If it ain't broke don't fix it

Took my 2003 Town Car in for its 3000 mile oil change to usual quick place. When I drove out, it felt like car was in “low gear”, thought I just had not put it into Drive good, stopped, reshifted and went on. But ever since then, at high speed (55+) I am hearing this low “humming” sound like the transmission is not doing it’s thing. Now, never had any problems with the car, service it regularly. So, my question is would something they did during the “oil changing” cause this? Can they “hit” something, knock something off, or leave something off??? Makes me sorry I had the oil changed!!! And, I am not crazy about going to dealer or even neighborhood auto repair place - I am a single female and that seems to bring out the greed in some - plus, I am broke right now and don’t need a big auto repair bill…I’m so afraid this is transmission - 100,000 miles on the car, but hey, these babies are supposed to last longer than that! And, remember, no problems whatsoever until after this oil change???

Quicky lube places are notorious for messing things up. They may have drained tranny fluid (if it has a drain plug–I’m not familiar w TC) instead of engine oil. I would check all fluid levels immediately as a start.

There are a lot of things they could have done to mess you up, and a lot of the experts here will tell you “Don’t EVER go to the quick-lube places, even to ask for directions.”

Until the experts chime in, I suggest you check your transmission fluid to make sure it is there. A recurring mistake from the quick-lubes is draining the transmission instead of the oil, then adding new oil, overfilling the oil. So check the oil, too. (This mistake is usually on certain models of car where the oil drain and transmission drain are near each other and look somewhat alike. I do not know if your car is like that. Quick-lubes’ more common mistake is forgetting to put in the new oil.)

And stop driving the car until you find out what is wrong. You want to avoid further damage, and you want to be able to prove that it’s the shop’s fault (if it is) without giving them any counterargument. From the stories here, those places are better at avoiding responsibility than they are at accepting resposibility.)

(BTW, I do often use quick lube places – can’t beat the convenience - but I alway make sure they put in the new oil and I don’t let them sell me any other service.)


Sorry for yelling. You may ruin the engine and transmission if (A)the engine is more than a couple quarts overfilled, and (B) the transmission is under-filled. This is an example of the “perfect storm” that can happen when a fastlube, or any other place does a regular engine oil change, but with the car in the air, the guy drains the transmission fluid by accident, not knowing it, and then with the car on the ground, fills the engine with oil, and the old engine oil hasn’t been drained.

Don’t get me wrong. I’m not automatically assuming this happened, but I’ve seen it with inexperienced workers.

Till you get this straightened out, don’t drive your car. Maybe you can check the fluid levels yourself by reading the owners manual and the info on the transmission dipstick; or maybe a neighbor could help. Post back w/any more questions.

Doesn’t a 2003 Town Car have a pan you have to remove to drain the transmission ? On Japanese cars with drain plugs on the rear of the engine and tranny the mistake is easy to make. An Albany area Jiffy Lube put manual gear oil in my daughters automatic.

I’m laid off. I’ll cruise by the Ford dealer tomorrow and check where plug is. I have a feeling there’s no plug.

What ever happened to your daughter’s car?

There is no drain plug in the trans pan and after 2002, no torque converter plug either. The latter would be extremely difficult to confuse with an oil drain plug even for the Iffy Lube staff. The fill tube for the transmission is hard to find so it is not likely they put motor oil into the trans filler tube.

Yes, your transmission should last a lot longer than 100K provided you have it serviced every 30K. As directed, check the motor oil level and the transmission fluid right away. I drive and service a '99 Mercury very similar to your TC. Some things changed between '99 and '03, but I can’t think of anything they would knock off while changing the oil that would produce that symptom. You might ask at www.crownvic.net. There are a lot of very experienced and helpful people over there. It is, however, a little more freewheeling than this forum.