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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
This morning my '01 XLS FWD transmission just refused to work - I had let the engine warm up for 5 minutes on the driveway (it was -45c today - the block heater was plugged in btw), put her in reverse & nothing happened. When I revved the engine the car eventually moved but not at the normal rate - I put her into drive & had to rev the motor to get any forward motion. After 10 minutes or so had passed (engine running) I tried again and she behaved normally again.

What the heck is going on?
 

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Have you checked the fluid level? Transmission fluid expands as it heats up, hence why you're supposed to check it at normal operating temperature. So, barring anything major, I would venture to say that the level was low and it behaved normally once it warmed up and expanded enough. Or, I could be giving these transmissions too much credit. I would start with the easiest being the fluid level. Perhaps it was just too darn cold.
 

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When I had my '98 Ranger, the transmission selector would freeze in Park on really cold nights if I didn't use the parking brake to keep pressure off the park pawl. In the winter I would pull into a parking spot, set the parking brake, and then shift into park and turn off the engine.

If I didn't follow that proceedure, I would get this really loud bang from the transmission when ever the transmission was cold. Not identical to your issue but it might be worth a try.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Leo - I did check the fluid level when the car had warmed up - it was well over the minimum level without having been driven anywhere (at that point I was still stuck on my driveway). Having said that I did not think to check it after I'd been for a drive - I'll purchase some Mercon fluid & check it again when I'm feeling better (some kind soul gave me the flu).

I placed a phone call to a local tranny shop who suggested that a seal was going & the tranny needed a rebuild ($800 min, up to $2600, depending on what they found). Of course it's in their interests to give a worst case scenario hence I'm here asking if anyone else has encountered this issue.
 

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UK PONY said:
Leo - I did check the fluid level when the car had warmed up - it was well over the minimum level without having been driven anywhere (at that point I was still stuck on my driveway). Having said that I did not think to check it after I'd been for a drive - I'll purchase some Mercon fluid & check it again when I'm feeling better (some kind soul gave me the flu).

I placed a phone call to a local tranny shop who suggested that a seal was going & the tranny needed a rebuild ($800 min, up to $2600, depending on what they found). Of course it's in their interests to give a worst case scenario hence I'm here asking if anyone else has encountered this issue.
I'd seriously find another shop if you do end up taking it in somewhere. To spout off a seal was going and suggesting a full rebuild for it over the phone sounds like complete BS to me.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
C17chief said:
I'd seriously find another shop if you do end up taking it in somewhere. To spout off a seal was going and suggesting a full rebuild for it over the phone sounds like complete BS to me.
They have a really good reputation but I agree that they were quick to jump to an expensive diagnosis.

I'll be keeping a close eye on this issue.
 

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hey dude glad to see you joined up,If it worked fine after it warmed up and again later that same day I'm thinking it was the cold temps specially like you said on mustang canada that it had set in that cold for a few days.If you get a bit warmer temp it might not hurt to change the tranny fluid just incase it has never been changed where you bought her used.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Hey Jay - thanks for pointing me to this site...the car has seen colder temps than this but never sat for that long at the same time. A fluid change is definitely on the cards, I believe it needs Mercon fluid, but I'll monitor it for a little while to make sure that a fluid change isn't a waste of money (i.e. it really is in need of a rebuild).
 
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