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Jim Grant Tech Tips Jim Grant Tech Tips
A collection of helpful articles based on reader submissions
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Below is a collection of Jim Grant's Tech Tips sorted by Vehicle Make. These Tech Tips were answers to questions submitted to Jim by users over the course of many years.
If you have any questions, please feel free to email us.



Lincoln - Mercury
  Jim Grant's Tech Tips

‘02 Ford Explorer, Sealed Transmission

Q: I worked on my ’02 Ford Explorer to service the transmission at a service center for vehiclesand I used their service manual and equipment to change my transmission fluid (and cycled out fluid and refilled.) It was considered a "sealed" transmission, because of no dip stick to check the fluid level. There are two side bolt-plugs above transmission pan, I called FORD service dept. and they said to fill to the level of both chambers and add Mercon-V which I did. Now the transmission does not shift right, revs high and stays in gear longer and the over-drive light keeps flashing. What did I do wrong. I can't find any info for free and I am financially strapped and can't get an online service manual service because of $ and bad credit. I need my truck for work.

A: First, if there is any question on the fluid level in your transmission you should not be driving the vehicle until you know the level is correct. To check the fluid level, the engine must be running, transmission in park and at operating temperature. On the bottom of the transmission pan you’ll see a bolt/plug with a 3/16 allen head screw in it. Hold the plug with a wrench and remove the 3/16 allen screw from it. You’ll likely get a bit of transmission fluid spilling out when you first remove the plug. If you get a steady stream of drips, then the fluid level is likely correct. If all you get is a few then the level is likely low. The bolt/plug that you’ll hold with the wrench is a standpipe of sorts and goes up into the transmission pan around an inch to two. The top of the bolt/plug is the correct level of the transmission fluid. In general we’ll pump a pint or so of transmission fluid right up that bolt/plug and remove the pump. Then watch to see how the fluid drips out. We’ll keep adding fluid in that manner until the pump is removed and something like a 1/4 cup or more runs out and then slows to a drip. That tells us that the fluid is at the correct level. You can’t go into servicing today’s vehicle half charged. The procedures and tools required to perform what use to be common place service has changed. About the only thing you can count on is it changing again.

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