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Tranny sticks in drive for a few seconds

Have a 96’ Ford Taurus 134,000k. When car is cold, drive sticks for a few seconds, put in reverse then back to drive and its okay. Told I need a new tranny, can’t afford. What else could it be! HELP PLEASE! Thank you, K.Day

Have you checked the level/condition of the tranny fluid?

If the fuid level is low it can cause the tranny to slip. Or, if the tranny fluid is oxidized (burnt) it can also cause the tranny to slip.

Tester

Fluid is fine, no burnt smell and a rosy color. Thanks

Then there may be a problem with the transmission range switch or one of the solenoid control valve in the transmission.

But I would lean more towards the transmission range switch. Only because when you shift into reverse and then back into drive the transmission engages.

Tester

Do you know where I can get it looked at(the cost) You sure sound like you know what you’re talking about. Thank you again, K.Day

Find an independent shop that has a scanner that can monitor computer inputs. And ask how much they would charge to hook the scanner up to see if there’s a problem with the transmission range switch. Of course, they’ll need to keep the vehicle until it’s cold.

Tester

Great idea! I called one tranny shop and they needed to keep it over night…makes sense…again thank you very much…K.Day

Check the fluid in the car when its hot. The dipstick for the transmission should be in the back of the engine by the firewall. Sometimes the top of the stick is a different color - like red instead of black (oil). Pull the stick out, wipe it down, put it back in, and then pull it out - look at the stick - is the fluid at the line furthest from the tip? That’s where its supposed to be. If you can’t see it - have someone you know is good with cars look at it. If its down one line (towards tip) it is a pint (not a quart like oil) and needs only half the bottle of fluid put in slowly while car is running.

Has the transmission fluid ever been changed in the car? You are supposed to change it - just like oil - every 30,000 miles. If that has not been done - then get the filter and the fluid changed - not flushed.

We have a transmission shop near us that is called Stop & Start Transmission and they service the tranny to keep it going without a lot of expense. I have used them in the past for another car. You should check to see if you have one of those or an AAMCO transmission shop near you. (AAMCO does free checks.)

Sylvia
ex-auto parts employee/commercial delivery person

“You should check to see if you have one of those or an AAMCO transmission shop near you. (AAMCO does free checks.)”

Unfortunately, that is bad advice.
AAMCO and the other transmission repair chains are notorious for several things:

Giving one diagnosis and later changing it to a much more expensive diagnosis AFTER they have disassembled the transmission. If you want to take the car elsewhere at that point, you have to pay them to reassemble the trans, so most folks opt to leave it with those thieves.
Poor workmanship
High prices
Failure to stand behind their “nationwide warranty”.

The OP should seek an independent transmission shop that has been in business for at least 3 years, and should AVOID any chain trans shops.