Transmission problem?



When I first start my Ford Taurus every moring during cold weather, it’s hard to accelerate even though the RMP is high and I can hear the noise. About five minutes later, RMP is down, and everythiing is normal. 60,000 miles on it. Is it normal due to the weather or transmission problem? Thanks.


It certainly does sound like this is a transmission problem.
How many RPMs are registering on the tachometer, and at what road speed, when this problem is occurring?

Have you checked the transmission dipstick for level, color, and odor of the trans fluid?
If not, that is the first place to start.
After you do that, you can come back to this thread to report the results.

Since the odometer is now at 60k, that means that the transmission is due for its second transmission fluid change. Did it have its first trans servicing at 30k?

With any luck, simply servicing the transmission will bring everything back to normal.
If not, then there is a possibility that you might still have coverage on your Powertrain Warranty.
What is the model year of this Taurus?


Thank you so much for quick response,VDC. It is a 1998 Taurus. I purchased it as a used one two years ago, unsure if the fluid ever been changed. When it happens, and it only happens when it is cold, the RPM is around 2000, and the speed is at 30. Once it becomes smooth in five minutes, the RPM is around 2000 at the speed of 65. The engine light is on for about one year and the code is P0455: Evaporative Control System Gross Leak Detect, but I don’t think the light-on has anything to do with the transmission, Am I right? I’ll do the fluid change. Do I have to change the filter? Do you know how much it will cost? Any infomration is appreciated. Lee


In view of the car’s age, it is now due for its fourth transmission fluid change.
If the fluid has never before been changed in the car’s 11 years on the road, that is the likely cause of the problem.

Take the car to an independent trans shop–NOT to AAMCO, Lee Myles, Cottman, Mr. Transmission or any other chain operation, and have the trans pan dropped for clean-out and inspection. If it merely needs a fluid change and a new trans filter, then the cost–depending on where you live in the US–will probably be somewhere in the neighborhood of $90–$120. On the other hand, if the trans has been damaged from 11 years of non-maintenance, then you have to be prepared for the really big bills that go along with a transmission rebuild.


Try this as a DIAGNOSTIC technique. Merely warm the car in the parking space. I don’t recommend this for anyone NORMALLY. It’s a waste. In this case, however, you’ll determine if the trans operates normally after the fluid is warm.

If this restores 100% utility to the trans then a fluid change might relieve the symptoms. Before doing anything else (as in internal work -$$$) I’d consider using 6oz of Auto-Rx BEFORE a full fluid exchange. Google it.

…but let’s not get ahead of ourselves here. Torque converter lock up usually requires a given engine or trans temp to engage. You may be experiencing absolutely nothing abnormal and are just being (appropriately so for ANYTHING) aware that something is “different” and wonder why. Bravo on being critical of your environment.