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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Has anybody out there got any information on how to properly care for the CD4E? Are there any problems to look out for? I know you guys know the answer to this one.
 

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Do a drain-and-fill every 10,000 miles, or every other oil change, with Mercon fluid; watch out for the shudder. :)

Stay away from synthetic fluids and additives.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Thanks Squishy! :D
 

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Is there anything more specific you were looking for? I also added a transmission filter to mine which seemed to help preserve the shift quality longer. I also switched to Dexron VI fluid, but that's a pretty big risk to take and the main reason I switched - better cold weather performance - isn't really a factor in sunny Florida.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
No, I'm good, but this would be a good time and place to add whatever information you think that others searching for it might need to see. :D
 

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Well, my transmission filter install is posted in the Drivetrain Mods forum. As for switching to Dexron VI, Ford and GM transmissions are pretty much as similar as you can get in design. So, even though Mercon V and Dexron VI are almost opposites in viscosity and a few other things (which is why you'll probably never see a Mercon V/Dexron VI dual usage fluid like Merc/DexIII), Dexron VI should be okay. I chose Dexron VI mainly for cold-starting performance as it gets as low as -30'C here, but an added benefit is that it was engineered (by Canadians :D) to improve shift quality and better maintain the characteristics of the fluid's friction modifiers, so you get to keep that shift quality longer. With Mercon fluid you may notice that after 10-15,000 miles, shifts start to take a little longer.

Switching to a non-OEM approved fluid is a big risk, so I'm not going to just flat-out recommend it to anyone. I researched it and found Dexron VI to be an acceptable risk given that Mercon fluid was no longer licensed (and now some formulations are switching to inferior basestock that would only meet Dexron III(G)* specifications), and it would give added protection in cold winter starts. Did I do enough research? Only time will tell.

*Dexron III(H) was the latest specification prior to the end of licensing. I'm not sure if Mercon had similar licensing requirements, but GM found III(G) specifications were too lax, which allowed the use of inferior basestock that did not hold up in extreme usage. (GM's own Dexron III(G) met III(H) specifications)
 

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:horse: (is it really dead?) I hate to bring up the Merc/DexIII vs NEW MercV again, but I've yet to read a final word on it.

My quandary: It shifts perfectly and I'd like to keep it that way, but I'd also like to get fluid changes on a regular schedule. I've heard switching back to MercIII is a no-no if you have been running mercV, and many early Escape owners have successfully switched to the new V with no issues. I've also picked apart a lot of other posts from other forums saying the newly reformulated MerV is okay to run in these now. Since I bought my Escape used with 70K+ miles I have no idea of what fluid is in it currently.

Automatic Transmission Fluid or dual usage fluids labeled
MERCON(R)/MERCON(R) V. After July 1, 2007, MERCON(R)
Automatic Transmission fluid will no longer be
manufactured, therefore availability of this fluid will
only continue for however long it takes to deplete what
remains in inventory"

The reason for the special service bulletin which harshly
said to ONLY use mercon on the escapes was because they
were afraid of damage (swelling to the brass bushings) in
the solenoids that was happening to the explorer 5 speed
automatics from Mercon V.
The Mercon V fluid has since been reformulated so this is
no longer an issue. You'll be fine with Mercon V.

I wouldn't listen to ***, he's stuck on a rating that was
written before the current spec was even widely available.
You have absolutely no reason to switch back to III and if
you did you would be cheating yourself. V is the better
fluid to use and Merc/Dex is specifically designed to be
backwards compatible. Take the advice from who you want to
but if you take it from me you'd be taking advice from the
guy who assumes liability on the issue almost daily. You
can mix the 2 and you can always use a higher rating in a
trans that was originally spec'd for something lower.

There's many myths in automotives that some people will go
to their graves believing, this is one of them.

This is the key to this whole argument; The Mercon V fluid has since been reformulated so this is no longer an issue.

It sounds like this reformulation is quite recent and SSM 16896 is also correct at the time it was put out.
Not knowing what is in my transmission, suggestions? My Ford dealer said he is aware of the early problems with switching fluids but their flush and fill would be with the MerV.
 

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I have 30k on my transmission and haven't touched my fluid yet...then again my tranny did go out at 20k :cuss:
 

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This is a good issue for the newbies to get familiar with.

Escapes are pretty popular now, and not just the newer Mercon V ones (switched over in, er...07? It's been a while). Ask one of the older mechanics (not the service advisor) if there have ever been any CD4E failures at all, and if so, whether they were close to a transmission fluid service. I think the revised Mercon V formula is fully compatible now, or Ford would effectively be killing off a good chunk of one of their most popular vehicles.

Make sure the dealership does not use a flush machine that requires a solvent or a reverse flushing technique. I wouldn't even let them hook up a machine that uses external pressure; ideally they should be using a fluid exchange machine that uses the transmission's own pump. To avoid all this, if you are even a casual DIYer, you can pull the transmission drain plug and fill with new fluid down the dipstick tube. A bit less than 2/3 of the fluid will remain in the system, so I do this three times as often as the manual recommends. Measure what comes out and fill with 80% of that volume, then check the fluid and fill to the correct level. Make sure the engine is running and you shift through the gears before checking the level.
 

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Thanks for the reply. I intend to do the work myself. I don't personally know any seasoned Ford mechanics to ask, let alone those well versed in Escapes since new. Unless I have hard current evidence to do otherwise, sooner than later I'll do the fluid change with the new Mercon V. I hear Castrol is recommended or might just go to Ford and buy a few gallons to have on hand.
 

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At first I thought you just quoted the "Mercon is discontinued" service bulletin, but it looks like a reply from our favourite SA "over there". If there was any correlation between Mercon V and CD4E failures, it should have been apparent to him by now. Some service advisors are only concerned about upselling and making profit, which is why I told you to avoid talking to one, but the helpful ones you find online are generally the best of the bunch. The original TSB on only using MERCON fluid in the CD4E has since been superceeded by a TSB saying MERCON V is now approved.

Do you plan on just a drain-and-fill or a complete fluid exchange through the cooler lines? I don't know what the "preferred" fluid is for the CD4E, but for other Fords I service, I use Petro Canada's MV ATF. Motorcraft fluid should be a sure bet.
 

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I'll jump in now on this. There is Nothing Wrong With using Mercon-V now. With all the research I've done on it in the past. It (transmission failures) was caused by non compatible seals or the (older) Mercon-V formula. Run-away line pressure was another cause. I've had Castrol Mercon-V in my "02" Escape for some time now. It runs (shifts) like a new one. Just do a dump and refill and you'll be good to go.
 

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Glad to hear someone has used the new Mercon V with success in an older Escape. Typically you'll hear more from the 3 people with bad experiences than the 30,000 with good. Human nature, I suppose.
I got the quotes from :censor: Ford Truck forums :censor: . I hope its not taboo to mention other forums by name, but I see nothing wrong with politely saying the neighborhood here is much nicer.
 

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BLKXLT said:
Glad to hear someone has used the new Mercon V with success in an older Escape. Typically you'll hear more from the 3 people with bad experiences than the 30,000 with good. Human nature, I suppose.
I got the quotes from :censor: Ford Truck forums :censor: . I hope its not taboo to mention other forums by name, but I see nothing wrong with politely saying the neighborhood here is much nicer.
Most definitely! E-C is a far nicer forum than just about any that I have been on.

As for the Ford Truck Enthusiasts...If it doesn't have an F followed by a number, those folks think it's not a truck nor deserving a decent reply. I have an F-150 and get good help responses, but when I am on the Escape section it's another world... :lightning:
 

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Just did a complete flush on my '02 with some new Castrol Mercon V ( I think the Mercon V panic is over) The old fluid still looked pretty good and smelled fine, but really no way of knowing what type or when it was changed. 10 qts later, at 4.45/ea :stifle: Really a simple job. I dumped the pan (4qts), added 5 qts, let the engine pump out 3 from the cooling line, added 3 more, pumped out 3 at which point it was totally the new color, then topped of with 2, checking after warmed up and driven for accurate fill.
Plenty of variations on how to do this, but it worked for me. Easy 20 minute or less job and saves over $60 for the $110 I was quoted at the Super Dooper Quickie Lube.

I'm already feeling better about my next towing adventure.
 

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I have an 05 limited with about 75k on its original fluid.C I start doing just a 4 qt dump and fill with merc.v at the next few oil changes? Or should I do a complete flush and fill? The main question is will the fluids mix ok or do I need to get it all out?
 

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spacecowboy53 said:
I have an 05 limited with about 75k on its original fluid.C I start doing just a 4 qt dump and fill with merc.v at the next few oil changes? Or should I do a complete flush and fill? The main question is will the fluids mix ok or do I need to get it all out?
Chances are you already have the Mercon-V in there. A dump and fill sure wont hurt. I've had the Castrol Mercon V in my "02" with 68K on it. Shifts just fine no problems...... In fact, what little I have left over. I siphon out of the power steering and top off with the V...
 

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Kiki said:
Has anybody out there got any information on how to properly care for the CD4E? Are there any problems to look out for? I know you guys know the answer to this one.
You have the answer but what I do is M1 ATF every 15k with 4 ounces of lubeguard red or mercon v every 10k (that's a oil change for me). Been doing it for over 40k and it shifts above perfection. Lubeguard Red is a good preventative measure in weak trans's.. which you can say the cd4e can be. I use M1 in the ps with a little of the lubeguard also wouldn't know it's a ford ps pump. And no I don't work for lubeguard.
 

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This is old but I am wondering what , if any, changes have taken place in the 2008 CD4E trannys. I haven't experienced any of the past issues but i only have 35,000 miles on mine. I serviced it at 30,000 and will do it again at 60,000. Other then that i'll go every 30000. Have all the bugs been worked out? I haven't read many problems with the '08
Escapes.
 

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I have a 04 with v6 cd4e. It's been no problem. I think that the addition of the tranny cooler after the first year or two of production has eliminated the tranny problems. I just do a four quart replacement every 15000 miles. Its probabbly over kill but I know my tranny will last and I have changed the transfer case and diffential oil twice, I have 96k miles with no issues.
 
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