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Torque converter

We have a 2006 Freestar. Two weeks ago my wife was driving it and it began shaking making noise. She had it towed to the dealer and they discovered it was the air conditioning compressor. After replacing that they discovered the problem was caused by the cooling fan and they had to replace that as well. All together the repairs cost nearly $1800.

When my wife drove it home from the dealer the car lost power about five miles from the dealership. When I got there there was transmission fluid all over the ground. The car was towed to the dealer and they discovered one of the lines came loose. (Although they did not claim responsibility, they paid for a rental car and to replace all the fluids).

When my wife was driving it home the car stopped again. This time there was no transmission fluid on the ground. It was towed back to the dealer and they said the troque converter needed to be replaced. When I asked if this was caused by losing the transmission fluid they said no.

My question: was this caused by losing the transmission fluid? I need your help because my wife is now afraid to drive the car.

There’s not enough details known about this multiple problem to even begin a guess at what’s going on with this vehicle.

My initial impression is that you’re dealing with a bunch of clueless idiots but that can’t be confirmed.
Theorizing a bit, I’d say there was nothing wrong with the compressor to begin with.
Theorizing a bit more, I could say that someone knocked a transmission fluid cooler line loose while in the act of changing the compressor, especially with the claim of “one of the lines came loose”.

Loss of power and transmission fluid all over the ground means the transmission is damaged. It only takes seconds to damage an automatic transmission when fluid is lost.
Follow this up with a second go around and the now diagnosed torque converter problem and I think you’re being yanked around due to screwups and they have revererted to CYA mode.
(CYA means cover your axx)

The fact they would replace the transmission fluid and send you on your way with no doubt a pronunciation that “everything will be fine” shows they’re full of crap.

I think this may be a classic case of a shop continually messing up and making it so complicated that it becomes impossible to follow the maze of stuff that went wrong, and this hard to pin anything on them.

As for the A/C compressor/fan - are you saying that the A/C compressor didn’t have to be replaced after all?

When she got it back the first time, followed by the loss of transmission fluid & tow back to the dealer you need to try to get a better description of what she did. As the van lost power did she continually rev it up trying to keep it going? Or did she immediately pull over?

My own guess is that the transmission cooler line was damaged or partly dislodged when they did the cooling fan (the transmission cooler lines run through the radiator. That created the fluid leak. Then the fluid leak damaged the converter. If all of that is true then your transmission is now not in great shape either.

That is all pure guesswork, however. One would need a lot more info about every aspect of all of this to be able to say anything for certain.

I second OK’s motion…How many miles on the Freestar??

People REALLY need to learn more about the basic operating systems of their cars to avoid being HAMMERED like this…The American car owner has become a duck in a shooting gallery…

The car has 85,000 miles on it.

I am not sure whether the compressor needed to be replaced. The air conditioning was working before the incident, but it may have gone out. As for the fan the fan would cycle on and off when the engine was cool and that was probably an indication the fan was bad. I am not really disputing that. (although when it began shaking that could have been the transmission)

Both times when my wife drove the car the engine reved up on its own, she lost power, and when she pulled off the side of the road the car lost all power.

An '06 with only 85k miles on it should not suffer a compressor failure. The fan will cycle on an off depending on engine temperature and when the A/C is on the fan should run all of the time.

A worn and dragging radiator cooling fan or one that has a damaged or deformed blade can vibrate badly and make noise. Theorizing again, I’m of the opinion it was a compressor misdiagnosis from the start.

If you happened to glance out in the shop at this dealer you might make a mental note of the mechanics working out there. For the most part, if you see that all or most of them appear to be in their early/middle 20s in age you can assume with a fair amount of certainty they’re a bunch of relatively inexperienced guys, trade school graduates, etc.

This does not always mean competency even if the guy does have a wall full of diplomas.
The thing about young guys, trade school grads, etc is that they enter the profession jaded and as far as the dealers are concerned; they’re malleable.

The torque converter may have been the cause of the trouble with the transmission and the vibration. When the shop had the car the first time, they probably didn’t check for that problem.

They might have disconnected and failed to reconnect a transmission cooler line properly.

The AC fan and compressor may have been as faulty as they say it was. The compressor is one plausible cause of the original problem, so they aren’t totally bad at fixing cars. They may be right about the torque converter lockup problem when they just declare that losing the transmission fluid did not cause the electrical problem that caused the TC to remain locked.

If it runs now, fear of driving it shouldn’t be a factor. All it did was fail to arrive and lose fluid. An eight year old’s reaction to that would have been “Oh gross, can we get a ride to McDonalds?”.