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2008 Explorer -- Worried About Transmission. Any advice?


GoldenGlove

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Hey folks. I have an '08 Explorer that I purchased new. It has 140,000 miles at present. I am admittedly not a "car guy" but I have had the oil changed every 3,000 miles and tried to be diligent about getting things fixed as needed. As a result, the truck has been good to me thus far. Here's the rub...

Last week after getting the Explorer serviced (smog and oil), my local mechanic mentioned that it was slow to shift from 1st to 2nd gear and asked if I had ever had the transmission serviced. I do not recall if the Ford dealer performed any transmission service during the first 100K, but I don't believe the local mechanic has done any transmission service during the last 40K. After reading a ton of threads on here, I have learned that this may have been a catastrophic mistake.

Here's the thing. The car drives fine to me. I don't notice any shifting problems and it drives great. Is there any way I can salvage this situation and get some more life out of the vehicle?
 


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Beachcomber86

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Ah, to flush or not to flush. For me, don't flush. Have your mechanic drain the fluid, drop the pan, replace the filter, and refill.
 




Tech By Trade

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Drop the pan, change the filter top it up with mercon V. Odds are a quick band adjustment would tighten that up for him. If it doesn't bother you don't bother.
 




GoldenGlove

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Is the pan drop, filter change something that I should have done at FORD or can an independent mechanic handle it? Also, what is the recommended service interval for this transmission? I'm seen everything from "only service at 150,000 miles" to the standard "every 30,000 miles" online.
 




Tech By Trade

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Its something you can do in your garage. The dealership will do it as well. Independent mechanic can, but make sure they know to use mercon v only on the transmission behind the v6. My dealership would not do a flush on mine, and recommended a fluid and filter which was an hour of shop time. I did it myself, but you do need a suction gun, and a special fitting to top up the transmission on these things. I tow a camper and boat in the summer so I usually do it annually. Originally they were non serviceable, but then they came to there senses. I wouldn't leave it more then 30k myself.
 




thebrakeman

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OP already said he admittedly not a car guy, so this is not something he's going to do in his garage.

If you are happy with the current performance, leave it alone. If you start experiencing issues, take it to a trusted shop (dealer, chain, or local guy, does not matter as much as trustworthy), for a pan-drop, cleaning, filter-change, and inspection. If you start experiencing issues, a flush will not allow anyone to learn anything, except the condition of the fluid. And if the fluid ends up looking/smelling burnt, or with too much metal in it, guess what they will recommend? Dropping the pan for an inspection. So, might as well get to the pan-drop in the first place.

But again, it's been your truck for 140,000 miles. You will know when something doesn't feel right. Until then, drive it.
 




GeorgeH

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I doubt (based on my experience) that you will find a dealer that will do anything other than flush it and refill. If you want a pan drop with filter change you will have to take it to an independent. And I mean a locally owned, owner operated shop. Not a chain transmission shop.
 




Littleant

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Do not flush. Fords 150,000 drain is crazy. Have the mechanic drop the pan change filter and refill with motorcraft mercon V. I do mine every 30,000 miles. There is a special process to do this. I you are not a car guy have the garage do it. Again do not flush.
 




GoldenGlove

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Do not flush. Fords 150,000 drain is crazy. Have the mechanic drop the pan change filter and refill with motorcraft mercon V. I do mine every 30,000 miles. There is a special process to do this. I you are not a car guy have the garage do it. Again do not flush.
What do you mean by "Fords 150,000 drain is crazy"?
 




GoldenGlove

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I doubt (based on my experience) that you will find a dealer that will do anything other than flush it and refill. If you want a pan drop with filter change you will have to take it to an independent. And I mean a locally owned, owner operated shop. Not a chain transmission shop.
So I called my local mechanic, and he's been rock solid for my family on a variety of cars. I asked him what he would recommend and he said basically what you said "drop the pan, change filter and new fluid -- not a flush" so I think I'm in the right place. I guess I am just wondering how much I screwed myself by not having it done sooner, although it was serviced at the Ford dealer for the first 100,000 miles so maybe I missed it somewhere?
 




GoldenGlove

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OP already said he admittedly not a car guy, so this is not something he's going to do in his garage.

If you are happy with the current performance, leave it alone. If you start experiencing issues, take it to a trusted shop (dealer, chain, or local guy, does not matter as much as trustworthy), for a pan-drop, cleaning, filter-change, and inspection. If you start experiencing issues, a flush will not allow anyone to learn anything, except the condition of the fluid. And if the fluid ends up looking/smelling burnt, or with too much metal in it, guess what they will recommend? Dropping the pan for an inspection. So, might as well get to the pan-drop in the first place.

But again, it's been your truck for 140,000 miles. You will know when something doesn't feel right. Until then, drive it.
It feels pretty good, but I guess if there is something I can do preventatively, I am down to spend a bit of money now if it helps later. Do you think the dropping the pan and new fluid would help or at this point it is a bit of a waste?
 




Beachcomber86

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It feels pretty good, but I guess if there is something I can do preventatively, I am down to spend a bit of money now if it helps later. Do you think the dropping the pan and new fluid would help or at this point it is a bit of a waste?
How long are you going to keep it? If more than a couple of months, do it! As someone who errs on waiting too long on tranny maintenance, oil does eventually turn into varnish and gets sticky. So it is good to change it at some frequency.

It should be about $200-300 for the service.
 




WaltZ

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I just changed mine for the first time @ 170,000 miles. There were no issues with the tranny. Its the sealed unit. The dealer said they do not flush these. Just change the fluid and filter. $180 charge.

I might have been able to do this myself, but for piece of mind, if something gets screwed up, its the dealers dime.
 




Littleant

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What do you mean by "Fords 150,000 drain is crazy"?
My manual states 150,000 drain under normal conditions. That is way to long. I change mine at 25-30,000. Fluid is cheap transmissions are not.
 




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