BULLETIN NO. 09-02 (DATE 02/06/09)

TO: All ATP Technicians

FROM: James Strong, Customer/Technical Service Mgr.

RE: AX4N, AF50N, AX4S Transaxle Leak/Incorrect Fluid Level

Vehicles Affected: 2000-07 Ford Taurus
  2000-03 Ford Windstar
  2004-07 Ford Freestar
  2000-05 Mercury Sable
  2004-07 Mercury Monterey


According to Ford Motor Company Technical Service Bulleting (TSB) number 06-19-13, some of the vehicles as described above, may exhibit erratic fluid level readings and/or automatic transmission fluid leaks.

These conditions may possibly be due to a restricted transaxle vent tube. In some cases, the transmission fluid may seem to be leaking from the transmission pan and the leak may be misdiagnosed. It is recommended to use and appropriate dye and black light to pinpoint the leak.

Replace the transaxle vent restriction by replacing the transaxle vent with a 90º vent stem, small hose clamp, (2) tie wraps, and 24" (61cm) of 5/16 (8mm) vacuum hose. The 5/16 (8mm) hose will be routed from the 90º vent on the transaxle back to the cowl area, next to the brake master cylinder and tie wrapped in place with the end of the hose facing down. Here are the service procedures:

  1. Disconnect the mass air flow (MAF) sensor electrical harness
  2. Disconnect the crankcase vent tube(s) from the air cleaner outlet pipe
  3. Loosen the clamp and disconnect the air cleaner outlet pipe from the throttle body
  4. Release the air cleaner housing clamp(s)
  5. Separate the air cleaner cover from the air cleaner tray
  6. Windstar, Freestar and Monterey models only: Remove the cowl panel grille accordingly to the service manaual.
  7. Disconnect the transhift cable if routed over the top of the vent.
  8. Remove the vent by pulling straight up with locking pliers or by carefully prying up on the vent from the transaxle case.
  9. Install the replacement 90º vent stem and other components in the reverse order of removal.

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