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2008 Ford Taurus SEL
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
The transmission fluid in my 08 Taurus is getting on about 158k miles old. The fluid is more of a orange/light brown, similar to the color of engine oil. The car tends to lunge/stutter when the engine is warm, but it doesn't always seem like it's synced up with when the transmission changes gears. Larger lunges are typically felt when the car changes gears, and turning Overdrive off does help a bit on the highway (where most of my driving happens), though I still get the smaller misfire lunges.

Of course, the car is most certainly due for a fluid change, and reading around on these forums it seems like it probably needs new spark plugs as well. Since the car has gone so long without a fluid change (from what I can tell it is likely the original fluid, since the maintenance interval is 150k according to Ford), would you recommend just draining the pan and filling with new fluid, or something else such as draining and replacing the fluid multiple times?
 

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I have sucked fluid out and replace with the same amount. I have had/have 10 Bulls, all bought used and run up miles. Pic of used buy with 80K+. Clearly no reason to drop the pan vs sucking it out.
My '03 Sable wagon now 167K exchanged the fluid once since 99K. Someone must have removed the pan as 3 bolts have the hex rounded off. Would be a pain to remove the pan so I just exchanged every 30K and it shifts fine. Fluid comes out fairly clean.
I have had 10 bulls, 5 Lin Cont, 3 LTD and never had a tran issue. Exception: '91 Lin Cont ~15K dealer rebuilt the tran due some factory issue. Recalled. Wait, forgot: I towed a trailer with Sable 3.8 and did so in OD. Overheated the fluid and had to replace the TQ due to seal leak. In defense of Ford. They did not recommend any tow, NONE. Other vehicles with tow capacity, they insist you do NOT use OD.
-chart-
 

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2008 Ford Taurus SEL
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11 Posts
Discussion Starter · #3 ·
I have sucked fluid out and replace with the same amount. I have had/have 10 Bulls, all bought used and run up miles. Pic of used buy with 80K+. Clearly no reason to drop the pan vs sucking it out.
My '03 Sable wagon now 167K exchanged the fluid once since 99K. Someone must have removed the pan as 3 bolts have the hex rounded off. Would be a pain to remove the pan so I just exchanged every 30K and it shifts fine. Fluid comes out fairly clean.
I have had 10 bulls, 5 Lin Cont, 3 LTD and never had a tran issue. Exception: '91 Lin Cont ~15K dealer rebuilt the tran due some factory issue. Recalled. Wait, forgot: I towed a trailer with Sable 3.8 and did so in OD. Overheated the fluid and had to replace the TQ due to seal leak. In defense of Ford. They did not recommend any tow, NONE. Other vehicles with tow capacity, they insist you do NOT use OD.
-chart-
Everywhere I've seen here says the 2008 uses a drain bolt, what's the difference between using that and pumping the fluid out?
 

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Drain fluid via the drain plug. This will only get roughly 2/3 of the fluid out. Refill with Mercon LV ONLY.
 
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2008 Ford Taurus SEL
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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Drain fluid via the drain plug. This will only get roughly 2/3 of the fluid out. Refill with Mercon LV ONLY.
Is LV safe for the 2008? The manual and dipstick say to use Mercon V only, and the LV product pages say not to use it in a transmission that requires V.
 

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Is LV safe for the 2008? The manual and dipstick say to use Mercon V only, and the LV product pages say not to use it in a transmission that requires V.
On your '08, I'd use Mercon 5 atf unless Mercon LV (low viscosity) is backwards compatible. Do you know if there's an accessible filter behind the pan? If so, I'd drain the atf via the drain plug, remove the pan, change the filter, button it up and refill. I'd also recommend a drain/refill ea. 30k mi. via the plug and change the filter ea. 3rd service if applicable.
 

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My '06 called for a fluid change at 150K also. I went to the local Ford dealer to change the fluid and filter and they said due to the mileage, 99K at the time, and never have had it done, they did not want to do it for liability reasons. Makes you wonder sometimes what the left hand is doing while the right hand is busy. They did perform the fluid change, after that I did them. I kept the car until 235K on the clock, no Tranny issues.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
On your '08, I'd use Mercon 5 atf unless Mercon LV (low viscosity) is backwards compatible. Do you know if there's an accessible filter behind the pan? If so, I'd drain the atf via the drain plug, remove the pan, change the filter, button it up and refill. I'd also recommend a drain/refill ea. 30k mi. via the plug and change the filter ea. 3rd service.
It seems like you need to take the transmission out to get to the filter. I've got the Mercon V fluid, and plan to do the change tomorrow.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
It seems like you need to take the transmission out to get to the filter. I've got the Mercon V fluid, and plan to do the change tomorrow.
Changing the fluid (just draining the pan and filling it back up) did solve the lunging issue. Even the smaller lunges I attributed to the spark plugs seem to be gone now, but I don't know if that's related to the transmission fluid or the surprise oil change that occurred when the wrong drain bolt was removed (the oil was due for a change anyway, so no harm done).
 

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The transmission fluid in my 08 Taurus is getting on about 158k miles old. The fluid is more of a orange/light brown, similar to the color of engine oil. The car tends to lunge/stutter when the engine is warm, but it doesn't always seem like it's synced up with when the transmission changes gears. Larger lunges are typically felt when the car changes gears, and turning Overdrive off does help a bit on the highway (where most of my driving happens), though I still get the smaller misfire lunges.

Of course, the car is most certainly due for a fluid change, and reading around on these forums it seems like it probably needs new spark plugs as well. Since the car has gone so long without a fluid change (from what I can tell it is likely the original fluid, since the maintenance interval is 150k according to Ford), would you recommend just draining the pan and filling with new fluid, or something else such as draining and replacing the fluid multiple times?
Never let your trans fluid be that color. If you are lucky you may get by with a new filter and complete fluid change. I would put oddes on your tranny is shot now.
 

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Never let your trans fluid be that color. If you are lucky you may get by with a new filter and complete fluid change. I would put odds on your tranny is near shot now. If you didn't change the filter due to it being a big job I'd suggest taking it to a shop that changes trans fluid with the machine that replaces all the fluid and hope a lot.
 
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