and gain access to Reviews and Discussion of the 2016 and 2017 Ford Explorer Tech Tips, How to Articles, Off-Road Modifications and Events, Street Truck Mods and Events, and much more! Since 1996 our community has covered every aspect of the Ford Explorer, Ford Ranger and all vehicles based on this platform.

Register Today It's free! This box will disappear once registered!

The controversial question of when to change the fluid in the 5R55E automatic trans

Discussion in 'Stock 1995 - 2001 Explorers' started by BigE, July 18, 2005.

  • Searches ExplorerForum.com
    1. BigE

      BigE New Member

      Joined:
      January 6, 2005
      Messages:
      49
      Likes Received:
      0
      Trophy Points:
      0
      City, State:
      Virginia
      Year and Model:
      2000 Sport
      The controversial question of when to change the fluid in the 5R55E automatic transmission – have done much research & thought I would share what I found – not an endorsement of what maintenance plan to follow

      Changing the fluid in the 5R55E (5 speed automatic) transmission used in the 2000 Explorer and some earlier and later years.

      The maintenance manual that comes with the Explorer says change transmission fluid at 30K intervals for 5 models of transmissions (AX4S, AX4N, 4R70W, 4R100, 4F27E). The 5R55E transmission is not referenced. The manual repeats this maintenance schedule at 30K intervals until 150K, at which point it just says change the fluid and filter with no transmission model reference. The manual is not at all helpful trying to figure out what the recommended fluid change interval is. So I called Ford.

      Ford customer service does not know what the “factory” recommended interval is!!! I asked for the phone number of someone who could help, they said there was nobody at Ford that could help. Their response was they did not have that information, and told me to call a dealer (that the dealer had access to information that the Ford company customer service representatives did not have access to).

      So I called 5 dealers, locally to get the answer, with not a lot of luck. Finally, on the 5th try I got referred to a service manager who took the time to check his online access to Ford information. Meantime I found the service information in the factory service manual. His answer from his Ford reference, which also matches what the Ford service manual says, says that no fluid change is recommended or required when operating under non “special operating conditions” as defined by Ford in the operators manual. So Ford says fluid is there for the life of the transmission. The knowledgeable dealer said that met the Ford warranty requirements, including extended warranties.

      So to change it at 30K or some other interval or wait until the transmission dies!!! And to complicate things, in my research for the answer on the internet, I heard people talking about changing their fluid at 30K or less intervals and still having the transmission fail with low mileage, while a few others talked about never changing their fluid and getting high mileage out of their transmission without a problem.

      All of the dealers I spoke to that recommended changing the fluid at 30K, only recommended a flush (they did not recommend or include the pan drop and filter replace). They all said the flush process they used flushed the fluid in reverse, thus cleaned the filter. At least one of them said that even though the filter is enclosed in plastic, it was not a paper filter, e.g. it was a screen that could be cleaned by the back flow flush [anybody ever take one apart, e.g. is the factory filter a screen or paper filter?].
       
    2. Support EF


      Join the Elite Explorers for $20 a year

      Explorer Forum has probably saved you that much already, and will continue to save you money as you learn how to diagnose and fix problems yourself, and learn which modifications work without having to experiment on your own. Elite Explorer members see practically no ads, add your own profile photo, upload photo attachments directly to your posts and Media Gallery, create more private Conversations, and more. Join Today. Your support is greatly appreciated.



      to hide adverts.
    3. Ford_Racing_Guy

      Ford_Racing_Guy Well-Known Member

      Joined:
      September 22, 2003
      Messages:
      1,799
      Likes Received:
      0
      Trophy Points:
      0
      City, State:
      Spencer, Wisconsin
      Year and Model:
      '92 XLT & '98 XLT AWD
      I myself try to stick to the Intervals that Purolator suggests.

      they say to change the Transmission filter every 12,000 to 15,000 miles which then in turn you are adding at least 4 quarts of fresh fluid everytime.
       
    4. aldive

      aldive Elite In Memoriam

      Joined:
      January 17, 2001
      Messages:
      24,727
      Likes Received:
      0
      Trophy Points:
      0
      Year and Model:
      1999 XLT
      I sincerely hope that you didn't buy that about never changing a filter.
       
    5. davidmmm69

      davidmmm69 Well-Known Member

      Joined:
      September 1, 2003
      Messages:
      2,551
      Likes Received:
      0
      Trophy Points:
      46
      Location:
      Fall river ma
      City, State:
      1995 2wd 4dr explorer Fall River Ma...
      Year and Model:
      2002 Mercury Mountaineer
      I jsut had my 2002 flushed and I am happy with what they did..
       
    6. mynameisaric

      mynameisaric Well-Known Member

      Joined:
      January 18, 2004
      Messages:
      1,824
      Likes Received:
      0
      Trophy Points:
      36
      City, State:
      Bolingbrook, IL
      Year and Model:
      98 XLT
      <---125,000 miles and i've never touched the transmission. not that i beleive i should never change it, but i dont know anything about trannies, and i'm too lazy to look it up. and i refuse to pay someone to do something that i could do. theres no slippage or clunking. it rides very smoothe still.
       
    7. aldive

      aldive Elite In Memoriam

      Joined:
      January 17, 2001
      Messages:
      24,727
      Likes Received:
      0
      Trophy Points:
      0
      Year and Model:
      1999 XLT
      That is excessive in my opinion.
       
    8. aldive

      aldive Elite In Memoriam

      Joined:
      January 17, 2001
      Messages:
      24,727
      Likes Received:
      0
      Trophy Points:
      0
      Year and Model:
      1999 XLT
      Its called preventative maintenance for a reason.
       
    9. davidmmm69

      davidmmm69 Well-Known Member

      Joined:
      September 1, 2003
      Messages:
      2,551
      Likes Received:
      0
      Trophy Points:
      46
      Location:
      Fall river ma
      City, State:
      1995 2wd 4dr explorer Fall River Ma...
      Year and Model:
      2002 Mercury Mountaineer
      My brothers van has 137000 on it and he never touched it as of yet. crazy i think..
      I change all my 3 vehicles tansmission fluids once every 12000 miles.
      very little price for the comfort of knowing it has fresh fluid in it,

      as far as my 1995 with close to 170000 on it i change it every 6 months.
       
    10. aldive

      aldive Elite In Memoriam

      Joined:
      January 17, 2001
      Messages:
      24,727
      Likes Received:
      0
      Trophy Points:
      0
      Year and Model:
      1999 XLT
      Why?
       
    11. davidmmm69

      davidmmm69 Well-Known Member

      Joined:
      September 1, 2003
      Messages:
      2,551
      Likes Received:
      0
      Trophy Points:
      46
      Location:
      Fall river ma
      City, State:
      1995 2wd 4dr explorer Fall River Ma...
      Year and Model:
      2002 Mercury Mountaineer
      Why not??
       
    12. aldive

      aldive Elite In Memoriam

      Joined:
      January 17, 2001
      Messages:
      24,727
      Likes Received:
      0
      Trophy Points:
      0
      Year and Model:
      1999 XLT
      Several good reasons:

      (1) its expensive
      (2) its not needed
       
    13. davidmmm69

      davidmmm69 Well-Known Member

      Joined:
      September 1, 2003
      Messages:
      2,551
      Likes Received:
      0
      Trophy Points:
      46
      Location:
      Fall river ma
      City, State:
      1995 2wd 4dr explorer Fall River Ma...
      Year and Model:
      2002 Mercury Mountaineer
      not expensive at all.. half dozen quarts of oil.
      Fresh oil in a oil used, beat up, high mileage, transmission is nice insurance for me..
       
    14. OZexplore

      OZexplore Active Member

      Joined:
      December 1, 2002
      Messages:
      393
      Likes Received:
      0
      Trophy Points:
      0
      City, State:
      coffs harbour n.s.w. Australia
      Year and Model:
      98xlt
      in australia i read a book that goes to mechanics that lists all makes& models ever sold here(all specs) ,it says every 100,000 klm(60,000) local auto transmission experts reccomend every 20,000klm
      now looking at it logically if a company reccomends oil changes 5 times as often as the booklet maybe it is just for financial advantage think about it 5 times the amount of oil ,filters,service charges etc @ $200 a time

      i have always found the best place to get advice is from someone that knows what they are talking about but gain no financial advantage these people are not always easy to find
      by the way i get mine done every 50,000 klm
       
    15. davidmmm69

      davidmmm69 Well-Known Member

      Joined:
      September 1, 2003
      Messages:
      2,551
      Likes Received:
      0
      Trophy Points:
      46
      Location:
      Fall river ma
      City, State:
      1995 2wd 4dr explorer Fall River Ma...
      Year and Model:
      2002 Mercury Mountaineer
      Most of it is how you feel and your personal preference.
      just like many people i know every 3000 miles they are changing fluids.

      not everyone can feel good with leaving certain fluids in the car for that long of a time.
      and god forbid something bad happens to engine or transmission. you will be like my god why didn;t i do that mmuch sooner..
       
    16. Ford_Racing_Guy

      Ford_Racing_Guy Well-Known Member

      Joined:
      September 22, 2003
      Messages:
      1,799
      Likes Received:
      0
      Trophy Points:
      0
      City, State:
      Spencer, Wisconsin
      Year and Model:
      '92 XLT & '98 XLT AWD
      i myself was planning to add an external filter so i wouldn't have to drop the pan as often as i have been.
       
    17. davidmmm69

      davidmmm69 Well-Known Member

      Joined:
      September 1, 2003
      Messages:
      2,551
      Likes Received:
      0
      Trophy Points:
      46
      Location:
      Fall river ma
      City, State:
      1995 2wd 4dr explorer Fall River Ma...
      Year and Model:
      2002 Mercury Mountaineer
      i put a drain plug in so when i do it. in 6 months it is just a fluid swap than at 12 months the filter is changed also..
      n
      i
      eve put a drain plug in my wifes van which makes it so easy to drain...
       
    18. aldive

      aldive Elite In Memoriam

      Joined:
      January 17, 2001
      Messages:
      24,727
      Likes Received:
      0
      Trophy Points:
      0
      Year and Model:
      1999 XLT
      So you are just changing about 4 quarts? Not a complete chanfe.
       
    19. 410Fortune

      410Fortune ELITE BRONCO2ERER Moderator Emeritus

      Joined:
      August 3, 2000
      Messages:
      21,903
      Likes Received:
      0
      Trophy Points:
      0
      City, State:
      Crawlorado
      Year and Model:
      B2 Mod
      The maintenance manual that comes with the Explorer says change transmission fluid at 30K intervals for 5 models of transmissions (AX4S, AX4N, 4R70W, 4R100, 4F27E)


      You just answered your own question.
      You think Ford doesnt know when the fluid and filter should be changed?
      This is the MINIMUM required PREVENATIVE maintenence....
       
    20. mynameisaric

      mynameisaric Well-Known Member

      Joined:
      January 18, 2004
      Messages:
      1,824
      Likes Received:
      0
      Trophy Points:
      36
      City, State:
      Bolingbrook, IL
      Year and Model:
      98 XLT
      i've run across alot of stories where ppl change there fluid and there trans goes out a few thousand miles later, and some where they never change it and there over 200,000. and theres also ppl that go through 3 transmissions before 100,000 miles. how hard is it to change a transmission filter? ( to be honest i didnt know a transmission had a filter) and change the fluid? i havent worked on my truck since i made the bumper, so i need something to do to it.
       
    21. davidmmm69

      davidmmm69 Well-Known Member

      Joined:
      September 1, 2003
      Messages:
      2,551
      Likes Received:
      0
      Trophy Points:
      46
      Location:
      Fall river ma
      City, State:
      1995 2wd 4dr explorer Fall River Ma...
      Year and Model:
      2002 Mercury Mountaineer

      6 months I change the fluid that comes out via the pan.
      at 12 months i do a change and also filter change...
       
    22. aldive

      aldive Elite In Memoriam

      Joined:
      January 17, 2001
      Messages:
      24,727
      Likes Received:
      0
      Trophy Points:
      0
      Year and Model:
      1999 XLT
      But you are still not changing ALL of your tranny fluid.
       
    23. davidmmm69

      davidmmm69 Well-Known Member

      Joined:
      September 1, 2003
      Messages:
      2,551
      Likes Received:
      0
      Trophy Points:
      46
      Location:
      Fall river ma
      City, State:
      1995 2wd 4dr explorer Fall River Ma...
      Year and Model:
      2002 Mercury Mountaineer
      once a year I do change the fluid via a flush..
       
    24. project92

      project92 Active Member

      Joined:
      February 11, 2003
      Messages:
      391
      Likes Received:
      0
      Trophy Points:
      0
      City, State:
      missouri
      Year and Model:
      00E.B.,93 xlt 92 xlt
      ALDIVE and others here is my question first my 93 ate tranny's 3 I know they wern't that great my 97 bought it with 128,000 on it and 236,000 miles later with no fluids changed (tranny ) had no problems... now I swapped for a 00 e.b sweet ride had all warrenty done on the sohc no records of maintance with truck...
      no problem with tranny... has 82,000 on it I want to keep this thing for a LONGGGGG time ..... now I am wanting to change the fluid and filter on the tranny(good ideal or bad) and try your ideal of sythentic in the tranny what would be the best sythentic and how will I get all the fluid out of the torque converter? does it have a drain? or should I take it to a tranny shop that I trust???
       
    25. bustergonad

      bustergonad New Member

      Joined:
      October 5, 2002
      Messages:
      5
      Likes Received:
      0
      Trophy Points:
      0
      City, State:
      Ft. Myers FL
      Year and Model:
      99 Sport
      Let's see....
      I just clocked 160,000 miles and in that time I have changed the filter once (at 70K) and had the fluid flushed once at 100K apart from that......nada.
       
    26. stubborn1

      stubborn1 Active Member

      Joined:
      August 15, 2003
      Messages:
      189
      Likes Received:
      0
      Trophy Points:
      0
      City, State:
      WISCONSIN
      Year and Model:
      '98 4wd XL
      I change my tranny fluid every 30k miles because I tow/off road. If I didn't, I would probably still change every 50k miles because I don't believe in a "lifetime" fluid. Ford's definition of lifetime and mine are different. Lifetime doesn't mean just past warranty.

      Tranny flush and fill = $80
      or
      Rebuilt tranny = $2,500

      I'll take a gamble and change the fluid.
       

    Share This Page






    We Support Our Troops!