Ford recommends that you use Mercon® automatic transaxle fluid in your transaxle.
See Figures 1, 2, 3 and 4
It is very important to maintain the proper fluid level in an automatic transaxle. If the level is either too high or too low, poor shifting operation and internal damage are likely to occur. For this reason, a regular check of the fluid level is essential.
It is best to check the fluid at normal operating temperature.
- Drive the vehicle for 15-20 minutes or idle it at a fast idle speed (about 1200 rpm), allowing the transaxle to reach operating temperature. When the fluid is warm, allow the engine to idle normally.
- Park the car on a level surface, apply the parking brake and leave the engine idling. Make sure the parking brake is FIRMLY ENGAGED. Shift the transaxle and engage each gear, then place the selector in P (PARK).
- Keep the engine running and open the hood. Locate the transaxle dipstick. Wipe away any dirt in the area of the dipstick to prevent it from falling into the filler tube. Withdraw the dipstick, wipe it with a clean, lint-free rag and reinsert it until it fully seats.
- Withdraw the dipstick and hold it horizontally while noting the fluid level; it should be between the L and F marks.
- If the level is below the lower mark, use a funnel and add fluid in small quantities through the dipstick filler neck. Keep the engine running while adding fluid and check the level after each small amount. DO NOT overfill, as this could lead to foaming and transaxle damage or seal leaks.
Since the transaxle fluid is added through the dipstick tube, if you check the fluid too soon after adding fluid, an incorrect reading may occur. After adding fluid, wait a few minutes to allow it to fully drain into the transaxle.
DRAIN & REFILL
See Figures 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15 and 16
Under normal service (moderate highway driving, excluding excessively hot or cold conditions), the manufacturer feels that automatic transaxle fluid should not need periodic changing. However, if major service is performed to the transaxle, if the transaxle fluid becomes burnt or discolored through severe usage, if the vehicle is subjected to constant stop-and-go driving in hot weather, trailer towing, or long periods of highway use at high speeds, the fluid should be changed to prevent transaxle damage. A severe usage preventive maintenance change is, therefore, recommended for most vehicles at least every 90,000 miles (145,000 km).
Although not a required service, transaxle fluid changing can help assure a trouble-free transaxle. Likewise, changing the transaxle filter at this time is also added insurance.
- Raise the car and support it securely on jackstands.
- Place a large drain pan under the transaxle.
- Remove the transaxle drain plug from the differential housing (accessible through the opening in the crossmember) and allow the fluid to drain completely. Reinstall the drain plug and tighten it to 29-40 ft. lbs. (39-54 Nm).
- Loosen all of the pan attaching bolts to within a few turns of complete removal, then carefully break the gasket seal and allow what is left of the fluid to drain over the edge of the pan.
- When fluid has drained, remove the pan bolts and carefully lower the pan, doing your best to drain the rest of the fluid into the drain pan.
- Remove the gasket using a scraper.
- Remove the magnet from the bottom of the pan and clean the small metal shavings from it (this is normal).
- If necessary, loosen the transaxle fluid filter mounting bolts, then remove the filter by pulling it down and off of the valve body.
- Install the new oil filter screen and secure it using the retaining fasteners.
- Place a new gasket on the fluid pan, then install the pan to the transaxle. Tighten the attaching bolts to 43-69 inch lbs. (5-8 Nm).
- Remove the jackstands and lower the vehicle.
- Add three quarts (2.8L) of fluid through the dipstick tube.
The level should always just be below the F mark.
- Start the engine and move the gear selector through all gears in the shift pattern. Allow the engine to reach normal operating temperature.
- Check the transaxle fluid level. Add fluid, as necessary, to obtain the correct level.