By May 22, 2009 Read More →

Transmission Slipping After Service


I made a mistake. I had the transmission fluid changed in my Ford Explorer and now the transmission is slipping badly. Since I have been to your site today (which I found through Google and I see that you are in Houston as well), I have read your advise on high mileage transmissions that have not been serviced not to change the fluid at all.

Your reasoning for not changing the fluid makes perfect sense to me as a mechanical engineer. I should have left well enough alone. My vehicle was operating fine before but with the high miles that it has I wanted to perform preventive maintenance and changing the fluid was not something that seemed counterintuitive until I read your advise just now.

My question, and this is taking a long shot, is there any way the grittiness can be returned to the transmission to remediate the loss of friction with the new fluid? In other words, could shaving-sized metal pieces (The idea sounds crazy I know) be put back into the new fluid to restore friction?

Asking this question makes me think of the Bar’s Leaks radiator repair fluid which has metal shavings. And actually, since I’ve started writing this email, I’ve visited the Bar’s Leaks website and it appears they make a transmission repair fluid. They don’t say specifically how it works but knowing how the radiator fluid works I think I can make the assumption. Would this fluid help and would you recommend it?

Thank you,



Yo Steven,

Wish I had better news for you man…..but its time to buy a transmission or another vehicle. If you like this vehicle and want to keep it another few years, I would HIGHLY suggest you buy a rebuilt transmission from your local Ford dealer and have your local mechanic install it. It will cost a bit more than getting yours overhauled, but you will get a nationwide warranty and it will be installed in a day.

If you just want to get it running and sell it, you might want to start calling junk yards and find a used one and get your local mechanic to install it for you. You can sometimes buy an extended warranty from the junk yard…if you care to.

I have not seen or used any type of fluid additive that will return the transmission back to its pre-flush state…..sorry! :(

I sold my shop years ago and now am just working on line, other wise I would like the job.

Call Tommie Vaughn Ford parts department and ask for Sal or Craig Cook, and tell them Austin from Master Auto Service said to give you the best price possible for a rebuilt AER Ford transmission.

You can also sell this vehicle “as is” on craigslist and use that money you would have spent on a nice down payment on a used vehicle.

Austin Davis

About the Author:

Austin Davis, consumer car repair advocate. "Hi there! I love to help people solve their car repair problems and I hope my site was helpful to you today. Thank you for stopping by."

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