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Transmission Issues with 2004 Sable


I own a 2004 Sable with 55361 miles. I purchased the car used with 16,658 miles on it along with an extended warranty. July 24, 2012, my car was towed to a transmission shop, due to the fact, that the car would not move, in any gear. A phone car from the transmission shop, stated that I needed a new transmission, & altenator to the tune of $2784.33. I have always taken my car in for routine maintance. Needless to say I was not happy with the finds. I searched the internet, to see if there were other comsumers having the same issues, and there were. Are you telling me that Ford, can’t make a product to go past 55,361 miles without breaking down. I have always purchased American, but not that will change. Oh yes, did I mention that the pricy extended warranty, expired Dec. 2011. I will be contact the CEO of Ford.

Before you become too critical of Ford’s quality, we need to know if the car’s routine maintenance included changing the transmission fluid (and filter) every 3 years or 30k miles. In the case of a low-mileage car like yours, the trans fluid should have been changed at least twice so far, on the basis of elapsed time, and it would almost be due for its third fluid and filter change.

If the trans was maintained as described above, then it would be very disappointing and discouraging for the trans to have failed already. On the other hand, if the trans was not maintained as described, trans failure was pretty much of a sure thing, albeit with an unknown failure point.

All of that being said, I have to wonder about the shop that gave you the dire news. If it was AAMCO, Lee Myles, Cottman, Mr. Transmission, or any other chain, you were given the standard diagnosis, which may or may not be the correct diagnosis.

If the car is currently at a chain-operated trans shop, I urge you to have it towed to an independent trans shop–very likely at the expense of the indy shop. An independent trans shop will almost surely give you a more honest diagnosis, a lower price, and better workmanship.

I’m in agreement that you may be a bit hasty in blaming Ford for this problem. The odds of a transmission failing instantaneously are very, very slim so I would be curious about any prior symptoms, who has been doing the maintenance, how an alternator came to be involved in this problem, and whether this transmission shop is a Cottmans, AAMCO, etc.

You can certainly send a complaint to the CEO of Ford Motor Company but the most you can expect in return is a form reply with no substance.

I consider the late 90’s and early 2000 era Taurus transmissions to be very weak. You really need to get the opinion of an independent transmission shop on this diagnosis.

At this mileage your transmission should be getting its SECOND pan drop and filter/fluid change. Has it been serviced yet?? Not uncommon for this transmission to fail. What did the trans shop say the cause of the failure is??


Sure, there are tons more Taurus transmission failures out there than Mercedes transmission failures. There are also tons more Tauruses on the road. If your transmission was working 100% properly one minute and not at all the next, it may need repair rather than complete overhaul, saving you some money. I also fail to see how an alternator is related to your complaint.

Find a local, reputable transmission facility.

As for the failure, luck of the draw. Transmissions are complex pieces of machinery, and like any moving part it’s subject to failure. Sometimes things break.

I’m at 139k in my 2003 Taurus. No issues. Just regular maintenance. I bought the car from a national rental chain end of 2004. When I noticed a stutter in a shift once I immediately dropped the trans pan and did a filter change. Not a flicker since.