I have a 2004 Explorer XLT with the 4.0L and auto trans. Vehicle is 4wd. Mileage is 39k.
Had the trans serviced about 300 miles ago. Took a long (mostly highway) drive this weekend and had quite a bit of white/grey smoke coming from underneath about 30 minutes into it. A quick look revealed what I thought was a leak. Took it back to the repair shop that did the work this morning and he advised there is an overflow tube on these and it is common for this to happen on these vehicles after service. Has anyone else heard of this (the overflow tube, sure, but the spewing fluid has me concerned a little)? Does it really take a few miles for the fluid to "equalize" as he put it?
He also mentioned that he thought the front seal on the torque converter might have been bad (altho he ruled that out). He said that is a common problems on these vehicles, due to overheating the transmission. Is this really a common problem? I do tow occassionally with this vehicle (~3500 # boat, ~1500 # atv trailer/bike/gear) and I do have the tow package with the class 3 hitch. Should I be concerned.
No its not a common problem, but its also no problem at all. What happens is when the transmission is refilled from the service too much fluid is added because its cold and when the fluid gets hot and expands the extra is pushed out the vent tube. This is why you should check the fluid level when hot (operating temp). This can happen with any transmission, not just your type of vehicle.
What he should have done is fill it then drive it to get it hot and then drain the extra out.
Having too much fluid cannot hurt the transmission it just may leak from the vent.