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Old 06-02-2009, 02:10 PM
 
80 posts, read 317,530 times
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my aunts ford windstar would go in reverse but not drive so i checked her transmission fluid and it was black. is there any way oil could have somehow leaked into it or something else could have gone wrong that could have turned it black. there is that slight possibility she put oil in it when she was told to add tranny fluid but i was just wondering how this could have happened if she didnt add oil to it thanks!!!
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Old 06-02-2009, 02:24 PM
 
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Is it possible it was just really burnt?
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Old 06-02-2009, 02:48 PM
 
Location: New Jersey
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Not good. No matter what's in there it needs to be flushed.
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Old 06-02-2009, 02:57 PM
 
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My guess also is it wqas burnt from overheatign. You can smell the burnt if so.
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Old 06-02-2009, 03:22 PM
 
80 posts, read 317,530 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by johnfrisco View Post
Not good. No matter what's in there it needs to be flushed.
so i can just drain it and put new fluid in
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Old 06-02-2009, 03:41 PM
 
Location: SF Bay Area
5,994 posts, read 17,502,804 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by alexr071291 View Post
so i can just drain it and put new fluid in
It's that easy! But there's no guarantee it will fix your transmission problem.
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Old 06-02-2009, 03:46 PM
 
Location: I think my user name clarifies that.
8,292 posts, read 25,356,510 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by alexr071291 View Post
so i can just drain it and put new fluid in
To be honest, with the fluid like that (my guess is that it's a combination of age and a lot of dirt, plus maybe a little burnt) I'd take the van in and have a full tranny flush.

It's going to cost somewhere around $90, and there is no guarantee that it'll work. But if the fluid is really dirty, the flush MIGHT help.

If it works, you've just gotten a really cheap tranny fix. If not, well... at least you know you tried.
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Old 06-02-2009, 03:48 PM
 
13,808 posts, read 25,502,480 times
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I know quite a few people that are in your situation where a fluid change fixed they issues.
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Old 06-02-2009, 03:50 PM
 
Location: Eastern Washington
16,077 posts, read 52,427,555 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by iTsLiKeAnEgG View Post
It's that easy! But there's no guarantee it will fix your transmission problem.
True that. But from where you are now OP, this is about the only thing that makes any sense to do. Check and see if the trans has a filter, when you go to pick up ATF ask the parts guy if this van has a transmission filter - if so it might be worth changing that as well.

Sad to say even if a change of fluid fixes most of your symptoms for now, it's not been my experience that the trans lives a long happy life thereafter.

Be checking around on how you might get a rebuilt or ex-junkyard transola installed, if the rest of the van is in good enough shape to justify spending probably a minimum of $1500 (OK you might get off the hook for a couple hundred if you DIY the install of a boneyard trans - but this is not for the faint of wrench...)
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Old 06-02-2009, 09:04 PM
 
3,326 posts, read 8,411,496 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by alexr071291 View Post
my aunts ford windstar would go in reverse but not drive so i checked her transmission fluid and it was black. is there any way oil could have somehow leaked into it or something else could have gone wrong that could have turned it black. there is that slight possibility she put oil in it when she was told to add tranny fluid but i was just wondering how this could have happened if she didnt add oil to it thanks!!!
It needs a new transmission, or a rebuild.
CHANGING/FLUSHING THE FLUID WITH A NEW FILTER WILL NOT FIX THIS PROBLEM!!!

The misinformation out there is frightening.
Whenever a customer comes in wanting a fluid change, when they've never been in before, and the car has 100k+ on it, it's always the same story. They think a service is somehow going to miraculously fix the thing. Good grief.

Changing or even flushing the fluid might at best cure a harsh shift or something minor. If you're lucky, it'll buy you a few hundred extra miles down the road... and that's under normal circumstances. With black fluid, forget about it.

The fluid is black because it overheated. It probably overheated because of excessive debris in the trans (clogs the filter, and often the cooler in the radiator), which means something is coming apart, somewhere in there. Happens all the time. If it checks full, while the vehicle is running, the shifter is in Park, and it doesn't move forward ... it's a no-brainer, the trans is bad. Trying to service it would be a waste of time and perfectly good trans fluid.
Windstar transmissions are notorious for breaking down.
I work in a transmission repair shop (ASE certified, by the way), and we see 2-3 of those in the shop every week, not to mention that many Taurus's which are virtually identical, mechanically speaking.
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