2000 Cougar transmission problem?

2,090

Asked by Feb 18, 2009 at 11:51 PM about the 2000 Mercury Cougar 2 Dr V6 Hatchback

Question type: Maintenance & Repair

I have a 2000 Cougar V6.  Recently I would notice some serious jerking when I would get on the highway and hit about 65 mph.  Then I noticed it would do it on city roads occasionally as well.  

Now it's gotten so bad that any time I get on the highway it jerks and sometimes the RPMs go way up high but I won't accelerate at all, even though I'm gassing.  Sometimes it takes a minute for it to move forward when I hit the gas from a stop as well.

Is this a transmission problem?  

39 Answers

2,090

oh! And I forgot to mention, that today the OD off light was flashing on the dash. Even though I did not manually take it out of overdrive.

167 out of 167 people think this is helpful.
2,090

Thanks so much for your help. Actually, I have a warranty on my car that covers the Transmission. I have, I think, a $100 deductible and then I'd have to pay a few hundred for teardown and diagnostic. But that's all I'd have to pay out of my pocket. Sooo.....if it really is the transmission then I may just let it go and then have it repaired because I do like the car a lot. And it has no other problems. We've kept up the maintenance on it really well and had the oil changed religiously. Thanks for your help!

28 out of 28 people think this is helpful.
585

I have a 99 Cougar, i had to change my altenator in it, ive had it for about a year, after i did that it lasted about 3 months doing well, then it started doing this jerking thing especially when i go from reverse to drive, its mostly when i drive in the city when i have to slow down come to a stop, then start going, it will like jump as if its missing a gear or something... im not sure what the problem is, if its the tranny or not, but if you figure it out would you be kind enough to tell me?!!! Cuz it sounds like we are having about the same problem!!

58 out of 58 people think this is helpful.
220

My 2000 Cougar has all these probs. I've had a lot of stuff changed and I am pretty sure it's the transmission range sensor, I've talked to so many who said changing this has solved their problem, so next week I'm having one replaced.

22 out of 22 people think this is helpful.
2,090

Hey all! I just wanted to thank you guys for all your contributions. And to update you! Last week my check engine light came on, and even though I thought I knew it was the transmission, I went ahead and had AutoZone check it. They said it was throwing a code for the "Transmission Range Sensor". So I called a very reputable transmission shop here (they have been in business for YEARS and have a very good reputation for fairness) and they checked it out (for free) and said basically the same thing. So, thankfully it wasn't my transmission. It was just the range sensor. It was a $159 fix (including labor). The owner of the shop told me that a lot of times you think your transmission is going out, so you just replace it and much of the time it can be the sensor but it rarely actually throws a code so you never know. Check out this possibility before you rehaul your tranny!

14 out of 14 people think this is helpful.
110

That is your transmission range sensor. Its about 50 dollars to fix if you do it yourself. I have a 2000 mercury cougar as well. And that is EXACTLY what mine is doing. I took it to the shop and had it tested, that is what it is.

11 out of 11 people think this is helpful.
230

I am having the exact same problem with my 2000 cougar. It is now in the shop for the 3rd time. What finally fixed the issue?

23 out of 23 people think this is helpful.
30

I have the same car, and it is doing exactly the same thing. I replace my tranny fluid, since mine was dirty and low, but it didn't seem to help very much. I'll take it to the shop this weekend. From what I'm hearing here, it sounds like the transmission range sensor. I'll let you know if it is, but thanks so much for the help.

3 out of 3 people think this is helpful.
205

So is this transmission range sensor something you have to buy from a dealer or can you get it at and Auto Zone/ parts store?

20 out of 20 people think this is helpful.
85

i have the same trouble and change the trasmission a twice times and the problem persist, my mechanic told me that this problems maybe come from the computer , what could i do? the OD OFF light star to flashing and keeps

8 out of 8 people think this is helpful.
90

I just replaced the Transmission Range Sensor in my car after driving it in the same condition everyone is talking about...jerking on the highway and recently even at lower speeds. Once the sensor replaced no more jerking. Runs fine now. My local mechanic who I take my cars to ordered it and replaced it for under 200 bucks. You could do it your self if you know what your doing. He didn't even diagnose it..I just told hime Replace it and he did.

6 out of 6 people think this is helpful.
80

I have a 2000 Cougar V6, have had the alternator replaced three times now (and am very frustrated!) because it is doing the EXACT same things again, as well as randomly revving up to 4 RPMS (so 4000) and not becuase I'm gunning it.. just travelling down regular city road. It seems to do this in between going to the next gear and/or coming down from a higher gear. *muttering about cars with their own minds* I wonder if this could all be cured with the transmission range sensor. I remember getting some card YEARS ago about something that was recalled on my Cougar, but I ignored it... I wonder....... Anyone else remember getting this card?

8 out of 8 people think this is helpful.
90

I originally had the jerking problems when my cougar would shift into higher gears on the highway. I didn't think too much of it since it didn't do it frequently. After a few months of it doing that it began jerking very hard when I was going slow, as if it were skipping a gear. It also happened in reverse. I took it to a transmission place and it turned out the torque converter in the transmission broke, now it's costing me $2,700 to fix it. it was probably just a problem with the transmission range sensor originally but I let it go too long and had to face the consequences. If you're having problems with the jerking, which a lot of people seem to be having, get it checked out asap!

7 out of 7 people think this is helpful.
45

There are service bulletins and recalls for this. go to Auto MD and you can look them up free.

4 out of 4 people think this is helpful.
10

My car is doing the same thing except no flashing OD light, no code from the car's computer and no check engine light or anything. Any suggestions??? Me and my mechanic are getting very frustrated, so any insight would be GREATLY appreciated. Thanks!

1 out of 1 people think this is helpful.
90

I'm telling you I had the same problem. I told my mechanic to replace the Transmission Relay Sensor and he asked why? I told him just do it and he did. He charged me just under $200 bucks for parts and labor. Drove out of his shop and have never had problems with the jerking. It's not a big risk to spend about $200 bucks to see if that fixes it....several people who reported this problem did just this and it resolved the problem. My mechanic was shocked that's all it was and he swore he thought it was the transmission. What do you have to lose ? Give it a try.

3 out of 3 people think this is helpful.
10

It's jumping in and out of gear. This happens when the Shifter locator sensor (up by battery normally) goes out. Replace it and and 95% of the time you'll be fixed with the symptoms you describe. The newer ones are better engineered and can take the corrosive elements that live by the battery much better.

1 out of 1 people think this is helpful.

change the maf,it affects the shifting of the tranny.

3 out of 3 people think this is helpful.
50

maxamil was it the transmission range sensor?

2 out of 2 people think this is helpful.
50

u can get it at Autozone but they have to order it

3 out of 3 people think this is helpful.
40

replace the transmission range sensor its a $40 part and it will change it all. my cougar was doing the same and the sensor changed EVERYTHINGGG:)

4 out of 4 people think this is helpful.
90

i just started having problems with my car too. i am in Austin,TX and took a trip to Corpus and after coming back, my ck engine light came on, explination in a circle symbol started flashing, the "O/D off" light also and my car is having problems when coming out of first gear. RPM's go to 5 but only when first taking off. I was told my transmission was going out and could be anyday now but now after reading several comments here, maybe it is that Transmission Range Sensor too?..geez i hope so. my car is an automatic and shifts all gears fine, just wont really catch when first taking off (first lower gear)..oh and it also has that like jumping thing going when like at a stop too.. Can ANYONE please help and advise.. thanks ..

8 out of 8 people think this is helpful.
90

Sounds like what happened to my car- I was driving back from a long trip and the same warnings came on in my car and it acted the same way. That exclamation sign in the circle warning has to do with your transmission. Take your car in as soon as you can. If it is the same problem, which it sounds like it is, then unfortunately it's not going to be a cheap fix.

1 out of 1 people think this is helpful.
90

not cheap like how so? lol..what did you have to do to yours?

1 out of 1 people think this is helpful.
90

Like I said in my earlier post, my torque converter broke in the transmission. It cost about $2,700 to get it fixed.

1 out of 1 people think this is helpful.
455

The clutches/bands are shot. Your auto trans is equipped with clutches and just like anything they wear out. A rebuild would be the resolve to this problem. It is not suggested to complete this repair on your own. The tranny must be pulled and pulled apart to include the gears to replace the clutches. Bench work only. If you do not plan on keeping the car there is a trick that will allow it to work short term for the sale. 90 wieght oil in the trans will give you additional life but will destroy the transmission and the life extension is limited to a few hundred miles.

1 out of 1 people think this is helpful.
10

I have this same problem, and if i take my foot off the break, it wont go!!! its really scary on a hill at a stop. and when it goes it jumps. let me know if changing sensor works. im going to keep looking on other sites. i noticed you last post in like sept so i hope you come back and let us know if you fixed.

1 out of 1 people think this is helpful.
10

What are some common reason the battery light would flash

1 out of 1 people think this is helpful.
100

does anyone no where the transmission range sensor is located? like is it on the outside of the trans or the inside? i just started having this similar problem with mine and my father knows alot about cars so i am currious if it is on the outside so he can fix it orif it is internal?

10 out of 10 people think this is helpful.
270

http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/apjp02/2009-10-19_232624_trsensor.pdf

15 out of 15 people think this is helpful.
270

Thats how you change the sensor

12 out of 12 people think this is helpful.
30

I had the same "rev & no-go" problems on my 1999 Cougar. I replaced the Transmission Range Sensor ($40), but it did NOT fix the problem. I'm still looking for the correct fix.

3 out of 3 people think this is helpful.
5

Have you checked your transmission fluid? And make sure the vent tube on the top of the transmission isnt stopped up. The vent tube in is just under the battery and could be attached to the battery hold down post with a clip. Some onehad took my vent tube off and stuck it straight down onto the hold down bolt stopping it up and it blew all the fluid out of the filler tube.

10

well i have a 1999 cougar i took it to some transmission place they told me that there were certain shift solenoids that weren't shifting properly so after i waited for 2 months without a car apparently they fixed it replaced parts in the transmission i dont fucking know i got the car back after paying 2000 dollars guess what fucking od sensor bs went off took the car back got it replaced transmission is worse then ever now they didnt even put the motor mounts in and i hate my life

1 out of 1 people think this is helpful.

I have 1999 mercury cougar and when I put my car in drive and take off the rpm's go up to like 5 and doesn't shift to second does anybody have any sugestions on what sencor it may be?! It jerks if I take off in 1st shift to second then to drive idk what it is

10

My girlfriend's cougar had this issue. I'm am autotech and used dealership grade all data to find a solution. Basically certain cougars have a transmission sensor- or TSS as it was listed- these sensors have not been correctly calibrated and they advised to order a new part from ford themselves with the correct calibration.

1 out of 1 people think this is helpful.
10

I have a 2000 Cougar and when I take off in 1st gear I barely go anywhere and the rpms go up aroun3-4k then it finally goes into 2nd gear and moves just fine. I took it to the tranny shop and they said the code it showed was a wrong ratio on 1st gear, does anyone think that having the range sensor changed would fix this problem? The transmission shop I went to said it didn't seem like it was my whole tranny going out even though my transmission fluid is dirty which is a sign that the transmission could be having problems but he said when a tranny is going out it usually slips and the rpms rev while you are driving and this is not what is happening to my car, its just a dog when first starting out. He was very honest and said he would hate to put a whole new tranny in if its not the tranny.

1 out of 1 people think this is helpful.

For the people with the flashing battery light. Your alternator would be the problem. Easy do at home test turn your lights on and unhook your positive terminal on battery. you might not even need to turn on your lights.

So in the end if your transmission shifts through your gears nicely with no real jolts or lags (transmission slipping), and you don't feel like your engine is vibrating or "farting" when you give it gas (engine misfire), then I would assume that you just need to have your Transmission Range Sensor/Neutral Safety Switch replaced. I'm gonna copy and paste this to the top of my "answer" so people don't have to go through my whole thing to get here. I'm super happy I found this thread. It saved me a lot of worry and money. (There IS jolting and (what feels like) "slipping" during these "transmission freak outs")... So today I had a friend replace my transmission range sensor/neutral safety switch (same part but has different names depending on where you shop), he did it for me for $50 labor and it took him just over 45 minutes. And the new sensor was about $35 not including shipping. ALL MY TRANSMISSION PROBLEMS WENT AWAY!! I just bought this 2000 Mercury Cougar V6 around a month ago, after about a week of owning it, one night the transmission started to shift around gears randomly while I was on the highway. And continued to do it all the way until I stopped on the side of the road. I did a bunch of online searching and the only things I found that came close to my cars symptoms were "transmission slipping" so I thought I was boned with this car I bought. But the whole reason I bought the car was because the transmission and engine felt like they were in good condition. And when the random shifting freak outs happened, I wouldn't describe them as "slipping in between gears" and not every shift was jolting. So eventually I searched "2000 Mercury Cougar Transmission problems" and it brought me here. So I decided to try my luck and get a sensor online and have a friend put it on for me. However I couldn't do this for around 2 weeks because I had no money. And id rather spend $80 and figure out if my actual transmission was going out rather than have a mechanic at a shop try to tell me what's wrong for $30 then have to buy the part and pay for labor to have it out on. So here are some of the habits of a bad transmission range sensor (just things I noticed from driving around daily for about 2 weeks after the "transmission freak outs" started). I'm also doing this fresh out of having it fixed, had it doing the worst jolting and shifting it has done yet earlier this morning. -It began while I was on the highway, after driving for about 20min and it started after I had been accelerating faster than I probably should have been. -I noticed it would happen when I was driving around 35mph and anything above that. But it seemed to randomly occur only when the car was warmed up. (That means I could drive 65mph or even 80mph without the transmission freak outs happening) -NOTE that it would almost always occur when the car was warmed up. -After about 20-30mins driving in the city (under 40mph). -Somewhere between 3-10mins when I took it on the highway. (So I can see how people would mainly say it occurs around 65mph because that's the fastest way to get to work and is also the fastest way to get the car completely warmed up) -anyways once the car is warmed up, the "transmission freak outs" would occur. -0-40mph lower chance of a "freak out." -40-50mph medium chance of a "freak out." -50-60mph high chance of a "freak out." -60-75+mph very high chance of a "freak out." -once the shifting starts, even if the car isn't fully warmed up, the shifting would frequently happen (if the first freak out ended, the next freak out would usually be coming next time I got up to speed). -if I just started my car for the day I could drive on the highway for around 10-30mins but I tried to keep it at the same speed the whole time. Some days it would make it with no problems and other days it would start right away. -if it started, I would get it to stop by bringing the car to a stop and then accelerating only to around 25mph tops until it would jolt a last time and feel like it was in the right gear. I'm not a mechanic but if you kind of have that gut feeling that your transmission is good, it's just that it's having these freak outs where it's shifting through a bunch of gears kind of randomly (and sometimes shifting with jolts, sometimes very hard, and sometimes hitting high rpms and low rpms) then I would try this transmission range sensor replacement thing. Btw I brought my car to an actual mechanic and they tried to charge me $30 to have it looked into but I had no money so the mechanic just took my car for a drive to see what it was doing. When he came back he said he thought it could maybe be the transmission slipping and beginning to go out or it could be the engine misfiring and causing the transmission to act weird So in the end if your transmission shifts through your gears nicely with no real jolts or lags (transmission slipping), and you don't feel like your engine is vibrating or "farting" when you give it gas (engine misfire), then I would assume that you just need to have your Transmission Range Sensor/Neutral Safety Switch replaced. I'm gonna copy and paste this to the top of my "answer" so people don't have to go through my whole thing to see this. I'm super happy I found this thread. It saved me a lot of worry and money. (There IS jolting and (what feels like) "slipping" during these "transmission freak outs")... Hope this helps!

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