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
- 10 mm universal socket
- Gasket scraper
- Compressed air
- Transmission pan gasket
- MERCON automatic transmission fluid
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.
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.
- "Chilton Ford Escort/Tracer Repair Manual"; Alan Ahlstrand; Haynes North America; 2000
- Photo Credit Hemera Technologies/AbleStock.com/Getty Images
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