Taurus transmission bubbles

I had my radiator fail on my 2001 and with all the rain I just got it it back in yesterday. Wow, first time for me.

So I was checking my fluids today and discovered high level of transmission fluid with a bunch of bubbles. I had to of course remove the cooler lines and I put those back. So there must have been an internal leak on radiator as well. What’s the best way to fix this, have a fluid exchange done. I don’t see how cracking the pan and draining can remove the all what I assume is water. Thanks

Bingo! We have a winner. My amateur guess is that you nailed it, cause and remedy. I’d follow your instincts and your plan!

You are going to need to have the entire transmission fluid system flushed out along with the fluid inside the torque converter. I would let the professionals handle it if I was doing this.

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This may be one of those times when a flush and refill - total fluid exchange - is the best course of action. Like Cougar, I’d let have a caring and competent pro do it.

You sound like an adventurous guy, I did my own flush this way. I marked a bucket with quart lines,so I could try and maintain input equal to output. Mine takes 12 quarts, did 14, looked beautiful at the end.

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Wouldn’t coolant mixed with ATF result in a pasty milkwhake mixture? And if that is in fact the situation is there any chance of saving the transmission from a total overhaul?

I would think it worth a try to flush it, not a big cost with nothing to loose.

If you have a transmission drain bolt (a luxury, I know) I’d just drain it from there x3 or x4…that will fully exchange all the fluids in the trans and the convertor. If you do not have a drain plug (common, sadly) you can use a vacume device to suck 3-4 qts at a time out of the dipstick tube. A PIA I know but…it will do. Just drain as much as you can pull out…replace it with new fluid…drive around the block…do it again… and again…eventually all the fluid will be exchanged. Under NO circumstances shall you pull off a trans cooler line and run the engine till all 10-12 qts of fluid pump themselves out…that would be bad. Real bad.

If you miraculously don’t have full blown transmission failure already due to the Achilles heel of most Tauri (the transmission) then just do the fluid exchange and motor on…

If the ATF mixed with coolant was circulating for any length of time, the friction surfaces have likely been destroyed.

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OP might be able to tell how much (if any) coolant got into the trans by taking a sample of the fluid in a clear container, waiting overnight, and see if it separates into layers.

How’s this for a plan?

Repair the coolant leak into the transmission, flush the transmission fluid, cross your fingers, and see what happens?

Get it over with already.


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You didn’t buy a standard shift radiator for a car with an automatic did you? I have seen them come with the tapped holes for the transmission cooling lines with bolts in them but there is no heat exchanger in there.

I don’t think a 2001 Taurus would have been available with a manual transmission. That ship left the harbor years ago.

Of course you are right, I am just showing my age, I remember when all cars had manuals.

It’s interesting, as much as I love my old cars, every one of them has an automatic, and I don’t miss manuals one bit.

On my first few cars I had to carry a prybar under the seat for when the worn out column shift linkage under the hood went over center and locked up. My first car and all the cars I learned to drive on were not available with an automatic transmission.

I have read a lot, it seems it might be 60/40 at best. The car sat for 45 days before radiator was replaced. I dropped the oil the first clear day and found no water, it never occurred to me to check the transmission fluid. I did not know the radiator helped the transmission.

After the radiator was replaced I drove it to Walmart to have the tires lug nuts torqued on tire I removed and back home about 25 miles total, drove like a new car. I pulled in driveway and parked it and went to check all my fluids since it had been about 3 months and that is when I found the problem.

I called a bunch of places and no one has a flush machine. I called one shop and this ball buster told me to save my money and send it to junk yard, she almost sounded gleeful, they a transmission shop would never stoop to using a machine.

I found a place 20 miles away that has a machine and is willing to flush the water out.

Wonder if I can make it there? I hand pumped about two quarts out of the tube hoping it would lower the pressure.

You might be interested in this DIY method, my trans take 12 quarts, marked em off on a bucket so I knew how fast to add trans fluid. Had a peice of hose to go from the trans line to the bucket. Did 14 qts, looked good in the end, though if you have to drop the pan and do a filter that would be different. Scroll on down… https://estimate.myautomatictransmission.com/diy-transmission-flush/

Thanks, I am considering that. Getting the lower cooler line off means I have to empty the radiator, the lower hose needs to be moved to even get to the lower cooler line if I get a freeze I could be in trouble.

I want those lines moved. I am getting a external cooler at least on my good one