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Ford Taurus DTC P1744

Q. Nice web site you have. You really offer a comprehensive place to get info about automotive problems. 1999 Ford Taurus SE, 3.0 litre engine, automatic transmission, ABS, A/C, cruise, 53,000 miles. The Service Engine Soon (SES) light has been popping off and on for about the last 5,000 miles. The first time it appeared was at 38,000 miles, and it was diagnosed at a Ford dealership as not being engine-related.

The diagnostic code was P1744 Road Monitor. The mechanic expressed the problem was not serious and he thought the SES light coming on was unrelated to the diagnostic code. The mechanic said he "reset" the computer. I was on vacation at the time, was in a hurry, and forgot to inquire about the Road Monitor's function.

When the SES light appeared again a few months back, I had my local mechanic (non-dealer) run a diagnostic, feeling this time the SES light came on because the car has had a slight "miss" (not quite a jerk) running between 40-65 mph. The same P1744 Road Monitor code was the only one that was read. My mechanic said it was a transmission code and he didn't have a book to cover such codes since he only does engine-related work.

I called a transmission shop I dealt with in the past, remembering how honest the guys were, and sure enough, he told me what the code meant. He said it's a convertor inside the transmission that, in his words, "is a common problem in the Ford Taurus." He even said Ford was aware of it. He estimated the fix would be between $1,400.00 - $1,800.00 to fix it. I said, "Ouch!"

Are you familiar with this code? Is the Road Monitor/Convertor in the transmission and should it be so expensive to replace? What are the long-term effects of this problem? I really appreciate the help and advice.

Thanks,
Randolph

A. DTC P1744 is "TCC - Excessive Slip Detected During Full TCC Engagement". Which means that the Torque Converter Clutch (TCC) is disengaged or the EPC pressure is at the minimum.

The most likely cause is a sticking or bad TCC solenoid inside the transmission. You can check the connector at the transmission to make sure it is clean and tight and that it is not damaged in any way. That "miss" you felt was the TCC disengaging.

If the TCC and wiring is okay, then pressure testing of the transmission will need to be done.

I don't think it would be as much as he guesses. A new torque converter from Ford is about $265.00 and about 8 hours labor. Throw in a $40.00 TCC solenoid and I don't think it'll be more than $1,000.00.

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