2002 Cougar No Reverse When Warm


Asked by Jan 16, 2010 at 10:25 PM about the 2002 Mercury Cougar 2 Dr V6 Hatchback

Question type: Maintenance & Repair

Last night, I bought a 2002 Cougar with 97K miles. It ran fine when I test drove. Transmission seemed to work perfectly.  We purchased it, drove it down to the gas station 2 miles away and filled it up.  Then put it in reverse and reverse did not work!  It was like it would not catch into gear totally and would move a little bit only if we revved the engine quite a bit.  We took it back and the dealer gave us our money back.  I stopped by this morning and they said it was working fine again.  They are going to have their mechanic look at it Monday morning but at this point it scares me.  Does anyone know of a simple solution to something like this?  I did check the fluid and it registered on the low side of good (although I did it in park and I just read something about it possibly needing to be in neutral to check it)  I would love to have this be something simple because we loved the car and it was a really good deal.  But even if they call and say it is fixed, should I trust it now?  Thanks for any suggestions!

5 Answers


is it a manual transmission? because if it is, there is a little plastic lever below the shift knob that you have to pull up to towards the knob to put it in reverse? dont know if that helps. sorry if its an automatic.

1 of 1 people found this helpful.

It is an automatic. Thanks!

1 of 1 people found this helpful.

My car is doing the same thing it has about 95,000 miles on it and when its warm the reverse seems to slip it does it in the cold also but seems to work better when colder outside. did you ever figure out what was wrong with it?

1 of 1 people found this helpful.

you problem is more than likely the clutches in the reverse gear are gone. the only reason it will work when cold is because the fluid is thicker and fills the voids between the clutches and steel plates easier when cold. as far as checking in neutral..... that is only chrysler specific (i.e. dodge, plymouth, chrysler). as a mechanic I can personally tell you that the Cougars past 98 are POSs. transmissions being the most common fault. hope this helps and sorry for your luck with it


i have the same problem and we bought our 2002 cougar brand new. it now has 130000 miles on it and it just started not working in reverse. my fluid was very low too and never leaked. when i checked fluid....... (should be hot and in park but you should also put it in every gear for a sec and then back in park when you check) .........the fluid had a good color to it and did not smell any clutch or anything out of the normal. i never seviced the tranny with new fluid and filter. i was told that it very well could be that its a filter problem and the tranny is starving for fluid. so thats my next step this weekend. i will let you know the out come. wish me luck.

2 of 2 people found this helpful.

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