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Posted: 4/14/2011 7:38:15 AM EDT
My car's transmission won't go. It acts like it's low on fluid, but is full. This was a sudden problem. It happened over, say, ten miles of driving. There are no leaks and the fluid is a good shade of red.

In neutral, it acted like it was in park. I couldn't push it backwards out of a parking spot, but later when I limped it home I could push it backwards into a parking space. By then it BARELY went forward, though.

What should I expect to hear from the transmission shop?
Link Posted: 4/14/2011 7:57:35 AM EDT
Link Posted: 4/14/2011 9:51:29 AM EDT
Originally Posted By Quintin:
Do you have reverse?


Sometimes. When it works it goes in with a bang and the motor wants to quit or it slips like crazy.

Just like the forward gears. Mostly they slip.
Link Posted: 4/14/2011 9:54:22 AM EDT
Link Posted: 4/14/2011 11:49:22 AM EDT
What's the fluid look like?


The fluid is perfect.

Yeah, the failure was almost immediate. These transmissions have a reputation for overheating, but mine has a good (big) aftermarket cooler. I think they're the weak link in an otherwise decent car.
Link Posted: 4/16/2011 7:35:35 AM EDT
What would a dead torque converter act like?
Link Posted: 4/16/2011 11:37:57 AM EDT
Transmission shop says $1600 worth of death. Fuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuu......
Link Posted: 4/16/2011 9:12:21 PM EDT
Originally Posted By JellyBelly:
Transmission shop says $1600 worth of death. Fuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuu......


Seems like a lot...but really not too bad for an automatic...you oughta see what it costs for a 5 sp Honda automatic.
Link Posted: 4/16/2011 9:14:53 PM EDT
Originally Posted By JellyBelly:
Transmission shop says $1600 worth of death. Fuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuu......


Time to go to a junkyard, find a wrecked one with a 5spd, and do a swap/conversion.
Link Posted: 4/17/2011 4:14:06 PM EDT
Disconnect the battery and try it again. Sometimes transmissions will go into a "limp home mode" that is reset when battery power is lost. May not help in your case but it doesn't cost anything to try.

I had what you describe happen on my old Sable and I took it to a trans shop for an estimate. Couldn't afford the repair so I took it home. Everything was fine, shifted normally, drove great. Kept it for another month or two and sold it.
Link Posted: 4/17/2011 5:34:13 PM EDT
That sucks.
Some vehicles are worth putting that type of $$ repair into.  Unfortunately, I don't think a '99 Escort is one of them.
Link Posted: 4/17/2011 5:42:38 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 4/17/2011 5:48:54 PM EDT by Quintin]
Link Posted: 4/18/2011 2:32:55 AM EDT
Originally Posted By MiniZ:
That sucks.
Some vehicles are worth putting that type of $$ repair into.  Unfortunately, I don't think a '99 Escort is one of them.


I know a guy who has done work for my family before. He'll swap in a junkyard trans for $400. I should be able to find a used one locally for about $500-$600. That's better, but it still hurts.

I guess I need to sell off my camera gear.

Swapping in a manual trans sounds pretty appealing right now. I wonder how much more that'd cost?
Link Posted: 4/18/2011 5:32:54 AM EDT
Originally Posted By JellyBelly:
Originally Posted By MiniZ:
That sucks.
Some vehicles are worth putting that type of $$ repair into.  Unfortunately, I don't think a '99 Escort is one of them.


I know a guy who has done work for my family before. He'll swap in a junkyard trans for $400. I should be able to find a used one locally for about $500-$600. That's better, but it still hurts.

I guess I need to sell off my camera gear.

Swapping in a manual trans sounds pretty appealing right now. I wonder how much more that'd cost?


more than just swapping in a bone yard auto....flush your trans cooler when you have the trans done.....heat kills automatics.
Link Posted: 4/18/2011 12:31:12 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 4/18/2011 12:35:37 PM EDT by Stasher1]
Originally Posted By JellyBelly:
Originally Posted By MiniZ:
That sucks.
Some vehicles are worth putting that type of $$ repair into.  Unfortunately, I don't think a '99 Escort is one of them.


I know a guy who has done work for my family before. He'll swap in a junkyard trans for $400. I should be able to find a used one locally for about $500-$600. That's better, but it still hurts.

I guess I need to sell off my camera gear.

Swapping in a manual trans sounds pretty appealing right now. I wonder how much more that'd cost?



Keep an eye out for a complete car with a dead motor (ought to be able to find one for less than the $500-600 quoted above), and do the swap yourself. It's not that bad of a job, and can be done in a couple six packs.

I had an engine built for my '95 Escort 2dr 5 spd (back in the day), and then got hit by an illegal in a minivan. My car was totalled, but the engine, transmission, and interior were fine. I wound up buying a complete 4dr automatic with a bad motor for $200, and swapped the engine and transmission in a weekend. Doing the auto-manual conversion isn't all that difficult, but it'll be WAY more expensive than $400 once you buy all of the necessary pieces like the clutch/pressure plate, lower motor mounts (auto and manual mounts are different), slave cylinder, master cylinder resevoir (where the slave cylinder gets its fluid), pedal cluster, neutral safety switch, shifter, shifter linkage, shifter brace, shift boot, etc. It's generally cheaper to buy an entire donor car.  

Also, unless you're 3' tall and flexible like Gumby...the pedal cluster swap is a real PITA. You need at least four hands, but there's only enough room for one...maybe two if you can work without looking.
Link Posted: 4/29/2011 1:05:48 PM EDT
Thank God for Travers Auto. They actually delivered my transmission to the shop for me.

It's nice to see good customer service! I'll definitely be doing business with them in the future. My only other experience with auto recyclers was bad and I haven't returned. These guys treated me pretty good.

I'll have my car back tomorrow morning!
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