How to Change the Transmission Filter in a 1998 Ford Escort

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The 1998 Ford Escort uses a transmission filter only in the models with automatic transmissions. The transmission fluid and filter on a model with an automatic transmission will need to be changed at regular intervals; for the Escort, this interval is every 30 months or 30,000 miles. It is relatively easy to complete this task on a 1998 Escort, as the vehicle has a drain plug installed on its fluid pan; however, you still need to remove the pan to access the filter. It is best to do this procedure when the fluid is warm.

Things You'll Need

  • Non-porous gloves
  • Floor jack
  • Jack stands
  • Drain pan
  • Wrench
  • 10 mm universal socket
  • Gasket scraper
  • Solvent
  • Compressed air
  • Transmission pan gasket
  • MERCON automatic transmission fluid
  • Funnel

Removal Procedure

  • Raise the Escort and support it on jack stands after driving it for a few miles. Place a 6-quart drain pan under the transmission fluid pan.

  • Unscrew and remove the drain plug located on the bottom of the fluid pan with a wrench, and let the fluid drain into the drain pan.

  • Remove all of the transmission pan's bolts and pry the pan off the transmission case. The bolt located at the front corner, near the passenger's side, requires a 10 mm wrench, while the ones located above the crossmember need a 10 mm universal socket.

  • Scrape away all remnants of the old gasket from the transmission case and the pan flange with a gasket scraper. Clean the inside of the pan with solvent and dry it with compressed air.

  • Remove the three bolts that secure the transmission filter with your wrench and 10 mm socket and remove the filter. Discard the filter and its seal.

Installation Procedure

  • Connect a new seal to the replacement filter, then connect the filter to the transmission with its connecting bolts.

  • Place a new gasket on the flange of the transmission fluid pan, and connect the pan to the transmission with all its connecting bolts.

  • Tighten the bolts with your wrench/socket in a criss-cross pattern. If you have a torque wrench, tighten the bolts to 69 to 95 foot-pounds of pressure.

  • Lower the car off the jack stands.

  • Fill the transmission with MERCON automatic transmission fluid at the filler neck, using a funnel to aid you. It's best to pour it a little at a time, allowing it to drain into the transmission, while constantly checking the level with the dipstick.

Tips & Warnings

  • Always wear protective goggles when working under the car.

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References

  • "Chilton Ford Escort/Tracer Repair Manual"; Alan Ahlstrand; Haynes North America; 2000
  • Photo Credit Hemera Technologies/AbleStock.com/Getty Images
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