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To change trans fluid or not? #4463761
07/19/17 09:33 AM
07/19/17 09:33 AM
Joined: Sep 2008
Posts: 3,890
Southeast Texas
gfh77665 Offline OP
gfh77665  Offline OP
Joined: Sep 2008
Posts: 3,890
Southeast Texas
Just got a 2000 Ford Escort. Before anyone laughs, it was FREE to me. Its a little beat up, but it only has 86K miles on it. Most of its life it was owned by a "little old lady" that barely drove it, then a guy who used it like a work vehicle, hauling around tools in it because he didn't have a truck.

ANYWAYS, it looks to be mechanically sound. The engine is tight. It has several newer parts, including fuel injectors. My question is about the Trans fluid. It looks to be between light brown, grey and pink. Not the worst, but definitely not the best. Should I change it?

Some one advised me to "leave it alone" and some one else said definitely change it. FWIW, I won't really travel in this car. It will used as a third vehicle, just to make short neighborhood drives. Please advise, thanks!

Re: To change trans fluid or not? [Re: gfh77665] #4463770
07/19/17 09:43 AM
07/19/17 09:43 AM
Joined: Apr 2010
Posts: 4,398
Storrs, Connecticut
jeepman3071 Offline
jeepman3071  Offline
Joined: Apr 2010
Posts: 4,398
Storrs, Connecticut
I would do a drain and fill with fresh fluid of the correct type.


2000 Jeep Cherokee 4.0L (180k) - Pennzoil 10w30, Napa Gold 1516, Magnefine trans filter
2009 BMW 328i (33k) - Castrol Edge Euro 0w40, MANN HU816X
Re: To change trans fluid or not? [Re: gfh77665] #4463773
07/19/17 09:46 AM
07/19/17 09:46 AM
Joined: Jun 2010
Posts: 552
stower17 Offline
stower17  Offline
Joined: Jun 2010
Posts: 552
Why would anyone laugh at you? I see no problem in changing the fluid and using the correct fluid.

Re: To change trans fluid or not? [Re: gfh77665] #4463776
07/19/17 09:48 AM
07/19/17 09:48 AM
Joined: Jun 2017
Posts: 548
DFW
JustN89 Offline
JustN89  Offline
Joined: Jun 2017
Posts: 548
DFW
+2 for drain and fill. I would vote to drop the pan and replace the filter as well.

Re: To change trans fluid or not? [Re: JustN89] #4463785
07/19/17 09:53 AM
07/19/17 09:53 AM
Joined: Dec 2016
Posts: 6,226
Waco, TX
Linctex Offline
Linctex  Offline
Joined: Dec 2016
Posts: 6,226
Waco, TX
Originally Posted By: JustN89
+2 for drain and fill. I would vote to drop the pan and replace the filter as well.


+1 "almost" -

the filter really never gets anywhere near filled up (it actually filters better "used" than when new), so IMHO just changing the fluid is perfectly fine.


"The evidence demands a verdict".
(Re:VOA)"it's nearly impossible to actually know the particular additives that are in there at what concentrations."
Re: To change trans fluid or not? [Re: gfh77665] #4463786
07/19/17 09:55 AM
07/19/17 09:55 AM
Joined: Apr 2008
Posts: 12,859
Onondaga County
Miller88 Offline
Miller88  Offline
Joined: Apr 2008
Posts: 12,859
Onondaga County
I'd do a drain/fill or two. Won't hurt anything and will definitely be beneficial.


18 Forester 2.5I 6M
00 Jeep Cherokee
01 Ford F-350 XL 4x4 5M
Re: To change trans fluid or not? [Re: gfh77665] #4463787
07/19/17 09:56 AM
07/19/17 09:56 AM
Joined: Sep 2004
Posts: 7,522
Marshfield , MA
andyd Online content
andyd  Online Content
Joined: Sep 2004
Posts: 7,522
Marshfield , MA
Free is good. Escorts were a decent econo-box. Yah, do a drain and fill. I'd crawl underneath to check the brake lines too.


'16 Camry LE STP synth 0w20 and STP filter. the Fridge

1994 Ranger ,the Rat, 5w30 dino, STP filter

'16 Camry SE, Valvoline HM 0w20 and OEM filter
Thick oil is better grin2
Re: To change trans fluid or not? [Re: gfh77665] #4463788
07/19/17 09:57 AM
07/19/17 09:57 AM
Joined: Jul 2005
Posts: 30,422
NY
demarpaint Offline
demarpaint  Offline
Joined: Jul 2005
Posts: 30,422
NY
Do it. A pan drop and filter change. Then a fluid exchange.


God Bless Our Troops

Re: To change trans fluid or not? [Re: gfh77665] #4463797
07/19/17 10:08 AM
07/19/17 10:08 AM
Joined: Apr 2004
Posts: 7,735
New York
pbm Offline
pbm  Offline
Joined: Apr 2004
Posts: 7,735
New York
I would change the fluid and use the recommended fluid.
My 2002 Escort Zx-2 (most likely the same transmission) is the only vehicle that didn't respond well to Maxlife ATF.(although it was probably the fault of the tranny and not the fluid...thicker fluid seemed to help lessen the rough 1-2 shift on that F4-EAT (I think )...


'Journalism is Dead'
Re: To change trans fluid or not? [Re: gfh77665] #4463805
07/19/17 10:18 AM
07/19/17 10:18 AM
Joined: Jan 2017
Posts: 1,139
USA
ArcticDriver Offline
ArcticDriver  Offline
Joined: Jan 2017
Posts: 1,139
USA
No need for a pan drop and filter change.

Just drain the fluid and refill to the correct level as per your owners manual.

Lets keep this in perspective.

Its an old Ford Escort, folks, it was free. grin


Multiple Diesel and Gasoline vehicles
Re: To change trans fluid or not? [Re: gfh77665] #4463817
07/19/17 10:32 AM
07/19/17 10:32 AM
Joined: May 2012
Posts: 4,454
Baltimore, Maryland, USA
zzyzzx Offline
zzyzzx  Offline
Joined: May 2012
Posts: 4,454
Baltimore, Maryland, USA
YES!!! I've got 241K miles on my 1995 Escort's original automatic transmission, and yes I do occasionally change the fluid and I've changed the filter once.

And go here:
http://www.feoa.net

Re: To change trans fluid or not? [Re: gfh77665] #4463842
07/19/17 10:58 AM
07/19/17 10:58 AM
Joined: Apr 2013
Posts: 5,776
FL, USA
gregk24 Offline
gregk24  Offline
Joined: Apr 2013
Posts: 5,776
FL, USA
There are no issues with changing old fluid. It's better to have fresh fluid with a fresh add pack.


2012 Honda Accord EX-L K24z3
54,xxx miles
PPPP 0w20 / Fram Ultra

2014 VW Jetta SE 1.8T ea888
40,xxx miles
Castrol OEM dealer fill / OEM filter
Re: To change trans fluid or not? [Re: gfh77665] #4463857
07/19/17 11:12 AM
07/19/17 11:12 AM
Joined: May 2016
Posts: 717
Canada
i_hate_autofraud Offline
i_hate_autofraud  Offline
Joined: May 2016
Posts: 717
Canada


Fee is good. Free is valuable - why? Because you're ahead of any book value and maintaining a free car means
you don't have to layout cash now to buy.

Change the tranny filter too, they're small and intended to load up and create shift problems,
so changing it protects your free car!

For yrs in the 70s to 2012, I maintained and drove cars with no book value and it paid off big time, all the money
I never spent at a dealer was put put to good use elsewhere!

Re: To change trans fluid or not? [Re: gfh77665] #4463869
07/19/17 11:26 AM
07/19/17 11:26 AM
Joined: Sep 2008
Posts: 3,890
Southeast Texas
gfh77665 Offline OP
gfh77665  Offline OP
Joined: Sep 2008
Posts: 3,890
Southeast Texas
Thanks for all the positive replies. The guy who was adamant about NOT changing it out was an adviser at a indy Trans shop. He sincerely believed it would be more risky than it was worth. I appreciated his honesty.

I don't know much about Trans, but unless the fluid was BLACK, (and mine is definitely not) I too though at least a pan drop, filter and refill would be good PM.

Re: To change trans fluid or not? [Re: gfh77665] #4463874
07/19/17 11:30 AM
07/19/17 11:30 AM
Joined: Jan 2017
Posts: 1,139
USA
ArcticDriver Offline
ArcticDriver  Offline
Joined: Jan 2017
Posts: 1,139
USA
Originally Posted By: gfh77665
Thanks for all the positive replies. The guy who was adamant about NOT changing it out was an adviser at a indy Trans shop. He sincerely believed it would be more risky than it was worth. I appreciated his honesty.

I don't know much about Trans, but unless the fluid was BLACK, (and mine is definitely not) I too though at least a pan drop, filter and refill would be good PM.


I would never attempt to guess his own personal motives but doesn't he earn his money when transmissions break and require his services?

I don't really see old ATF draining out black.

The problem with ATF is that it had certain additives added to it and these additives become depleted with miles of use. The internal components of your transmission require these additives. Certainly, a very dark ATF needs replacing but even a lighter colored ATF could need replacing if it is old and the additives are used up.



Multiple Diesel and Gasoline vehicles
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