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Jim Grant Tech Tips Jim Grant Tech Tips
A collection of helpful articles based on reader submissions
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Below is a collection of Jim Grant's Tech Tips sorted by Vehicle Make. These Tech Tips were answers to questions submitted to Jim by users over the course of many years.
If you have any questions, please feel free to email us.



Lincoln - Mercury
  Jim Grant's Tech Tips

'98 Ford Taurus

Q: My daughter's '98 Ford Taurus 3.0 Duratec Engine with 65k has just recently developed the following problems: When the car starts and is running, the Service Engine soon light stays on, the O/D Off switch light flashes , the speedometer indicator does not move and the transmission seems stuck in first gear and will not go any further even switching on the selector switch in a different gear, and reverse is no problem. The transmission fluid is OK, gas cap is tight, and the engine runs fine and periodic maintenance was religious. I remember there was a recall on Dec, 2000 regarding the upgrade of OBDII system program power train control modules and the car had no problems before and after the upgrade. The Owner's Manual states that if the O/D OFF indicator light is flashing repeatedly and cannot be switched off, it means that there is a transaxle electronic system malfunction. I am a Sunday mechanic, this is the first time I encountered a transmission problem, can you tell me what to look for and what parts to replace?

- Carlos

A: What you have is a very upset computer. There is no way I would even guess what parts you would have to replace. The first step to even begin to get a handle on this problem is to ask the computer what the problem is. This will require a computer scan tool and if you have any hope of performing any repairs yourself you'll need to know the diagnostic trouble codes that the computer has to share and the data stream information for any of the systems that the computer is so up set about. I don't want to provide false hope but I have seen a fuse or one simple sensor send a vehicle's computer into total disarray and confusion. When you have an engine and transmission that not only relies, but requires computerized controls to operate them, the Sunday repair becomes a whole new game.

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