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post #1 of 14 Old 2 Weeks Ago Thread Starter
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2017 Transmission Fluid Change

After watching a couple of YouTube how-to videos it appears that there are some differences between the 2017 and earlier models. I did three drain and refill cycles on my 2.0L Escape at 24,744 miles. By my rough calculations, this should have left me with approximately 83% new fluid. The color of the factory fill fluid was darker than I would have expected at this mileage. My Escape has not seen any hard driving or trailer towing, and was not exhibiting any strange behavior.

After warming up the transmission and before draining out the old fluid, I was curious to see if the factory fill was up to the "level check" plug. I removed the upper plug and about 4 to 6 ounces of fluid ran out. I drained and measured the factory fill, it came to about 4.1 quarts.

As stated, I drained and refilled the transmission three times. I took about a 10 minute drive between each cycle.

On the final fill, I added exactly 4 quarts and despite being "cold" there was a small amount of fluid running out of the "level check" plug when I removed it to check the level.

The fill hole requires removing an air-vent plug that is held in place by a hose clamp. There is a rigid plastic hose that runs from the bottom of the air filter box to a rubber "Y" junction at the front of the car. Remove it for easier access to the fill port and plug. I have attached a photo of the hose.

The "level check" plug is located on the drivers side of the transmission just aft of where the axle shaft attaches to the transmission. You will need a 10mm Hex Key to remove it. I have attached photos of what the plug looks like, and also posted a photo of the "level check" plug location.

The "severe service" maintenance schedule recommends changing the transmission fluid every 30,000 miles. Despite having driving habits that would put me on the "normal" maintenance schedule, I will be servicing mine at 25,000 mile intervals. With the appearance of the fluid that I drained out, I expect that anyone who follows the "normal" service recommendation of the first fluid change at 150,000 miles will be in need of a new transmission a lot sooner than expected.
Attached Images
File Type: jpg Trans Fill Port.jpg (160.9 KB, 58 views)
File Type: jpg Trans Fill Cap In Place.jpg (89.4 KB, 52 views)
File Type: jpg Trans Fill Cap Removed.jpg (156.6 KB, 53 views)
File Type: jpg Remove This Hose.jpg (183.2 KB, 50 views)
File Type: jpg Remove This Hose (In Place).jpg (148.0 KB, 51 views)
File Type: jpg Level Check Plug In Place.jpg (163.0 KB, 53 views)
File Type: jpg Level Check Plug.jpg (160.8 KB, 50 views)

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post #2 of 14 Old 2 Weeks Ago
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Wow, I guess you were really dedicated to get a high percentage fluid replacement there. Twelve quarts and three changes!

I think for most people a single drain and refill every 30k will be enough. Doing multiple subsequent changes is sort of a diminishing return situation since the cost and amount of waste generated goes up quick.

Mercon LV does get dark really quick. Unlike other ATFs, you can't really judge the fluid condition by the color because it gets dark so quickly (fluid is still fine). Part of me thinks Ford deliberately formulated it with an unstable red dye to scare people into changing their trans fluid sooner.

It is interesting that it was slightly overfilled from the factory. Perhaps they err on the side of caution in case their fluid guns lose calibration or if the vehicle were to experience a leak. But the other interesting question is if you could get away with draining it and filling it with exactly 4 quarts and skipping the level check. Did you happen to measure how much came out on your final fill?
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I actually found my transmission level a little low.. I do mine cold with the car level and find you get more of a drain out this way and any sediment should be at the bottom from sitting overnight..Since the fluid is so thin it flows out fine when cold.....I did two 6 months apart so far and might do a third this summer, and then hold off for 20-30k miles....
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Quote:
Originally Posted by EscapeTape View Post
(clip)...Doing multiple subsequent changes is sort of a diminishing return situation since the cost and amount of waste generated goes up quick.

Mercon LV does get dark really quick. Unlike other ATFs, you can't really judge the fluid condition by the color because it gets dark so quickly (fluid is still fine). Part of me thinks Ford deliberately formulated it with an unstable red dye to scare people into changing their trans fluid sooner.

It is interesting that it was slightly overfilled from the factory. Perhaps they err on the side of caution in case their fluid guns lose calibration or if the vehicle were to experience a leak. But the other interesting question is if you could get away with draining it and filling it with exactly 4 quarts and skipping the level check. Did you happen to measure how much came out on your final fill?
You are correct about the diminishing returns. By my calculations, the first drain/fill leaves you with 44.4% new fluid, the second drain/fill leaves you with 69.1% new fluid, and the third drain/fill leaves you with 82.9% new fluid....it does drop off quickly. If the weak red dye was a strategy for Ford, they got me. I kept draining and refilling because the color of the fluid stayed unusually grey, even after multiple drain/fill cycles. Also, I had plenty of fluid, I bought the 6 gallon box from Rock Auto for about $ 90. See photo. The part number is XT-10-6GLV.

I did not measure how much came out from the final drain cycle, although that is a very good idea. I will update in 25,000 miles with that info.
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post #5 of 14 Old 2 Weeks Ago
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Nevada View Post
If the weak red dye was a strategy for Ford, they got me. I kept draining and refilling because the color of the fluid stayed unusually grey, even after multiple drain/fill cycles.
This may be of interest:

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post #6 of 14 Old 2 Weeks Ago
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Quote:
Originally Posted by KY.BORN View Post
I actually found my transmission level a little low.. I do mine cold with the car level and find you get more of a drain out this way and any sediment should be at the bottom from sitting overnight..Since the fluid is so thin it flows out fine when cold.....I did two 6 months apart so far and might do a third this summer, and then hold off for 20-30k miles....
It will seem low if you check it cold. The fluid expands quite a bit when it gets warm, so you MUST check the fluid level while hot or you will be overfilled. Cold drain is fine though.
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post #7 of 14 Old 2 Weeks Ago
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[QUOTE=EscapeTape;1119636]It will seem low if you check it cold. The fluid expands quite a bit when it gets warm, so you MUST check the fluid level while hot or you will be overfilled. Cold drain is fine though.[/QUO


I said I drain the transmission when its cold, sitting overnight to get more out and when level on ground , not on ramps...I checked when warm on level ground...It was a little low on the first drain from factory...
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post #8 of 14 Old 2 Weeks Ago
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Hello Nevada, thanks for taking the time to post this. I'm getting ready to do a tranny fluid change in my 2017 and it's a bit different from changing the fluid in my 2013.


Question: did you reassemble everything before you took your warm-up drives or did you leave the hard pipe over the fill cap off until you finished?


Again, thanks for your post - very helpful.
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Nevada View Post
You are correct about the diminishing returns. By my calculations, the first drain/fill leaves you with 44.4% new fluid, the second drain/fill leaves you with 69.1% new fluid, and the third drain/fill leaves you with 82.9% new fluid....it does drop off quickly. If the weak red dye was a strategy for Ford, they got me. I kept draining and refilling because the color of the fluid stayed unusually grey, even after multiple drain/fill cycles. Also, I had plenty of fluid, I bought the 6 gallon box from Rock Auto for about $ 90. See photo. The part number is XT-10-6GLV.

I did not measure how much came out from the final drain cycle, although that is a very good idea. I will update in 25,000 miles with that info.
didnt know about the 6 gallon container.

i just ordered the last in stock from rock auto. was about $56USD + shipping.

the Ford dealerships are showing the 6 gal container discontinued.

I had previously done a flush with valvoline maxlife, and there was a very slight reduction in shift quality, especiially going into reverse, or drive, or the 2-1 downshift, so I'll be flushing back towards full mercon LV

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2014 Mustang GT - sold
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FYI for those interested in the net effect of partial drain/fill (in terms of '% fresh' fluid):

Transmission Partial Drain CALCULATOR (link to BITOG forum post)

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