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Discussion Starter #1
Hi Everyone, I have a question. When I'm driving down the highway an icon on my cluster lights up until I come to a full stop then it turns off. I check the owners manual and is the Multi-function: Automatic transaxle/cooling system
(On Zetec or automatic transaxle vehicles only). It looks like a sun with an exclamation in the middle. It says that I need to take it to get serviced. Can someone explain to me get what service?????? cooling system or automatic transaxle... Is this a job I can do myself? Has anyone gotten this icon illuminating on their car? And if I can do it myself ...What do I need to do?
Thanks for everything [wrenchin]
 

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start off by getting the codes read @ your local auto store
i would say hold of going to the dealership unless of course your car is falling apart.
first things first
cooling: make sure you dont have a coolant leak that will make the light go wich means its in fail-safe mode.
i see your a noob not sure on your knowledge of cars. check your thermostat housing to see if its leaking(search this term, Thermostat leak.) if this is the case it most likely is caused by the ValveCover gasket leaking oil on the housing.
BTW the thermo housing is on the right hand side of the engine, its a black box-shape with a large diameter tube running to the radiator. check where it mates to the engine and see if it is warped.

as far as trans goes thats more of a code thing to pinpoint a prob.or someone else could chime in
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Thanks JiuceBox

Well I havent taken it to get the codes read because theres no check engine light on. The icon only illuminates while I'm driving for a small amount of time or until I reach my exit, once I come to a full stop it turns off. It doesn't happen all the time just a few times. But its annoying seeing it there and not knowing what it its.
Coolant, I check all the hose and I don't have any leaks whatsoever. I also check the thermostat housing and everything seems ok. I'm not loosing antifreeze either. I keep an eye on the level and its the same all the time.
Trans, also shifts fine and no leaks. Could there be codes on the ECU without the CEL illuminating.

Thanks again
 

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well since you said your coolant levels are steady, that pretty much rules that out.
as well as trans, you said it shifts fine.
the only thing i can think of is resetting the comp.
remove the neg battery connector for ~10 min then reconnect(make sure this is tight.this was my problem. d'oh) after that start car and let it idle for 5 min to relearn the A/F curve.try this i cant hurt.
this will also erase any trouble code if you have any.
 

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C2H5OH
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IIRC that light may indicate a transmission overheating issue. That could be caused by old fluid or possibly a radiator that is lacking air flow, few other things also. But basically the trans is overheating and the longer you let it go on the worse the damage could be.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Guys thanks for your replies, I will be trying a few things this weekend and will be keep you updated.

Thanks

iminhell would that mean that I got to change the trans oil & filter or is there anything else? I've heard that changing the trans fluid usually causes more bad than good? How much of these is true...
 

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C2H5OH
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That all depends on the maintenance that has been done on the car. If there is 100,000 on the car and the trans has never been serviced you are at a higher risk for leaks and seals going out after changing the fluid. That is mostly from the new fluid cleaning out all the junk left behind and the dried out seals and such. Now if the trans has say 50,000 miles you'd be pretty close to on time with changing the fluid, though the years may still catch up with you.
I like to think of it this way, if the seals where going to leak they will leak no matter what, right away or given more time with the old fluid it's inevitable. If you leave the old fluid that is already overstressed from heat what will it hurt, well you may be buying a new trans sooner than later. Changing the fluid now may prevent further damage, but it's not going to fix any damage that has already been incurred. So you are still prolonging it, for how long is unsure.

Do this though. Take a white piece of paper, notebook paper is fine so long as it isn't recycled paper, and dab a bit of the trans fluid on it. If there is no red tinge to it, you waited too long. If there is still a bit of red now is the time to change it. Lots of red, then I would say to look to a blockage in the radiator fins of something along those lines.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Hey John

Thanks for that information...Well I did check the redness on my trans and its more like 55%...well to put it better on words is NOT the reddest but is hasn't lost its redness. I seeing burnt trans oil and is not even close. My trans shifts very well. I bought the car 4 months ago from a female college student that took it cross country and lived in MN and travel back and forth from NYC to MN. She bought the car brand new and swore that she change the engine oil religiously. I never bother asking what other maintenance she did to the car.
My trans is auto, do you think I need to replace the trans filter aswell? What do you think of that synthetic purple trans oil or go for something more ford standard?
Thanks again
 
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