Transmission Question: 1997 V6 Automatic Transmission ?? - Mustang Evolution

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Old 11-24-2003, 12:33 AM   #1
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Transmission Question: 1997 V6 Automatic Transmission ??

I own a 1997 Ford Mustang V6 3.8L with 71K miles, automatic transmission.

I have been experiencing performance problems with the car, specifically when I am accelerating on the freeway. It is most noticeable when I am driving on the freeway and trying to accelerate from 50-60mph. I feel a shake when I stepping on the gas at that range. Also, my gas mileage has dropped dramatically.

I also posted on Mustangworld and people have been telling me that the problem can be fixed if I simply changed the transmission fluid.

On Saturday, I brought my car into AAMCO, the transmission specialist. They told me the car has never had the transmission fluid serviced because they found this little plastic thing in the transmission fluid. Apparently, this little plastic thing is kinda like a piece of the dipstick or something like that that comes inside the transmission fluid from the original purchase of the car.

The guy recommened I need to repair the transmission. But the problem is I think I've brought my car in for servicing at the dealerships in the past. Could it be possible that at the 30K and 60K mile servicing, the dealerships skipped on the transmission fluid change? If so, and the transmission is slipping (My problem was that my car was slipping or shaking at 30-40 mph and usually at 50-60mph on the highway) is there any recourse for me against the Ford Dealerships?

So what do you recommend me to do? Do you think maybe the AAMCO guy is trying to recommend services I don't need and maybe if I just change the transmission fluid, it'll fix the problem? He said that it won't do any good to just change the fluid because the tranny needs to be repaired. I don't know if he's lying and I can solve the problem by having the fluid changed. What ways are there to tell if the transmission really needs repair? Or is the slipping feeling i get due to just old transmission fluid?

Please advice. Thanks.

P.S. The transmission guy didn't show me any pieces of metal in the transmission fluid, so will a transmission fluid change do the job? Or is there something more serious due to the performance changes that I've felt?
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Old 11-24-2003, 05:38 AM   #2
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OK with knowing very little about the car I would guess it is 50/50 if this will actually fix the car. Typically Franchise tranny shops scare me but I did find a good one here in Greenville SC. The Mr Transmission is very good. It is quite possible the tranny fluid has never been changed. If indeed it has not ever been serviced It should not be a problem to have them do it.
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Old 11-30-2003, 06:40 AM   #3
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That little plastic thingy is the plug that seals the hole where the dipstick goes in. When the dipstick tube is installed at the factory it gets shoved into the pan.

When I changed my trans fluid last month I found that plug and it scared me. Not really being a Ford man I didn't know about the plug, so I assumed something fell out of the valve body.

I looked around to see if I could figure out where it went. Nada. I had to clean up and start surfing the net to find an exploded diagram of the trans. Found one, but no help. So I surfed some more and found out, on a Ford truck website, all about this plug. To verify I went to the local Ford dealer, three blocks away, and talked to the techs.

It is possible to change the trans fluid without dropping the pan, they have machines that will exchange the fluid. So the plug still being in our pan doesn't necessarily mean it's never had it's fluid changed.

Aamco wouldn't be my first choice for trans work. I do my own work.

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Old 12-02-2003, 11:09 AM   #4
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I think the problem yo uare having is torque converter shudder that is common past 50k in AODE and 4r70w transmissions. I would simply change the fluid and filter (Make sure to use Mercon V and flush the torque converter and pan).

It is no big deal if the car has 60k and the fluid was still original as long as the fluid wasnt' brown in color and burnt.
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Old 12-09-2003, 05:49 PM   #5
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i do not understand why people DO NOT change their tranny fluid EVERY FREAKING year... its not that expensive 30k is ok~ but every eyar is better, if the ford lot didnt change it and you asked them to and they charged you for it i would raise hell, but they probably idnt do anything other than changet eh oil, air filter and top off your fluids and send ya on your way, they only recommend it every 50k.... i wonder why.... so it will need to be really serviced and you will have to pay them out the ass to get it done.
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