2004 Ford Explorer XLT 5 speed auto fluid

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Aug 19, 2010
Champlain/Hudson Valley
Hello, My friend's son just bought the vehicle in the title with appx. 60K.
The car is 200 miles away so I haven't seen it or the owner's manual yet. The lad wants to change the trans. fluid and filter.

The Maxlife red jug everyone (including me) swears by says "Mercon LV" on the label.
I've tried searching here to no avail.
Amsoil's site simply recommends one of their fluids. That's OK but it tells me nothing.

Anyone know? Mercon THEN vs. Mercon NOW (Ha-Ha) Kira ps My position as automotive fluid know-it-all is at steak here. K.
That transmission uses Mercon V.

I would use a Motorcraft filter and Felpro pan gasket. These transmissions do not have a reusable pan gasket.

I can't remember if '04 has a dipstick, or if it's one of the ones that gets filled via the plug in the bottom.
Originally Posted By: Bluestream
No dipstick on the 04, use a Fram Microfelt filter

Correct on not having a tranny dipstick. But I would use a Motorcraft filter. The one time my indie mechanic used a non Motorcraft filter in the tranny he had to tow it back to his shop, at his expense. Ever since he's only used Motorcraft tranny filters in Ford's with no problems. Could have been a coincidence, but who knows

1) Is the Valvoline MaxLife in the red jug good-to-go in a Mercon V application?

2) I don't see the connection between my question and an ad for razors.
An attempt at humor? Kira
Valvoline says Maxlife is "suitable" for Mercon V applications. It should be fine, but is not licensed as Mercon V. Your call if "suitable for" is good enough for you.

I wouldn't have a problem using the current full synthetic Maxlife, but I haven't, so I can't vouch for it in a Mercon V app personally.

I used Castrol Mercon V last time around in my truck.
Hello, You need a bit of organization Mr. Bluestream.
Another thread about shaving...?

It has nothing to do with my Mercon V question. Cheers, Kira
I don't believe Ford introduced Mercon LV until 2008, so that transmission should use Mercon V.

I'm not a fan of one-size-fits-all transmission fluids, especially ones that claim to meet dozens of specs, some of which are mutually incompatible. Valvoline even puts this disclaimer in the PDS for MaxLife:

"Valvoline has conducted extensive in-house testing, independent lab testing, and field-testing to support MaxLife ATF performance in the broadest range of transmissions; however, it should be noted that MaxLife ATF is not a OEM licensed product. The respective vehicle manufacturers have neither evaluated nor endorsed MaxLife ATF in these applications."

Just go with a licensed Mercon V product from Castrol, Pennzoil, Motorcraft, or even SuperTech, and your transmission will thank you.
Originally Posted By: Kira
Hello, You need a bit of organization Mr. Bluestream.
Another thread about shaving...?

It has nothing to do with my Mercon V question. Cheers, Kira

As mentioned, I did not intend the shaving post for your thread. Simple error on my part due to watch two treads at one time. Never thought it would be such a big deal//
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