Good article referenced.
The "!" can indicate ATX fluid overheated, SPI engine (means something else on ZETEC), or a speed sensor failing - which combined with your ATX starting off in 2nd may be a strong case for the OSS.
Member of the Dropped Valve Seat Club.
Replaced #4 Piston, Rings, Rod+Bearings, AERA Re-Manufactured Cylinder Head and a light Hone. Then CLEANED the hell out of everything.
40k+ miles, now jinxed?