2002 Lincoln LS V8, starting and stalling problem. Gear select data error.
I have a 2002 Lincoln LS 3.9 V8 with approx 108,000 miles. Car was running and driving perfect until I took it to AAMCO Transmissions shop to have a routine transmission flush and new filter installed. A few days and a few hundred miles later the car began to experience weird and random problems as outlined below:
1) While driving down the road at speeds between 55mph and 70 mph (with or without cruise control), the car will suddenly shut off. It acts as though the transmission suddenly slipped or disengaged, hit the rev limiter, then shut off. After a few seconds, the car returns to normal; at which point I can accelerate back to my cruise speed and set the cruise control again. The car continues to run fine for another 18-25 miles, at which point it occurs again.
2) From a complete stop, I begin to accelerate from either a stop sign or in the middle of an intersection, between 2000 - 4000 rpms, and the car suddenly shuts off, again acting like it engaged the rev limiter and did a protective shutdown, then seconds later returns to normal response. This has now happened to me twice while traffic was coming toward me; I no longer take any chances.
3) Once while sitting in my driveway, I depressed the brake pedal, shifted the gear selector into reverse, and the car instantly shuts off. Placed gear selector back into park and vehicle started right back up and I was able to drive it.
4) Occasionally when placing the vehicle into reverse, there is a slight double hesitation. AAMCO says that it happens when one internal component engages before another and usually indicates wear. But during their diagnostic procedure, they could not duplicate and said that it is performing normally.
5) After the car has been driven for about an hour, then parked while I am shopping, it will not restart immediately. The starter will engage the engine and engine will whirl over several times, but engine will not start. A message in the message display center reads "Gear Select Data Error - Check Advanced Traction Control". At this point, I place the gear shifter into the neutral position and the engine starts right up and the error message disappears. After the vehicle is started, the anti-theft light on the dash will flash with the following (1 flash, followed by a 2 second pause, followed by 6 flashes, then a 3 second pause) The anti-theft light sequence repeats itself about 6 times, then disappears. Occasionally the engine will eventually start after several attempts without placing shifter in neutral, however the anti-theft light will also blink in sequence as described above every time.
I spoke to AAMCO about my concerns and thought maybe the transmission needed to be rebuilt. However AMMCO kept my car for about a week, used a scan tool for diagnostics and also randomly drove around town, putting about 30 miles on the car. They told me they could not duplicate the issues and in order to rebuild the transmission, they would need to know the exact problem. Before I left their shop, they installed a brand new module near the top exterior of the transmission that I believe is the switch for gear selection (not sure) but they told me to drive the car for a few days and let them know if that helped. The first day and 200 miles later I did not have any issues, however by the second day and another 100 miles, the car is back to doing the same thing (Stalls randomly on the highway, stalls randomly at stops signs/intersections, and randomly refuses to start in the "Park" gear position.
AMMCO Transmission shop did not find any transmission related codes (in memory or live data) and could not duplicate any issues while the car was at their shop.
I would also like to note, that everything else works on this car, nothing weird or abnormal, even runs smooth with plenty of power, except when this random start/stall event occurs.