there is no filter in the trans that is changeable. There is a drain plug on your trans.Someone has said they pull the plug drain out like3 or 4 quarts refill drive a bit then drain and refill 2 or 3 more times to change theres .Little more work but cheap and most fluid would be new out of the 12 quarts.
Yep, I have the same Escape, 2005, 4cyl, auto. I had read after I got it that the CD4E trans did not like being flushed so what I did was I went to Wal-Mart and bought 4 gallons of Dexron ATF and I just swap out a gallon whenever I change the oil. I have done it 3 times so far, one more and I am done. When you pull the drain plug it drains out almost exactly a gallon.
You'll have the Mercon fluid in your vehicle. If you do the drain and fill, don't add Mercon V as there is a combatibility issue. Supposedly, the newer speced Mercon V fluid states on the bottle that it is combatible but I haven't heard if anyone has tried it. If you do the complete flush then switch to Mercon V.