Wrong Transmission Fluid in 2012 Ford Fusion

ford

#1

Hey all, my first post here.

I have been in a very frustrating situation the past few days, and would like some piece of mind. On 5/18/14 I went to Jiffy Lube, and ended up being convinced to do a transmission fluid exchange by the mechanic. My car had 33k on it and he said it was a few thousand miles overdue. W/e I thought, it will probably help since I used to do courier work in a city for a year. The car manual also suggests a switch at 30k if this type of driving is the case.
So the day after I was researching the procedure and found out the very intricate fluid/transmission relationship. The car needs a mercon lv fluid since its a 6speed 6f35 trans (it even says on the dipstick) but on the jiffy lube receipt I saw that the item they put in was a 76 versatrans fluid which is NOT compatible with my transmission. Immediately I was concerned and read horror stories from cars breaking down after jiffy lube did their trans flush.

I drove the car for one day with no real problems and went to the Ford dealer service on 5/20/14 to explain the situation and do another transmission fluid flush with the right stuff (never ever wanna go back to Jiffy Lube). They did the flush, but when I got the receipt, again the wrong fluid number was on there! They put 8 quarts of ford part xt-5-qm, also known as Mercon V fluid along with an 1 quart of additive (not sure what it was)! The fluid that was supposed to go in was the Mercon LV fluid, part number xt-10-qlv! I approached the service guy who rang me out and brought my manual which explicitly states the fluid/ford part number, and told him the receipt does not match. He looked it over quickly and reassured me that the fluid was right and that that was simply their item number on the invoice.

So here is the question? Could they have really put in the wrong fluid in again, especially after I came in to replace an already botched fluid replacement? I mean if its the dealer I am sure they have serviced fusions a ton of times, and the mechanics are used to loading the cars with Mercon LV fluid, even the trans dipstick says use only that. I am very concerned, even if the guy assured me that I have nothing to worry about, if it is a mistake on their part it could fry the transmission in the immediate future.

Does anyone have experience with ford service receipts? Like are they accurate with items, or are they just representations of the service done…I know the Mercon V fluid is most commonly used on Ford vehicles, so they chose to represent the item by that number in the pricing index or something? I will try to ask other dealers in the coming days, but I can only go in for another check over the weekend. I am driving the car with this fluid, and so far I am not noticing anything out of the ordinary (the 6f35 trans was always a little wonky on the fusion).

If the transmission starts acting funny, or dies, would Ford be liable for a replacement since the wrong fluid is listed on the receipt? Or even If I go in to change again, they would have to do it for free right? I already blew $450 bucks on this mess!


#2

Mercon V (five) is fine. It’s just a new & improved version of Mercon IV (four).
Yet we still use Roman numerals!
You did right to get that “Versatrans” stuff out.


#3

The car requires Mercon LV, not Mercon IV or Mercon V. The LV is newer than the V. I guess it stands for low viscosity and the 6 speed automatic 6f35 states this fluid only.

I have included a chart with the fluid applications.


#4

Have you pursued trying to get a refund from Jiffy Lube? If you could get a statement from your dealer’s service department stating that the original fluid is unsafe for the car, that might help.


#5
I went to Jiffy Lube, and ended up being convinced to do a transmission fluid exchange by the mechanic.

The words “Jiffy Lube” and “Mechanic” should NEVER be used in the same sentence, they are definitely mutually exclusive. Although suggesting a trans flush wasn’t a bad idea. Can the Ford dealer provide in writing proof from the Ford engineers that what they put in was correct? If not I would keep going up the chain until the right fluid was put in. After all that’s why you went to the dealer instead of going back to Iffy Lube isn’t it?


#6

I would call other ford dealers and ask them what fluid they would put in. Perhaps the “additive” you got makes the V equivalent to LV.


#7

I had no idea about Jiffy Lube and that they aren’t legit mechanics. I only found this out after going there, so yes I agree that it was a bad idea to do anything other than an oil change there.

I guess the best thing to do would be to call other ford dealers and ask them about the procedure. I am not sure any additives are approved to convert fluid properties. It states in the car manual, no additives should be added to the fluid. Again the issue could also be poor labeling of receipts. That’s the frustrating part, I can’t prove what fluid they put in unless I sit there and stare at the procedure.

Thanks for the feedback so far!


#8

Just go back to the Jiffy Lube that did the original fluid change and ask for a refund. Be sure you have your receipt and make sure to talk to the manager. If they tell you the switch is OK, Show them the Ford recommendations and reiterate your desire for a refund. Your car is still under warranty and what they did could void the warranty if damage occurred from this error. I am not suggesting that damage has been done, just saying that Ford would have an out if nothing was done and the transmission was damaged.


#9
I had no idea about Jiffy Lube and that they aren't legit mechanics.

A kid in our neighborhood about my daughters age is the manager of the local Jiffy Lube. I wouldn’t let this kid put air in my tires. He never finished high-school. My daughter tutored him in 9th grade math when he was a Junior. A lot of kids that work there never finished high-school. They are trained on the job.


#10

I will do the Jiffy Lube refund attempt eventually. My primary concern right now is that the Ford service themselves might have put the wrong fluid in as well, at least according to their receipt. So now I have two receipts from two different shops with two wrong fluids listed on them lol.

jiffy lube receipt
76 versatrans mvatf

ford receipt
xt-5-qm fluid (mercon V)

right fluid for the car
xt-10-qlv fluid (mercon LV)


#11

“I had no idea about Jiffy Lube and that they aren’t legit mechanics.”

In reality, the kids who work there are not “mechanics” in any way, shape, or form.
They are merely young guys who have been given some VERY brief and VERY basic instruction in how to do some maintenance procedures. Unfortunately, the cursory training that they receive often leads to mistakes that are potentially VERY expensive for the car owners who are naïve enough to go there.

However, we can’t lay all of the blame at the feet of those barely-trained employees.
Most of the blame is attributable to JL’s business model that results in…
…rushing cars in and out too fast…
…using so-called “universal” fluids, when a specific type of fluid is actually required by the vehicle mfr…
…using the absolute cheapest “white box” (un-branded) filters from China…
…recommending services that are not necessary.

While servicing your transmission was a good idea (if it was done by somebody competent and if the correct fluid was used), JL is notorious for peddling unnecessary services, such as telling EVERYONE that they need a new air filter. Even if your air filter was just replaced last week and is pristine, JL will tell you that it is dirty and needs to be replaced.

Most likely, the only thing that the kids at JL (and its clones) are capable of doing properly on a consistent basis is…cleaning the car’s windows. Why anybody falls for the hype at these places is something that I just don’t understand.


#12

I would go back to the dealer, ask to speak to the Service Manager and ask him to verify the correct fluid was used. Point out that the invoice indicates that XT-5-QM, Mercon V was used but that XT-10-QLV, Mercon type LV is REQUIRED in your transmission. If they can’t verify that the correct fluid was used, ask them to change it again, this time being sure the paperwork matches the service performed…Considering the cost of replacing a transmission, this is not asking too much…


#13

I expect the Ford dealership used the correct fluid. There is no harm going back and asking again to confirm though. If you don’t get an unambiguous answer, or a dismissive answer, visit a different Ford dealership and ask them. If all else fails you may need to contact a Ford national representative. If Ford can’t tell you, who can? After all, they made the car. And keep all of your paperwork on file in case a transmission problem later develops.

One add’l but important point … if the services you got were transmission “flushes”, you probably didn’t get the level of service your transmission deserves. In my opinion a “flush” isn’t a proper transmission service. An automatic transmission has a pump which pumps the fluid to the various places it needs to go. One of those is the transmission cooler circuit, which runs through the radiator. When a “flush” is done, the shop interrupts the flow of transmission fluid to the radiator cooler, and the “old” fluid coming out goes into a bucket, and “new” fluid is introduced which flows back to the transmission.

The first problem is that much of the new fluid which flows into the transmission from the flush-machine simply goes to the bottom of the pan and gets pumped back to the cooler lines and then discarded in the “old” bucket. So you aren’t really replacing the old fluid with new, you are replacing some of the old with new, but a lot of what remains after the flush is the same old fluid. Plus you are wasting money mixing new fluid with old in the discard bucket. If there were a way to get the pump to pump all the old fluid out, and introduce all new in, that would be one thing, but that isn’t what happens. Much of the “old” fluid just recirculates in the transmission during the “flush”.

The second problem with the “flush” is that any debris that has accumulated remains at the bottom of the pan. The “flush” doesn’t remove it, so it just stays there.

The third problem is that your transmission probably has a replaceable filter. But the flush doesn’t replace the filter, so any debris trapped in the filter remains.

The better way is a proper service, where the tech will drop the pan, drain as much of the old fluid as possible, inspect the bottom of the pan for any unusual looking metal filings, then clean it so it is like new, then replace or clean the filter, then re-install the pan and refill with fresh fluid. Even this doesn’t completely change the fluid, there’s still some old that remains, but it is much better than a flush.


#14

“…drain as much of the old fluid as possible…”

Do torque converters have drains? There’s some fluid in there.


#15

I don’t think drains are common on torque converters any more. That’s why even a proper service doesn’t exchange all of the fluid. If you could drain the TC too, a proper service would pretty much get all the old fluid out. Some posters here have recommended servicing automatic transmissions by double-doing a proper service. i.e. do it once, drive the car for a week, then do it again.


#16

@Shrimpy, Quick lube stores and chain repair shops like Pep Boys employ young people that want to become mechanics. This is where they start their careers. My nephew started at a Jiffy Lube and eventually moved up and out to a job as a mechanic at an independent garage. He was happy that they gave him the opportunity. By using young people, they pay less and in turn charge you less. But because of their lack of experience, they must be monitored constantly to insure that they do the job completely.


#17

For the record, I personally don’t lay any of the blame on the JL kids at all. They’re simply doing what they’re told to do the way they’re told to do it as best they can in the time they’re given. They can’t be expected to know that what they’re being told is wrong. I personally place 100% of the blame on the JL supervisors/managers and on JL’s business model. Mostly on their business model.

Like any other population, some of the kids won’t be responsible and/or won’t care about their work, but for the most part it isn’t the kids’ faults. Especially with issues of wrong fluids. They’re given drums of fluid and told “this is what you’re to put in”. They can’t be expected to know if it’s correct or not. They just do what they’re told. IMHO JL is the absolute worst business model possible for today’s highly engineered cars.

To the OP, I’d recommend printing the chart that Shrimpy posted, bringing it along with your copy of the shop order back to the dealer, and asking the service manager (not the "service representative, but the guy that runs the shop) about it. I noticed on Shrimpy’s chart that the LV prefix had displaced the old designations by 2010, so it is possible that they’re using the LV on all newer Ford’s and the paperwork is incorrect. LV can probably be used in all Fords for years now, and that’s probably all they use on newer cars. I wouldn’t lose sleep over it, but I would check it out.

I commend you for your checking everything and doing everything right (accepting that letting JL change the tranny fluid was an error). If more people checked things out, there’d be fewer trashed trannys out there. We all make mistakes. It’s what we do after that separates the men from the boys.


#18

Wow thank you for the amount of input, great stuff guys. @the same mountainbike, thanks for the positive feedback man, Shrimpy and the OP are one in the same, so that chart I posted was a part of the research I was doing.


#19

There I go screwin’ up the details again. It’s a habit of mine. I get focused on the problem and lose the details. {:stuck_out_tongue:


#20

I wonder if you can just call Ford direct and ask. Should be a customer service number in the manual. Sounds like maybe the dealer or the service advisor may not be up on the issue. I guess I’d want to hear it from the company not the dealer.