QUOTE (Frank203TaurusFF @ May 25 2009, 08:48 PM)
....The dealer .... said that the fluid was looking "burnt". I asked if it should be changed, and they said to wait and see how the transmission was doing.[/b]
You can assess it by looking at the fluid color on the dipstick. It will also smell burned. If it's other than bright red and happy-smelling, you should have it changed.
The transmission seems to be performing well- no more fluid out the fill tube. No hard shifting, but it feels to me that there might be some slipping- I'm not an expert and it may all be in my head. What is a good test to confirm it it is slipping?[/b]
I don't know any other way than to keep an eye on the tach. Unfortunately, the 4F50N (AX4N) shifts back and forth in the range of 20-40 mph and is so smooth that tach changes can often be the only way to know it's shifting.
Regarding maintenance, then one thing I did when I bought the car two years ago with 46,000 miles was to take it to Goodyear and have then change the transmission fluid- guess that was a big mistake.[/b]
As it was 2 years ago, I wouldn't worry. Problems due to power flushing would show up right away.
Is it difficult to change the fluid by dropping the pan? Will I need a new gasket? Will the bolts have to be carefully torqued? Should I get the transmission fluid from the Ford dealer, or can I get it at an auto supplier?[/b]
It does not LOOK hard, though you have put the car on ramps or on jack stands to reach the pan bolts. I'm about to do my very first one, so I'm no expert. I plan to police my driveway since I don't want maple seeds or sand blowing up into the tranny while it's open...
You should have the "lifetime" gasket, a rubber one. Just clean it, make sure it's not damaged, and clean the pan and the mounting surface really well.
I'm buying my fluid from the dealer at $7 quart... the cost of top-tier Mercon V is more than $6 around here, so the extra dollar or so is just a kind of insurance to me. I might tour the nearby Autozone, NAPA and CAP for a better price of a Mobil 1 or equivalent. I don't quite trust the $4+ off-brand Mercon V at WalMart.
Ah, yes, the traffic. Or, more precisely, the Mass-hole drivers. I don't miss it either, since I work at home, but I do occasionally have to immerse myself in the storm of madness.