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Ford Escape transmission fluid

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  #1  
Old 08-21-2011, 04:51 AM
tr888
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Ford Escape transmission fluid

The transmission fluid on my 2005 Ford Escape 4WD was changed at 60K by the Ford dealership where I bought it. The transmission blew up real good at 66K, and a new transmission was installed by a different Ford dealership. Now at 93K miles, I was back at the original dealership having the annual state inspection performed. The service manager there told me my transmission fluid was very dirty and should be changed; the last time it was changed, he said, was back at 60K miles.

Ford dealerships don't appear to be on a common database where they can see what work has been done to the vehicle by other dealerships. I am guessing the service manager probably did not actually examine the fluid but was just going by the computer record he had on screen.

But setting those problems aside....

How soon after a new Escape transmission is installed should the fluid be changed? And what kind of fluid should it be? I've read some posts here that not all Ford dealerships are using the right fluid for this transmission and that Ford has issued a TSB about that. I'm even beginning to wonder if the first dealership used the wrong fluid at 60K, and that's what caused the transmission to blow up at 66K. How serious are the problems caused by using the wrong fluid? Is it possible to get a copy of the TSB on this website somewhere?

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Old 08-21-2011, 07:50 AM
tonyford
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Others will chime in. In 2005 Mercon V should of been used in your old and the new transmission that was installed. Older Escapes use regular Dexron/Mercon. Mercon V is synthetic based and was reformulated a few years ago to be used in ALL Fords Escapes auto transmissions no matter how old they are. My personally still use Dexron/Mercon in my 2003 because this what Ford recommends to be used in that transmission for that year, but Mercon V can be used also.

Not sure if using regular Dexron/Mercon in your old transmission that required Mercon V would cause it to fail. That would ba a very subjective issue to brought up to Ford if you want to pursue this with Ford.

IN MY OPINION, what you should start doing, and it very simple to do, is replace 4 quarts of trans fluid about every 15000 miles. That's what I do and I have 136000 miles on my trans without any problems so far. Progressive dilution. You will always have clean trans fluid in your transmission.

The procedure is outlined on the forum, just do a search for it.

This is the only TSB I have in my files on the CD4E trans used in the Escape:


Ford Special Service Message 16896:

SPECIAL SERVICE MESSAGES 16896
2001-2004 ESCAPE USE ONLY 'MERCON' -- NOT 'MERCON V' OR 'MERCON SYNTHETIC' FOR THE CD4E TRANSMISSION ALL 2001-2004 ESCAPE VEHICLES EQUIPPED WITH A CD4E AUTOMATIC TRANSAXLE EXCLUSIVELY USE 'MERCON' FLUID -- NOT 'MERCON V' OR 'MERCON SYNTHETIC'. MERCON IS THE ONLY FORD APPROVED AUTOMATIC TRANSAXLE FLUID FOR USE IN THE CD4E. MERCON FLUID PART # IS XT-2-QDX (QUARTS) AND XT-2-DDX (55 GALLON DRUM). FOR CANADA MERCON FLUID PART # IS CXT-2-BM FOR BULK, CXT-2-4LM FOR 4 LITRE BOTTLES, AND CXT-2-LM12 FOR 1 LITRE BOTTLES.


Now don't know how long ago you had the 60K service done on your trans, but Ford no longer markets regular 'MERCON' or as I call it Dexron/Mercon, but think it was around 2007 or 2008 when Ford stopped marketing it. Others will have to chime in on that.

Either way, Mercon V should of been used in your vehicle since it's a 2005.

Hopefully others will post on this to get it clarified for you.

EDIT: Just remembered something, in the older Escapes, 2001 to 2004, using Mercon V before the reformulation caused the transmission to have problems, mainly during shifting and in the 40 to 50 mph range with the torque converter engaging and disengaging.
 
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Old 08-21-2011, 12:44 PM
projectSHO89
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Ford Special Service Message 16896:

SPECIAL SERVICE MESSAGES 16896
2001-2004 ESCAPE USE ONLY 'MERCON' -- NOT 'MERCON V' OR 'MERCON SYNTHETIC' FOR THE CD4E TRANSMISSION ALL 2001-2004 ESCAPE VEHICLES EQUIPPED WITH A CD4E AUTOMATIC TRANSAXLE EXCLUSIVELY USE 'MERCON' FLUID -- NOT 'MERCON V' OR 'MERCON SYNTHETIC'. MERCON IS THE ONLY FORD APPROVED AUTOMATIC TRANSAXLE FLUID FOR USE IN THE CD4E. MERCON FLUID PART # IS XT-2-QDX (QUARTS) AND XT-2-DDX (55 GALLON DRUM). FOR CANADA MERCON FLUID PART # IS CXT-2-BM FOR BULK, CXT-2-4LM FOR 4 LITRE BOTTLES, AND CXT-2-LM12 FOR 1 LITRE BOTTLES.
*****ATTENTION: THIS MESSAGE IS OBSOLETE AND SHOULD BE DISREGARDED.*****

Your owner's manual should give the factory prescribed transmission change interval for your transmission. Follow it unless an inspection indicates that conditions exist that necessitate a sooner interval.

Please note that the dealership's recommendations are more likely their own rather than Ford's.
 
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Old 08-21-2011, 07:27 PM
tonyford
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Fifteen minutes, $15, 15,000 miles. Always have super clean transmission fluid in my trans. Waiting to the interval that Ford calls for, especially with CD4E transmission which is prone to problems, is only looking for problems. Just my opinion mind you...
 
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Old 08-22-2011, 09:41 AM
tr888
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Thank you fellas for the info.

A really specific question: do you know what transmission fluid Ford was specifying, in 2008, for the 2005 Escape?

The dealership says their records indicated they used Mercon V at the 60K service when I brought my 05 Escape in to them in 2008, and the transmission blew up not long afterwards.

EDIT: I found out yesterday from Ford Customer Relations that the fluid specified for the 2005 Escape in the owner's manual (Mercon ATF, i.e. not Mercon V) was not superseded by a TSB. However, that's as far as FCR is willing to take the issue, since the problem happened after the extended warranty had expired. FCR says I'd have take the issue up at the dealership. Judging from what tonyford wrote above:

"... in the older Escapes, 2001 to 2004, using Mercon V before the reformulation caused the transmission to have problems, mainly during shifting and in the 40 to 50 mph range with the torque converter engaging and disengaging."
the use of Mercon V might have been the cause, in whole or in part, of my transmission's blowing up only a few thousand miles after Mercon V was used, as I put the pedal to the floor when trying to merge onto a busy highway on a relatively brief on-ramp.
 
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