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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
167k miles

1) Should I flush the trans? I've heard yes, and no on this. Some say if it's old fluid, new stuff could shock the tranny and make it fail.

2) Gotta fix an overheat. I think it's just a lack of coolant flow, still looking into this. Going to flush, new t-stat, check. If I need a pump, I'll put in a pump. Considering new hoses / belt.

3) A/C -- it's KS and hot. Is there a sight glass? It's R134, correct?

4) There's a groan when it's driving. Sounds like it's coming from the front, it changes with speed. Happens in-out of gear, engine on and off. Wheel Bearings??
 

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I heard the bad opinions on flushing the trans also. Haven't had any first hand experience though. New fluid would never harm an old transmission. It is the stirring up of collected sediment that potentially causes more problems.
I would just drain the fluid and replace the screen first. If I had anything I intended to keep a l-o-n-g while, I would install a drain plug in the transmission pan when I had it down. Then I could change it as frequently as I felt neccessary.

Use Prestone Super Radiator Cleaner when you flush the cooling. I hope it hasn't had a head gasket issue.

The groaning (growling?) could just be the tires have feathered or choppy shoulder wear from being on the rear of the car. Directional tire wear can mimic a bad wheel bearing pretty good. Caused by weak rear struts/shocks, which is a design flaw on practically every American FWD.
It shows up readily on the Tauruses because of the negative camber on the rear wheels.
 

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As far as the transmission fluid goes, I would just drop the pan, change the filter. Don't get a shop to hook it up to a flush machine, that is what will kill it, only do the flush methid in the topic finder. Does the coolant appear dark? You probably need a new water pump, as the ones in these cars have plastic impellers that degrade and break off with age. No, the a/c's do not have a sight glass. Your car probably leaked all the R-134A out from a leaking hose, worn out compressor, or a leaky condensor coil. Charge the system up with R-134A with dye in it to check the system for leaks (I would have someone who is experienced do that, as the system should be evacuated of moisture before charging). Check the tires for signs the car is out of alinement, if the noise isn't the tires, I would suspect the hub bearing went bad on that side, you'll have to replace the hub.
 
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