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Couple questions:

1) I just dropped the pan (at 31,000 miles) on my 2000 Duratek transmission. Replaced the filter and refilled with five quarts as per the Ford Dealer counter man -- NOT FULL. Added another quart -- NOW near bottom of dipstick, engine at hot idle.

This was Ford Mercon V in the recent red bottle. I have another quart of Ford Mercon V in a black bottle -- a few years old. It has a different part number.

It is OK to add this older Mercon V, or should I get another red bottle?

2) The dipstick says DON'T add if it's in the hashed area. WHY? Surely near the top is better, providing it's not overfilled.
 

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That old fluid should be fine to use provided there is nothing in it. the reason the dipstick says dont add is because that is the normal operating range. it is within half a quart. You can fill to the top of the hash marks it is no big deal. BTW watch the spelling of duratec around here, I know from personal experience they will jump all over you on that.
 

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Sounds about right, I did it that way to my 2001. I added about 6 quarts and it still wasn't full. I did lose a couple of ounces that leaked out the side of the funnel, but it wasn't that much. Added another half quart and then it was back in the hash mark area.

I think as long as it says it's Mercon V, it should be fine to use.
 

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Ok, now I am worried. I just got my fluid flush and filter changed by Cottman. I wish I would have read this before I went. My receipt says they used III/MERCON - which I assume is MERCON III and not V! :angry:

I called them and they said that is all they use and all they have and that I will not see the difference. Now what do I do? Will I have problems - should I get it reflushed with MERCON V and spend another $$$ at another shop? :wacko:
 

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Those guys screwed up bad. Get them to put that in writing if you can. But pretend like you believe them, but would just feel better if they signed their name to that. Unless they are real stupid they won't sign it, but it's worth a shot.

Immediately do a full flush to get rid of the Mercon3 and replace it with 5.

Then go back to those guys and demand a refund for the original fluid change. Ask them for $20 more, to cover the "tip" that you used to ensure you got an extra good flush done to get rid of the Merc3.

Then just drive it and hope nothing got screwed up. The good news is, you always have someone to sue if your trans fails prematurely.
 

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The Mercon V is different formula for sure. It is better then the old Mercon. The kicker is buying Mercon V and Mercon both can cost more( storage, bulk pricing ect.) so these guys are trying to save a buck by using Mercon generically for Fords. Do a search on Mercon and there is a thread somewhere that shows a TSB by Ford that illustrates which cars Mercon is good for. It should only be used on Taurus trannies up to 1998 or '97. Your owners manual will also show Mercon V is the only fluid that should be used in you car. Tell them you want a flush and refill using the correct transmission fluid or you will sue them for the cost of the original flush and the reflush you had to have done by someone else.
 

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Originally posted by Kermitec@Jun 23 2004, 05:59 PM
The Mercon V is different formula for sure. It is better then the old Mercon. The kicker is buying Mercon V and Mercon both can cost more( storage, bulk pricing ect.) so these guys are trying to save a buck by using Mercon generically for Fords. Do a search on Mercon and there is a thread somewhere that shows a TSB by Ford that illustrates which cars Mercon is good for. It should only be used on Taurus trannies up to 1998 or '97. Your owners manual will also show Mercon V is the only fluid that should be used in you car. Tell them you want a flush and refill using the correct transmission fluid or you will sue them for the cost of the original flush and the reflush you had to have done by someone else.
Mercon III is sorta like regular oil and costs around $1-$1.50 or so. Mercon V is a synthetic blend of Mercon III and the cheapest I've seen is around $3 with brands like Castrol going for $4.50. They were just trying to save a few bucks. You can see that if you put in 6 quarts, that could be an extra $12-$15 in fluid costs.

The key is really the fact that the transmission was designed to use a synthetic fluid so you should put the same thing in.
 

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When I talked to them about it they claimed that the basic design of the Taurus transmission has not changed since 1992 and III/MERCON will work just fine. <_<

I found the TSB 01-15-7 from Ford that states that MERCON and MERCON V are not interchangable and have printed it out to show them. Instead of going back and arguing with that service center, I used their corporate customer service system to lodge a complaint which they are supposed to respond to within 24 hours. :ph34r:

See - this is what I get for trying to save a few bucks. I should have just taken it to Firestone or even the Ford dealership to get this done. I just dislike going to places like that since they tend to replace rather than repair things. You get what you pay for I guess.
 

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Good luck with them. I've always had good luck with Cottman, so it probably won't be a problem. Go through the cust. service dept. and then take it to a different Cottman, or better yet, get the fullr efund for the change and take it to a Firestone...or, get the refund and do it yourself.

JR
 

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Originally posted by jbnimble@Jun 22 2004, 05:46 AM
Couple questions:

1) I just dropped the pan (at 31,000 miles) on my 2000 Duratek transmission. Replaced the filter and refilled with five quarts as per the Ford Dealer counter man -- NOT FULL. Added another quart -- NOW near bottom of dipstick, engine at hot idle.

This was Ford Mercon V in the recent red bottle. I have another quart of Ford Mercon V in a black bottle -- a few years old. It has a different part number.

It is OK to add this older Mercon V, or should I get another red bottle?

2) The dipstick says DON'T add if it's in the hashed area. WHY? Surely near the top is better, providing it's not overfilled.
There's an additive that you can add. It's called LubeGaurd. It's in a green bottle and it's for Mercon V applications. It will make your ATF Mercon/Dexron III fluid run like Mercon V. It's about $13 for a bottle. Pour it in even if it's full.

It's available only at Napa or direct from Lubegaurd online. I haven't seen it anywhere else, but I suppose it depends on store preference.
 

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From a Chevron oil FAQ

Can I use Dexron®-III and a bottle of additive to make an ATF+3® or MERCON® V ATF?
No. The addition of an aftermarket additive may modify some of the performance characteristics of Dexron to more closely match ATF+3 or Mercon V, but our testing has shown that they cannot duplicate all of the performance characteristics. Besides, they will void your warranty.

My car calls for MERCON® V automatic transmission fluid. Can I use a Dexron®-III/MERCON® product?
No. Mercon V is a new Ford specification for their newest model cars. It is a synthetic automatic transmission fluid and has different characteristics than any other transmission fluid. You must use a product listed as Mercon V approved.
You should ask them if they are going to warranty the trans now, as Ford will no longer do it.
 

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I saw that report as well.

That happened to me before. I had a trans oil and filter replacement and they added ATF. They insisted that it was meant for Fords. I found out later that it wasn't for my model. So, I added the Lubegaurd Mercon V additive as a percaution. I really didn't want to rely on Lubegaurds claim, so after 3 months, I had it completely flushed and replaced with AAMCO Mercon V fluid and a bottle and a half of Lucas TransTune.

The AAMCO brand seemed to be the cheapest. Only $35 per case.
 

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Originally posted by mykej27@Jun 24 2004, 11:02 AM
I saw that report as well.

That happened to me before. I had a trans oil and filter replacement and they added ATF. They insisted that it was meant for Fords. I found out later that it wasn't for my model. So, I added the Lubegaurd Mercon V additive as a percaution. I really didn't want to rely on Lubegaurds claim, so after 3 months, I had it completely flushed and replaced with AAMCO Mercon V fluid and a bottle and a half of Lucas TransTune.

The AAMCO brand seemed to be the cheapest. Only $35 per case.
There is a cheaper brand out there. Coastal makes Mercon V fluid, it goes for about 2.39 a quart near me. I can get a case for about 27 bucks.

Last time it was on sale so I got 2 cases. :banana:

-Damon
 

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Well... just got off the phone with Cottman corporate and the Cottman center I had the fluid changed. All Cottman corporate does is mediate - they can't make the franchise do anything.

The guy still is claiming that it will not make any difference and that even at the Ford dealership he worked they only put in III/MERCON in all the serviced cars. He says they do Ford cars all day and that's all they put in. The most he will do for me is flush it for free if I bring in the fluid myself. Wow... a wopping $10 of labor savings! No thanks!

For anyone in Atlanta... never go to this Cottman.
Cottman
900 Sun Valley Dr
Roswell, GA 30076

And for anyone on other car forums, please post a link to this to warn others.

Thanks.
 

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I wouldn't let him get away with that.
 

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Suggestions? Can't really sue them for $95 - it would just end up costing me more in fees and lost work time. I may as well either trust that it will not harm and change it in 10k-15k miles or change it now and be out the cost.
 

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How far do you want to take it? It would be a matter of principal with me, so I'd be willing to put some effort toward it. In the end, the refund may have not been worth your time, if you think of it in a dollar/hour way.

Honestly, I can't imagine that I wouldn't walk out with a full refund, by just going in and talking to him, face to face. This is where good "people skills" pay off. But, I realize that not every shop owner is sane, and it's possible that there is no way he is going to be reasoned into giving a refund.

If you still have a chance to reason with him:

- Show him some of these publications that say the fluids don't interchange.

- Show him your owner's manual.

- Ask him to call a dealer, and ask about warranty compliance.

If he doesn't respond to any of that. There are lots of things you could do, just depends on how far you want to go. I would definately report him to the BBB. The only way the BBB reports work, is if people actually take the time to complain.
 

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BTW, you can sue for $95. It shouldn't cost you too much, I don't think. I don't really know for sure. You don't need a lawyer, though. Go to the courthouse that covers the shops area, and talk to someone at the small claims desk.
 

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Hand out flyers in front of his business that tell your story. Be careful what you put on it. You don't want to get yourself in trouble.
 

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My dad took the van in to get the tranny flushed. They dropped the pan, changed the filter, and put in Dexron III/Mercon. It was also half filled with the old Mercon V. The manual states only use Mercon V. I know this is bad, but my dad's too cheap to fix it. It's been about 9 months, and I don't notice a big difference with Dexron 3/Mercon 5 mix. Only harsh shifting. I guess we'll find out if it's bad when the tranny blows up.
 
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