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Discussion Starter #1
Hey all. New here. Have a 2006 Focus 2.0L auto tranny. Was going to do the flush and fill today on the trans. I need to remove the cooler return line but can't figure out how to pop it off. The instructions tell you to push the hose toward the cooler line, then push the release buttons, then pull the hose off. Get those tabs to move or budge at all. Anyone actually ever done this and can explain how to pop that line off. It would be much appreciated. Thanks![8D]
 

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thats how it works but be careful not to break it they wont be cheap , you got to push the tabs in on both sides push in while doing so then yank that off you may need to pull a little hard and be prepared to get it in your face I do this atleast every week at work lol
 

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Discussion Starter #4
I know no more than what you wrote. Push forward, then press the clip. If the clip is too hard to push- then you haven't pushed it forward enough.
Maybe that's they key but I pushed it forward until it stopped.

Which end of the tabs do you push in? Toward the end of the hose at the cooler line side? I can't even get my fingers in there to press on those. Is there a special tool for this?

I wish I had taken a pic while I was under there to show.

thats how it works but be careful not to break it they wont be cheap , you got to push the tabs in on both sides push in while doing so then yank that off you may need to pull a little hard and be prepared to get it in your face I do this atleast every week at work lol
Yea, I figured I might get splashed a little.

Thanks for the replies!
 

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Press on the back of the collar-- try pressing while pushing forward. When you reach the right spot- it should unclip so that you can pull back. Have your bucket and hose to put over the outlet ready. Also, do the lower hose as that's the return line from the cooler to the trans.

From what I've heard from friends at the Ford dealership- the trans fluid doesn't go bad unless it's dirty or smells burnt. They also say that it's not really necessary to change the filter until the fluid is dirty or burnt. Basically, the maintenance schedule in the owner's manual is general for ALL Ford vehicles, and may or may not apply directly to your vehicle.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Press on the back of the collar-- try pressing while pushing forward. When you reach the right spot- it should unclip so that you can pull back. Have your bucket and hose to put over the outlet ready. Also, do the lower hose as that's the return line from the cooler to the trans.
Yea, the grips for the clips seem to be toward the rear. The diagram in manual I have show them toward the front. I think You are right and I really need to push it forward more.


From what I've heard from friends at the Ford dealership- the trans fluid doesn't go bad unless it's dirty or smells burnt. They also say that it's not really necessary to change the filter until the fluid is dirty or burnt. Basically, the maintenance schedule in the owner's manual is general for ALL Ford vehicles, and may or may not apply directly to your vehicle.

Yea, I over maintain my vehicles, too much I think. I actually used to work at the Ford Livonia ETC Transmission Lab in testing in the late 90's. Trans repair at that time was Fords biggest recall. I have been flushing auto trannies too often ever since. The Focus does come with Synthetic in it. The severe service guideline says flush every 30k and replace the filter at 60k. I'll do both now. And actually, I wish I hadn't waited this long as it's not a bad idea to do the first pan drop and cleaning at 5k miles to get all the metal shavings from the new gear break in out.

But as I said I over maintain so all this is probably too much. Bad habits die hard. I'm guessing Ford has come a long way on trans quality since I worked there.

Thanks for the info!
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Alright. Finally got this done. I was able to pop the cooler return hose off. I just needed to push harder in on the tabs and pull. Popped right off.

Flushed it 3 times just like they said. I then dropped the pan, cleaned it, replaced the filter, and filled it back up. Nice and clean again!
 

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Discussion Starter #8 (Edited)
OK, someone PM'd me about this so I'm just posting the procedure here for everybody else. I also included the official version from the manual after the pics.

OK, I modified the official version from the manual a little for my own convenience. There are pics at the end for you from the manual.

I could not get my hand on the cooler return line at the cooler to disconnect it. Instead I followed it back to the trans where I could get at it. Note, I did have the car up on jack stands for this otherwise I didn't fit under there well. Also you can then just swivel the hose around and drain it from here if you disconnect it from the trans side. If you get it off at the cooler you will need a hose to attach to the tube so the fluid won't get all over the front cowling.

So you gotta push the cooler hose on as far as it will go, then pinch those tabs real hard with your fingers and then pull off. This was the hard part.

From here you just start the car and drain out the fluid letting it idle. You'll get just a little over three quarts out. Shut the engine off.

Don't bother putting the hose back on yet. Refill the trans with 3 quarts. Start the car and drain out the fluid a second time. Shut the engine off.

OK, fill with three more quarts and then start the car and drain the three quarts one last time. Shut the engine off. Put the cooler return hose back on.
Then refill the trans with 3 quarts. Might wanna go 2.5 here.
Start the car let it come up to temp. Then check the level and SLOWLY add fluid to bring it up to the proper level and DON'T overfill it. Better to get it about half way between the low/high fill marks and drive it around and recheck to make sure it's OK than to overfill it.

Note, they don't recommend changing the the filter until I think 60k but I went ahead and did it anyway. After the third drain, I reattached the cooler hose. I didn't refill it but dropped the pan instead. Cleaned the pan and replaced the filter, added a new pan gasket and put the pan back on. Then I added back in my three quarts and then ran it to temp and brought the fluid up to the proper level. It's a cheapo filter so there was no way I was gunna go to 60k.

NOTE: If your trans fluid spec calls out MERCON V or DEXRON III, you can use a fluid that says it's compatible with MERCON V/DEXRON III. If it calls out only for DEXRON III, DON'T use anything but a DEXRON III fluid. DON'T use one that says good for DEXRON III and MERCON V.












Official Procedure from Service Manual
*NOTE-Severe service interval: 30000 miles

Service Procedure:

Transmission Fluid Drain and Refill

With the vehicle in NEUTRAL, position it on a hoist. For additional information, refer to Maintenance/Service and Repair.

Disconnect the return hose from the transmission fluid cooler.
1 Push the connector fitting into the cooler line.
2 Press the yellow release button.
3 Pull the connector fitting off the cooler line.

Attach a length of suitable drain hose to the transmission fluid cooler return tube.
Lower the vehicle.
Insert the drain hose into a calibrated 10 liter (10.5 quarts) container.
CAUTION: To prevent damage to the transaxle, do not run the engine above idle. NOTE: If the fluid return rate is less than 0.95 liters (1.0 quart) in 30 seconds, or if the return hose pulsates, check for restrictions at the pump, cooler or cooler lines. Run the engine at idle and pump out 3 liters (3.17 quarts) of automatic transmission fluid.
Switch OFF the engine.

Remove the fluid level indicator from the fluid level indicator tube.

Add 3 liters of automatic transmission fluid to the transaxle.
CAUTION: To prevent damage to the transaxle, do not run the engine above idle. NOTE: If the fluid return rate is less than 0.95 liters in 30 seconds, or if the return hose pulsates, check for restrictions at the pump, cooler or cooler lines. Run the engine at idle and pump out 3 liters (3.17 quarts) of automatic transmission fluid.
Switch OFF the engine.
Add 3 liters (3.17 quarts) of automatic transmission fluid to the transaxle.
CAUTION: To prevent damage to the transaxle, do not run the engine above idle. Run the engine at idle and pump out 3 liters (3.17 quarts) of automatic transmission fluid.
Switch OFF the engine.
Raise the vehicle.
Remove the length of suitable drain hose from the transmission fluid return hose.

Connect the return hose to the transmission fluid cooler.
Lower the vehicle.

Add 3 liters (3.17 quarts) of automatic transmission fluid to the transaxle.

Install the fluid level indicator to the fluid level indicator tube.
CAUTION: To prevent damage to the transaxle, do not run the engine above idle. Run the engine.
Check the automatic transmission fluid level and fill if necessary.
 

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This is great. I was going to do this in the next week, and it's always nice to see the diagrams straight from the source. Thanks!

I picked up Pennzoil Mercon V, because it was the only specified Mercon V I could find (everything else was a multi-purpose). I'm assuming this should be fine since I'm following a 30k change interval, as opposed to finding a synthetic Mercon V?
 

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I did see the Mercon V trans fluid at NAPA when I was there for something else, not all carry it though. If you are going to continue with an early maintenance schedule, you should be fine with the Pennzoil ( I don't like the stuff, but that's my opinion). If you want to put some quality stuff in there, get the synthetic stuff at a Ford dealer. It is a little pricey, but is some good stuff.
 

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I did it this weekend using these instructions as a guide. Getting the connector off was definitely the hardest part. I'd add few notes:

Having a towel or some other barrier between your drain pan and the bottom of your engine compartment is good to keep the fluid from spattering up onto things.

Even when the engine is shut off, fluid will continue to dribble out of the return line into your pan, so just note this when you're figuring out how much to add back in.

Once you reconnect the return line, you have to pour even slower into the filler neck. Now that there's no other place for air to escape the system, if you pour too fast it will bubble up and spill out.

Lastly, this is much easier if you have a second person to turn the engine on and off for you, so you can pay attention to how much you've pumped out. I only let it pump out two quarts at a time, because I didn't want the pump to run dry.
 

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I could not get the connector to release at the cooler end even though I followed the advice on this thread but had no luck. I wound up disconnecting the line at the transmission.
 

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Latecomer to this thread. I had to change the transmission fluid on my 2007 Focus SE. I found it impossible to get the connectors off, on either the radiator or the one that goes into the transmission. There's just not enough clearance to get a firm grip on the connector release tabs. And I don't have very large hands.

Also the 2007 Ford Focus shop manual has some incorrect information. It says to "press the button on the YELLOW tab" when removing the connector. However on my car, the yellow tab connector is on the TOP fitting of the oil cooler. Later in the manual directions, it shows draining the fluid from the BOTTOM cooler connection (which is where it actually comes out from).

It's nearly impossible to get a grip on the connectors by the radiator, because the horn is in the way. I ended up tracing the bottom hose back to the transmission. Removed the left wheel and bottom fasteners to the inner wheel well liner, and pulling it back out of the way. Somewhat better access to the connector where it goes into the transmission. But I still couldn't get it to release.

I ended up unscrewing the hose barb fitting from the transmission case (17mm box end wrench--and it rotates inside the hose fitting). Rotating the hose and fitting 180 deg counter-clockwise so it's pointing down, and then I could remove the hose from the fitting.

Also another note--the Ford Shop Manual directions say to "press the tab", and the accompanying illustration only shows one tab. However there are TWO tabs on each side to press together, to get the fitting to release.
 

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Caution: This thread is very old. My reply is due to new post in this old thread.

Latecomer to this thread. I had to change the transmission fluid on my 2007 Focus SE. I found it impossible to get the connectors off, on either the radiator or the one that goes into the transmission. There's just not enough clearance to get a firm grip on the connector release tabs.
If one OR both ends of trans fluid connectors are too difficult to disconnect, here is another option;

Destructively CUT the trans cooling hose on your car (the flexible portion). Now use a (store purchased) male barbed Tee or a male barbed inline coupler connector in order to reattach the original flex trans hose. I did this. It works. Perfect.

This makes the DIY trans fluid replacement service very easy.

The inline barbed connector (coupler) fits snug inside of these hoses (ID). I also added some hose clamps for extra insurance. I did this back in 2014...? The transmission and the car is happy and is still running today. -2004 Wagon.
 
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