Explorer, Sport Trac, Mountaineer & Aviator1991-1994, 1995-2001, 2002-2005, 2006-2010 Ford Explorer
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2004 Explorer Transmission fluid change, need help
I own a 2004 Explorer and I have 60,000 miles and was wondering if I need to change the fluid. I looked in the manual and it says that if I have a 4r100 to change it every 30,000, so I looked in the manual to see which transmission I have. I checked the sticker like the book tells you and then I looked in the book for the letter "V", which is on the sticker on the drivers door, and it is not in the book. Does anyone know which transmission I have? And how often should the fluid be changed? And how do I change the fluid? (since the manual states that there is no dipstick and I looked the transmission over and couldn't find a fill tube or hole, besides the one on the transfer case) Is the fluid in the transfer case and the transmission all together?
some vehicles are going dipstickless there is just a plug you pull on the side of the tranny and you fill it till it comes out, i just dont know if you are supposed to check/fill it while its running or not. as for the tranny # if you have a v8 then i believe the # 4r100 while the v6 is 5r55e.
Its a V6 and I actually talked to a friend that rebuilds transmissions and he said that there is a bolt that is on the bottom of the pan that is indented and is a torx on the inside of the bolt. However to change the fluid you do just like any other transmission, unbolt the pan at one end and drain the fluid until its almost all out and then take the pan out. Next you change the filter and reinstall the pan and remove the bolt, the torx part and that is where you put the fluid back in and you also have to start the vehicle and leave it in park. When the fluid starts to come back out is when it is full, the transmission, w/o the torque converter, should hold about 4 quarts. Now all I need to know is how often to change the fluid, why can't the manufactures just come up with a way to check the fluid, but thats the way to push out the driveway mechanic from maintaining there own vehicles!
the drain plug is acutally two plugs, on inside the other. you will get the idea when you drain it. the bug plug has a stand tube about 2 inches tall and the small plug is in the middle. when you reassemble, you put in the big plug then fill thru the small hole untill the level is at the top of the stand tube and it starts to run out backward. you need a small pump to push the oil into the pan. i used a 1 gallon weed sprayer, just cut off the tip and push the hose into the hole and start pumping.
If you change the fluid by dropping the pan, you will only get a small portion of it out. The correct method is to disconnect the cooler return line. You let the engine idle with the transmission in park, and let the fluid pump out the return line, as you add new fluid through the fill hole/tube. This should take about 11 quarts or so to flush the transmission, TQC, and cooler lines and passages. Then drop the pan, change the filter, and fill the transmission. This method is used on many Ford transmissions, and is the only reliable way to change 100% of the fluid. It does not risk damage to the transmission like the power flushes that some transmission shops use. It is also easy to do yourself. It uses more fluid than just dropping the pan, but dropping the pan only removes 30 -50% of the old fluid. You would do an oil change that only replaced half the old oil would you?
the transmission fluid in the new trucks is a synthetic blend. dropping the pan and changing the filter and that 5 quarts is only changing 35% of the fluid as you say, but it gets the crud out of the pan, replaces a contaminated filter, cleans the magnet in the pan and refreshes the addatives in the oil. believe me, this works if done every 30-40,000 miles. I dont disagree that getting all the oil out might be better, but refreshing this way is an easy and econommical way. you need to get the filter changed and the sediment out of the pan, thats the main goal--- keep the crud out of the solenoids and valve body. The oil is not "bad" at 30,000 unless you have burnt it by overheating........... i also agree with you, dont do a flush, thats a big mistake.
And your transmission costs how much? Seems to me, that spending more money on fluid to help ensure a longer trouble free tranny life is a very good deal. But you are right, the major contaminants willbe in the pan. The problem with not draining through the return line is is does not drain the old fluid out of the torque converter and does not get the old fluid out of the transmission cooler lines.
Here is my problem with flushing the fluid, if you flush the fluid all of the contaminants that are in the bottom of the pan and in the filter will be redistributed throughout the transmission, which defeats the purpose of having a filter in the first place. Not to mention flushing the transmission will not and should not flush most of the fluid in the torque converter if the transmission is never put in gear, correct me if I'm wrong the torque converter doesn't move or rotate until the transmission is put in gear. However, the way I look at it mechanics, in the driveway or at the local shop, have been changing the fluid in automatic, and manual, transmissions for years the old fashion way, and in my few years wrenching I haven't heard of a tranny going bad from old faithful. One last note, I called the dealer to get a price and they wanted $200.00 to hook it up to a machine to flush it and put new fluid in without dropping the pan or changing the filter, I also called a local transmisson shop and they want $85.00 to do it the old fashion way. The only way I would take it to the dealer would be if the transmission had no pan, like my fathers 2001 Escape is. Thanks for the input.
Does anyone know where the fuel filter is on this same vehicle, 2004 Explorer??????????
I have one more question, although its not for a truck or suv, my sister has a 98 escort and the power steering fluid is looking a bit dark and needs to be changed, how do you change the fluid without a major overhaul? The reservoir only holds maybe a third of a quart and I'm thinking that the rest of the system only holds 3/4 of a quart. Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated.
I would also like to thank everyone for their input, its nice to know that there are all of these helpful people out there, especially with the way society is these days (everyone is affraid to help someone on the side of the road for fear of something bad happening).
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