I have a 2008 Ford Escape XLT. I was recently told that it is revving up high before shifting because 2nd gear is gone, so it is going from 1st gear to 3rd. Will it ruin the other gears if I drive it too long like this? How much longer can I drive it like this? I know I need a new transmission but it will take me a bit before I can get one.
Well, it depends what really happened to that 2nd gear. If it's just the shift solenoid that went bad, you'll be ok, and it's actually simple to fix. But if the gear is physically damaged, it is shedding or has shed metal fragments.
There are magnets in the tranny pan to catch these, but they are only designed to handle normal wear and tear (and stray nuts, as I've found out), they may get overwhelmed with the amount of metal coming from a shredded gear.
What exactly happened to your 2nd gear?