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98 Contour going in and out of gear

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Just bought a 98 Ford Contour-4dr,2.0, automatic. We've put new fuel pump in, changed crank shaft sensor, plugs and wires and had to work on some of the wiring due to previous owner having cut bunch wires. Drives great for most of the day, but around 4 or 5 in evening, on way home usually, she'll start jerking and feels like not going into passing gear. Couple times wouldn't go into 4th/drive. Could it be throttle position sensor or maybe transmission filter? Fluid is good and level and no leaks or smells at all. We're at a loss. The temp gauge wasn't working, so changed sender and now stays almost to red and when does go up if turn on heat it goes back down. Doing this though loses power and makes her go into her jerking fits. Pls help with any insight to our possessed car😁

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  • 3 months later...

Mine started doing that right after I bought it. Took it to 3 different shops and got 3 different diagnoses. The good news was the tranny was fine.


Your problem is likely the neutral safety switch located on top of the tranny but a PITA to get to. When it starts going bad, it can send random signals to the PCM causing the kickdown, etc. 

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I agree, a malfunctioning MLP (Or Manual Lever Position) sensor can cause that to happen. It's not super hard to change, but requires removal of the battery to get to the sensor.



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