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Old 01-27-2013, 22:20   #1
captainstormy
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2006 F150 Transmission fluid change Questions

Just thought I would pick some people's brains here.

This is my fourth automobile and all I've ever done in the past to any of them (Transmission Wise) are transmission flushes either every 50K miles or 3 years, whichever comes first.

I did a flush in March 2010 on this truck, figured I would do another one in the next couple of weeks since it's closing in on 3 years.

I noticed a while back that autozone has a listing for a filter for the truck:
http://preview.************/aaymaxm

Should I have that changed at some point? I suppose by the old fashioned dropping the pan and changing the Fluid one could change a filter at the same time.

Guess it's good that I went into IT, I didn't realize there were transmission filters.

While yall are reading. Any thoughts on when to change Front Diff and Transfer case? Its only been like 12K miles but it has been 2 years as well. There I've never really been able to find anything from Ford that says to do it after X miles or Y period of time.
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Old 01-27-2013, 22:22   #2
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Apparently GT dosn't like Tiny URL. If you replace the ******* with tinyurl then it should work fine. The actual link was way to long to post.
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Old 01-27-2013, 22:28   #3
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Almost no one recommends transmission flushes or fluid replacements any more, unless there is a compelling reason to do so. In fact, most manufacturers recommend against transmission flushes, as a matter of routine maintenance.

Most shops I have worked at stopped doing trans flushes, because of comeback issues. I lost track of the nu bet of GM transmissions I saw come into a shop running fine and come back with a transmission that was slipping, after a trans service.
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Old 01-27-2013, 22:52   #4
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Almost no one recommends transmission flushes or fluid replacements any more, unless there is a compelling reason to do so. In fact, most manufacturers recommend against transmission flushes, as a matter of routine maintenance.

Most shops I have worked at stopped doing trans flushes, because of comeback issues. I lost track of the nu bet of GM transmissions I saw come into a shop running fine and come back with a transmission that was slipping, after a trans service.
My understanding is you should never flush or change the fluid on a modern automatic transmission which you don't know the service history of. I've also heard many horror stories after flushes even in regularly maintained vehicles. I would drop the pan(if possible on the vehicle) and change the fluid and filter every 50,000 miles if you've owned the vehicles since new.

It does seem to be a complete crap shoot. I had a gmc Denali vehicle never had any transmission maintenance done. 173,000miles and drove great, also had a Montero sport 145,000 miles never maintained drove great. My first car was a 94 accord 100,000 miles transmission fluid and filter changed every 40-50,000 miles transmission lost reverse and drive.

Last edited by kiole; 01-27-2013 at 22:59..
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Old 01-27-2013, 23:20   #5
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Every current automatic transmission I've read about is a, "sealed life-time unit." Heed their words. HH
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Old 01-27-2013, 23:33   #6
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Originally Posted by Eric View Post
Almost no one recommends transmission flushes or fluid replacements any more, unless there is a compelling reason to do so. In fact, most manufacturers recommend against transmission flushes, as a matter of routine maintenance.

Most shops I have worked at stopped doing trans flushes, because of comeback issues. I lost track of the nu bet of GM transmissions I saw come into a shop running fine and come back with a transmission that was slipping, after a trans service.
My experience has been the same. On my personal vehicles, I install a drain plug in the transmission pan. I change what's in the pan (which is 5 quarts) every other oil change (which is every 5,000 miles on my vehicles) I change the filter every 30,000 miles.

At the 30k interval, I pull the fluid return and add fluid/let it run out until it comes out clean. This is the only way I'd flush. I would never recommend getting a transmission power flushed or back flushed with any machine.

While the fluid exchange machines don't pressurizes or back flush the system, I still avoid them. You never know how well the machine is maintained or what other transmission fluids are mixed in (and not compatible with your transmission! )

It's not so much the act of flushing that causes problems as much as it's the debris that the flushing process churns up. The flush can push the debris into the valve body and cause all kinds of havoc.

I've been changing my transmission fluid the way I've described for a long time and I've never had one issue, and it's what I recommend as a professional mechanic. This is what we did at the Ford garage I worked for on all vehicles that were out of warranty. We never had transmissions come back for anything but routine fluid changes.
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Old 01-27-2013, 23:42   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by HollowHead View Post
Every current automatic transmission I've read about is a, "sealed life-time unit." Heed their words. HH
The manual gives ranges to change the transmission fluid depending on your usage. It isn't a lifetime sealed unit in my F150.
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Old 01-27-2013, 23:46   #8
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Originally Posted by captainstormy View Post
The manual gives ranges to change the transmission fluid depending on your usage. It isn't a lifetime sealed unit in my F150.
Anyone that believes anything that's titled, "Maintenance Free" or a, "Lifetime Sealed Unit" is truly maintenance free in for a rude awakening!




Take that from someone that's been in the industry for nearly twenty years.

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Old 01-28-2013, 00:01   #9
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Originally Posted by NEOH212 View Post
My experience has been the same. On my personal vehicles, I install a drain plug in the transmission pan. I change what's in the pan (which is 5 quarts) every other oil change (which is every 5,000 miles on my vehicles) I change the filter every 30,000 miles.

At the 30k interval, I pull the fluid return and add fluid/let it run out until it comes out clean. This is the only way I'd flush. I would never recommend getting a transmission power flushed or back flushed with any machine.

While the fluid exchange machines don't pressurizes or back flush the system, I still avoid them. You never know how well the machine is maintained or what other transmission fluids are mixed in (and not compatible with your transmission! )

It's not so much the act of flushing that causes problems as much as it's the debris that the flushing process churns up. The flush can push the debris into the valve body and cause all kinds of havoc.

I've been changing my transmission fluid the way I've described for a long time and I've never had one issue, and it's what I recommend as a professional mechanic. This is what we did at the Ford garage I worked for on all vehicles that were out of warranty. We never had transmissions come back for anything but routine fluid changes.
I was leaning towards doing the pan drop from now on the more and more reading I do. I noticed the dealership didn't even offer a flush the last time I was in there.

I've done probably 2-3 on each of the other cars I've owned without trouble but I might have just been fairly lucky in the past.
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Old 01-28-2013, 00:27   #10
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Originally Posted by captainstormy View Post
I was leaning towards doing the pan drop from now on the more and more reading I do. I noticed the dealership didn't even offer a flush the last time I was in there.

I've done probably 2-3 on each of the other cars I've owned without trouble but I might have just been fairly lucky in the past.
I should note that I mistyped. I change oil every 5,000 and what's in the tranny gets changed every 10,000. I just wanted to clear that up. Yes, a lot of shops aren't even doing the, "Flush" anymore and as I said, I would steer clear of it.

If you really want to change out all the fluid, do as I described above and you'll be ok. If anything, the fluid change benefits the torque convertor clutch more than anything else, but everything will benefit from fresh fluid at least every 30,000 miles.

I don't care how advanced anyone says modern transmission fluid is, everything breaks down after a while and needs to be changed. Where a lot of people run into trouble with transmission fluid changes is when they let the fluid change to to 100,000 miles or more and then change it.

Automatic transmission fluid is very detergent by nature and when fresh fluid is put into a transmission that's very dirty from not ever being serviced, it has the tendency to dislodge metal, clutch and band lining and anything else that's trapped in the trans. This can dislodge and become trapped in the valve body where it can cause all kinds of headaches.

The worse case scenario is when the clutches and bands become so conditioned to the old broken down fluid that when fresh fluid is introduced into the system, the clutches and bands now have a different friction coefficient due to the new fluid and may not grip as well. The result is slippage.

How much slippage isn't a set rule and sometimes nothing negative happens at all, although that's usually the rare case. Sometimes problems won't be immediate and show up weeks later. There are so many things to factor in with this kind of thing.

The best advice that I can offer is don't listen to the BS about lifetime sealed units or maintenance free anything. Transmission life is mainly dependent on three things. 1. quality of the fluid. 2. Keeping the fluid/transmission cool. 3. Driving habits/how the transmission is used.

Keep your transmission as cool as possible. If you use your vehicle to routinely haul heavy loads, consider installing a auxiliary oil cooler. Don't drive routinely with a heavy foot. In heavy stop and go traffic, consider using tow/haul mode or shutting the overdrive off to prevent unnecessary shifts in and out of overdrive.

Change your fluid on a regular interval and stick to it. If your sensible about all the points outlined here, you will enjoy many years of trouble free operation from your automatic transmission.
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Old 01-28-2013, 00:54   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by NEOH212 View Post
I should note that I mistyped. I change oil every 5,000 and what's in the tranny gets changed every 10,000. I just wanted to clear that up. Yes, a lot of shops aren't even doing the, "Flush" anymore and as I said, I would steer clear of it.

If you really want to change out all the fluid, do as I described above and you'll be ok. If anything, the fluid change benefits the torque convertor clutch more than anything else, but everything will benefit from fresh fluid at least every 30,000 miles.

I don't care how advanced anyone says modern transmission fluid is, everything breaks down after a while and needs to be changed. Where a lot of people run into trouble with transmission fluid changes is when they let the fluid change to to 100,000 miles or more and then change it.

Automatic transmission fluid is very detergent by nature and when fresh fluid is put into a transmission that's very dirty from not ever being serviced, it has the tendency to dislodge metal, clutch and band lining and anything else that's trapped in the trans. This can dislodge and become trapped in the valve body where it can cause all kinds of headaches.

The worse case scenario is when the clutches and bands become so conditioned to the old broken down fluid that when fresh fluid is introduced into the system, the clutches and bands now have a different friction coefficient due to the new fluid and may not grip as well. The result is slippage.

How much slippage isn't a set rule and sometimes nothing negative happens at all, although that's usually the rare case. Sometimes problems won't be immediate and show up weeks later. There are so many things to factor in with this kind of thing.

The best advice that I can offer is don't listen to the BS about lifetime sealed units or maintenance free anything. Transmission life is mainly dependent on three things. 1. quality of the fluid. 2. Keeping the fluid/transmission cool. 3. Driving habits/how the transmission is used.

Keep your transmission as cool as possible. If you use your vehicle to routinely haul heavy loads, consider installing a auxiliary oil cooler. Don't drive routinely with a heavy foot. In heavy stop and go traffic, consider using tow/haul mode or shutting the overdrive off to prevent unnecessary shifts in and out of overdrive.

Change your fluid on a regular interval and stick to it. If your sensible about all the points outlined here, you will enjoy many years of trouble free operation from your automatic transmission.
Thanks NEOH212. I'll start doing it that way. I typically change my own oil anyway unless I don't feel like it in the winter time. Won't be hard to drain the transmission fluid while I'm down there. Not sure about changing the filter myself. I could probably do it but not sure I'm comfortable dropping the pan myself.

I'll have to see if I can find a pan with a drain plug to install on there if mine doesn't already have one. I'm not sure but I don't think I've seen one there while I'm under there changing the oil.

If your ever down towards Columbus let me know and I'll buy ya a beer sometime.

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Old 01-28-2013, 01:51   #12
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Thanks NEOH212. I'll start doing it that way. I typically change my own oil anyway unless I don't feel like it in the winter time. Won't be hard to drain the transmission fluid while I'm down there. Not sure about changing the filter myself. I could probably do it but not sure I'm comfortable dropping the pan myself.

I'll have to see if I can find a pan with a drain plug to install on there if mine doesn't already have one. I'm not sure but I don't think I've seen one there while I'm under there changing the oil.

If your ever down towards Columbus let me know and I'll buy ya a beer sometime.

2006 Ford F-150 should have the 4R75E Transmission. The bolt pattern on the pan is the same as the 4R70W. The Ford factory part number for the pan with the drain plug is F8UZ-7A194-AA. It should run around $40.

Have a dealer double check the part number to make sure it hasn't been superseded. Or if your savvy with a Mig welder, you could get one of the weld in drain plug kits. Drill a hole and weld it in. This is what I do.

The filter is really easy to change. Just drop the pan, pull the old one out and push the new one in and bolt the pan back on. The gasket is reusable as long as it's the stock elastomeric (rubberized) one and not cork. Just don't over tighten the pan bolts!

Good luck and if I'm down that way, I'll take you up on that beer!

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Old 01-28-2013, 02:36   #13
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The yellow plug is extra also and can be taken out. It is left over from assembly.
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Old 01-28-2013, 04:29   #14
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I have owned my 97 F-150 since new and I presently have 228K miles on it with the original transmission. During its life I have had it flushed twice and very recently a drain and fill. They did replace the filter at the same time. Total cost for parts and labor was $110. Remember with a drain and fill you only get a portion of the fluid replaced.
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Old 01-28-2013, 05:22   #15
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I have owned my 97 F-150 since new and I presently have 228K miles on it with the original transmission. During its life I have had it flushed twice and very recently a drain and fill. They did replace the filter at the same time. Total cost for parts and labor was $110. Remember with a drain and fill you only get a portion of the fluid replaced.
THIS ^. You cannot remove the fluid from the torque converter assembly unless you physically remove the transmission. I haven't seen drain plugs on converters for years. I once calculated how many times you need to change the fluid to get a high percentage of flesh fluid throughout the whole system. It was like 6 or 8 times, until it wasn't worth it for another percent or two. What I did was change it and put in a fresh filter, drive it for a short time, then change just the fluid. If you find out the capacity of the torque converter and the transmisison seperately, you can calculate how many times you need to change the fluid to get the best results, until the principle of diminishing returns kick in. Like I said, it was like 6 or 8 times in rapid succession.

The statement about avoiding changing fluid that never was changed in 100,000 miles I think is still relevant. I think the fluid gets a little thicker from all of the debris. I've seen (many years ago) where either the trans slips or the front main seal starts to leak. I think you should either change it often from the start or leave it alone. If you never changed it in 100,000 miles, and you're going to trade it in anyway, why look for trouble?

One other comment I feel I need to make. It seems no one knows about so-called direct shift transmissions. I have one so I'm familiar with them. There's no torque converter. It's essentially a manual transmission with a computer-controlled clutch (actually two but I'll explain later). It also has a computer-controlled shift mechanism. Mine is a 6-speed. Gears'1-3-5 are on one side of the transmission case, and 2-4-6 are on the other. Each gear set's shaft connects to a clutch. But the clutches are arranged radially - it looks like one clutch but there's an inner and an outer. I believe the outer is on the even gears and the inner is on the odd gears. When you're in 1st gear, second gear is already selected on the other side, so when it shifts, the clutch on the first gear shaft merely opens and and the clutch on second gear's shaft merely closes. Needless to say, shifts (depending on the software) can be nearly instantaneous. The computer even rev matches on upshifts and downshifts. It's virtually like driving a manual transmission with a clutch pedal. It also slightly applies the clutch when you take you foot off the brake from a stop, to give you a little "creep". The transmission computer talks to the engine computer so that between shifts it cuts power for a microsecond (while the clutches are opening and closing) to assure a smooth shift. It's still fast enough to burn rubber or chirp the tires if you have enough power. ANYWAY, these transmission need to have their fluid and filter changed at 40K intervals. But since there's no valve bodies or associated parts you won't have problems. The fluid is there to merely cool and lube the gears and clutches. If you have the opportunity - test drive a car with one.

Last edited by The Fed; 01-28-2013 at 06:11..
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Old 01-28-2013, 06:08   #16
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I'd say drive it til the transmission goes out.

It'll last just as long and you won't waste any money throwing away your transmission fluid every now and then.

I change the motor oil as recommended, the rear end oil as recommended and drain/replace the antifreeze at 100K (never flush).
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Old 01-28-2013, 06:16   #17
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Your front diff only needs to be drained every 100k. Same with the rear (even though it is 'lifetime'.). That is unless you are the type to go mudding or regularly have the diffs in water.

I would replace transfer case fluid every time you do your transmission fluid, it's only 2 more quarts.
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Old 01-28-2013, 06:30   #18
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Almost no one recommends transmission flushes or fluid replacements any more, unless there is a compelling reason to do so. In fact, most manufacturers recommend against transmission flushes, as a matter of routine maintenance.

Most shops I have worked at stopped doing trans flushes, because of comeback issues. I lost track of the nu bet of GM transmissions I saw come into a shop running fine and come back with a transmission that was slipping, after a trans service.
Honda recommends a fluid change at around 90K miles, as of 2006 (the year of my wife's car). No filter change, just a drain and refill.

That Honda is boneheadedly easy to check the fluid level on, and to change the fluid. It has a drain plug, not a pan. My Chevy truck has a drain plug in the pan but I believe the morons at GM welded it in place or something.

It is the only car I know of you check the transmission fluid in with the engine off. Warm it up, shut it off, and you have 90 seconds (per the dealer, probably have longer than that in reality) to check the fluid and get an accurate reading.
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