03 Transmission Fluid at 70k

Moshjarcud

New member
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I’m new here - just aquired a 2003 TC. It has only 73k and has done a bit of sitting. In the last few years it’s only had maybe 1k miles on it.

The trans jumps when I hit the accelerator from a stop. Feels like maybe 1st to 2nd? It doesn’t do it all the time. Fluid doesn’t appear to have been changed in the lifetime of this owner, I have all the service records. It also is red but has maybe a slight hint of brown to it. I don’t think it smells Bad in comparison to my 01 F150.

Otherwise it drives fine on the highway and I only feel it on acceleration.

It was bought by the previous owner at 40k. It’s a Florida car for its lifetime.

I’m about to make a trip to home with it in a few days to Philly. Can I wait until I get home and do this fluid? Should I do the fluid before the trip?
 

Town

Senior Member
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Ottawa Ontario Canada
Welcome to the Forum.

This forum is more for posting solutions to problems than asking for help. Your question would find more help in our Town Car forum here: Lincoln Town Car Forum (1981-2011)

Lincoln say the trans fluid should last for 250,000 kilometers (155,000 miles) under ideal conditions (long trips with light loads and little idling or city driving). Since your car has done less than half of that you should be OK, but you don't know how the car was used. I think the trans oil should normally be changed way before 70,000 miles. The oil should always be clear and red, anything else (like a bit of brown colour) is an indication of clutch pack wear and particles in suspension. A burnt smell would indicate trans abuse (excessive temperatures) in the form of heavy towing or very hard acceleration most all the time. I would change the trans oil as soon as you can to eliminate oil contamination as a possible cause of your trans problem. The torque converter clutch lockup can cause some odd behaviour but more related to vibration than jumping. Shifts to 2nd gear would not likely cause your concern. A hard shift would be very noticeable but not cause a jump in acceleration. Get a trans flush and pan drop to clean out pan and magnet.

Another unrelated (to the trans) cause for your concern would be the TPC (throttle position sensor) having a dead zone coming off idle. The resistance in the TPS should increase/decrease smoothly all the way to full throttle and back to idle. If a segment is worn the resistance will be zero and this often happens coming off idle. So the PCM does not see the throttle opening until later and that means much more throttle opening than expected and a sudden increase in engine speed and therefore acceleration due to transition from IAC (idle air control) to throttle plate control. The TPS can be tested and replaced if faulty. Electronics can do things that baffle the mind sometimes, especially with powertrain management.

Good luck.
 

Moshjarcud

New member
2
0
1
Welcome to the Forum.

This forum is more for posting solutions to problems than asking for help. Your question would find more help in our Town Car forum here: Lincoln Town Car Forum (1981-2011)

Lincoln say the trans fluid should last for 250,000 kilometers (155,000 miles) under ideal conditions (long trips with light loads and little idling or city driving). Since your car has done less than half of that you should be OK, but you don't know how the car was used. I think the trans oil should normally be changed way before 70,000 miles. The oil should always be clear and red, anything else (like a bit of brown colour) is an indication of clutch pack wear and particles in suspension. A burnt smell would indicate trans abuse (excessive temperatures) in the form of heavy towing or very hard acceleration most all the time. I would change the trans oil as soon as you can to eliminate oil contamination as a possible cause of your trans problem. The torque converter clutch lockup can cause some odd behaviour but more related to vibration than jumping. Shifts to 2nd gear would not likely cause your concern. A hard shift would be very noticeable but not cause a jump in acceleration. Get a trans flush and pan drop to clean out pan and magnet.

Another unrelated (to the trans) cause for your concern would be the TPC (throttle position sensor) having a dead zone coming off idle. The resistance in the TPS should increase/decrease smoothly all the way to full throttle and back to idle. If a segment is worn the resistance will be zero and this often happens coming off idle. So the PCM does not see the throttle opening until later and that means much more throttle opening than expected and a sudden increase in engine speed and therefore acceleration due to transition from IAC (idle air control) to throttle plate control. The TPS can be tested and replaced if faulty. Electronics can do things that baffle the mind sometimes, especially with powertrain management.

Good luck.
Thanks.

I had the fluid changed today. Still jumps but it seems to be better. Mechanic said it seems to shift early, but it was nothing to worry about.

It’s between 1st and 2nd under average acceration. I think its better classified as a hard shift.
 
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