98 Windstar transmission filter


I have been in the habit of having my trusted mechanic drop the transmission pan and change the transmission filter and replace whatever fluid is drained with fresh ATF every 30000 miles or so.

I was looking through my Ford maintenance schedule to see if I had any maintenance coming up I was not aware of, when I noticed Ford did not recommend changing the transmission filter - ever.

So I am considering going to ATF replacement every 21000 miles (the severe duty schedule) but sucking the old transmission fluid out the dip stick tube with a vacuum pump (which I have). Then pouring back in the same amount of fresh ATF or a little more to bring the ATF level up to full. I could do this myself and save most of what my garage has been charging for this maintenance.

I have 137000 miles on the 98 windstar with the 3.8L engine.

I last replaced the filter at 110000 miles.

We only put about 7000 miles a year on the van. 50 - 50 highway - city.

Any thoughts on the wisdom of this approach?



Lee, drop that pan and change the filter with each 30k service. Especially with that kind of mileage, you want to monitor whats going on in there. Look for any fiber or metal particles. Clean out the pan real good and reinstall.



Even before transman answered I would have recommended continuing what you are doing. I might have suggested less often. Around here transman is the undisputed transmission authority. You will not find better advice.


Thanks guys.