automatic transmission fluid change - Ford Focus Forum, Ford Focus ST Forum, Ford Focus RS Forum
Ford Focus Forum
HomeContact UsAbout UsGalleryDiscussion ForumsMarketplace


Go Back   Ford Focus Forum, Ford Focus ST Forum, Ford Focus RS Forum > Ford Focus Tech Discussions > General Technical Chat

General Technical Chat This section is for technical discussions relating to general maintenance, electrical issues, engine trouble, and recalls.

Search This Forum | Image Search | Advanced Search    
Ford Focus Tire & Wheels FocusFanatics Merchandise

Reply
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
Old 03-09-2012, 12:16 PM   #1
zooropa
Focus Rookie
 
Join Date: Mar 2012
Fan#: 96025
Location: Urbana, IL
What I Drive: 2001 Silver Focus SE

Posts: 5
FF Reputation: 1 zooropa Good Standing Member
Buy-Sell-Trade Rating: (0)
automatic transmission fluid change

ok so another new owner question (2001 focus se, zetec engine, auto tranny, 123k miles)

looking through all the receipts the original owner gave me I can see no transmission fluid change. I checked the ford website for maintenance schedule and every 30k miles it says "Change automatic transmission fluid".

the transmission itself works fine, it doesn't show any signs of failure when driving. But looking at the notes on one of the recent receipts the owner had for an engine oil change, it says "transmission service recommended".

Now, I've googled it and I've seen many people say that if the car (not specifically Ford Focus though) didn't have any regular transmission fluid changes, flushing it would cause more harm then good and that it is better just to top it off.

I'm planning a long trip in the spring break and i'm wondering if i should do the ATF flush before or just go with it like this considering it doesn't seem to have any problems.




zooropa is offline  
    Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Sponsored Links
Advertisement
 
Old 03-09-2012, 12:33 PM   #2
winterbeater
Focus Enthusiast
 
Join Date: Dec 2011
Fan#: 93035
Location: Royal Oak, MI
What I Drive: 2001 blue wagon

Posts: 112
FF Reputation: 3 winterbeater Good Standing Member
Buy-Sell-Trade Rating: (0)
You will get answers from both sides. Change, don't change, flush, etc. IMHO, the best is to drop the pan, change the filter, add fluid, disconnect the cooler line, pump out about 3 quarts, add 3 quarts, pump, add, etc. until you have replaced all the old. That is what I will do soon with mine @ 105k miles. The sooner the better.
winterbeater is offline  
    Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 03-09-2012, 03:10 PM   #3
sailor
Elder
 
sailor's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2008
Fan#: 57268
Location: Williamsville, NY
What I Drive: 2004 Pitch Black ZTS 2.3 5spd.

Posts: 16,798
Points 12,034, Level 71
Points: 12,034, Level: 71 Points: 12,034, Level: 71 Points: 12,034, Level: 71
Level Up 96% Completed
Level up: 96% Level up: 96% Level up: 96%
Forum Activity 99%
Activity: 99% Activity: 99% Activity: 99%
FF Reputation: 79 sailor Excellent Standing Member
Buy-Sell-Trade Rating: (0)
Winterbeater has got it down....

The ONLY thing to avoid is the "reverse flush", or using a solvent type "cleaner", BOTH of which have been known to cause issues that didn't previously exist in transmissions that didn't have changes when recommended....

Dropping the pan to clean out crud & replace filter is good...

getting more old fluid out by pumping it out through the cooler line works well...

knocking the crud loose & flushing it where it doesn't belong by reverse flushes or 'cleaning" solvents causes more problems than it solves in many cases....

luck!
sailor is online now  
    Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 03-20-2012, 03:22 AM   #4
amc49
Focus Fanatic
 
Join Date: Mar 2012
Fan#: 96610
Location: Fort Worth, TX
What I Drive: 00 wagon, 02 sedan both zetec atx

Posts: 5,585
Points 3,221, Level 35
Points: 3,221, Level: 35 Points: 3,221, Level: 35 Points: 3,221, Level: 35
Level Up 14% Completed
Level up: 14% Level up: 14% Level up: 14%
Forum Activity 60%
Activity: 60% Activity: 60% Activity: 60%
FF Reputation: 25 amc49 Great Standing Member
Buy-Sell-Trade Rating: (0)
The fluid when new is bright red. As it burns it turns orange then brown and will smell burnt. You can pull pan and then install drain plug, I did both of mine that way. Pan uses glue but there are gaskets now made that work well and seal much better.

I change my fluid maybe every 60-75K miles depending on color.
amc49 is offline  
    Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 03-20-2012, 06:34 AM   #5
whynotthinkwhynot
Captain TMI
 
whynotthinkwhynot's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2005
Fan#: 18416
Location: the armpit of TN, Memphis, TN
What I Drive: 05 Focus Wagon; 13 C-Max SEL

Posts: 20,277
Points 27,598, Level 98
Points: 27,598, Level: 98 Points: 27,598, Level: 98 Points: 27,598, Level: 98
Level Up 25% Completed
Level up: 25% Level up: 25% Level up: 25%
Forum Activity 12%
Activity: 12% Activity: 12% Activity: 12%
FF Reputation: 270 whynotthinkwhynot Outstanding Standing Member whynotthinkwhynot Outstanding Standing Member whynotthinkwhynot Outstanding Standing Member
Buy-Sell-Trade Rating: (1)
You can add a drain plug, or use this guy's method from the How-To located in our How-To Archive up there in the blue banner right under the thread name.

How to change automatic transmission fluid and filter

The only thing I don't agree with is starting the engine. I recommended he crank the engine to control fluid flow. If you start it, it literally takes like 5 seconds to pump all the fluid out. This will completely drain the fluid whereas draining simply the pan and dropping the pan to change the filter will only drain like 3-4 qts. With MerconV being $5/qt- it can get expensive to use this method. The only bonus is that it's much less messy. Partially unbolting the pan so you can drain fluid from a corner is tricky, and tends to be messy. Then the pan is still full of fluid. The pan will be full of fluid using this method as well- so be careful and take precautions to prevent spillage.
__________________
Be eclectic.
---The Complete How-To Archive--

Moderating everything now, let me know if I can help.

Quote:
Originally Posted by the user formerly known as ZX3_Chick View Post
You're special aren't you.
whynotthinkwhynot is offline  
    Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 03-20-2012, 09:41 AM   #6
winterbeater
Focus Enthusiast
 
Join Date: Dec 2011
Fan#: 93035
Location: Royal Oak, MI
What I Drive: 2001 blue wagon

Posts: 112
FF Reputation: 3 winterbeater Good Standing Member
Buy-Sell-Trade Rating: (0)
Quote:
Originally Posted by whynotthinkwhynot View Post
The only thing I don't agree with is starting the engine. I recommended he crank the engine to control fluid flow.
Good point. Is disconnecting the coil plug the best way to "crank without starting"?
winterbeater is offline  
    Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 03-20-2012, 10:06 AM   #7
Miller88
Focus Addict
 
Join Date: Mar 2010
Fan#: 73790
Location: Syracuse, NY
What I Drive: 2011 Focus SE 5 Speed

Posts: 919
Points 1,663, Level 23
Points: 1,663, Level: 23 Points: 1,663, Level: 23 Points: 1,663, Level: 23
Level Up 63% Completed
Level up: 63% Level up: 63% Level up: 63%
Forum Activity 6%
Activity: 6% Activity: 6% Activity: 6%
FF Reputation: 5 Miller88 Good Standing Member
Buy-Sell-Trade Rating: (0)
I'm not sure where it's located, but on my old Taurus, I would disconnect the inertia switch.

Also, add a transmission cooler while you're at it.
__________________
2011 Focus SE 5 Speed 36k - Blue Flame Metallic - Added Rear Swaybar
2000 Jeep Cherokee Sport 115k - Lifted with mud tires.
Miller88 is offline  
    Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 03-20-2012, 02:15 PM   #8
jjzx2sr
Banned
 
Join Date: Apr 2010
Fan#: 74691
Location: Clearville, PA
What I Drive: 2001 Green Focus ZX4

Posts: 167
FF Reputation: 3 jjzx2sr Good Standing Member
Buy-Sell-Trade Rating: (1)
Just do a conventional filter and fluid change, this process generally changes 30-40% of the fluid as the torque converter retains more than half of the transmission fluid capacity generally. Now if the vehicle sits for a period of a week or so, the converter will drain back into the pan and more of the fluid can be changed. So with the conventional method, the new fluid is diluted by the existing fluid. so if you really want to change all the fluid then change the filter once, and just do a drain and refill ever 20k miles and eventually all the fluid will be changed.

I agree with the above posters that caution against the use of chemical flushes.
jjzx2sr is offline  
    Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 03-20-2012, 10:26 PM   #9
Eastwood
Focus Enthusiast
 
Eastwood's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2009
Fan#: 62095
Location: Phoenix, AZ
What I Drive: 2001 zetec premium zx3

Posts: 266
Points 4,731, Level 43
Points: 4,731, Level: 43 Points: 4,731, Level: 43 Points: 4,731, Level: 43
Level Up 91% Completed
Level up: 91% Level up: 91% Level up: 91%
Forum Activity 8%
Activity: 8% Activity: 8% Activity: 8%
FF Reputation: 1 Eastwood Good Standing Member
Buy-Sell-Trade Rating: (20)
Quote:
Originally Posted by jjzx2sr View Post
Just do a conventional filter and fluid change, this process generally changes 30-40% of the fluid as the torque converter retains more than half of the transmission fluid capacity generally. Now if the vehicle sits for a period of a week or so, the converter will drain back into the pan and more of the fluid can be changed. So with the conventional method, the new fluid is diluted by the existing fluid. so if you really want to change all the fluid then change the filter once, and just do a drain and refill ever 20k miles and eventually all the fluid will be changed.

I agree with the above posters that caution against the use of chemical flushes.
probably

Last edited by Eastwood; 03-21-2012 at 12:08 PM.
Eastwood is offline  
    Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 03-21-2012, 04:54 PM   #10
amc49
Focus Fanatic
 
Join Date: Mar 2012
Fan#: 96610
Location: Fort Worth, TX
What I Drive: 00 wagon, 02 sedan both zetec atx

Posts: 5,585
Points 3,221, Level 35
Points: 3,221, Level: 35 Points: 3,221, Level: 35 Points: 3,221, Level: 35
Level Up 14% Completed
Level up: 14% Level up: 14% Level up: 14%
Forum Activity 60%
Activity: 60% Activity: 60% Activity: 60%
FF Reputation: 25 amc49 Great Standing Member
Buy-Sell-Trade Rating: (0)
Better to yank fuel pump fuse or inertia plug to disable starting. Pump will try to flood motor with no ignition happening.

The so-called 3X fluid change. First time gets like 50% of fluid new, 2nd time 75%, and 3rd 87.5%, not much to be gained after that. You change the fluid in pan 3 times, expensive nowadays. I used to drive car 2 weeks between each change, also the reason behind installing drain plug, so no more pan removal.

I too have moved to just changing every 20-25K or so once. That keeps fluid in pretty good shape.
amc49 is offline  
    Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Reply

Bookmarks & Social Networks

Quick Reply
Message:
Options

Register Now

In order to be able to post messages on the Ford Focus Forum, Ford Focus ST Forum, Ford Focus RS Forum forums, you must first register.
Please enter your desired user name, your email address and other required details in the form below.
User Name:
Password
Please enter a password for your user account. Note that passwords are case-sensitive.
Password:
Confirm Password:
Email Address
Please enter a valid email address for yourself.
Email Address:

Log-in

Human Verification

In order to verify that you are a human and not a spam bot, please enter the answer into the following box below based on the instructions contained in the graphic.



Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may post new threads
You may post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off

Forum Jump


All times are GMT -5. The time now is 07:04 PM.


Copyright 2002-2014 FocusFanatics.com. All Rights Reserved : Privacy Policy : Advertise Information

Focus Fanatics Ford Focus Forum offers many fun ways for you to engage with other Ford Focus Owners from across the world. Whether it be about the aftermarket performance modifications, technical how-to's, European tuned suspension or awesome fuel economy similar to the Audi S3, Ford Fusion and Acura TLX. You can find all Ford Focus and Focus ST related information here. Join our Ford Focus discussion forums and chat with local Focus enthusiasts in your area. Challenger Hellcat - Charger Hellcat