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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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I've had a couple vehicles overheat due to lack of radiator coolant. In no case did it cause a transmission problem. In one vehicle hit happened twice a couple years apart and the engine got so hot it started knocking and bucking from the excessive pre ignition caused by being so hot... and smoke/steam was leaving a trail behind me. That vehicle, a 76 chevy, was fine after it cooled down, no permanent damage to either engine or trans at all. In your situation I'd think you would be far more likely to damage the engine (it has aluminum heads and iron block I think) then the transmission.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
I've heard this same engine in a different vehicle overheat before and this incident didn't include anything like that so hopefully the engine didn't overheat. I don't think it did anyway.

Is it even possible to change out the radiator of a '11 Vic without also disconnecting and removing the a/c condenser? Only video I've seen on youtube on removing it has a guy that can't figure out how to separate the radiator from the condenser so he had to remove both as a unit and then separate them once they were out.

Also I"ve been told this breakdown might be due to the MLPS (sensor?). Anyone know what this is please?
 

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Discussion Starter #4 (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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Discussion Starter #5
Wow after all this and it turns out to be the rear end. Just got it to my mechanic and he watched the driveshaft when I gave it some gas, in gear, and it turned. So I guess that's where the sound was coming from. Although my trans fluid smells a little, a mechanic who works on these crown vics a lot says the fluid always smells somewhat burned. I'm super easy on this car so I'm not sure why the fluid would smell like that. Newly changed out like 15k miles ago.
 
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