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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I talked with a transmission mechanic at a well known and good transmission shop. I asked him about the transmission in the Tribute/Escape.

He said that the transmission has gotten a "bad" reputation because mostly they are not maintained and therefore die. They are not maintained because they do not have a pan to drop and the filter cannot be changed. Therefore the fluid is most of the time not changed and the filter stops working also because it gets clogged. Therefore a transmission goes bad. (valve body goes bad, bands burn up, etc.)

He also said that the chain often gets stretched and starts slapping the case, then blows up. This is in addition to going bad because of not changing the fluid.

He also stated that if the transmission has been serviced and maintained by doing fluid changes that it "could" be possible to get another 100k out of a transmission that has 83k on it already. He did say though that if it had not been maintained with fluid changes that there is a great chance that I will be looking at "inheriting a serious problem".

I asked him about a third party warranty and he told me to run away from that. He said that most of people that came to his shop with it had gone away very upset. He stated that most plans/insurance companies would only pay if it was total failure vs making a noise and then most of the time they will only pay for a used transmission not a new one, if it was needed. In other words the route of least money and to bad for the consumer. Also that sometimes the companies "walked away" from the issue. (I didnt ask what that means.)

I mentioned that the fluid in the Tribute I looked at, looked good but he asked if the dealer had flushed the transmission. I guess they (dealer) do that if a transmission has burnt fluid so it looks good when the prospective buyer looks at it.

I stated to him "so the transmission is really poorly designed" and he stated "that is to say the least and I have other words to describe it." Also that the transmission is/was found/designed for cars and vans not trucks/suv therefore he was not sure if there is a "heavy duty" rebuild kit/parts for it, right off hand. (I asked about heavyduty rebuild kit/parts vs a standard rebuild kit.)

The cost to remove, repair and warrranty a Tribute/Escape AWD transmission is at least/around $3000.

That is a lot for a vehicle that used will cost around 10k!

This is what I take away from that conversation:

If there are service records to prove the Escape/Tribute transmission has been serviced then it is a good bet it will be trouble free but if not then it is probably a very risky and expensive gamble.

Also that a inline transmission filter and cooler should be mandatory and by adding them they will make these transmissions last. (Since you cannot change the internal filter without a rebuild.)

I would assume that the lower the miles then less of a risk because even if service was not done on the transmission then it would be less time and miles to wear down. If low miles and service was done then there is a very good chance things will go well with the vehicle.

I forgot to ask him about fluid recomendation.

Thought some folks would want to know this.
 

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I can agree with that. However, mileage isn't always the best thing to judge a vehicle on. The previous owner could have kept up with maintenance but also beat the living tar out of it. You take a chance no matter what vehicle you buy when it's used. I bought my Escape from a small independent dealer. I had no idea about the transmission issues with the CD4E. But I am a bit overly protective of my vehicles and changed the oil, plugs and trans fluid on the same day I bought it. I say, test drive it and put it through its paces. Get out there and make sure the tranny is shifting like it's supposed to. Step on it on the interstate and make sure it's kicking down without hesitation. If there is any hiccup whatsoever, walk away. If she shifts nice and firm (not hard/harsh), just make sure if you buy it, you perform these services soon after. That's just my opinion. You don't have to do it all, just the trans, even if they say they just did it, do a drain and fill.
 

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I think he Is referring to the cd4e and the last emt to have it was the 08. If any one has recommendations for filter and cooler count me In.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
oskerb said:
I think he Is referring to the cd4e and the last emt to have it was the 08. If any one has recommendations for filter and cooler count me In.
Well think of it this way. There is a filter in a very needed place (in the transmission) that is filtering the transmission fluid. It cannot be cleaned or changed, only the fluid changed. This still leaves a dirty filter. A inline filter is a much better filter and can be changed along with the fluid change.

Works for me.

There is someone that posts on this forum that states they have a inline filter. I guess they are ahead of the curve and could also provide input on the inline filter issue.
 

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If someone has it and can stand by it, Im in. Isnt the CD4e and sump and screen and if that is so then the next best thing would be to power flush the tranny?
 

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Power flushing is usually not advisable. If you can find a shop that uses the vehicles own pump to cycle the fluid, that would be best. Power flushing can loosen deposits from the fluid being forced through the system at higher pressures than normal and cause them to be lodged in other more sensitive areas or just have it clog up the internal screen on our transmissions. Or so I've heard. I can't verify this however but it sounds legitimate. What you ideally want is a fluid exchange and not a flush. Only experience I've had with a flush is when I flushed my radiator, and it promptly leaked shorty after. My parent's had their engine flushed. That truck never ran right again. I will never flush anything on my vehicles ever again. Just my experience.
 

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For those having the CD4E in their cars I have the following suggestions.
1/Change fluid every 30000 miles if you do frequent towing or every 50000 miles if you are not.
2/Make sure to use the same specs fluid as the one in the transmission originally.
3/Transmission oil fluid change takes about an hour and a half if done properly and according to the book.Unfortunately, most shops cut corners and we end up with a partial fluid change.
4/It will save you plenty of money if you go to the little cost of installing an external oil filter on the line that runs from the transmission to the cooler.
Unfortunately there are no sounds to warn us that something has started going wrong but a slight hesitation in ratio changes wich to most people pass unnoticeable.
Finally when most shops say reconditioned transmission they just mean changing the clutch rings and nothing more. The rings themselves cost peanuts but the main expence is taking down and reinstall the transmission on the car.
I wish all, myself included, good luck. I had to change the rings once, at 50000 miles but it was not because of bad luck but a great deal of abuse.
 

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I just picked up my first ever "Ford" made vehicle today, a 2002 Mazda Tribute. This thing is absolutely immaculate with 115000 km on it. The guy had it serviced at Mazda and had a pile or receipts to prove it. I got this thing for a song and a dance, knowing that they have CD4E problems, but for the price I paid, who cares. Right now it shifts firmly, just like it's supposed to. I grew up in a Ford hating family, and the only cars I have owned are Toyotas. But after the first day of owning it, I'm going to have to say that I am impressed so far.

The main reason I am writing is because of the above comment about some dealers only doing partial transmission oil changes. I had to laugh, because I was reading the receipt from the two 48000 km services that were performed on this thing, where the transmission oil was changed. On one they charged 4L of Mercon, and on the other they charged 3L. That means that even though it has had two transmission oil changes, there is still 3L of original oil floating around in there. And this is at a Mazda dealership. Yikes!
 

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mechman600 said:
I just picked up my first ever "Ford" made vehicle today, a 2002 Mazda Tribute.....!
Welcome to the City mechman!
 
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