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I have a 2003 and a 2004 Taurus. Both have approx. 100K miles on them.

I do not know the transmission fluid change history of the 2004. The 2003, I suspect, has not been changed. The fluids don't smell burned. Both shift ok.

I want to drop the pan, change the fluid and filter. Should I change the fluid and filters or not? I have heard it both ways.

Thanks, Jim
 

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Don't just drop the pan. Get it flushed. Just don't have it flushed at a place that uses a power flushing machine. It should be flushed in a way that uses the Transmission's own pump to do the work.

The reason a lot of people say it's bad to have it flushed is usually because of a power flush that broke loose buildup and caused a clog somewhere else (using the transmission's own pump to flush the fluid won't break this stuff loose). Either that, or the transmission was in such a state of disrepair that the gunky fluid was actually helping the worn clutches and bands temporarily grip better. If flushing the fluid suddenly causes it to slip like crazy or just not work at all, then it already had a problem and the old fluid was just temporarily masking it.

If the fluid isn't black, and doesn't smell burned, then you should be ok getting it flushed (again, not with a power flushing machine).
 

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You should be ok...but like Mr. X says...don't just drop the pan...flush it out yourself...its easy...don't go get it flushed by a machine....use the method posted in the Wiki link at the top of the page. After you finish doing the first car...you'll be a pro at it for the second car.
 

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If you don't know when the engine oil was changed last, would you just never change it? Of course you should change your trans fluid if you want the transmission to last. I would change all of it (flush) in both cars, and of course change the tranny filters. Make sure you use the correct fluid (Mercon 5) or full synthetic atf is even better. You may notice smoother shifting after the fluid gets changed, or no shifting if you have it hooked up to a machine-I would only flush transmissions under their own power.
 

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You should drop the pan and change the filter. Also flush all the old fluid out that is in the cooler and torque convertor as mentioned above. If you plan on keeping it for a long time switching to a good premium synthetic fluid would be a good idea.

Should change fluid every 30,000 miles or so. A premium Syn fluid could go 50-60,000 miles.
 
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