Q: Transmission died while I was driving

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My 2008 Ford Edge had a total of 78,512 miles on it when the transmission failed completely driving to the store last week. A loud clanking, no power going to the wheels, then the engine stalled. I have to replace the whole automatic transmission now and I am not happy. This car is not old enough to be having problems like this. Shoddy quality. What should I do/monitor with the new transmission to make sure it doesn’t just die like that?

Ford had a technical service bulletin on these back in May of 2008 involving replacing sun gears and other components on models built before March 15, 2008. If yours falls into this category, hopefully the replacement you received incorporated the retrofit that the bulletin included. Since you’ve already had the transmission replaced, the best thing you can do at this point is to make sure your fluid level remains full and pink in color. This is done simply by checking the dipstick level and observing the fluid color. Even though Ford’s maintenance specs call for changing the transmission fluid on your vehicle every 150,000 miles, if it shows signs of discoloration, such as orange or brown, it should be replaced. You can also visually check the transmission cooler (located in front of the radiator) to make sure there’s no debris clogging or restricting the fins, which would cause the transmission fluid to overheat.

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