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Chris (aka- Moose)
Chris (aka- Moose), Mercury Technician
Category: Mercury
Satisfied Customers: 48366
Experience:  16 years experience with Mercury
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Mercury Mountaineer: My Transmission wont shift to 4th or

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My Transmission won't shift to 4th or O/D. Is there some kind of fluid I can try first
Hello and welcome to!

It could be a bad shift solenoid. The additive they put in way back was to prevent damage from occurring to the shift solenoid due to an incompatibility between its brass bushings and the fluid formulation they used. They have since corrected the fluid to prevent this from happening.

There is no additive that will actually fix the problem.

You need to have it evaluated by a repair shop that specializes in transmissions or a Ford dealer. A shift solenoid is several hundred dollars. A replacement transmission (or a rebuild) will be a few thousand. It's going to be one or the other.
Customer: replied 5 years ago.


Thanks for answering. How will they know if it is just the shift solenoid? This mechanic thought the whole transmission was blown but it shifts fine in gears 1, 2, 3....does that give any clue? Also, grease monkey had checked the fluid and it was a nice pink, not full of metal or brown. Dealers are just so expensive. Don't know where to go with it. Car is in such great shape otherwise. I don't want to spend $3200 nor can I afford it.



p.s. I will pay if I get some more concrete info. Thanks

They'll install pressure gauges onto test ports of the transmission and then using specialty tools they will activate the solenoid and look for the proper changes in pressures.

This is stuff that a regular repair shop will not be able to handle. There are specialty tools (and know-how) for this sort of thing that only shops setup for transmission work will have - transmission shops or the dealer.

Usually a loss of the high gears like this is due to a solenoid failure or a broken band however a broken band is usually accompanied with very dirty fluid which is why I suspect it's just the solenoid.

If you can let me know what the six transmission failure codes are I'll be able to give you more.
Customer: replied 5 years ago.
Relist: Answer quality.
Not enough details. I already know this stuff. Not worth $18.

Hello, I'm Chris.
I will do my best to answer your question fast and accurate using the info you have provided. Thanks for visiting Just Answer.


Different tech here, do you still want to work on this issue?


Customer: replied 5 years ago.
Yes! I can go fine in gears 1 thru 3, then the RPMs go high and I have to move from D to 3. Since it is shifting fine in the early gears, I find it odd that the whole transmission would be shot. What questions do I need to ask the Dealer on this if I have them check it out? I just cannot afford to buy a transmission. The Recession has crushed me. Thanks

Okay lets try and see whats failing that way i can tell what extent of a repair is needed.


  1. It engages drive (1st gear) then shifts to 2nd, then shifts to 3rd, then it __________, does it just go to what seems like neutral and it just revs up?
  2. If you let off the throttle and then barely apply it once this occurs does it then engage a gear and is that gear 3rd or 5th?
  3. Any delay or harsh engagements into drive or reverse?
  4. Does reverse work correct and well?
  5. If you turn overdrive off does this change anything?


Customer: replied 5 years ago.
1) it revs up and goes to what seems to be neutral.
2) 3rd
3) None in Drive. Reverse has always been harsh.
4) Not really. Takes a moment, then pops in kind of harsh.
5) I can ride around in 3rd without having to go back to Drive when I stop with O/D off.

Somebody said it could be a solenoid shifter in the transmission. Possible? Hope it isn't the whole thing.

The harsh engagement into reverse is for sure a faulty solenoid pack. All of the solenoids are mounted together and only replaceable when replacing the complete pack.


For no 4th gear, this means the shift solenoid A is mechanically stuck and not turning off or the direct clutch is leaking fluid pressure or the clutches are burnt up.


In reverse the solenoid A must turn off and the direct clutch must also turn off, however fluid flow is directed in different ways to achieve reverse than when shifting from 3rd to 4th.


Since reverse does in fact work but has trouble this does mean the direct clutch can function. So far I would remove the pan and replace the fluid and filter and solenoid body and I am 90% confident this will solve the concern. At a dealership this bill will be about 600$

Chris (aka- Moose), Mercury Technician
Category: Mercury
Satisfied Customers: 48366
Experience: 16 years experience with Mercury
Chris (aka- Moose) and other Mercury Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 5 years ago.
Dealer says it is a fully blown transmission and they wanted $4500. What crooks. IF I wanted to trade it in, they wanted my car PLUS $2500. My car is in great shape outside of the transmission. I am thinking of paying the $3000 at local shop to fix it. Atleast I will have a decent car. The used cars I have seen in the $3000 price range aren't nearly as nice as what I have so why not just do that? Really hurts as the economy has crushed me. Take care.
Glad I could help, have you thought about a junkyard trans from