96 Ford Explorer transmission slipping


Old 04-18-05, 01:00 PM
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Join Date: Apr 2004
Location: West Orange NJ
Posts: 139
96 Ford Explorer transmission slipping

I have a 96 Ford Explorer. Ever since I changed the transmission fluid, the transmission(automatic) slips slightly going from 2nd to 3rd. I changed the fluid only once at about 87k miles. I am now finding out I shouldnt have done that because that may have messed up the properties of the fluid. Anyway I have talked to a few mechanics and one has told me about flushing the system. This means flushing the entire transmission of all the old fluid(about 15 quarts) and replacing with new fluid. This is different than changing the fluid because when you change the fluid you only change about 5 or 6 quarts and the rest stays in the body of the trans, torque converter, valves etc.....There is a special machine the mechanic has that does the flushing. He has told me he has already used this procedure on a few customers and actually works. Anyone have any recommendations or heard of this? All thoughts appreciated.
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Old 04-21-05, 09:40 AM
Join Date: Apr 2005
Posts: 194
Have you tried the brake fluid trick yet?
Old 04-22-05, 07:45 PM
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Join Date: Apr 2004
Location: West Orange NJ
Posts: 139
Whats that?
Old 04-25-05, 03:58 AM
Join Date: Apr 2005
Posts: 194
That's when you add some brake fluid to your transmission then go do some around town driving for at least 1/2 hour. Start woth half of one of those small bottles (12oz?) and if that doesn't work, pour in the other half. It revitalizes the seals. I have seen this work several times!
Old 04-25-05, 05:03 PM
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I highly discourage the "brake fluid trick." Brake fluid is the most corrosive fluid used in vehicles and can cause a lot of problems in a system not designed for it. ATF is a very complex fluid that has plenty of additives and friction modifiers in it already. Brake fluid will likely cause more problems in the long run than it fixes. Just something to thing about...
Old 04-26-05, 12:40 AM
carguyinva's Avatar
Join Date: Nov 2003
Location: Shenandoah Valley
Posts: 1,147
not most likely...

...but WILL cause problems for sure. brake fluid in an automatic?!?!? does it swell up seals, most definately...can you control how much they swell?? of course you can't...that's shade tree advice.

as for your situation...flushing/exchanging fluid is a good service and should be followed up with a filter replacement. alas...new fluid doesn't usually heal an automatic transmission and in fact, by restoring the frictional characteristics of the fluid, it may finish the tranny off...that is, if it's on it's way out.

it may have a repairable problem that can be done in the vehicle...take it to a reputable trans shop and have them evaluate it.
Old 04-27-05, 10:49 AM
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Join Date: Oct 2003
Location: California
Posts: 668
It sounds like you may have a sticky 2-3 shift valve or the clutch/band linings used in 3rd may have worn. Changing the fluid probably simply accelerated something that probably would have eventually happened anyway. If the shift valve is sticking you may also find a slip on the downshift. If the friction linings are worn the only way to fix this is with a rebuild unfortunately. It could also be damaged seals/checkball in the servo or clutch piston causing slow engagement and slipping.

I also would not recommend brake fluid in the trans. Apart from anything I don't think it necessarily sounds like a problem with seals. If you want to add something try "Lubegard Red" - if it is a sticky shift valve it may help.

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