Question about 1998 Ford Contour

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1998 Ford Contour sport/2.5 engine overdrive light flashes. The transmission shifts hard into second gear if I don't release the gas pedal. It also doesn't switch into overdrive. I've already replaced the speed sensor on the drivers side of the transmission(visible through the wheelwell). Trans only has 90,000 miles on it.

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  • 137 Answers

I had a similar problem with mu 2000 Contour. It turned out to be a clogged transmission fluid cooler (it's built into the radiator.) When the transmission got hot, the fluid would overheat and not flow properly, causing shifting problems and etc. Check the hoses to the cooler, and if they look okay, pull them off (make sure you note which one goes to which connection!) and try to blow through the cooler. If there's any restriction, it's done for. In my case, I replaced the entire radiator, but if it turns out to be this problem on your car, you might try finding an external cooler to replace the stock one with.
Good luck!

Posted on Dec 03, 2014

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  • ralphael101 Dec 03, 2014

    Thank you. I'll change the fluid after I disconnect the line while it's running to check for a clogged line or radiator. I'll also check under the battery for a loose or broken hose and/or electrical connection. Shift solenoid afterwards if these don't work. These seem to be the most common fixes that I've read. I'm also wondering how does a home mechanic get all of the old fluid out of the trans? I just want to do it right. I've thought of discounting a line and letting it pump out. But I'm afraid that this might hurt the trans.

  • receiver67 Dec 04, 2014

    (This will assume you've already taken care of any oil cooler problems.) You can't drain the torque converter on Contours: there's no drain plug. The only "simple" way, if you want to call it that, is to flush the entire system with clean fluid. This should be done with the engine and transmission warmed up. First, buy about 30 quarts of new transmission fluid (I always use Dexron V fluid, not the Dexron/Mercon "compatible" type. Just my preference.) Make up a short (maybe 2 or 3 feet) length of hose with a fitting to connect to the transmission oil cooler. Disconnect the pressure hose from the cooler and put it in a 5-gallon bucket to catch the dirty fluid. (you may want to use a clamp of some sort to hold it in place.) With another "ABSOLUTELY CLEAN" bucket, pour 12 quarts fluid in and cover it to keep dirt out. Connect your short hose to the inlet (pressure) side of the cooler. Wipe the end of your short hose to make sure it is perfectly clean. For the moment, tie a clean piece of filter paper (coffee filters work well) over the end of the hose to keep dirt out. Have a helper start the engine let it idle: do NOT rev it up!), and let the transmission pump fluid into the "dirty" bucket. As soon as it's pumped about 8 quarts (2 gallons) of fluid into the bucket, yank the filter paper off your short hose hose and dunk it into the clean fluid. Watch the fluid coming out of the discharge hose. As the transmission draws fluid into itself, watch the level in the "clean" bucket and add clean fluid as required to keep from sucking air. As soon as the fluid looks normal, or "clean" color, have your helper shut off the engine. Connect the regular hoses back up. Start the engine again, let it warm up, and check the fluid level. Adjust as necessary. Note that I haven't said anything about changing the filter. The Contour transmission filter is not accessible without removing the transmission from the engine. Poor design, but there you go. Dispose of your used transmission oil responsibly!

  • receiver67 Dec 04, 2014

    By the way, as long as the trans is in park or neutral and the engine is at idle, having a low amount (3 or 4 quarts) of fluid in it won't hurt anything. Just start putting in clean fluid at that point, and it;ll be fine. I;ve done this on my wife's Contour, my 2003 F-150, and a friend's Taurus, and it worked fine.

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SOURCE: Overdrive light flashing trans struggles to shift

probably the vehcile speed sensor

Posted on Feb 27, 2009

chryslertech
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SOURCE: Transmission Not Going into Overdrive

First check and make sure the fluid is full. The most likely cause is a failed solenoid pack. Circuit codes normally mean something electrical not mechanical has failed. The solenoid pack is on the outside of trans pretty easy to replace.

Posted on Mar 21, 2009

  • 1 Answer

SOURCE: transmission shifts hard ,overdrive light flashes

I had a similar problem which turned out to be caused by a leaking vacuum line.

Good luck!
Brent

Posted on Apr 11, 2009

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