taurus transaxle warning light


vrabelaj
10-16-2003, 11:04 AM
2000 taurus se w/20K miles, transaxle warning light begins to flash while driving at highway speeds only (w/auto climate control on, I think -- at least the last 2 times it happened, shutting off AC or heater allowed me to drive on w/o the warning light coming on again). I stop and restart the engine and the light is off. May come on again in a few miles or not for a long time. No noticeable shifting or driving/operational problems.
Does it in D1 and in D. I'll have to take it in to get checked but want to be knowledgeable in order to save a mega-buck diagnostic that fails to address/correct the problem.

jlb1000
03-03-2007, 01:37 AM
It means that the torque converter in not locking up. If you don't know what that means, don't try and fix it yourself.
Jim Butler, Certified Ford Technician, Los Angeles

shorod
03-03-2007, 01:38 PM
Welcome to the forum!

The Check Transaxle light will flash if the transmission fluid temperature (TFT) sensor reads an over temp condition (>300 degrees F), or due to other sensor inputs. Check the transmission fluid condition to see if it seems burnt (strong odor, discoloration). If so, you'll want to get the fluid and filter changed. There are varying opinions on the benefits of flushing the system. If the system has not been well maintained, the general concensus seems to be to avoid flushing the system.

There are multiple solenoids in the transmission that could be sticking and not working as intended which could cause the flashing light.

You could also have an indication of slip based on the input shaft speed sensor to output shaft speed sensor ratio. This could be due to a faulty sensor or a slipping transmission or, as jlb1000 suggested, a torque converter that is not locking up when requested.

Your best bet would be to watch someone connect their professional diagnostic tool to the OBD-II port and scan the transmission computer for codes. The tool should explain what the codes are, and you can report back here with the codes for further suggestions.

Did the engine speed (rpms) change when the light started flashing? At highway speeds, what was the engine speed at a set cruising speed (ie: 2500 rpm at 65 mph)?

There is an electronic tie between the A/C clutch and the transmission. Per the service manual, "Air Conditioning A/C Clutch An electromagnetic clutch is energized when the clutch cycling pressure switch closes. The switch is located on the suction accumulator/drier. The closing of the switch completes the circuit to the clutch and draws it into engagement with the compressor driveshaft. When the A/C is engaged, electronic pressure control (EPC) pressure is adjusted to compensate for the additional load on the engine." This EPC is controlled by a solenoid, so you may have an issue with the solenoid or associated regulator valve.

-Rod

alexane
02-06-2008, 04:06 PM
I have found that if I start out driving in overdrive instead of drive, and stay there for the length of the drive, the transaxle light does not come on. If I start out in drive, the light comes on about 15 minutes into the trip. Maybe not a long term fix, but it works for me.:cwm27:

Millermagic
02-06-2008, 04:26 PM
... But if the light is coming on there is a problem.

mwt47
02-08-2008, 08:57 PM
There should be some codes stored for the tranny if the light came on.

Did it go into OD when the light was flashing :dunno:

Mike
:smokin:

HEdwards2007
02-27-2008, 11:59 PM
I've got a 2002 Taurus with 260,000+ miles on it and I get the same thing with the flashing transaxle warning light at random times. :banghead: What also is confusing is that when I stop at a red light or stop sign the car will start stuttering like it is trying to die and the RPM gauge will start jumping up and down slightly. If I let it sit and idle like this it will eventually start running smooth and then go back to doing it. It does not do this when it's in Park or Neutrel and also does the same thing when in reverse. :runaround: I've already replaced the fuel pump and filter, transmission filter and fluid, 2 of the O2 sensors, and the IAC valve. I have a throttle positioning sensor on hand but had a hard time removing it because I couldn't get the two retaining screws loose with a regular screwdriver. If someone else possibly has any ideas it would be greatly helpful. I really don't have the funds to take it some place and get a diags test ran on it but will do it if that's best at this point. Thanks for any help.

shorod
02-28-2008, 08:21 AM
I've got a 2002 Taurus with 260,000+ miles on it and I get the same thing with the flashing transaxle warning light at random times. :banghead: What also is confusing is that when I stop at a red light or stop sign the car will start stuttering like it is trying to die and the RPM gauge will start jumping up and down slightly. If I let it sit and idle like this it will eventually start running smooth and then go back to doing it. It does not do this when it's in Park or Neutrel and also does the same thing when in reverse. :runaround: I've already replaced the fuel pump and filter, transmission filter and fluid, 2 of the O2 sensors, and the IAC valve. I have a throttle positioning sensor on hand but had a hard time removing it because I couldn't get the two retaining screws loose with a regular screwdriver. If someone else possibly has any ideas it would be greatly helpful. I really don't have the funds to take it some place and get a diags test ran on it but will do it if that's best at this point. Thanks for any help.

From your description, it sounds like you have a torque converter clutch that is not allowing the lock-up converter to fully disengage. That would explain the flashing transaxle lamp as well as the shudder when coming to stops.

-Rod

HEdwards2007
02-28-2008, 08:47 AM
From your description, it sounds like you have a torque converter clutch that is not allowing the lock-up converter to fully disengage. That would explain the flashing transaxle lamp as well as the shudder when coming to stops.

-Rod

Is there possibly an easy and cheap fix for this? If so, what would it be?

rdh2
02-28-2008, 09:22 AM
Is there possibly an easy and cheap fix for this? If so, what would it be?

When my '02 had the problem with the torque converter clutch not disengaging, it turned out to be a stuck valve in the valve body. $260 + a weekend of my time and it was fixed.

shorod
02-28-2008, 01:35 PM
I think rdh2 is right on here. From similar issues with other products, once the valve/solenoid starts to stick, the only reliable fix is to replace it. If you catch it before it starts sticking, there are additives that may eliminate or at least reduce the liklihood of sticking.

I'm far from familiar with transmissions in general, so there may be others that can expand on rdh2's comments and possible inexpensive fixes for this application.

-Rod

rdh2
02-29-2008, 05:23 PM
On my '02, the valve was "hung up" on a small ridge of material on the valve body. I was able to free the valve once I removed the valve body, but due to the bore damage, I replaced with an overhauled valve body.

Lucas transmission additive may be something to try. Since there are only 20,000 miles on the trans, it's possible just a sticking solenoid or valve. The additives in Lucas may dissolve any deposits. It does not take a very big piece of debris to foul up a transmission with it's small passages.

HEdwards2007
03-03-2008, 10:51 PM
I added a bottle of Lucas to my car yesterday after it started really messing up :banghead: after we had just taken it to a friend of the family that is a mechanic. His diagnosis was that it's the torque converter (like you all mentioned) or the actual transmission itself. I'm assuming it's cheaper to replace the torque converter than having the entire transmission rebuilt?? :eek:

rdh2
03-04-2008, 01:06 PM
I added a bottle of Lucas to my car yesterday after it started really messing up :banghead: after we had just taken it to a friend of the family that is a mechanic. His diagnosis was that it's the torque converter (like you all mentioned) or the actual transmission itself. I'm assuming it's cheaper to replace the torque converter than having the entire transmission rebuilt?? :eek:

Have you had the computer checked for any codes? Trouble codes can help pinpoint the problem area.

The diagnosis of a torque converter may not be entirely accurate. If a valve is sticking in the valve body, the torque converter may stay locked, but the root cause is the stuck valve. Before doing high dollar parts replacement, I would want to have the problem pinned down to a specific component.

Replacing only the torque converter will be cheaper than a rebuild of the transmission.

shorod
03-04-2008, 01:49 PM
Replacing only the torque converter will be cheaper than a rebuild of the transmission.
Unless, like you mentioned, the torque converter isn't the real problem. To get to the torque converter, the shop will be removing the transmission from the car anyway. If they replace just the converter and reinstall, then find there is a different internal issue, they'll be pulling the transmission again. I'm not sure on the Taurus, but the locking converter does not necessarily require an entire torque converter, but the electronics for the locking mechanism.

The valve body could be replaced without removing the entire transmission. But certainly, take the time to diagnose the problem now. Like rdh2 mentioned, get the codes read. This may cost you a small amount of money now, but could potentially save you buckets in the long run.

-Rod

mwt47
03-05-2008, 09:55 PM
I've got a 2002 Taurus with 260,000+ miles on it and I get the same thing with the flashing transaxle warning light at random times. :banghead: What also is confusing is that when I stop at a red light or stop sign the car will start stuttering like it is trying to die and the RPM gauge will start jumping up and down slightly. If I let it sit and idle like this it will eventually start running smooth and then go back to doing it. It does not do this when it's in Park or Neutrel and also does the same thing when in reverse. :runaround: I've already replaced the fuel pump and filter, transmission filter and fluid, 2 of the O2 sensors, and the IAC valve. I have a throttle positioning sensor on hand but had a hard time removing it because I couldn't get the two retaining screws loose with a regular screwdriver. If someone else possibly has any ideas it would be greatly helpful. I really don't have the funds to take it some place and get a diags test ran on it but will do it if that's best at this point. Thanks for any help.

Do you have the Vulcan OHV engine?

It could be the camshaft position sensor.
The car doesn't have a distributor and the sensor tells the ECM what position the camshaft is in.

Mike
:smokin:

mwt47
03-05-2008, 09:57 PM
On the Taurus if the torque converter fails it usually takes the front pump with it.

That will require a complete overhaul.

Mike
:smokin:

HEdwards2007
03-06-2008, 04:40 PM
We had our mechanic hook up a scanner to it and it wasn't giving him any codes. Are you talking about a ODC computer or whatever it is?

shorod
03-06-2008, 11:07 PM
Does your mechanic's scan tool have transmission software or just the engine software? An ordinary engine scan tool usually won't be able to read tranny codes. If the transaxle light has been on since codes were last cleared, there will be a stored code.

-Rod

one_luckie_gal
03-27-2008, 05:12 PM
When I am in park for a few minutes and the car is idling something the transaxle warning light comes on but after I drive 15' it goes off. This only seems to happen after I have been in idling for a few minutes. It seems to happen only in P and not if I leave it in OD. What does this mean? :frown:

shorod
03-27-2008, 08:13 PM
Welcome to the forum!

I'd suggest you start by checking the level and condition of the transmission fluid. If the fluid is healthy and full, then you probably should find a trustworthy shop to pull the transmission codes. The local parts store will most likely not have the proper tool to read transmission codes. This takes a specialized, professional scan tool.

-Rod

ithaclies
09-18-2011, 08:42 PM
I have the same problem. The light only comes on during highway driving, and the RPMs do not change. You wouldn't even think anything was wrong if not for the blinking light. My fluid is also fine, no burnt smell, a few bubbles, regular color. Its so frustrating. Also, i forgot to mention its a transmission from a 2004 taurus, because the one that came with my 2002 sable died. Its the same modle though (A4XN).

shorod
09-19-2011, 07:36 AM
Welcome to the forum!

Have you checked the transmission fluid level and condition? Are you pretty confident the overdrive is functioning properly at highway speeds?

-Rod

cpaulconover
11-26-2011, 11:40 AM
I have a 2005 ford taurus that seems to have similar problem(s). At Freeway speeds of 70 to 80 mph the transmission light/message will come on saying "check transmission." Only at this time has it come on, not during stop and go traffic.

Without the message on, accelerating from a stop it seems to take an extra second to change from 2nd gear to 3rd ( I think that is right- it is usually around 40 mph) even from slowing to make a turn then speeding back up it does this.

The car has 120k miles on it. and is a 2005 Ford Taurus 3.0L 182CI V6 FI VIN: U - OHV.

Any thoughts would greatly be appriciated

shorod
11-26-2011, 01:26 PM
The first thing to check is the level and condition of the transmission fluid. If the fluid has a strong odor or is no longer pink in color, consider having the pan dropped and the fluid and filter changed. I would not suggest paying extra to have the transmission flushed. Several folks have experienced severe issues after a transmission flush, and the thought is the flush loosens contaminants and gets them circulating again where they can lodge between valves and clog passages.

If you know someone with a professional grade scan tool, have them pull the transmission diagnostic codes. If you're lucky, it will point to a speed sensor that is not functioning reliably.

Also, have you noticed if when the transaxle light is on, the engine speed (tachometer reading) is higher than usual? At highway speeds, does turning the overdrive (OD) off have any effect on engine speed?

-Rod

cpaulconover
12-02-2011, 07:48 PM
Of course the check transmission message has not shown up since. The tranny oil looks just ok. Could it have to do with the drive axle? I noticed a "thump" when I was turning to the right. I turned multiple times to the right and the same thump happened. I still notice trouble shifting like it takes an extra second to shift from say 2nd to 3rd gear.

Thank you in advance.

shorod
12-02-2011, 11:45 PM
Nope, a problem with a drive axle would not cause a transaxle diagnostic code to be set. A binding drive axle could possibly cause an ABS light to come on though.

If the transmission is taking 1 second or more to shift, you have a problem. Assuming you just mean there seems to be a long delay when shifting from 2nd to 3rd relative to a normal shift, that could be due to several things. Getting the transaxle diagnostic codes read is probably the next logical step. Some transmission shops may provide this service free of charge, I'm not sure.

-Rod

mojokabobo
05-13-2013, 09:42 PM
Hello all,

I have read through this thread as I have recently been having the same problem with my mother-in-law's Taurus. I am currently borrowing my mother-in-law's taurus because my wife crashed our only car last Friday.

So, here's the question I have to ask. This light has been coming on for me for the past few days, and it has me concerned.. I am planning a vacation next weekend where I will be driving about 1000 miles total.

Should I make sure that my mother-in-law gets this fixed before my trip, or is this not a horribly serious problem? What kind of damage could happen if I go ahead with my trip?

shorod
05-13-2013, 10:56 PM
Welcome to the forum!

The only right answer is, yes, you should have this checked and possibly remedied, before driving the car on such a long trip. It might be as simple as a low fluid level or a transmission in need of a fluid and filter change, but it could be something much more serious. If you set out on such a long trip knowing that there's an issue, you're only asking for further damage to be done. A well-equipped shop with a professional scan tool should be able to read the diagnostic code for the transaxle and give you a reasonably good recommendation on the likely source of the code.

It's not up to me or the forum to judge whether your mother in-law should fix this issue or whether you should help out with it, but if you're concerned about the cost to fix it now, just think what the cost will be to have it towed several miles and pay whatever price the place it's towed to charges to fix it and the additional damage that will likely be incurred. For far less you could probably rent a car for the trip.

-Rod

UCMVP2007
12-08-2013, 12:36 AM
Hi,
I'm experiencing a flashing "check transaxle" light on my Taurus and was hoping someone might be able to help narrow down the cause before I take it into a shop.
It's a 2000 SE wagon with the 3.0 Flex Fuel engine. Currently at around 150k miles. Had a A/C clutch failure and had the compressor and clutch removed and bypassed on the belt about 3 weeks ago, been running fine, put on about 1200-1500 miles with no issues until this.
The light came on after backing out of a parking spot and shifting into drive. Engine was at normal operating temp, been running off and on consistently for several hours (I work delivery). Hoped it was a fluke, parked, let it rest about 5-10 minutes and started up, light came on after a few seconds as well as the check engine light. Seems to be in restricted shifting mode like the manual indicates when the light is on, seems to stay in 2nd gear.
Ran it over to autozone and had them run the codes and got the following:
P0743 - TCC solenoid circuit condition.
P0750 - Shift solenoid 1 circuit condition.
P0755 - Shift solenoid 2 circuit condition.
P0760 - Shift solenoid 3 circuit condition.
P1451 - EVAP system canister vent solenoid circuit malfunction.
P0412 - Secondary Air injection system fault.
P0135 - HO2S11 heater condition (heated oxygen sensor bank 1 sensor 1)
P0141 - HO2S12 heater condition (heated oxygen sensor bank 1 sensor 2)
P0155 - HO2S21 heater condition (heated oxygen sensor bank 2 sensor 1)
P0161 - HO2S22 heater condition (heated oxygen sensor bank 2 sensor 2)

All these sensors and circuits triggering all at once leads me to suspect (and hope) that I may just have some faulty wiring or a bad ground or something. Any ideas? Have never had to deal with transmission issues before (my first ford). Disconnected the battery to reset the trouble codes, transaxle check light came on right away, the check engine light again a few minutes later. Going to run it to another autozone in the morning to see if the same trouble codes pop up again.

buckwild1975
04-27-2014, 07:20 PM
Re: taurus transaxle warning light
"Hi,
I'm experiencing a flashing "check transaxle" light on my Taurus and was hoping someone might be able to help narrow down the cause before I take it into a shop.
It's a 2000 SE wagon with the 3.0 Flex Fuel engine. Currently at around 150k miles. Had a A/C clutch failure and had the compressor and clutch removed and bypassed on the belt about 3 weeks ago, been running fine, put on about 1200-1500 miles with no issues until this.
The light came on after backing out of a parking spot and shifting into drive. Engine was at normal operating temp, been running off and on consistently for several hours (I work delivery). Hoped it was a fluke, parked, let it rest about 5-10 minutes and started up, light came on after a few seconds as well as the check engine light. Seems to be in restricted shifting mode like the manual indicates when the light is on, seems to stay in 2nd gear.
Ran it over to autozone and had them run the codes and got the following:
P0743 - TCC solenoid circuit condition.
P0750 - Shift solenoid 1 circuit condition.
P0755 - Shift solenoid 2 circuit condition.
P0760 - Shift solenoid 3 circuit condition.
P1451 - EVAP system canister vent solenoid circuit malfunction.
P0412 - Secondary Air injection system fault.
P0135 - HO2S11 heater condition (heated oxygen sensor bank 1 sensor 1)
P0141 - HO2S12 heater condition (heated oxygen sensor bank 1 sensor 2)
P0155 - HO2S21 heater condition (heated oxygen sensor bank 2 sensor 1)
P0161 - HO2S22 heater condition (heated oxygen sensor bank 2 sensor 2)

All these sensors and circuits triggering all at once leads me to suspect (and hope) that I may just have some faulty wiring or a bad ground or something. Any ideas? Have never had to deal with transmission issues before (my first ford). Disconnected the battery to reset the trouble codes, transaxle check light came on right away, the check engine light again a few minutes later. Going to run it to another autozone in the morning to see if the same trouble codes pop up again. "


UCMPV....this is exactly what my 2003 Ford Taurus is doing.....Same symptoms same codes......What was the final diagnosis and fix?

Anybody elses educated input on this set of codes and symptoms is also appreciated.

AdamDLSC
08-22-2014, 05:07 PM
Hey all,

So today both my check engine light and transaxle warning light came on on the dash of my car. I started it up and the check engine light was on and the transaxle light was flashing (it was yellow), so I waited a minute and turned the car off. After waiting another minute or two I turned the car back on. The check engine light was still on but the transaxle light was off. If there was a real issue should the light have stayed on or does it normally shut off? And does the transaxle light correlate with the check engine light coming on?

On a side note the check engine light came on once before because of emissions and I got it turned off by my mechanic and he said it was alright if i drove it around and it didnt come back on (which it didnt) but i dont know if the check engine light relates to a faulty gas cap again or the transaxle light.

I have a long drive to school so HELP please!

shorod
08-23-2014, 10:05 AM
Many of the chain auto parts stores will pull diagnostic codes at no cost. While the scan tools they use will typically only access the powertrain codes and won't be able to pull the code causing the transaxle warning light to come on, there are some codes that are related to both systems. So better than completely guessing at the cause, pull the powertrain diagnostic codes and see what comes up. If it's a long drive to school, it will be a really long walk if your car leaves you stranded.

The check engine light and transaxle warning lights should remain on as long as the fault is active. But even after the light or lights go out, the diagnostic codes will be stored so a scan tool can read them even if the light is not on at the time.

-Rod

AdamDLSC
08-23-2014, 10:42 AM
Now here is the weird thing, there doesn't appear to be anything wrong with the transmission. It shifts fine into gear whenever I put it in gear (Drive, reverse etc...) and shifts fine and smooth while driving. It accelerates fine, drives fine, there is no delay when I go to accelerate or no delay when it goes to shift gears while driving. And there is no fluid leak.

Now another question...will the transaxle light temporarily come on if the transmission fluid needs to be changed? My car has 55,400 miles on it and according to the car manual the transaxle fluid needs to be changed when it starts to approach 60,000 miles. Will the need of fluid being changed prompt the light to come on? Because that is the only thing that I can think of because the car drives great.

shorod
08-23-2014, 11:43 PM
The light won't come on due to sensing a transmission fluid change needed, but if the ratio of a couple of the speed sensors indicates slip is occurring, which could be due to worn fluid, it could trigger the transaxle light. If you opt to change the fluid and filter though only to find that doesn't solve the issue, then you'll have thrown away money on the fluid and filter should you opt to fix the transmission and the cause requires draining the fluid.

I'd recommend you get the transaxle codes read to see what it is indicating.

-Rod

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