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CD4E automatic oil change - drain and refill capacity


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#1 Tony C

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Posted 24 March 2007 - 08:34 PM

Decided to renew the ATF fluid in the 4 speed autobox my Mk3 facelift 2 litre today. Checked Haynes (and T*S) both agreed that total capacity is 7.5 litres but drain and refill capacity is only 6 litres (as the remaining 1.5 litres remains in the torque convertor). So armed with 2x5 litre cans of appropriate grade AFT I removed the drain plug and drained the autobox. I measured what I'd drained off to ensure I knew how much fresh fluid to put back in.

Was very surprised to find that only 3.5 litres drained out. So I added 3.5 litres of fresh fluid and - still with an ample supply of fresh fluid - I thought I'll give it a run to mix it in and then try another drain and refill. 3.25 litres this time!

Has anyone else tried to change their ATF fluid only to find that much less than the expected 6 litres drains out? And if so - any idea why?:confused:
Now on 2000 Focus Mk1 1.8 Ghia Saloon (as second car - first being my wife's amazing Motability 2012 2.0 litre Nissan Qashqai+2 Ntec+ CVT auto)
Previous cars:
'94 - '02: 1993 2.0l Mondeo GLX estate
'02 - '07: 1996 (Mk1) 2.0l Mondeo GhiaX auto estate (auto gearbox recon at 92,000)

'07 - '12: 2004 2.0l Mondeo LX auto hatchback (second failure of autobox saw it on its way to the recycling yard in the sky)

#2 Guest__*

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Posted 25 March 2007 - 03:58 AM

It is because the draining does not empty the filters or the the bands in the box so will never drain the full amount. The only way to do it properly is to drain, refill, drain refill amd then drain and refill as you will be diluting the old oil each time you do it.



#3 Tony C

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Posted 25 March 2007 - 07:40 AM

Thanks Bookwyse I wasn't expecting to drain the full 7.5 litres just the 6 litres the book said I could. What I couldn't understand was why I was only able to drain 3.5 not 6. THe gradual dilution was my plan B.

But I think I've answered my own question. I've dug out my Haynes for my old Mk1 which also had the CD4E autobox. That shows a drain and refill capacity of 3.6 litres! So unless they've modified the design of the box dramatically between the Mk1 and Mk3 - I suspect that the 6 litres drain and refill capacity shown in T*S and Haynes for the Mk3 is an error and it should be 3.6 the same as in the Mk1.

PS It is possible to replace all the fluid in one go. After the autobox in my Mk1 GhiaX estate was repaired, the repairer told me how. Apparently they disconnect one of the pipes to the transmission fluid cooler and connect the flow to waste and the return to fresh fluid and run the engine. The autobox pump then pumps out the old, replacing it with the new. Not a diy job tho' unfortunately without suitable equipment (and a plentiful supply of fluid). Hence my use of the gradual dilution method.
I may well end up having the tranmission chap replace all the fluid. I just thought that if I could replace 6 (rather than 3.6) of the 7.5 litres myself - it would be worth the £60ish labour saving. Having found that Plan A won't work I think the extra cost of paying to have all the fluid replaced is worth it compared to the gradual dilution method.
Now on 2000 Focus Mk1 1.8 Ghia Saloon (as second car - first being my wife's amazing Motability 2012 2.0 litre Nissan Qashqai+2 Ntec+ CVT auto)
Previous cars:
'94 - '02: 1993 2.0l Mondeo GLX estate
'02 - '07: 1996 (Mk1) 2.0l Mondeo GhiaX auto estate (auto gearbox recon at 92,000)

'07 - '12: 2004 2.0l Mondeo LX auto hatchback (second failure of autobox saw it on its way to the recycling yard in the sky)