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Auto Tranny fluid/filter change question?


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#1 archsvile

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Posted 05 February 2008 - 02:16 AM

For the past 5000 miles I've been having problems with my transmission in my 98 ford contour se. When my tranny shifts gears when I'm driving it shifts really ruff sometimes. Seems to only shift really ruff when I put the pedal to the medal. I've gotten my tranny fluid changed but the mechanic did not change the filter. From what I heard its not even worth changing the fluid if you don't change the filter? I'm going to pick up a filter at a local auto store and attempt to change my auto tranny fluid. I've never changed tranmission fluid before in a Auto tranny but I have changed fluid in many manual cars. Could someone give me any tips on how to change the fluid and the filter? Also whats the best transmission fluid to use? Thanks for all your help.

#2 Terry Haines

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Posted 05 February 2008 - 06:50 AM

...the filter is not a service item on the CD4E unless the trans is stripped for repair/rebuild.Do the 'Times 3' drain and refill with Mobil 1 Synth ATF. Never pressure flush the CD4E and do take a look at my pinned post on my forum on CD4E issues...worth a read!

#3 BrApple

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Posted 05 February 2008 - 07:05 AM

could it be a TCC issue, that is what I hear normally causes rough shifting if everything else is in order.

#4 Terry Haines

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Posted 05 February 2008 - 07:23 AM

...never start throwing parts at a CD4E until you know the fault!!!

#5 archsvile

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Posted 05 February 2008 - 12:21 PM

...the filter is not a service item on the CD4E unless the trans is stripped for repair/rebuild.Do the 'Times 3' drain and refill with Mobil 1 Synth ATF. Never pressure flush the CD4E and do take a look at my pinned post on my forum on CD4E issues...worth a read!


Could you explain to me how you do the times 3 drain and refill. I think I know what you mean. Drain the pan.. refill with mobile 1 then start car and let it circulate.. shut off car then drain it again and keep doing the same thing?

So the filter does not need to be replaced? I would like to change it if I could just to make sure? Is it hard to change?

Edited by archsvile, 05 February 2008 - 12:25 PM.


#6 Terry Haines

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Posted 05 February 2008 - 12:26 PM

...correct but the CD4E has a drain plug,low and to the bottom of the diff housing.Leave the pan on....

#7 99ContourLX

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Posted 05 February 2008 - 01:31 PM

Could you explain to me how you do the times 3 drain and refill. I think I know what you mean. Drain the pan.. refill with mobile 1 then start car and let it circulate.. shut off car then drain it again and keep doing the same thing?

So the filter does not need to be replaced? I would like to change it if I could just to make sure? Is it hard to change?


Make sure you shift through all the gears when you start it up each time after a refill.
But that's about it. It's very easy. Just like changing the oil, except that you don't change any filters.
Add 4 quarts and then top off if necessary when you check the fluid with the dipstick when the car's at running temp.

Also, if you order from kragen.com and pick up in store, you can get $5 off $30 using '4PICKUP' as the coupon code.
I do that all the time. It's like getting a free quart.
The only thing is that call the local store to make sure that they actually have Mobil1 ATF. The online inventory is not accurate.

If you're ordering > $90 worth of stuff, make sure you place 3 separate orders, that way you'll save $15.

#8 archsvile

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Posted 15 February 2008 - 06:38 PM

I've just got one more question. Why shouldn't the filter be changed? Don't you think what would be recommended to do? Also where exactly is the drain bolt. Thanks for all your help.

#9 99ContourLX

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Posted 15 February 2008 - 06:55 PM

The filter is not serviceable.
The drain plug is at the bottom of the transmission. It's a round plug with a square hollow that can be opened with a 3/8" ratchet (no socket required. Not sure if this is the right way, but I've always used a ratchet without a socket)

#10 archsvile

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Posted 16 February 2008 - 12:04 AM

Thank you so much for your help. I will stop bugging you guys now with questions. haha

#11 99ContourLX

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Posted 16 February 2008 - 01:52 AM

It's ok to ask questions. Everyone helps as much as they can. That's what this forum is for.

#12 Terry Haines

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Posted 16 February 2008 - 07:40 AM

Why shouldn't the filter be changed?

....because you can't get to it just by removing the front pan. It's located deeper within the trans and can only be changed 1)When the trans is out of the car and 2)..stripped down to get to the filter as part of a major rebuild/repair...

#13 jammanco

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Posted 01 September 2011 - 12:38 PM

I have a 99 Ford Contour 4 cyl -- I believe that's the SVT -- automatic and I would like to use the Terry Haines method three flush to change the tranny fluid -- will mixing the high quality Mobil synthetic fluid have any affect with the BP red Mercon that I have in there now?

I also would like to properly change and drain the coolant and give it a flush -- any suggestions as to the proper way or any links to websites that sow how would be much appreciated. Thanks everyone, jammanco



#14 99ContourLX

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Posted 08 September 2011 - 11:36 PM

Flushing x3 will get most of the fluid out. It won't be an issue.
I switched from the OEM Ford fluid to Mobil1 Synthetic ATF. Car still runs fine at 145k miles.

I recently drained the coolant by disconnecting the hose at the very bottom. It's easier to do than to open the coolant drain plug.
I also changed the upper radiator hoses and clamps. If you haven't changed the thermostat, you may as well do that too and you should be good for a long time.
Make sure you refill the coolant very slowly so that there are no bubbles trapped in the system.

SVTs are V6 engines and so if you have 4 cylinders, it's definitely not an SVT.