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2002 Ford Taurus spooging transmission fluid

I am having a leaking transmission fluid issue on my 2002 Ford Taurus. The car had a rebuilt transmission installed at 86,000 miles and currently has 149,000 miles. I recently had my flush to exchange the transmission fluid. After developing a fluid slick on my driveway, I determined that upon starting the car, transmission fluid would occasionally spooge out of the transmission fluid dipstick hole. I checked the tranmission fluid level, and it was at the very bottom of the dipstick. A trusted mechanic suggested a transmission repair shop that checked it out, confirmed the symptoms, and added a quart of transmission fluid. Their diagnosis was a possible gasket leak pressuring the reservoir that would require a costly transmission repair. Of course the transmission started leaking fluid out the dipstick hole again until the transmission fluid level once again indicates that it is at the very bottom of the dipstick. Does the transmission mechanic’s diagnosis sound reasonable or did my dipstick shrink? What are the implications of driving the car with the transmission fluid a quart low? Thanks for your advice.

This is why I don’t like transmission flushing. I know that if it is done right, it should not cause a problem, but done wrong (seems like most of the time) it causes problems.

You need to have the transmission pan dropped and cleaned and the filter replaced.

Thanks keith. The transmission guy did drop the pan to see if there were any obvious indicators such as gasket bits, and presumably cleaned the pan, but did not change the filter. What will changing the filter do to stop the spooging out the dipstick hole? Also, the spooging seems to stop when the fluid level reaches the bottom end of the dipstick.

I would find a new transmission guy. Someone who would pull a transmission pan and not change the filter should not be servicing transmissions.

I have to agree with missileman on this. Did the transmission guy drop the pan before doing the flush or did you bring it back and he dropped the pan then? If the latter, the filter may or may not be the problem, but the flush did something. I hope it is only the filter, I’d start with that.

When it spooges out the dipstick, is it foamy? That would indicate a clogged filter. The pump can’t suck fluid fast enough so it cavitates, foaming the oil.

There is no foam when the ATF spooges out the dipstick hole, and it only happens when I first start the car. I had the flush done at Jiffy Lube, but I did not check the ATF level before the flush. The transmission guy was recommended, and he has not charged me a dime to assess the issue, but maybe he should have changed the filter and charged me something just to eliminate that as a possibility. I dunno, I always drove a stick before this car.

I prefer a stick too. I’d have this transmission guy replace the filter and put in fresh fluid, see if that does the trick.

If you had the flush done at JL, I can guarantee that the pan was not dropped and the filter was not changed at all. BIG MISTAKE!!! These fast lube places and small shops with these money making flush machines are sold by the manufacturers of the machines that they do not need to replace the filters. The manufacturers of the machines are getting their money selling the machines and the fast lube places are getting their money having kids off the street hook up the machine and press a button. All the while you, spend your money and are not getting a proper service. Of course when you approach JL about why your trans is now acting up after their flush you get shrugged shoulders and “I dont know what could be wrong with it” answers. My take on it is if you are a shop and you venture off into servicing expensive items like automatic transmissions, you better know how to correct any mistakes your employee and your equipment makes. They dont do that. They just send you down the street to the big boys who know how to fix the transmission. Then you have to fight them to pay for your expensive repairs. Your filter should probably be changed. It can plug up and you will not know without actually removing it and cutting it open.


A question for transman. The op said that the fluid was at the bottom of the stick. Could it be that the op is over filling the trans? Or JL over filled it? I ask this because I think it should be checked when running. Am I wrong? The op said they drove a stick before and mite not know it needs to be running. I do agree with what you said in your post. When I had my shop a salesman try to sell me one these machines. I show him the door.

Well, I’m not sure I want to try to answer a question directed at transman, but if the OP was checking the fluid without the engine running then s/he would end up under-filling it rather than overfilling it. All of that fluid running around the trans when the pump is running will run back to the pan when the engine is off. Thus a properly filled transmission looks very over full with the engine off. Filling it to the level on the dipstick with the engine off would result in an under-fill.

Though, that is not to say that this trans might not have ended up overfilled at some point.

Cigroller You are right. I don’t what I was thinking about. Must be all the paint I have been around lately.