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Possible transmission problem


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Anonymous Poster
snoe2006@yahoo.com

Sep 11, 2008, 10:49 AM

Post #1 of 9 (1434 views)
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Hi all, I have a 97 GrandMarquis with 161,000 miles on it. It seems as if it takes a good while to shift gears. I had a fluid exchange done last November and ran good for awhile. It doesn't show any codes on my code reader, it's just the way it feels. Is it just me or could there be some internal damage?Thanks for your help!


Tom Greenleaf
Ultimate Carjunky / Moderator
Tom Greenleaf profile image

Sep 11, 2008, 12:23 PM

Post #2 of 9 (1431 views)
Re: Possible transmission problem Sign In

If you know you are on your first, original trans it's possibly just getting tired. You noticed a change with the fluid change so perhaps do that again and a product I like called "Trans-X" is pretty good at disolving stickyness over and above what just plain new trans fluid does. It may buy some more good time. I'm not too thrilled with snake oil fixes in general but that one is helpful for an older trans. Don't ever overfill or over do those things in general.

Trans does wear even with good care. I don't know if there's an real listed life expectanc to the wearing parts but many don't see 250,000 without a redo and then you really wonder if a car overall is worth it??

T



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Anonymous Poster

Sep 12, 2008, 3:40 AM

Post #3 of 9 (1425 views)
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I appreciate your information. Do you think it might be better to take to a reputable trans shop and have them diagnose it? Thanks


Tom Greenleaf
Ultimate Carjunky / Moderator
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Sep 12, 2008, 5:53 AM

Post #4 of 9 (1421 views)
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Certainly no harm in getting an honest diagnosis of where you are with this. Know that an automatic trans is a mass of little parts, clutches, bands and the drum surfaces they engage do wear - then there is the valve body which takes commands from an assortment of mechanical and electronic input to make it do what for you at the right time.

Trans fluid like an hydraulic oil of low viscostity with good flow properties, a strong solvent to keep things clean, and other properties including "anti-foaming" as air bubbles don't compress well to transfer power to make things engage well and on time. Heat makes oils get sticky like a varish and new oil resists that and even clears up some that may have already developed.

The standard oil and filter change of trans doesn't remove all the oil but in some only 35-45% +/-. It's better than nothing. I'm NOT a proponent of force flushing out transmissions at I swear it can speed up their demise risking debris getting where it doesn't belong.

I'm not there and you can't replace hands on assessment of what's going on. There will likely be a suggestion to simply overhaul all the wearing parts unless this can be blamed on an isolated problem which at the info here I'm not seeing.

There is a "life" to a trans. They don't just up and last (usually) forever no matter how good you are to them. When you get to a nice ripe 160,000 miles on an original (if you know that) and think the car overall is good for another few years of use then consider just doing it now. If you believe this is the home stretch for this car then I'd limp it along and just hope that it lasts as long as you need this particular car overall.

There's a life to cars or we'd all still be driving the first ones we ever had short of collisions if the mechanicals just lasted forever. At some point the costs of making each item new again exceeds the car's value and you move on. With care you do get longer life before an inevitable end to a car's usefull life. You decide on these things hopefully with good help as to what to expect out of it and surprises can just happen anytime as we all know,

T



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Anonymous Poster

Sep 12, 2008, 6:05 AM

Post #5 of 9 (1417 views)
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Thank you sir for your info!


Tom Greenleaf
Ultimate Carjunky / Moderator
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Sep 12, 2008, 6:18 AM

Post #6 of 9 (1414 views)
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I wish you luck and the honest assessment as I said. It just so happens I'm checking out a 96 Grand Marquis for a friend/customer with just 74K original cared for miles on a gargaged car here in New England with an asking price under $2,000 claiming to need nothing by an elderly widow.

If that's some help in decision making I'm glad. Knowing that you can replace the whole car for one with half the miles for about the cost of a trans job comes into play with this. Of course that's a used car and there can be several unknowns that can be costly.

Looking at this financially and not so much mechanically it makes sense to trade out for one with half the miles at less than the cost of what I expect will be a trans overhaul suggested and with luck you are ahead of the car game,

T



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Anonymous Poster
snoe2006@yahoo.com

Sep 14, 2008, 6:26 AM

Post #7 of 9 (1404 views)
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How much should I expect to pay for an overhaul? I spoke to AAMCO before about this transmission, but they seemed to hurry me up off the phone. Obviously I won't go there. I have been doing my best to keep this car going, but I'm not sure my wife wants another car note. Im just not sure what to do at this point. Thank you


Tom Greenleaf
Ultimate Carjunky / Moderator
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Sep 14, 2008, 7:55 AM

Post #8 of 9 (1399 views)
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Just suck out enough trans fluid for the smaller can of this or change fluid again with synthetic ATF and some of this stuff by brand. I'd bet it will straighten out as long as you care.

Overhaul is indicated if fluid is burned looking now - no tricks there.

Prices will vary for overhauls - guess is a wide range of $1200-1800 USD which is your call but marginally the value of the vehicle even when just done......

T



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Anonymous Poster
snoe2006@yahoo.com

Sep 14, 2008, 9:12 AM

Post #9 of 9 (1393 views)
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Thanks, I'm greatful for the help!






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