smell, she is good. If she smells something acrid and burnt, then the transmission is overheating and is likely doomed.
But I bet the car’s transmission just got it’s first fluid change, a little overdue (70,000 miles is usually recommended).

If someone wants to keep his transmission functioning properly for the long term, the correct change interval for the trans fluid (and filter, if so equipped) is 30k miles.

On that basis, the OP’s car is likely long overdue for this service.
He may have dodged a bullet for the time being, but…

Thanks. I will say the fluid color and smell appeared normal when we purchased it at 85,000 miles. This Taurus was purchased to replace our '96 Accord that was stolen from her apartment in Orlando, so I did not have the time to really check the car as thoroughly as I would like to. The mechanic did change the fluid and the filter and told me the gasket was not the original one, so I know it was changed at least once. I’ve never heard of this kind of problem clearing up just by changing the fluid. The mechanic did say that it could have been the wrong kind of fluid. That seems possible because the dealership may have put in the wrong fluid in prepping the car for sale or perhaps changed elsewhere. It only has 3,000 miles on it since we bought it last december. My daughter as of now says still no problem after adding about 250 miles since the change. While I am not surprised I am disappointed that two places were ready right away to do about 1800 to 3300 dollars of work on this car.

The Taurus is the clear winner here. Not only did Edmunds add 4k worth of options then complain it was too expensive, but the Taurus beats the Accord in all the areas that matter in this segment. Roomier, better interior, quiet, and better MPG. Nobody cares about .04 better skidpad and slighty better 0-60 here.

I have just two comments.

  1. I get the same info from another well known transmission shop. Don’t trust the well known transmission shops. They have a habit of selling unneeded services and don’t really know much about transmissions. Most of their training is sales training not transmissions.

  2. Find a good locally owned and operated, shop and work with them and follow VDC’s advice for changing fluid. Generally once the problem starts, it is too late. Changing fluid then seldom works. You need good fluid to prevent the problem not to fix it.