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· Registered
5 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi guys.

I have a 1998 Escort ZX2 auto.
I have searched for a few hours to see if anyone else has had the same symptoms as this but not found anything.
This is the story:
After the last oil change my wife was advised to change the transmission fluid as well. (I didn't have time to check to see if the tranny fluid smelled burn't.) She did and two days later she called me saying that the car wasn't working. We called the guys from Jiffylub and the car started working. The guy said there wasn't anything wrong. But few days later the car stopped working again. The engine starts, you can move the stick to any gear but the car doesn't move. It seems that it is always in the N (Neutral) position.
My mechanical skills are getting better so I would like to attack this myself, I've done driveshafts and wheel bearings so I suppose this is next!
Do these symptoms sound like a catastrophic gearbox remove to fix failure or does it sound like a switch/valve/solenoid type of thing?
Thanks for any advice. I know it's pretty much impossible to diagnose things from a computer screen.


· Super Moderator
10,547 Posts
A couple of things you need to do first:
1. Check that there is enough ATF in the tranny. Check it with the engine idling in park.
2. Check that the shifter shaft that is on the front of the transmission moves back and forth when somone is moving the shift lever back and forth inside the car. You may need to remove the air filter housing to see this shaft; its located on the front of the tranny, near the top, and is rotated by the shifter cable that is on the top of the tranny. (shifter cable bushings can eventually go bad)
3. See if you can find an electrical plug on the front of the tranny, and make sure it isnt loose or disconnected. (The car's computer controls the shifting solenoids, and there is another connector in that circuit, on top of the tranny under the battery tray).
4. If you want to try it, jack up the front of the car so at least one front wheel is in the air. Then with the engine running, put the shift lever in Drive & into reverse (but use the brake to stop the wheel in between!) and see if the wheels will turn.

I dont think a catastrophic tranny failure is likely.

Do you know if the Jiffylube guys actually dropped the tranny oil pan and replace the filter, or did they merely suck out the old ATF and pour in new?

Then feedback what you learn.....
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