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john -aka eauto
john -aka eauto, The Car Guy
Category: Ford
Satisfied Customers: 16042
Experience:  ase tech over 15 years in the field
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We have a 2008 Ford Taurus. It has been a very dependable

Customer Question

We have a 2008 Ford Taurus. It has been a very dependable car. The little wrench light on the dashboard came on about nine months ago. We've noticed that the transmission seems to hesitate (slip) and jerk a little. The car has almost 115k on it. It is our second car and is not driven quite as much as our primary vehicle so I am guessing this is why the problem has been relatively minor at this point.
JA: Have you checked the fuses? Have you tested the dashboard light bulbs?
Customer: No and no. My husband and I aren't real savvy on any type of mechanical needs. Sorry! So....we don't know where to look. I suppose he could look it up on line?
JA: Are you hoping to fix this yourself? What have you tried so far?
Customer: No. We will definitely take it somewhere. We haven't tried anything, but I think what you have suggested may be a good start.
JA: Anything else you think the mechanic should know?
Customer: No. Not that I'm aware of. I drive this car and the slight 'slips and jerks' are the only things going on with it.
JA: OK. Got it. I'm sending you to a secure page on JustAnswer so you can place the $5 fully-refundable deposit now. While you're filling out that form, I'll tell the Ford Mechanic about your situation and then connect you two.
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Ford
Expert:  john -aka eauto replied 1 year ago.

have you scanned for codes?

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
I don't know what you mean. Thanks anyway! Please refund or $23.
Expert:  john -aka eauto replied 1 year ago.

The check engine light/ wrench light comes on when the on-board computer detects a fault in engine driveability or performance, transmission control system or transmission, or the emissions system, and a fault code is set and stored in the computer. Faults that can set the check engine light can range from a vaccuum leak, engine mis-fire, low engine compression, faulty sensor such as O2 sensor or other engine sensor, hydraulic pressure loss in transmission, transmission shift solenoid, open/short in wiring harness, emission evaporative system leak, or one of over a hundred different reasons.
The only way to know what set a fault code and turned the check engine light on is to have a diagnostic scanner hooked up to the on-board computer and read it for stored diagnostic fault codes. Many auto parts stores will do this service for free- (like auto zone)check with you local parts stores. If none in your area do, then you will have to take it to a shop and pay to have the computer read for stored fault codes.

Without knowing the fault codes numbers, it would be irresponsible to guess as to the cause as there are hundreds of possible causes

if you provide me a diagnostic code we can narrow down the cause of failure