2015 Ford Escape - do I really need to change my trans fluid?

They guy at the oil change place tells me I need to replace my transmission fluid because it is dark not bright red. Is he pulling my leg?

If this was a jiffy lube type of place {they are not to trusted) don’t listen to them, but yes it might need changed go to a independent shop or transmisson place and get a second opinion.


If it has never been changed then yes you should . Get an estimate from an independent shop . They might want to do flush to replace as much fluid as possible.


Watch this, and then decide.


Has it been changed before? If it hasn’t, or if you’re not sure, have it changed. While a number of folks here would say do it every 30,000 miles, I do it every 50,000 or so.

Your Escape is six years old. A combination of mileage and age can affect the fluids in your car. More than 30,000 miles on a car that is used in mostly local driving is probably due for a change. I do mostly highway driving and I changed mine at 38,000 miles.

If you are just doing normal driving and not towing or doing a lot travel with a cartop carrier then according to the manual it is 150000 miles . Myself I have less than stellar faith that there are too many mechanics that actually know how to use an actual flushing machine safely . Then there is the case of many of the makers saying it is for life fluid and they wont even work on them , what then? . Case in point FCA ZF designed 8 speed autos . What then ?

Most car programs that touch on the subject recommend 30,000 to 50,000 miles between changing fluid and filter.

I di on my Toyota Corolla and will also do it on our Mazda3 Sport.

You might get another opinion as dark could mean trouble brewing IF that situation actually exists.
Sometimes lube places might have a tendency to say everything coming through the door is dark.

Trans fluid should be changed every 30 to 40k miles and even more often if a lot of towing, mountain driving, high heat areas, and so on is involved.


ALWAYS, ALWAYS, ALWAYS, get a second opinion. Never trust a place that does oil changes as their primary business. Never let an oil change place change your transmission fluid, never let any place use a universal ATF (automatic transmission fluid)

Does your car actually have a transmission dipstick? Most vehicles made after around 2012 do not. If you do not have one, then the person who told you your fluid was dark is not to be trusted because they did not actually look at the fluid.

If you have a CVT (continuously variable transmission), then you need to get it serviced at a dealer, it has a special ATF. If a universal ATF or an ATF for geared automatics is used, it will ruin the CVT. If you have a geared AT, then you still need the Ford ATF known as Mercon, not the universal Dexron most shops use.


I don’t know anything about this specific vehicle, but on a regular 3 or 4 speed automatic, I change the fluid and filter every 90,000 miles–and of course, soon after buying a used car which has at least 90,000 miles on it. Some people say to change it more often, others say it’s technically not necessary, but I have had good luck doing it every 90,000 miles.

By that point, the fluid is usually a little dark, but still looks and smells decent, and there is minimal debris in the pan, other than a paste of fine metal shavings on the magnet. The actual filter media is usually dark by then, which means it’s doing its job.

I only believe in doing a drain-and-fill, never a flush. The drain-and-fill means you replace the filter, clean the inside of the pan–including the magnet, and replace the rubber gasket. A flush does not accomplish anything more than changing the actual fluid.