I drive a 1990 Lincoln Town Car with a developing transmission problem. The car was about a pint down. Over the summer I inadvertently put in about 4 tablespoons of type F steering wheel fluid instead of Mercon, if that might be a long term cause. The original defective transmission was changed at 20K. The fluid was suction flushed at 80K. It's at 115k right now, good maintenance and driving habits throughout. The problem is in the last week it is not shifting that easily into second, especially when cold. After it warms up, the car shifts into second at 30 mph OK most of the time, unless going up hill, and then stays stuck in second. It also shifts into 3rd at 38 mph most of the time. But lately, it won't shift into overdrive above 40 mph and slips and revs without acceleration. What should I do to fix this? Many thanks in advance.
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Easy, most likely problem is low transmission fluid. Your owners manual will tell you how to check that if you are not certain. If the level is okay, there are many, many, many other things that could be wrong. Most transmission shops will test it for you, no charge; but they usually will want to rebuild your transmission. It seems they no longer fix a specific problem, they just rebuild. This old of a car... maybe it's time. I hope this is helpful.
This is a common happening, but it is not necessarily a problem. What happens is when you are driving, the transmission is locked and providing as much power to the wheels as possible. When you take your foot off the accelerator, the transmission unlocks and goes into a passive state to prevent bogging down the engine. When you hit the gas again too soon, you feel a "THUMP" which is the transmission going back into the locked position. While this causes no short-term damage, if you do it often enough, it could cause increased wear for the transmission.
Are you sure it's not just a dirty and burn transmission fluid?? But if it is engine oil you may have a bad radiator since the transmission cooler and engine oil cooler is integrated with the radiator.
Good luck and keep me posted.