Transmission Hell?

I have a 2003 Mercury Sable with 139,000 miles on it. A few weeks ago I had been driving on a long trip and stopped for gas. As I was exiting the gas station and went to accelerate as I pulled out, I felt a shaking and the car went out of gear. The car will start now, but pushing on the gas does absolutely nothing whether the car is in drive or reverse. I’m trying to decide to have it fixed or to sell it at this point. Is this a transmission problem, as I suspect?

Few weeks ago? Are you walking now?

When you checked the transmission dipstick, what did you find, regarding the level, color, and odor of the fluid?

Have someone check the transmission fluid level with the engine recently run. If the flluid is above low; is nice and red; and does not smell burnt, have a transmission technician measure the line pressure. If there is no line pressure, you have a transmission problem.

You can have the AX4N or the AF50N transmission. Either transmission uses a pump drive shaft. If this shaft breaks or either of the splines in the torque converter or the pump driven gear strip, the transmission will have no line pressure to engage the clutches/bands. The transmission may not have to be completely disassembled to replace the shaft, driven pump or gear. It is possible that the pump drive shaft could be replaced by gaining access through removing the side cover. Ask the independent transmission repair shop technician.

But with the mileage you have on the Sable, it might be time to get a completely rebuilt transmission. If you try to sell it in this condition, you will get very little for it.

A few weeks ago, yes. I was leaving town right before this happened, and I’ve been biking since I got back.
I checked the fluid when it happened, and the level was fine. Color red. Didn’t check the odor, but it looked the same as it always had when I’ve checked the fluids in the past.

How much do rebuilds typically cost? The KBB value (if it was running) is only around $2678.

" We won’t know the total price until we tear it down and see what it needs" But you can figure on $2500…

A friend of mine had the same problem with a 1996 Taurus. She was on her way home from an orchestra rehearsal and I had left the rehearsal a few minutes later. She was stopped in the middle of the road and the engine would run but the car wouldn’t move. It turned out that the cooler line from the transmission to the transmission cooler section of the radiator had broken, dumping all the fluid. The repair was inexpensive as it did not involve removing and tearing into the transmission. Maybe you will be as lucky.

Have you checked to see if the problem might be a CV joint?

Get somebody to lookat it, is the only way to answer the question. There are many possibilities besides a rebuild. Don’t be afraid to look at 2 estimates, and a general mechanic should be one of them. We cannot see a broken linkage, test for a clogged trans filter, or see other possibilities over the interweb.

I wouldn’t make such a decision without having a better diagnosis. This could turn out to be a problem that’s not too expensive, although there’s not a huge chance of that.

I agree. Tow it to a shop for a look see. I was stopped by a CV joint though and it did rumble quite a bit first but I had ball bearings on the ground when it quit. Pretty easy to see if a boot is all torn up.

Thanks everyone. I’m having it towed somewhere close by to get it looked at, glad to have some ideas of what to expect. If the cost negates the car’s value, I’m probably just going to sell it for what I can get. Cheers!

Did you check the CV joints??

I would surely like to hear what the problem was. (or the answer to the problem)

Probably some kind of xmission problem, but don’t discount that you might get lucky and find out the problem is just the shifting linkage. When you shift to D or R, that command may not be getting to the transmission in other words.

Well, it don’t look like we will ever know, but I would bet on a CV joint.

Hey MammMel, where you? I want to know what the problem was!