Transmission fluid change

We had our transmission fluid changed on our 2003 Lincoln LS and now it isn?t shifting right. It shifts really hard and doesn?t seem to go into the higher gears at all. What could they have done to it by changing the fluid?

They may have used the wrong-spec fluid!

I would take it back to the shop that did the job and let them check into it. I’d have a hard time figuring them using the wrong fluid - it’s just too easy to find the right stuff. There may be some TCM thing that needs to be altered or quick learn’d to compensate for the newer fluid. The stuff is slightly higher in viscosity new and could be creating higher than “contoured” pressures that the TCM thinks it’s compensating for. There’s also the possibility that they bumped some connector.

The sealed transmission on the LS is unusual to work on. It requires special equipment to exchange the fluid and a Ford specific scan tool to get the fluid fill level set correctly (no dip stick). This is one car that I would make the rare recommendation to take only to a good Lincoln dealer (even the Ford dealers don’t have much experience with it) for transmission fluid changes.
Also, this transmission has known issues with the solenoid valve body. Your solenoids might need replacement. Was the transmission starting to mess up before you had the fluid change?

That’s possible, it calls for Mercon V, a synthetic fluid. The schedule calls for changes at 150 K miles, but that may not be often enough.

It’s not a relearn issue. They put the wrong fluid in, or too little of it.

did you have a fluid flush, or just a change? verrrrrryyyyy important.

Where was this work done? Hopefully the answer isn’t a quick-lube place.

Your electronic transmission is in FAIL SAFE mode. Electrical connection must have been removed and the transmission hasn’t been re-calibrated. Take it back to the repair facility and have them check if any electrical connection has come loose and if not have them drive the vehicle and they can recalibrate the shift timing. They can also find the problem fast if they have a scanner. Nothing wrong with your transmission mechanically, just the brains aren’t work right.

It is not in failsafe mode.
Obviously, you don’t have one of these cars and have never worked on one. It’s not an electrical issue. The message center display would tell them if it was.
The symptoms indicated are classic for this transmission for low fluid, incorrect fluid, or failing solenoid vavle (mechanical side, not electrical side).

Thanks to everyone who answered!

The transmission had slight shutter sometimes between 3 and 4 gear when my husband drives, my thought was that he accelerates faster than I do. The car has 161K miles and we thought the shutter might be because the transmission fluid needed to be changed. I wanted to take it to a Ford dealer but my husband took it to a transmission shop. We asked if they were sure they used the correct fluid of course they said they did. These guys kept it for 3 days and still didn?t fixed it. I made my husband go get the car and I took it to the Ford dealer late Friday but they won?t look at it until Monday. Should I move it to a Lincoln dealer?
Thanks again!

It was done at Woods transmission shop in Forney TX 20 miles east of Dallas, TX. The guy at the Ford dealership said they were known for not standing behind their work.

You need to have the dealer change the filter and do a full fluid exchange. If that doesn’t resolve it, then troubleshoot the solenoid valve body assembly.

You will probably have better luck at the Lincoln dealer, but then again the Mustangs now use that same transmission, so the Ford dealers may be used to it by now.
Your slight shutter was not a fluid issue, but is instead the solenoid valve failing. Did you also have a harsh or delayed engagement of reverse? It’s about a $700 repair.

It definitely needs to be scanned. If the trans shop had it for three days I would hope they scanned it already. Thats kind of sad that they cant give you some sort of answer after three days. If they flushed it and didnt drop the pan first they probably got some trash in the valve body. Most dealers now a days tend to replace transmissions rather than rebuild them like I did when I was at the dealer so dont be surprised if they come back to you saying you need a new trans. Maybe its just a matter of the trans shop not having a very good scanner. Doubtful though.


Your best bet would be a LOCAL INDEPENDENT transmission shop. Don’t use a national chain transmission shop.

What should that run?
Since Lincoln discontinued the LS it is not worth much. Our plan was to drive it until it quit or it got too expensive to fix this may it. Wood’s did several thing other than the tranmission change. 2 struts, spark plugs, belt, air filter just Maintenance stuff but it cost was a little over a $1000 and we don’t have a running car.

Do you know whether they dropped the pan and changed the filter?? Did they flush the trans?? What exactly did the transmission service consist of??