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Discussion Starter #1
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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Discussion Starter #2 (Edited)
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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At 320K i would say you got more life out of the tranny than most. There are lines that go from tranny to the radiator so being low on coolant could cause the tranny to overheat. Being as you said that last week the trannys fluid looked new and now its dark and smells burnt, that would also show that it over heated. How long have you owned it? The reason i ask is at 320K miles the tranny fluid shouldnt look new. If it did look new, i would have the previous owner show me service records showing me he had it changed every 50-75K miles, because changing the fluid on a tranny with 320K and not ever being serviced before is asking for trouble.

IIRC, that car has a 4R70W tranny. Ive owned 2 trucks with that tranny and put them through alot of stress and can say keeping them cool and clean is VERY important!

Wayne
 
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