Transmission Fluid Low After Dealer Service

This pertains to a 1996 Ford Explorer, V8, AWD, 138K miles, serviced very regularly by a cheap motorhead who doesn’t want to buy a new car soon.

The dealer did not add enough fluid after servicing (sic) the transmission. The car was driven 348 miles before I rod in it and noticed slipping when starting to move (normal acceleration). This happened in both reverse and drive. The fluid, when hot and idling in park, did not reach the bottom of the dipstick. With the engine off and hot the fluid barely touched the bottom of the dipstick. After filling to the normal level everything seems fine.

Question: What are the long term impacts? The dealer says none AND that I should be happy the car has made it this long (my response can not be posted). Needless to say, this is the last Ford vehicle I will EVER own.

Was your response something on the order of “@#%^!@#$@$%%^!!!” ?

Chances are, your transmission will be fine. You may want to do your next fluid & filter change a little earlier.

I’m not sure why you are ruling out any future purchase of a Ford vehicle because of a stupid comment by a guy in one dealer’s service department. I can see buying elsewhere, though.

When you say “dealer” you’re probably referring to a service writer. Since 97% or so of them are nothing more than chimpanzees you should never place any faith into what they’re saying. They’re talkers, not mechanics.
You know, if I was the service manager and I found out a service writer had made a comment about being happy the vehicle had made it that long he would be severely counseled about this the first time. The second time, he’s gone.

With 138k miles and the slipping symptom, I would really have some concern that some damage had occurred. It may SEEM fine but you don’t really know. If the trans goes out 5k miles from now you can bet your bottom dollar they’re going to deny any responsibility for it.

If it were me, I would make sure this is all documented (every last detail) and let the service manager know you’re going to another facility (a transmission shop) and have it checked out. A stall test could be performed and the pan could be dropped to see how much of the clutch material is in the bottom of the pan.
You could do a stall test yourself if you want to. I’ll tell you how if you want to know.
(Don’t blame Ford vehicles for this. This is a people problem, not a nuts and bolts one.)

Thank you for the reply. To be specific it was the service manager that stated this. His name is “Randy” (last name ?). This is a Ford Dealer and Service Center. I need to review the rules for this site to see if I can post the dealership’s name.