What type of fluid to use ? | Ford Explorer Forums - Serious Explorations

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What type of fluid to use ?


Well-Known Member
August 14, 2006
Reaction score
City, State
Whitehorse, Yukon Territories
Year, Model & Trim Level
1996 4X4
Ok, I've done searchs but am still unsure, so here it goes.

I have a '96 Ex, 4.0L, auto transmission. I understand that the tranny is a 4R55E (a.k.a. A4LDE). I'm changing out the tranny filter, and obviously refilling what comes out of the pan.

So my question is, what type of ATF am I buying ? My Ex never came with an owners manual, so I downloaded one, which says I should be filling up with Mercon. Ok, well, which one ? From what I can tell, it's either Mercon III or Mercon V ? And I'm assuming since my Ex is older, it's going to be Mercon III ?

Can someone please clarify ? Any help is greatly appreciated ! :D

Check out post #10 in the following thread:



Mercon — Ford fluid introduced in 1987, very similar to Dexron II. OK for all earlier Fords, except those that require Type F.
Mercon V — Ford’s newest type, introduced in 1997 for Ranger, Explorer V6 and Aerostar, and 1998 & up Windstar, Taurus/Sable and Continental. Must not be used in 1997 or earlier Fords.

Interesting article:


Mercon looks to be the original lube for your tranny, I would recomend adding some Lubegard along with it.


Mercon III is the correct fluid. Mercon V is semi synthetic. You could also use full synthetic.

Perfect, thanks !