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Shifting out of Park PROBLEMS!

08-11-2003, 06:27 PM
Hi all.

No one has been able to find the problem with my '98 Ford Taurus.

Here it is: After I start my engine (which sounds fine) and take my car out of park and into another gear (Reverse, Drive), the car shuts off. I took it to a Dealer and they said it was my throttle body and clogged air filter. They were replaced and the problem still occurred the next day. Before that, I had the power control sensor replaced and the problem was still there. I have been thinking that it's the shift cable, torque converter, or the transaxle but only because I have been reading other problems from other Taurus owners that sounded similar to mine.

Does anyone know what could be causing it? I would really appreciate any thoughts.


08-12-2003, 10:12 AM
First thing to do on any modern car is to get the codes read in the computer. This will start you off in the right direction.

Without knowing what codes may be stored, I'll throw out some general things.

Check the EGR valve, and see if it's leaking. You may need to remove it to do this. The EEC may not be calling for it to open, but a little bit of crud in the valve will allow exhaust gases to sneak by, and dilute the incoming air/fuel charge.

Also check for vaccum leaks. You may be able to hear a hissing noise, or find a loose/disconnected hose in the engine compartment.

If you get the codes read, post 'em here and we'll tell you where to start. :wink:

08-12-2003, 05:22 PM
just for the hell of it, start your car go outside and bounce on the syspention, might be as stupid as a bad ground, fiddle with alt, battery wires, fuse box ground.

08-12-2003, 06:43 PM
I had my codes read and nothing has been coming up. So, according to the computer, everything is fully functioning and fine. I think this is why the dealers and everyone else are having problems discovering the problem. This car is something else. :confused:

08-13-2003, 09:23 AM

If the codes are coming up clear, that means the problem is outside of the engine control system; and this is where 90% of all techs really get lost.

What to start looking for now is either a vaccum leak, or a fuel pressure problem. Can you have the fuel pressure checked? Could be a clogged filter, or the regulator has given up. I've seen this happen without setting a code, although sometimes the code for the O2 sensor detecting a lean condition will come up.

Also have a vaccum guage attached to the intake manifold. Start the car, you should see about 17" of vaccum or so. Put the trans into gear and watch the guage. It might jump a little, but should hold vaccum.

Let me know what you find.

08-13-2003, 10:40 AM
It's at the dealer now so they are trying to duplicate the problem. So far (for the past 2 days), they haven't been able to get the car to stall while in gear. What have they been doing? Starting the car every morning; no checking the vehicle; nothing - just turning the key in the morning and shifting into gear. Great diagnostic. I'll give them a call and tell them to do what you suggested. What is wrong with these Ford dealers? I am just going to trade in this car and get another car COMPANY. I am absolutely done with Fords! :sly:

Dan_in_WA: Thanks so much for all of your help. :smile: You are definitely one hundred times more helpful than the Ford dealers and mechanics I have come in contact with.

08-13-2003, 10:56 AM
I understand your frustration. Unfortunately, you'll run into this same shituation with another car brand, at another dealership.

The root cause of the problem is that although cars have become infinitely more complex over the last 30 years, the same type of person is what is going into the repair trade.

People good with a wrench and took the high school shop classes could really do well working on a customer's 1973 Ford.

But take this same guy, who may not have done well in Senior Math, and tell him he's now got to be half computer geek - you get the idea.

My best advice is to go to Helm, Inc. and order the factory service manuals for your car. Then, if you don't want, or can't, do it yourself, find a mechanic you can trust and get a working relationship with them.

Try to make it like your doctor/patient relationship, only for your car.

Let me know how it goes for you!

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