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Chris (aka- Moose)
Chris (aka- Moose), Technician
Category: Ford
Satisfied Customers: 48367
Experience:  16 years experience
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2002 F-250: Crew cab, 4x4 gas (5.4)..automatic transmission..reverse

Customer Question

I have a 2002 F-250 Crew cab, 4x4 gas (5.4) with an automatic transmission. With no prior symptoms I got into the vehicle yesterday and had no forward or reverse. Upon further investigation I found the trans fluid to be two quarts low. After adding the fluid., I had forward and reverse only when I gave the engine some gas. Also, the transmission seems slow to enguage and disenguage from drive and reverse. I can drive around the block but do not want to make matters worse. The only possible symptom was a day or two prior to failure it seemed that the transmission did not shift smoothly and seemed to rev much higher than normal prior to shifting.

What is likely the issue and solution?


Jess (father of four)
Submitted: 9 years ago.
Category: Ford
Expert:  Chris (aka- Moose) replied 9 years ago.

Take it around the block one more time and leave it running on level ground in park and check the fluid again. Is it at the highest mark. If not then add enough to get it there and test again. What color is the fluid and does have an odor? You have to be leaking fluid somewhere. Have you looked under the vehicle?

IS the OD light flashing or as it?

How many miles?

Customer: replied 9 years ago.
I checked the odor, I am not sure how to describe it, it stinks.

I checked the fluid and once again it does not register, so I added a quart (three total now) and drove it around the block again. I drives and shifts better but there is a small, I mean slight tapping'flicking sound when I back up. It does not become audible until I add some power and speed backing up.

I have no leaks so I ma not sure why I am so low? I had the front end worked on about 6 months ago and had a trans flush done.

There is no color at this time since I need more fluid before I can tell. I may be able to get some at the local store but I am concerned that it will not be the same (Valvoline Syntech V).
Expert:  Chris (aka- Moose) replied 9 years ago.

Hello I'm Chris a Ford Employee and Certified Engine/Transmission Specialist.

Thanks for asking your question. I am eager to get your vehicle back up and running correct, I am here to help you out for a small fee far less than a dealership and easier on the wallet, so if this information is of aid PLEASE PRESS ACCEPT and help me out financially by paying the small fee. Please reply if further discussion is needed.

Since the fluid stinks this is not good. This means it is burnt and contaminated meaning overhaul time ore a ford reman replacement. Since you see no leaks then either it was not filled all the way or the trans cooler is leaking inside the radiator and coolant is full of trans fluid.
Chris (aka- Moose) and 6 other Ford Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 9 years ago.
I checked the radiator fluid and there is no contamination. I checked my records for the trans flush and it was a year ago. Could the folks have accidentially not filled the trans, it was a tire shop that also des oil and trans flushes). Since I have no contamination and no leak does this ruel out the radiator?

I smelled the new trans flid, it stinks too, just not quite as bad but close.
Expert:  Chris (aka- Moose) replied 9 years ago.
Ford motorcraft mercon 5 has little to no odor. so your fluid your using or wahtever they used may have caused the concern. Since you have no leaks and no red tint to the coolant then they did not fill the transmission all the way and it has possibly overheated. We really from this point need the transmission filled to the appropriate level to continue on.
Customer: replied 9 years ago.
Since it is new years I may not be able to get Mercon today. Can I mix fluids for the test since I clearly need to replce the fluids at a minimum?
Expert:  Chris (aka- Moose) replied 9 years ago.
Yes mixing fluids for now will work. this will not hurt anything as of yet. i wil await your next reply once its full so we can continue on.
Customer: replied 9 years ago.

It took 7 quarts, the fluid no longer stinks and the truck seems to shift fine but I do not trust it at this point. So, there are no leaks, the coolant is green and the oil is clear.

Now what?
Expert:  Chris (aka- Moose) replied 9 years ago.
Ok so your telling me that the trans is hot and idleing in park and it took 7 quarts to get to the top mark indicating full and you see no leaks.on the ground or do you see no wet spots on the bottom of the trans. Did you look under the front of the truck where the cooler is.
Customer: replied 9 years ago.
Yes, engine was running when filling,no leaks, and I looked under the truck. Only a small amount of wet oil look around the oil drain plug as I just changed my oil two days ago myself.
Expert:  Chris (aka- Moose) replied 9 years ago.

Then it must of been low. If you cant find a leak anywhere then its not leaking. Hopefully it being low on fluid has not hurt it.

Please make sure to hit accept if I have been helpfull.

Expert:  Chris (aka- Moose) replied 9 years ago.
Since I have not heard back from you I assume you are going to drive it a few days to make sure all is well?
Expert:  Chris (aka- Moose) replied 9 years ago.
Did you need any more assistance/
Customer: replied 9 years ago.
I had Ford replace the seal today as the fluid leaked into the transfer case. It hurt but it was less the a replacement. Seems ok for now.

i am a bit puzzled as to why they did not replace the tranny fluid, only the missing two quarts and added something called B-12.

Any idea what B-12 is and does and why they would not have replaced the tranny fluid?

Should I have it flushed?
Customer: replied 9 years ago.
Expert:  Chris (aka- Moose) replied 9 years ago.

they would of had to replace the transfer case front seal since there is no seal on the back of the transmission. I do not see how all that transmission fluid could get into the transfer case. The transfer case seal is higher than the fluid leel in the trans.

The only B-12 I know of is B-12 CHEMTOOL carb cleaner.

Thery did not sell you a trans service thus the reason for not serviceing it.

I do recommend you flush it and remove all that mixed up fluid and fill it back up with ford mercon 5

Customer: replied 9 years ago.
Expert:  Chris (aka- Moose) replied 9 years ago.
Your welcome