Ford transmission fluid change questions

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  #1  
Old 01-08-06, 04:42 PM
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Ford transmission fluid change questions

Ok here is what we have a 2000 Ford Taurus 71 thousand miles Trans works fine maintenance history for trans unknown.
There are two ways to change fluid one is drop pan and replace filter and fluid in pan , The other is a fluid flush leaving pan on but replacing all fluid including what is in torque convertor.Wich one is best in your opinion?
OK next question Trannie calls for Mercon V.One shop that will flush entire system says they flush with just Mercon then add additives to bring it to specs of Mercon V.
Is this possible? One place that does the flush with additives is a local quick lube place and I do not have a warm fuzzy feeling about having a 17 year old kid do it.
The place across the street that pulls the pan is a real repair shop but does not have a machine to flush.
What should I do?
I do not have lots of cash. Ford Dealer does it both ways but is pretty high price.
OK last question my buddy says some Ford torque convertors have a drain plug.
 
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Old 01-08-06, 04:51 PM
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1. Which is best? There both good methods.
2. Adding additives to bring tranny fluids up to manufacturer specs is nothing new. It is safe.
3. What should you do? Whichever you like.
4. Yes, there is often a drain plug in the converter.

My personal opinion for a late model car like yours, would be to do the fluid flush because you probably don't need the filter changed, so why do the extra labor and expense. The fluid flush has been around for several years now. I haven't heard anything bad about it.
 
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Old 01-08-06, 05:03 PM
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OK good input

OK thats good info the cost is about the same now I just dont know if I want the 17 year old flushing my system or the old ASE guy that I trust pulling my pan Maybe I can get a trannie shop to do it for that price.However I have herd the new Mercon V is costly and 18 quarts can be a chunk of change.
 
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Old 01-08-06, 05:20 PM
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I understand your concerns. I too have seen young guys trained to use the machine, but never under the supervision of an experienced mechanic which cast a shadow of concern for me. But I would probably let them do the work if the shop and owner has been around for a while.
 
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Old 01-08-06, 05:43 PM
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I would say that it depends on the current state of your transmission fluid. Pull the dipstick and observe the color and/or odor of the fluid. If it's burnt smelling and an orange color I would recommend BOTH the filter change and the flush (filter change first then flush).

If your fluid is a bright red in color with no burnt smell then you would probably be ok just to do either one. In which case I would probably recommend the filter change simply because you trust the guy and it's cheaper. Mercon V is very expensive. Just ask your mechanic to check for the torque converter drain while he is under there.

If, however, you do decide to go ahead and do the flush as well because you DO have burnt fluid or because you just want to have the job done thouroghly (the flush WILL replace a much higher percentage of your fluid than just a filter change) you won't be making a mistake. I have operated one of those flush machines at a shop I used to work at (back when I was a goofy 17 yr old) and they really arent that complicated...most of them have auto reverse hookup warnings, etc. One good thing about those chain quickie lubes is that they usually are pretty good about covering any damages they may cause. Probably the most likely danger you would have to watch out for is that they do not hook the lines back up properly causing a leak. Just check under your car wherever you park it for the night and make sure you don't have any leaks and you should be ok.
 
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Old 01-08-06, 05:55 PM
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Thanks

Thanks for that good advice fluid does not look to bad when I got car from my dad his mechanic put some stuff in tranny to prep it for a fluid change and he said drive it for a few thousand miles and get fluid changed.So now it is approching that time so day after tomorrow I will get it done.I have to work tomorrow or I would do it then.
I promise you that if I do go to the quick lube I will be like a mother hen and check it all out.Just was not sure about bringing a mercon atf to a mercon V standards but now I know it is common practice so I will not worry about that.
I just hope the kid that does it was good in math and adds the right percent
 
  #7  
Old 01-08-06, 08:12 PM
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If you go to one of those "17 yr" old kids places for a quick flush make sure you check their work...no offense to kids. I went to one of those quick lube places for "quick" service. The next day there was a puddle of tranny fluid all over the floor. The idiot forgot to tighten one of the tranny lines! Thing is, if I didn't have to grow up and had time like I use to, I would have done it myself. The worst thing is the guy tells me " Oh the lines must have loosened from vibratons when you're driving" What a bunch of BS! I rather he admit he forgot to tighten one of the lines rather than lie to me and insult me! Tadaa, thank's for letting me vent! I rather pay more for a honest mechanic than a cheap one that lies!
 
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Old 01-09-06, 05:05 AM
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I had something similar happen at a dealership once. Bad thermostat on a new car. They replaced it, hand tightened the hose clamps and gave it back to me. It was winter so it didn't start leaking until the car was thoroughly warmed up. So that problem is not just limited to 17 year old kids!
 
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Old 01-09-06, 08:23 AM
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I don't feel comfortable with people putting additives to Mercon to make it Mercon V. It's just not the same. I believe Mercon V is a semi-synthetic. Nothing can make Mercon a semi-synthetic.

00 Taurus transmissions are weak by design and prone to failure from lack of fluid maintenance. Properly maintained they can last a long time.

I would recommend doing both - drop the pan, change the filter, clean the magnet, button it up, then exchange ALL the fluid.

Considering both of the above, you may want to shop around for a place that can do the job properly. I would expect it to cost ~$150. Perhaps a transmission shop?

You say you're low on cash, but consider what it would cost to replace the transmission.
 
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Old 01-09-06, 02:00 PM
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thanks all

I was at work today and it was real slow so I got a phone book and called about 8 transmission shops close to me asking for quotes and procedures.All use mercon and add additive.Prices were about the same for a pan pull and filter change 89.95 was the norm.
I found one shop that will pull pan replace filter and flush for 115.00.
I am going for that one even if they do use the additive tomorrow.
 
  #11  
Old 01-10-06, 03:55 PM
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all done

Update got fluid flush and filter change done today .Seems to shift a little smooth (might be my imagination)Anyway thanks for all the good tips tomorrow I am going to replace the power steering fluid got the stuff to do it today.
 
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