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Advice Please: Transmission Shifting and Vibration- What could be the problem?

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Old 09-23-2011, 11:51 AM   #1
SeanEXP
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Advice Please: Transmission Shifting and Vibration- What could be the problem?

First Problem: The transmission shifts hard making a bang and jerking feeling. This doesn't happen all the time, I would estimate it to be about 50% of the time.

I have heard about stories when people getting their transmission worked and and within a short duration they were stranded on the road because the recent repaired has failed.

The transmission can be pretty annoying at times but it haven't broke down on me yet. I don't want to take it in to the dealer on Monday and have it break down shortly after getting it back.

There is no check engine light on or anything. Does the dealer connect the explorer to a machine to check for this problem or do they take it out for a test drive?

Should I move forward with the appt. on Monday or should I cancel it?


Second Problem: There is a vibration with the vehicle. I don't feel the vibration while the vehicle is moving but when in park idling, in drive stopped at a light or etc, you can feel it. Feels similar to a massaging chair.

I was guessing either the engine mounts or the harmonic balancer.

Information: 04, v6 engine, 4wd



Thanks in advance for the advice and help.
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Old 09-23-2011, 04:20 PM   #2
Exproblems
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>>>>>>>>>[QUOTE=SeanEXP;2814010][B]First Problem: There is no check engine light on or anything. Does the dealer connect the explorer to a machine to check for this problem or do they take it out for a test drive?>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>

Sean,

The Dealer or transmission shop can hook up a diagnostic scanner tool to your PCU on your vehicle and take it for a test and get a read out of what is going on inside of your transmission. Some transmission shops do the diagnostic scan for free or you might have to use a coupon from the phone book. Just take it some where you trust.

>>>>>>>>>Should I move forward with the appt. on Monday or should I cancel it?>>>>>>>>>

I would get it checked out.

>>>>>>>>>>Second Problem: There is a vibration with the vehicle. I don't feel the vibration while the vehicle is moving but when in park idling, in drive stopped at a light or etc, you can feel it. Feels similar to a massaging chair.

I was guessing either the engine mounts or the harmonic balancer.

Information: 04, v6 engine, 4wd>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>

Sounds like a possible rough idle problem. I was told by a mechanic that modern engine mounts don't wear out like they use to, it's rare, and the harmonic balancer could cause a wobble if bad. There are posts in here on harmonic balancer issues and how to check them. Type that subject into the search bar at the top of the forum, it will pull up those posts. An out of balance flywheel or torque converter could also cause a rough shake at idle and not set off any error codes. Only way to check for that is pay a shop to pull your tranny.
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Old 09-24-2011, 10:47 AM   #3
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Thanks ExProblems, I appreciate you taking the time and responding to my concerns. Very Helpful advice
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Old 09-27-2011, 09:59 AM   #4
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So got to the dealer and they told me that its $160 buck to diagnosis the transmission if not covered under the extended warranty.....

i thought twice and decided to reschedule as I would be annoyed paying for them to tell me "they couldn't reproduce the symptoms".

Here is what is going on:

"Sometimes"- there a jerk when up or down shifting....happens around 20 mph

Around 35-40mphs my RPM would get around 3100 before shifting..

Park to Reverse --there is a clicking sound

Neutral to Drive -- there is a clicking sound

Drive to Reverse and Reverse to Drive- Click and a slightly hard jerk

Park to Drive- Jerk

^^My OD light isn't flashing....there is no check engine light on (keeping fingers crossed)....

I'm not sure if this is normal for transmission in explorers of this Generation.

I personally don't want to spend $160 just to hear "oh we couldn't find or locate what you were describing."

Now I'm not sure if Ford is just going to take it for a test drive and/or use their tool and get the readings. Would these things show up on the readings as a problem?


Also just a side note- does anyone else have a problem getting out of "Park" when parked on an inclined especially face down? My X has a problem getting out of park, sometimes I am concerned that one day the shift might break.


Thanks In Advance.

Last edited by SeanEXP; 09-30-2011 at 10:31 AM.
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Old 09-27-2011, 10:04 AM   #5
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Your explorer's transmission sounds just like mine. And then I also do have that same park to gear on an incline. Looking forward to an answer.




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Old 09-30-2011, 10:36 AM   #6
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Do you think there are any pending codes and how exactly does one check for them?

-I went to AAP and the guy said that their scanner only can pick up codes if the CEL is on?

Would it for something to be wrong with the tranny without the CEL being on?


I know there is something wrong, I just don't want to pay an $160 buck for an "We couldn't find anything wrong".


Thanks in advance and have a nice day.
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Old 10-03-2011, 09:34 AM   #7
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Okay, so I decided to hold off on the transmission until I know for a fact and that it shows(symptoms) 100% or at least close to 100%.

So....about the vibration.....

I'm not sure how a mechanic at a dealership would diagnose a vibration problem. I told them and they seen no CEL was on. They said that they would have to connect their computer to it to see the problem.

$150 bucks to connect their computer to it. ..<< Is this something common that is done is check for a vibration without a CEL being on?

Service gentleman comes in and tells me that the computer detected that all of my cylinders are unstable, the t-body (throttle body) needs to be cleaned and that I need a complete tune up that includes air filter, fuel filter, spark plugs and wires.

I'm not doing the air filter nor the fuel filter because that was done @ the 60,000 maintenance.

Grand Total is:

Complete Tune Up: $540
Cleaning Throttle Body- $100


Does this sound right to anyone?
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Old 10-03-2011, 01:13 PM   #8
sethmorgan
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Originally Posted by SeanEXP View Post
So....about the vibration.....

I'm not sure how a mechanic at a dealership would diagnose a vibration problem. I told them and they seen no CEL was on. They said that they would have to connect their computer to it to see the problem.

$150 bucks to connect their computer to it. ..<< Is this something common that is done is check for a vibration without a CEL being on?
?
Find a shop that uses this: http://www.vibratesoftware.com/

Quote:
Originally Posted by SeanEXP View Post
Service gentleman comes in and tells me that the computer detected that all of my cylinders are unstable, the t-body (throttle body) needs to be cleaned and that I need a complete tune up that includes air filter, fuel filter, spark plugs and wires.

I'm not doing the air filter nor the fuel filter because that was done @ the 60,000 maintenance.

Grand Total is:

Complete Tune Up: $540
Cleaning Throttle Body- $100


Does this sound right to anyone?
Sounds about right for the dealer. You can do the plugs, wires, and throttle body yourself if you are so inclined for less than half that in parts. Don't use anything other than that which is labeled safe for the protective coating inside a throttle body.
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Old 10-03-2011, 03:09 PM   #9
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Originally Posted by SeanEXP View Post
I know there is something wrong, I just don't want to pay an $160 buck for an "We couldn't find anything wrong".
>>>>>>>>

Sean,

I had my Ex's transmission diagnostically scanned for "free" at an AAMCO Transmission Shop back in late March. They had a coupon for this free diagnostic test in my area's phone book. They also checked the fluid level and test drove it. They are a Nationwide chain of tranny shops. They also gave me a printed report of any problems they found in my tranny, which was nothing wrong at the time.
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Old 10-03-2011, 03:43 PM   #10
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$150 bucks to connect their computer to it. ..<< Is this something common that is done is check for a vibration without a CEL being on?>>>>>>>>

I don't believe a computer scan will tell the mechanic what is causing a vibration problem because I had and still have an issue with what I thought was a "rough idle" problem in my engine. No CEL's have gone off on my vehicle either. I've had my engine and tranny hooked up to diagnostic scanners trying to find out what was causing this rough idle shake and they couldn't find anything wrong with my engine or transmission. Both mechanics at 2 different shops concluded my idle shake was actually an "unbalance" issue with either my torque converter or flywheel. This is why no CEL warnings have gone off. It's a long story but back in Feb., I had a rebuilt tranny installed at a local tranny shop and had some problems, verbal arguments with the tranny shop owner and the dealership I bought the truck at. They had my truck for 10 days. This mysterious shake appeared in the vehicle after getting my truck back from the tranny shop with the newly rebuilt tranny. I asked the tranny shop about it and he denied it could have been done by any work he did to it. Thats why I had the diagnostics done on it to rule out everything else, which they did. I know the POS tranny shop owner tampered with the balance weights on either the torque converter or flywheel, knowing it wouldn't set off any CEL codes and I couldn't find the issue myself. This is my problem not yours, but I wanted to explain about the diagnostic part of my story in regards to what they can find about "vibrations or shakes" diagnostically.

>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>Service gentleman comes in and tells me that the computer detected that all of my cylinders are unstable, the t-body (throttle body) needs to be cleaned and that I need a complete tune up that includes air filter, fuel filter, spark plugs and wires.

I'm not doing the air filter nor the fuel filter because that was done @ the 60,000 maintenance.

Grand Total is:

Complete Tune Up: $540
Cleaning Throttle Body- $100


Does this sound right to anyone?
>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>

$100 for Throttle Body cleaning or Fuel system cleaning is about right. I had mine done at a Ford dealership back in March for $89.95 +tax. If you can do the plugs and wires yourself for the 4.0L V-6, the parts cost is around $45 for the wire set and around $3-$4 per spark plug x 6. Little more if you have the V-8. If you buy the parts at Advance Auto Parts, you can use online coupons from www.CouponCabin.com at the Advance Auto web site and get $20 off an order total of $50 or more. $40 off an order $100 and above.
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Old 10-03-2011, 03:54 PM   #11
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I don't believe a computer scan will tell the mechanic what is causing a vibration problem because I had and still have an issue with what I thought was a "rough idle" problem in my engine. No CEL's have gone off on my vehicle either. I've had my engine and tranny hooked up to diagnostic scanners trying to find out what was causing this rough idle shake and they couldn't find anything wrong with my engine or transmission. Both mechanics at 2 different shops concluded my idle shake was actually an "unbalance" issue with either my torque converter or flywheel. This is why no CEL warnings have gone off. It's a long story but back in Feb., I had a rebuilt tranny installed at a local tranny shop and had some problems, verbal arguments with the tranny shop owner and the dealership I bought the truck at. They had my truck for 10 days. This mysterious shake appeared in the vehicle after getting my truck back from the tranny shop with the newly rebuilt tranny. I asked the tranny shop about it and he denied it could have been done by any work he did to it. Thats why I had the diagnostics done on it to rule out everything else, which they did. I know the POS tranny shop owner tampered with the balance weights on either the torque converter or flywheel, knowing it wouldn't set off any CEL codes and I couldn't find the issue myself. This is my problem not yours, but I wanted to explain about the diagnostic part of my story in regards to what they can find about "vibrations or shakes" diagnostically.
You can diagnose automotive vibrations using a computer, vibration analyzation software, and an Electronic Vibration Analyzer. You cannot diagnose vibrations from the car's PCM specifically, e.g. there is no vibration-related DTC that will present. "Hooking your engine and transmission up to diagnostic scanners" will only tell you what the PCM or TCM knows about. Inputs from sensors, values out of range, etc.
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Old 10-06-2011, 04:16 AM   #12
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I might apologize in the delay response these 12 hour shifts are killing me. Thank you Exproblems and SethMorgan for your helpful response.


Sorry for being a noob but when the dealer told me "unstable" cylinders does that mean that they are misfiring?

If all the cylinders are unstable wouldn't the check engine light come on at some point? If I used a scanner from an auto store, shouldn't it be able to tell me something?
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Old 10-06-2011, 08:05 AM   #13
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I might apologize in the delay response these 12 hour shifts are killing me. Thank you Exproblems and SethMorgan for your helpful response.


Sorry for being a noob but when the dealer told me "unstable" cylinders does that mean that they are misfiring?

If all the cylinders are unstable wouldn't the check engine light come on at some point? If I used a scanner from an auto store, shouldn't it be able to tell me something?
Not sure what they mean by "unstable cylinders". My explorer doesn't idle very smooth either. I've done all I can to try to improve it but it's not perfect. Things that could cause rough idle are vacuum leaks, faulty spark plugs and wires, coil pack (or coil on plug), dirty/clogged fuel filter, dirty/clogged fuel injectors, dirty MAF sensor wire, dirty idle air control valve. There is even an updated computer calibration that improves the idle in some year models.

There can be codes present without a check engine light. These are pending codes, and the condition that set the code may not have been present long enough to illuminate the light. Sometimes the condition goes away and so does the code.

Best thing to do would be to find an independent shop that can use a laptop and an OBD interface to monitor for any lean conditions and other realtime data.
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Old 10-07-2011, 11:03 AM   #14
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Thank you SethMorgan once again for your helpful response and advice. I will follow up soon on the outcome.
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