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Q: Transmission can’t shift, thinks it needs to be replaced

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The transmission in my 2007 Ford Explorer failed catastrophically at 115,000 miles. I was driving normally when the transmission started making ugly noises. By the time I was able to pull over, I could barely even shift into park. I could tell that the automatic transmission was damaged. I couldn’t shift back into drive, but I would not have been able to drive the car home anyway. I had my car towed and the transmission was replaced. What will help extend the life of this one? I can't afford another service like that!

A: The best advise to help prolong the life of...

The best advise to help prolong the life of this transmission is to service it regularly. Make sure you also service the engine cooling system on a regular basis since the transmission cooler is in the radiator. If you are in a warm climate or tow on a regular basis, look into getting an additional external transmission cooler installed. The transmission will run cooler and have less chance of heat-related failures. I also recommend you have a check up on the transmission before any warranty expires. Service any new transmission for the first time at 20,000 miles and every 30,000 miles after that.

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