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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi TCCA,

Before my questions, here's the pdf's for the 2000 Ford Taurus Owner's Manual and the Maintenance Guide if you need them:
2000 Ford Taurus Owner?s Manual & Maintenance Guides | FLMOwner.com

Now my question please:
The Maintenance Guide on page 13 says:
"Change automatic transmission/transaxle fluid on all vehicles equipped with AX4S, AX4N, 4R70W, 4R100, 4F27E. Inspect automatic transmission fluid level on all other vehicles, if equipped with dipstick."

I used your very handy VIN decoder at http://www.taurusclub.com/vin_check.html and see that I have an AX4N in my 2000 SES V6 24V. My AX4N is mentioned as one of the ones that need a 30,000 mile fluid change. In 35 years of weekend mechanic duty, I don't remember ever changing tranny fluid at 30,000 miles for a normally driven vehicle. Is that a hard, fast and good recommendations Ford is making there?

If yes, would a fast (and easy) fluid change at one of the fast food tranny shops be good enough? (ie. where they just stick a tube down the filler pipe and pull some out and replace some)(not much fluid in that pan as you know). Btw, I did the "complete" tranny fluid charge on my previous 1993 Taurus last winter (with your assistance). That was definitely thorough (gets the converter fluid changed too), but it's not a one hour job for guys like me. However, I'd do it again if you also recommend that's the only way to go on my newly acquired 2000 SES.


I'll appreciate any comments, corrections and suggestions that you care to offer.

Regards,
Brcobrem
 

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i don't think it's hard and fast but like most PM decisions, it depends on many factors such as driving style, climate and whether you want to perform maintenance now to avoid major bills/trouble later.

I would check the fluid appearance using the dipstick or pull some with a fluid extractor and examine it. If it's dark or has evidence of wear particles, that's an obvious reason to change. If it looks close to what new fluid looks like and the transmission shifts smoothly, you may be able to extend the change interval.

It's always best to accommodate the manufacturer's maintenance schedule whenever possible. Having said that, I changed my ATX fluid for the first time at 45K and will be doing it next this summer at about $75K. My fluid looks very clean and the transmission shifts well so I'm not concerned.
 

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Fluid Check

i don't think it's hard and fast but like most PM decisions, it depends on many factors such as driving style, climate and whether you want to perform maintenance now to avoid major bills/trouble later.

I would check the fluid appearance using the dipstick or pull some with a fluid extractor and examine it. If it's dark or has evidence of wear particles, that's an obvious reason to change. If it looks close to what new fluid looks like and the transmission shifts smoothly, you may be able to extend the change interval.

It's always best to accommodate the manufacturer's maintenance schedule whenever possible. Having said that, I changed my ATX fluid for the first time at 45K and will be doing it next this summer at about $75K. My fluid looks very clean and the transmission shifts well so I'm not concerned.
Old school method. Originally from Ford.

Take a paper towel. Pull the dipstick. Let one drop fall on the paper. Let paper rest flat for half hour or more. If the original drop circle is visible, it has solids in it and needs replacing. No visible circle and it is OK. Pic is from '01 with 111K on it.

Principle is this: the fluid part wicks out over time but the solids stay where they first hit the paper.

Also old school. Ford had a problem with trans "railroad tracking". The torque conv lockup would chatter and it was like a rumble strip effect. Changing fluid helped it some and sometimes eliminated it. My first experience was with '85 LTD with a centrifugal clutch lockup in torque conv. It chattered. Fluid change by sucking the fluid out of the pan, replacing it, repeating later couple of times and all was well. Last experience was with a mid '90's F-150 and it was partly successful.

-chart-

-chart-
 

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Ea. 30k mi. Pay me now, or pay me much more later. After a complete exchange, i just do pan-drop fluid and filter change-outs a couple of intervals.
 

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The process will be exactly the same for the 2000 as the 93.

Change it at 30k or change the trans later. I have done partial fluid change every 15k and i am up to 178k on the original trans. (with trans cooler)
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Thanks to *everyone* who replied and the great picture, experiences sharing and suggestions. They are all helpful and appreciated. A couple more questions if I may:


Question 1: If I take the Taurus to the local franchise tranny shop, and say it needs 30k mile service, any idea what they are going to do and what it might cost?


Question 2: Same as above, but the local Ford garage?

Question 3: Same as above but a local service center like Goodyear or "Centerville Garage" that has a tranny specialist ( I have a place like that locally)?


Again, I appreciate your reply(s).

Brcobrem
 

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I do my '00 wagon w/AX4N every 50k miles. Mercon V is a semi synth fluid so it's "tougher".
I'm at 191k miles now on the OEM trans.
I've just been doing the pan drop with filter which is a 7.5 qt out of 13 exchange.
I drive it like the family car it is, have a mustang to beat on, that is one thing that helps weak FWD stuff last IMO. It has been over 100 mph though and it gets full throttle shifts occasionally.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Hi Chartmaker,

When you do your test drop of fluid on the paper towell, are you doing that with a cold or hot tranny, or does it even matter?

I tried to Google an answer on this my self, but I found no mention. No exactly on topic, but I did find this:
Checked Transmission Fluid Today, Slight Dark Color On Paper
where they mention, if you go by color only, you should wipe the stick of off on the first pull of the dipstick, then use the second pull for the color test.

Btw, anyone have any comments on my Questions 1,2,3 above about service shopping?

Thanks,
Brcobrem
 

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BR,
If you have ever dropped the transmission pan, washed it out and cleaned the magnetic washer you likely would never try to compare it to a "tube" suck out fluid change again.
Pep Boys runs a "transmission service" special every so often that costs less than the 7.5 qts of Mercon V it takes to refill it at home. When I asked them about it they told me that they use a different fluid that's "just as good" and I wouldn't be able to notice any difference.
 

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Fluid Color

Hi Chartmaker,

When you do your test drop of fluid on the paper towell, are you doing that with a cold or hot tranny, or does it even matter?

I tried to Google an answer on this my self, but I found no mention. No exactly on topic, but I did find this:
Checked Transmission Fluid Today, Slight Dark Color On Paper
where they mention, if you go by color only, you should wipe the stick of off on the first pull of the dipstick, then use the second pull for the color test.

Btw, anyone have any comments on my Questions 1,2,3 above about service shopping?

Thanks,
Brcobrem
For paper test, should be warm, and wipe the stick first, then re-dip and then drop the drop.

Same for PS fluid.

-chart-
 
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