Torque Converter Question:

My wife and I have a 2000 Grand Marqis with 145,000 miles. The car has been starting to shudder when it reaches 42mph and then again at 60mph during acceleration. I am dreading the ultimate decision to have the Transmission worked on as I know it won’t be cheap and most of the transmission shops in the area are known for shall we say less than scrupulous behavior. My question is regarding the “self” diagnosis of it being the Torque Converter. Does this sound accurate? Second, I have heard that there is a fuel saving device or computer influenced process that causes this shudder at 42mph. I am wondering if I should be jumping toward transmission work of if I should investigate the fuel saving issue that would in turn cause it to happen at those speeds. Any advice would be appreciated. Thanks!

You will probably get some good answers on the diagnosis here here, but you should find your way over to anyway. It is a good resource for these cars. Does it feel like you are driving over rumble strips? Lots of times misfire feels like TC shudder, I understand.

Has the fluid been changed on schedule? Is the fluid up to the right level, and what does it look (nice and red or brown and burned) and smell like (petroleum-like or burned)? (Wipe it on a paper towel and smell it.) It might be worth a fluid and filter change. Be sure to use Mercon V only.

If you don’t have a good local trans shop, get a Ford reman unit. The price is probably as good as anywhere reliable and they have a long warranty.

So let me ask. Has the transmission fluid ever been changed?

If not, that may be your problem. Some Fords were prone to a torque converter shudder with 40-50 MPH usually being the worst area for it.
The symptom usually resembles running over those rumble strips on the side of the road.

If the fluid has never been changed then you’re a 100k miles+ overdue. Change it and see what happens.

Thanks! I will take it in to get the fluid changed.

Sound like a good plan. Thank you!