2013 Fusion Transmission Fluid Service (137K miles, 50K on current fluid)

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Nov 14, 2021
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Hi everyone,

Need some advice... My 2013 Fusion (2.5 L engine) has 137K miles on it. I ran the factory fill transmission fluid 90K miles and had it "flushed" with BG Full Synthetic (314) about three years ago. I planned to have that fluid replaced now (with 50K miles on the fluid). I've had no problems with the transmission so far.

I brought it in to a local mechanic for an oil change and asked to also have the transmission fluid changed (either a full exchange or drain and fill). He said that it's been too long since the last service, and recommended not flushing it. I asked if he recommended a drain and fill, and he said he didn't recommend that either. I was surprised by this as I thought I had serviced it appropriately.

I'm curious if others agree with his recommendation to not change the fluid, or not.

Thanks!
 
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I would find another shop that won’t be afraid of doing a fluid exchange or at least a drain and fill. 50k isn’t “too long” between services, but some shops won’t touch higher mileage transmissions. I tried to have a couple chain shops do my 2011 Kia Soul but they’re scared of causing a problem and to cover their butt they just don’t bother doing it.
 
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I'm curious if others agree with his recommendation to not change the fluid, or not.
Nope, but I respect their choice of turning down the job. Find another shop and tell them it was last drain-and-filled maybe 25k miles ago.... 🤷‍♂️ Or tell your current mechanic you made a mistake or misread your records and it wasn't that long ago.
 
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Chrysler has / had a few trannies that the new fluid would wash the casing out, and deposit all the debris into the valve body effectivly causing the clutchs to slip and burn up. Had someone caught it, and took out the valve body and washed it out, this would not have happened.

In the case of your fusion, it is throttle-by-wire which faster than your eye can catch, retards the throttle flap (and fuel) while the tranny gets thru its shift. Wear is greatly reduced this way so I think you are very safe this point just pulling the drain plug, letting it drain, and refill the exact amount of fresh fluid back in the top. (it really sucks with how small the refill hole is.)

A fluid exchage / flush is most likely a waste of time. these trannies are fairly durable.
 

jd262

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Flushing and fluid exchange are not the same thing.

And new fluid is always better than old. This is an often discussed topic on Bitog, maybe look around and search for some of the previous discussions.

My understanding is that these days, when people say "flush" (at least in the case of BG flushes) they actually mean fluid exchange. Is that correct?

Thank you everyone for the advice, it is greatly appreciated!
 

jd262

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Your local Ford dealership will be glad to do it and will use the correct Motorcraft fluid.
That's what I thought when I had it done last time at a dealer, and when I picked it up I found out that they used BG fluid 🤦Havent had any issues with it, though.
 
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My understanding is that these days, when people say "flush" (at least in the case of BG flushes) they actually mean fluid exchange. Is that correct?

Thank you everyone for the advice, it is greatly appreciated!
I would use those terms interchangeably…but I’m sloppy that way. the only difference I could conjure up would be the use of some special “flushing“ fluid to clean the old grime out before refilling with new fluid, instead of merely “exchanging“ the old fluid with the new. Given that “BG” is mentioned, I suppose the cleaning/flushing substance is a possibility, so I better get better with my terminology. In the case of my Ford 6r80 or whatever my 6-speed truck tranny is called, I had the fluid EXCHANGED…supposedly… at the dealer. I expected they had to get it good and hot, to get a check valve to open, but I don’t think any special chemicals were used.
 
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My understanding is that these days, when people say "flush" (at least in the case of BG flushes) they actually mean fluid exchange. Is that correct?
In Honda-speak, "flush" means drain and fill (typically more than one time too). More and more people are adapting to that terminology as well.

That's what I thought when I had it done last time at a dealer, and when I picked it up I found out that they used BG fluid 🤦Havent had any issues with it, though.
It takes Motorcraft Mercon LV.
Motorcraft doesn't give them big sales incentives to push their fluid, while BG does. If there's any transmission issues (under warranty), you can be sure that the dealer will go to bat for the customer too and will tell Ford that they performed routine fluid maintenance using the "proper" fluid.
 
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If you have ramps and tools you can do this in about a half hour. Once the belly tray is off, the 6F35 has a nice convenient drain plug on bottom. Your ‘13 Fusion is old enough it has a dipstick; you refill thru here. I had a ‘13 Fusion as well; I used Amsoil ATL and was pleased. Just remember to disconnect the battery for at least a half hour while you’re doing this so the shift logic resets. Good to go!
 

jd262

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If you have ramps and tools you can do this in about a half hour. Once the belly tray is off, the 6F35 has a nice convenient drain plug on bottom. Your ‘13 Fusion is old enough it has a dipstick; you refill thru here. I had a ‘13 Fusion as well; I used Amsoil ATL and was pleased. Just remember to disconnect the battery for at least a half hour while you’re doing this so the shift logic resets. Good to go
Unfortunately, mine does not have a dipstick. The drain and refill procedure involves filling until fluid seeps out of a window (I'm sure this window has a name, but not sure what it is). Sounds too messy and complicated 🙂
 
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Unfortunately, mine does not have a dipstick. The drain and refill procedure involves filling until fluid seeps out of a window (I'm sure this window has a name, but not sure what it is). Sounds too messy and complicated 🙂
Doh… I had an 11 not a 13. Yes, the Transit Connects have the same dumb setup with no dipstick. All to save $8 during manufacturing…

You could pull one of the heat exchanger lines to the radiator and pump it out that way, but yes, I agree Ford made something extremely simple into a huge ****. Sorry for spacing on the year… lol
 
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We have a 2017 Explorer with the 6F35 transmission. Ford says that the factory fill ATF is good for 150,000 miles :rolleyes:. I did a drain & fill myself at 12,000 miles initially because the 3 Ford dealers around me refused to do a drain and fill. All of them would only do an exchange/flush with their BG machine using BG ATF. The factory fill at 12,000 miles was grey and full of particles. I did more D&F's over the years and in June I did one at 27,000 miles on the fluid. The Explorer had 77,000 miles at that time. There was next to no build up on the drain magnet. I did 3 D&F's with Mercon LV and this was the second one with Castrol Transmax Full Synthetic Multi-Vehicle ATF, Ford licensed. Doing the D&F is real easy. I do it cold and measure what I remove and refill with that amount. The drain is on the bottom of the transmission and I refill through the transmission vent in the engine bay. It's easier than doing and engine oil and filter change.
 
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We have a 2017 Explorer with the 6F35 transmission. Ford says that the factory fill ATF is good for 150,000 miles :rolleyes:. I did a drain & fill myself at 12,000 miles initially because the 3 Ford dealers around me refused to do a drain and fill. All of them would only do an exchange/flush with their BG machine using BG ATF. The factory fill at 12,000 miles was grey and full of particles. I did more D&F's over the years and in June I did one at 27,000 miles on the fluid. The Explorer had 77,000 miles at that time. There was next to no build up on the drain magnet. I did 3 D&F's with Mercon LV and this was the second one with Castrol Transmax Full Synthetic Multi-Vehicle ATF, Ford licensed. Doing the D&F is real easy. I do it cold and measure what I remove and refill with that amount. The drain is on the bottom of the transmission and I refill through the transmission vent in the engine bay. It's easier than doing and engine oil and filter change.
Can you take a pic of the trans vent in the engine bay? I’m assuming it’s much easier to get to than on the Transit Connect, where the dash hangs over the engine to nearly the front camshaft. Changing the battery requires removing the headlight and other things to be able to slide the battery out!! 🤬

I would have gladly paid $50 more for the vehicle to get a flipping dipstick tube!
 

jd262

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We have a 2017 Explorer with the 6F35 transmission. Ford says that the factory fill ATF is good for 150,000 miles :rolleyes:. I did a drain & fill myself at 12,000 miles initially because the 3 Ford dealers around me refused to do a drain and fill. All of them would only do an exchange/flush with their BG machine using BG ATF. The factory fill at 12,000 miles was grey and full of particles. I did more D&F's over the years and in June I did one at 27,000 miles on the fluid. The Explorer had 77,000 miles at that time. There was next to no build up on the drain magnet. I did 3 D&F's with Mercon LV and this was the second one with Castrol Transmax Full Synthetic Multi-Vehicle ATF, Ford licensed. Doing the D&F is real easy. I do it cold and measure what I remove and refill with that amount. The drain is on the bottom of the transmission and I refill through the transmission vent in the engine bay. It's easier than doing and engine oil and filter change.
Thanks for the info! I might attempt this next time around.

I found a transmission shop that recommended a drain and fill, so I'm going to go ahead with that (they said that flushing is "bad for the transmission". Seems like everyone has their own strongly held opinions on this stuff)

Since a drain and fill doesn't change all of the fluid in the system, is there any risk of issues from mixing the BG 314 with Mercon LV or another multi vehicle ATF?
 
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My brother’s been a mechanic for himself & NTB for 20+ years, and while he’ll do whatever the customer asks for, he always recommends drain & fills, especially on older vehicles with questionable history. Just like the HPL Engine Cleaner, putting the correct new fluid in can ease many issues, especially when combined with a shift logic reset. If it’s a non-NTB job, he usually does a single D&F (replacing filters where possible), lets the person drive the car for a few days to gently wash older accumulations down into the pan, and then will drain & fill the full capacity of the trans. It takes an extra gallon or so of fluid, but it’s safer.

Personally when I get a new used vehicle, I will use the Honda procedure (4x D&F) to make sure a majority of the fluid is changed, and then every 20k simply drain & refill. The ‘06 Odyssey I bought in ‘16(?) had about 132k and terrible hanging & banging shifts. I did the above procedure & maintenance and now it’s at 238k and still shifts like new.
 
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