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Old 03-11-2011, 11:30 AM   #1
bubbabri
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Question 95 trans problem

Got a problem with my 95 ford escort lx. The problem has been happening for a while but recently has been getting worse so I am trying to see what the problem could be. First thing in the morning i turn the car on to warm up the engine. Not doing this will cause it to have a hard time going first thing in the morning (winter months).
Problem I am having is that in stop and go traffic, the transmission will stay in first gear and not shift to second when accelerating. The weird thing is, on my drive to work which is about 45 mins on the highway, it shifts with no problem. Only if i hit stop and go traffic after getting off the exit does it have problems with shifting. Pulling over and turning car off for 10mins and restarting allows me to shift properly again for a while, but still happens in stop and go traffic.
I read it could be a speed sensor on the driver front wheel. Could that be the possible reason for what i am experiencing? Or is it something else with the car? It does have 160k miles on it. Transmission was replaced once already and do not want to do it again. Thanks.
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Old 03-11-2011, 06:00 PM   #2
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Re: 95 trans problem

I'm not sure about Escorts but some auto trans have a thing called a 'modulator' that goes bad and can cause this. It would have a vacuum line going to it. If you have this then I'd check the vacuum line for tears or holes. Parts stores carry modulators. But I really don't know if Escorts have them. Something to check though.
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Old 03-13-2011, 11:07 AM   #3
bubbabri
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Re: 95 trans problem

Hmm. Did get a vacuum hose repaired not too long ago. Might have come undone... Just confused since long drives on highway it shifts fine. Only if I drive in stop and go traffic it acts up... Will get it checked out. Just hoping not transmission..
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Old 03-15-2011, 02:14 PM   #4
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Re: 95 trans problem

With the 2nd gen. Escorts, the lack of shifting from 1st gear is a known symptom if your Vehicle Speed Sensor is bad. It could be a bad connector or dirty contacts on the VSS - so remove the connector and try cleaning it. I would use brake cleaner in an aerosol can. And it could also be an internal problem with the VSS, or abraded wires from the connector to the PCM.
I know its not a convenient location. Getting the VSS out of the transaxle is known to be one of the most difficult jobs on an Escort - if the VSS is stuck in the trans case from corrosion. Hopefully they used some grease on that VSS when the plugged it back into place.

I have had VSS's out 5 times. Four of them were when I had the transmissions out of the cars on my workbench; and even so they gave me difficulty. One of them even got destroyed in the removal process. The fifth time was last month when I took it out to check the fluid level in my 5-speed. I had had that one out 2 years & 20,000 miles earlier, and it still soaked up an hour or so on 3 consecutive evenings. Soaking it with penetrating oil wont hurt.


And Escorts with the automatic transmission (an F4EAT) use a cable connected at the throttle body to tell the transmission how much pressure to use when shifting. There isnt a vacuum modulator on them.
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Old 03-17-2011, 04:07 PM   #5
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Re: 95 trans problem

Hmm. sounds like might be the VSS then.. luckily i got a day off monday coming up i can take it in to have it looked at. Got another car I am using as my parents are out of country for two weeks. Will post update once I get car in. Thanks for all the replies. Hopefully i can get this car running again..
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Old 04-05-2011, 01:45 PM   #6
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Re: 95 trans problem

I want to know how many miles on this existing transmission and when was the last time you changed the fluid and filter and did you check the fluid level and if so how.
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Old 04-05-2011, 05:47 PM   #7
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Re: 95 trans problem

I would like to thank everyone that has given me ideas as to the possible problem with this car.
As to how many miles on the current trans, I believe it is about 60k on it. I am going to say that when it was rebuilt/replaced the fluid was also changed out. Filter, unsure about. I usually check trans fluid by warming car up and leaving it running and check the dipstick level.

I have recently just traded it in and purchased a newer vehicle. This is a great place for problems with cars and hope I can help out in anyway that I can (although I am more of a computer guy than a car guy)
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