96 Taurus dies when put in gear?

New problem with my daughters 1996 Taurus with automatic transmission...
My wife drove the Taurus yesterday and it was running beautifully. I got in
the car today to head to town and it started right up as always. But as soon as I put it in gear (reverse) it died. No stuttering, or noises, or anything, just like the key was turned off, except all the dash lights were still on. It's a little harder to start again (like it's flooded or something), but starts right back up and idles smoothly (around 1000 rpm).
I tried to move the car 5 or 6 times and it died every time. I finally gave up and took my own car to town.
When I got back home I tried the Taurus again. It started fine, but died as soon as I put it in gear. After a couple more tries, it finally stayed running when I put it in gear. It acted like it was going to die again, but recovered at the last second. I backed it into the area where we normally park it and shut it off. However, when I restarted the car and tried putting it in gear again, it continued to die each time.
We've had temps in the upper 20's the last few days. The battery is brand new and cranks the car fine. No problems there. When it runs, it runs very nice. We've had the Taurus a little over a year now, and have never had a problem with it stalling like this.
Any ideas? Simple things to look for first?
Thanks,
Anthony
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HerHusband wrote:

If the keys words are "it was running before it got into the upper 20's"
Water in the gas maybe? put in a couple bottles of heat or such in the tank. Change the fuel filter. change the air filter if its dirty. Clean the battery cables.
YOu might need to check fuel rail pressure if that does not fix it.
Bob
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The Taurus runs fine. Starts nice, idles smoothly, engine accelerates without difficulty. It only dies when the car is put in gear.
As for the cold weather, it has been cold here all week but the problem only showed up last night.
Anthony
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HerHusband wrote:

I just wonder if you have an electronically controlled lockup type torque converter that is on the fritz. My son had a similar problem with an older Pontiac. They had to replace whatever controlled it -- cost about $200. Symptoms were that if you could get going to a reasonable speed, the car would run fine. But, if you tried to start from a dead stop, well, the transmission acted like it was locked up.
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