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Old 09-27-2011, 08:04 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Default What Type of Tranny Fluid??

I have a question about Transmission Fluid. I will be having a transmission flush and filter change some time in October and I have 3 different types of fluid to go with. I would like opinions.

1) Valvoline Mercon V
2) Valvoline High Mileage MERC/DEX
3) Merc V from the Ford Dealership (ridiculously expensive)

What should I go with? The vehicle has approx 195000KMs and has no known transmission problems. I bought this car 2002 Taurus DOHC from my mom several years ago. I do not believe she ever had any transmission fluid changes (drain and filter) before. The fluid is starting to look a little darker than what I would like, hence I am having a pro preform a flush and filter change.
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Old 09-27-2011, 08:12 PM   #2 (permalink)
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merc v only. no additives or conditioners
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Old 09-27-2011, 11:45 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Don't let a pro do a flush. Flushes can take a trouble free trans and make it fail. Never ever use a flush machine, they pick up dirt and crud, and force it through the transmissions internals at pressures it was never designed to handle.

The proper sequence is drop pan, drain what comes out, replace filter, then put it back together and refill. If you really want to get all the old fluid, after refilling, remove the cooler return line, then start the engine. Fluid will begin pumping out, so catch it in a 5 gallon bucket. Pump some old fluid out, then add some new. Keep repeating until the old fluid is drained out. The reconnect the hose and recheck the fluid level. Adjust as needed and do not overfill.
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Old 09-28-2011, 12:01 AM   #4 (permalink)
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Under no circumstance do you want to hook a flush machine up to your Taurus. Also, never ever use any flush chemicals or fluid additives/conditioners. The guy at the shop will tell you how great they are, but his opinion is completely based on the information provided to him by the rep for the company selling him these chemicals. Our transmissions have very small passages in the valve body as well as very tight tolerences. Most other modern transmissions do as well. Any deposits broken loose from flush chemicals or a power flush machine can clog these passages and blow up your transmission in short order. The waiver you have to sign to have a shop flush your transmission should be a solid indication of how often this happens.

This is the proper flush procedure:
How to Flush your transmission at home - Taurus Car Club Maintenance and Modification Wiki

It is very similar to what was mentioned above, but pumping some of the fluid out of the pan before dropping it makes the job a lot less messy.

The Valvoline Mercon V is fine. I prefer to use a full synthetic ATF like Mobil 1, but there is a decent price difference. The MaxLife stuff is a waste of money and does not meet the Mercon V specifications required for your transmission to work properly.
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Old 09-28-2011, 01:07 AM   #5 (permalink)
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use valvoline mercon v synthetic and or high mileage, then put a half a bottle of valvoline transmission stop leak in, this will help condition the seals and prevent leaks. i have been doing that for awhile and it works great.
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Old 09-28-2011, 02:34 AM   #6 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by taurusgt7 View Post
use valvoline mercon v synthetic and or high mileage, then put a half a bottle of valvoline transmission stop leak in, this will help condition the seals and prevent leaks. i have been doing that for awhile and it works great.
After doing a little research I learned 2 things:

1. Valvoline Mercon V is technically a full synthetic. I don't consider anything with a Group III base oil to be a full synthetic, but a United States District Court seems to disagree with me. They also disagree with the SAE, ConocoPhillips (who makes Motorcraft oils), Mobil, Shell (Pennzoil), AMSOIL and almost all of the OEMs My props go to Valvoline's and Castrol's lawyers for convincing a judge to over-rule some of the world's best engineers and let them call a refined crude oil with synthetic additives a full synthetic. That argument aside, Valvoline Mercon V is licensed by Ford and will perform just fine in our cars. The Motorcraft Mercon V is a synthectic blend as well.

2. Valvoline's MaxLife Dex/Merc fluid meets the Mercon V standards now. I don't know when the change happened, but the last time I looked into the product a couple of years ago it didn't. This compatibility is based on independent tests though and the product is not licensed by Ford.

Being that the Mercon V standard already requires additives for seal-conditioning, I can't see any advantage to taking the gamble of using something like the Valvoline Stop-Leak. This is not to say that it will cause any problems now or down the road, but many tests have shown that any type of stop-leak product rarely has any long-term benefits and they usually create more problems than they solve in the end. Given how notoriously finicky the clutch materials and valve-bodies used in late-model Ford transmissions are, I'd stick to the Ford licensed stuff. This is just my opinion though, your mileage may vary.

FWIW, the Mobil 1 ATF that I and many on this board use is not licensed by Ford either. Like the MaxLife ATF, independent tests were run to confirm that it meets and exceeds the Mercon V standard.
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Old 09-28-2011, 05:29 AM   #7 (permalink)
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I have used in mine Castrol Mercon V. No problems in several 10000's miles.
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Old 09-28-2011, 01:19 PM   #8 (permalink)
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It always amazes me that some of these Taurus/Sables seem to go forever without any maintenance and then you have those that barely make a hundred thousand before the transmission gives up the ghost. I doubt that the transmission has gone that long without having at least one change.

Having said that, I also would not have anyone "flush" anything simply because you might be flushing your transmission down the drain along with the fluid. Try a full synthetic with the half change (dropping the pan, clean magnet, and replace filter). A full synthetic like Wolf's Head Extended Service ($60/per case of twelve delivered on the net) will safely clean your transmission. Adding a transmission cooler wouldn't hurt, although it seems almost unnecessary after going so long without one.
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Old 09-28-2011, 03:55 PM   #9 (permalink)
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I've done the drain, filter replace, thorough pan/magnet clean, refill every 30,000 miles on my '02 Vulcan for nearly 10 years and 110,000 miles.
The Mercon V that Wal-Mart sells is guaranteed to be quality stuff, has worked for me.
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Old 09-28-2011, 05:56 PM   #10 (permalink)
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Mercon V full synthetic !

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