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  #1  
Old September 20th, 2019, 23:30
bradleyheathhays bradleyheathhays is offline
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Transmission overheat?

Sadly this may be the last post I make on the old '11 Crown Vic (320k). So yesterday I heard a quiet hiss coming from the front which turned out to be a very small radiator leak...in the middle of a fin somewhere. Doing errands around town today I kept extra coolant with me and added it as it needed. After filling it up I make a 60 mph trip to a nearby city about 20 miles away. When I get to a stop at the bottom of the off ramp, I hit the gas it it doesn't move. No extra lights on the dash except for the check engine light which was already on for something else. I put it in park and back in drive, tried all the gears but got nothing, not even in reverse. Thinking it might have something to do with my coolant situation I checked it and ended up putting in like 1.5 gal of coolant which is much more than it's taken before. Only thing I can imagine is that the leak got worse on the interstate and I didn't notice it. Did the no coolant issue cause the transmission to overheat somehow? There was a slight burning smell in the cabin so something definitely overheated. The overheat light on the dash never came on (I think I have one?) and the engine ran fine the whole time. I was traveling at 60 mph though so I wonder if that would be enough to cool the engine off while the transmission still overheated?


What in the heck happened and what do I do, besides sell the damn thing.
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Old September 21st, 2019, 11:15
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Re: Transmission overheat?

Your hypothesis on the low coolant causing a trans to overheat seems reasonable, however...highway driving at a constant speed creates the least heat in a trans, so I would at least check the trans fluid to see if it's still full...and does it smell like burnt toast?

One other item you mentioned...temp light didn't come on.
Engine coolant temp sensor is up high in most systems...like up around the front of your intake manifold on the crown vic. Due to its high location, when water level gets low sometimes the sensor will not be accurate because it's no longer surrounded by water. So just because the light didn't come on, doesn't necessarily mean that it wasn't overheating.

Bottom line...I believe it's time to let go, she had a good run.
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Old September 22nd, 2019, 13:52
bradleyheathhays bradleyheathhays is offline
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Re: Transmission overheat?

Yeah it wouldn't be too soon if she were let go. Just fyi though someone in another board gave info that the temp sensor in the later vics were in the head somehow and didn't depend on coolant to read the engine temp. They were saying the light probably actually would have come on if the engine were overheating.
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Old September 22nd, 2019, 19:58
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Re: Transmission overheat?

So how about the trans fluid...burnt? low? Inquiring minds want to know. 😉
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Old September 22nd, 2019, 23:13
bradleyheathhays bradleyheathhays is offline
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Re: Transmission overheat?

I'll be trying to start her tonight for the first time so we'll see. Crossing my fingers.

The other possibilities that have been mentioned to me so far is a broken input shaft or the MLPS, and I don't know what either one of these is. Was told if it ws the MLPS that it would be throwing a code. So wouldn't you know I'm having a problem getting it read. Wonder if there is a way to get a multi-meter on whatever the MLPS is and test it?

Also, what is the input shaft and is it something in the drive line?
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Old September 22nd, 2019, 23:14
bradleyheathhays bradleyheathhays is offline
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Re: Transmission overheat?

Thanks for inquiring! First time I'll get back to it is tonight so I'll be checking the trans fluid first thing.
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Old September 23rd, 2019, 01:58
bradleyheathhays bradleyheathhays is offline
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Re: Transmission overheat?

Just now got back from trying to get it going for the first time and no success. First I disconnected the battery for a few minutes like someone had suggested. Checked trans fluid and it seemed at a good level, but definitely dark and burnt smelling. The coolant I had put in there before was still in there so the reservoir was full. The front of the engine was caked with white which I'm assuming was caked on and dried coolant.

Started the engine and moved the shift lever through all the gears and that felt normal. Put it in drive and didn't feel anything engage at all. Gave it some gas and something whirred in the trans. The more rpms the louder the sound got. Almost sounded like something rotating...but it seemed to be coming right from the transmission.

I just checked the trans fluid last week and it seemed to look fairly new. What in the world could have happened to cause this?

So what do I do now? Is the trans toast or could I maybe try putting new trans fluid and filter in and see what happens?
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Old September 23rd, 2019, 07:28
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Re: Transmission overheat?

I can't imagine how changing fluid could change anything at this point.

A trans rebuild would be the correct fix.

If you feel like rolling the dice on a junkyard trans you could try that, but I wouldn't recommend that course.

Time to start looking for a replacement vehicle?
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Old September 24th, 2019, 16:03
bradleyheathhays bradleyheathhays is offline
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Re: Transmission overheat?

Wow after all this and it turns out to be the rear end. Just got it to my mechanic and he watched the driveshaft when I gave it some gas, in gear, and it turned. So I guess that's where the sound was coming from. Although my trans fluid smells a little, a mechanic who works on these crown vics a lot says the fluid always smells somewhat burned. I'm super easy on this car so I'm not sure why the fluid would smell like that. Newly changed out like 15k miles ago.
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Old September 24th, 2019, 18:04
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Re: Transmission overheat?

Well that should certainly be a cheaper fix than a transmission.
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  #11  
Old September 24th, 2019, 20:13
trippled trippled is offline
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Re: Transmission overheat?

Soooo your rear end just exploded without a single noise? Pop the cover off and inspect. And let us know what happened. How much did the shaft turn? Full rotation? Or just nudged it?
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