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Randall C
Randall C, ASE MasterTechnician
Category: Ford
Satisfied Customers: 12803
Experience:  35 years ASE Master Tech, Diagnostic , Electrical Specialist
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When changing the transmission oil and filter a 2002 windstar

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When changing the transmission oil and filter a 2002 windstar 3.8 with 178000 , for the first time, would you recommend just dropping the pan and filter then doing a flush or just the pan oil and filter? Will mixing old oil and new oil cause problems? I was told adding an oil cooler would be helpful but I thought the fluid was cooled by the radiator already?

Hi,

 

Want to make sure I have this correct, the van has 178,000 miles on it and the transmission fluid has never been changed?

 

If the above is correct, my recommendation is not change or flush the fluid period. You stand at least an 80-90% chance of the transmission not going into gear when you are finished. The overwhelming majority of shops wont touch a transmission for servicing if at 90,000 miles or more and never changed. This is because the old fluid which contains metal shavings and band clutch friction material is actually holding everything together at this point and changing the fluid will result in either transmission severely slipping or no longer working at all.

 

I have had customers still wanting this done after I tell them the dangers, and I make them sign a waiver where we arent resposible for transmission failure. And at least 90% of the time, a vehicle we drive into the bay and do the transmission service on is pushed out the bay when done because it no longer goes into gear.

 

If you are absolutely insistent on doing this, then stick with just transmission fluid and filter change and dont flush it. But be warned, you likely will have severe transmission issues immediately afterwards.

Eric, Automotive Repair Shop Manager
Category: Ford
Satisfied Customers: 31605
Experience: Automotive Repair Shop Manager, Technician
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Chat Conversation Started
Tracer :

Hello, if this is the first trans service, then yes, you really need to do a full flush, filter and fluid change. this way ALL fluid gets replaced. the torque converter can hold up to 5 qts of oil and then go right back into the trans system. Cooler? not really required in your vehicle unless you are towing a trailer. yes, the cooler is part of radiator. A cooler is always a good idea on most any vehicle to always keep fluid at its coolest but not required. I am 50/50 on it unless towing then yes,, get remote cooler. drain /fill as we call it is more more frequent changes of fluid, not really suitable for that many miles. you need full fluid exchange at this point

Tracer :


Tracer says:

5:42 PM



Hello, if this is the first trans service, then yes, you really need to do a full flush, filter and fluid change. this way ALL fluid gets replaced. the torque converter can hold up to 5 qts of oil and then go right back into the trans system. Cooler? not really required in your vehicle unless you are towing a trailer. yes, the cooler is part of radiator. A cooler is always a good idea on most any vehicle to always keep fluid at its coolest but not required. I am 50/50 on it unless towing then yes,, get remote cooler. drain /fill as we call it is more more frequent changes of fluid, not really suitable for that many miles. you need full fluid exchange at this point



Randall C, ASE MasterTechnician
Category: Ford
Satisfied Customers: 12803
Experience: 35 years ASE Master Tech, Diagnostic , Electrical Specialist
Randall C and 3 other Ford Specialists are ready to help you