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Copernicus

5W-30 Synthetic Oil Use

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Hello! We recently purchased a 2017 Transit Connect LWB Cargo Van with the 2.5L motor and optional Trailering Package, in which we plan to pull a 10' Teardrop trailer on long extended camping trips. The plan is to cross the desert. The owner's manual calls for the use of 5W-20 oil. Lacking both an oil and trans cooler (to my knowledge), I am concerned that 5W-20 will be too light for the possible work load we could encounter on long grades in high temps, with the viscosity thinning out. In another used vehicle we own, I replaced the 5W-20 that was used with 5W-30 Mobil 1 Full Synthetic oil, with no problems. On a visit to the local Ford Dealer, I asked the Service Dept Manager this question, and he replied that I shouldn't have any problem, and that is what he would do. But he seemed vague, and inattentive, so I wasn't secure in his assertion.

Do you think switching up to 5W-30 Mobil 1 Full Synthetic oil would be prudent in our Transit Connect, and it wouldn't cause any problems other than slightly decreased fuel mileage (such as "setting the Check Engine Light, etc?).

Your thoughts and experienced opinion is valued here, as we hope this vehicle will serve us for many years and problem-free miles. Thank you!tango_face_smile.png

Doug

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Modern engines with their much closer tolerances require the use of much thinner oil than we old guys are used to.  The recommended 5W-20 oil is formulated to behave like 5 weight oil when it's cold to ensure the thicker cold oil gets into those tighter clearances so they don't starve for oil when the engine is cold.  The '20' is what the oil is designed to behave like when it's hot, and they chose that number for a reason  -  Hot oil rated at a viscosity of 30 may be just enough thicker that it doesn't get into everywhere it needs to go

I'm no oil expert and neither am I a mechanical engineer, so I've gotta believe that those much smarter than me chose 5W-20 for good reasons and I wouldn't recommend anyone to try 'outguessing' the experts, based on what we *think* is happening inside a hot engine.  The engineers know the oil gets very hot and when it's hot they want it to behave like 20 weight oil, so that's what I would stick with.  My 'guess' is that a heavier weight would be more likely to cause you problems than prevent them

Don

Edited by Beta Don

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I agree with Don. Keep in mind that using an oil grade different from the Ford recommendations may void your warranty in case of future claim, whether related to oil grades or not. In a situation where I think that my oil is "overworked", I would simply do more frequent oil (and filter) changes. 

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The 2.5 has both a Transmission cooler and  engine oil cooler.

if you are working the TC hard keep a check on the transmission fluid level often and change the engine oil more often and things will be swell.

If you want to do something more change to a full synthetic 5W20 .

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Great thread. I also have a 2017 Transit Connect LWB Cargo Van with the 2.5L motor and optional Trailering Package. Stick with the 5W/20 oil, Mobil 1 is available in that weight. As GBL said, the TC has a engine oil and a transmission cooler, all stock. If you tow a lot, change the engine oil every 5000 miles and the transmission fluid every 30,000 miles, as Ford recommends. There are a few on this forum that tow regularly and have no issues. Go for it, and have fun.

Edited by zalienz

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Big thanks to Beta Don, Dandytc, GBL and zalienz for your very helpful information.  Mobil 1 5W-20 Full Synthetic oil it will be!  So great to hear that the 2.5L motor comes with BOTH an engine oil and transmission cooler.  Interestingly, I asked this question at my local Ford dealer when ordering our LWB Connect for trailering, and they "informed" me these features were not available, so they encouraged me to buy the extended warranty due to their absence!  (I usually don't go for these...) Unbelievable!  We will feel so much better now towing with these features keeping things cool(er)! 

Can any of you great TC owners direct me to where I can find a diagram or image of where the transmission fill plug is so I can check the tranny fluid?  I guess while we are at it, the trans drain plug as well, so I can drain and refill the trans at 30,000 miles.  Does the TC 2.5 trans have a filter that will need to be changed as well?  On my wife's 2005 Toyota Matrix, I am used to dropping the trans pan every 40,000 miles and changing out both the filter and the entire AT fluid.  (Thus the trans shifts and operates like new with over 130,000 mountain miles on it.) A bit messy, but relatively easy to do myself.  (This is the only other car I have ever owned besides our newly purchased TC that has had an automatic transmission.)

Thanks again for your knowledge and kindness.  Happy trails!

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One thing I've found since buying mine is that very few employees at most Ford dealerships know anything at all about our TC's  -  They're made is Spain, relatively new to the market and most dealers don't sell many of them, so despite the fact that everything they would need to know is available in Ford's technical literature, nobody seems in any hurry to read much of it

But, being the true 'car professionals' that they are, they'll never admit they don't know something  -  If you ask a question, you'll get an answer  -  It may be 180 degrees from the real answer in the tech manuals, but that doesn't bother anyone either.  If you need factual information about the vehicle you drive, I would trust the Internet 10 to 1 over anything I'm told at the dealers

Someday, (probably in another life) I'm going to ask a question at the dealer and someone will say "Gee, I don't know the answer to that  -  I'll have to look it up"

Naw  -  I'm just dreaming

Don

 

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22 hours ago, Copernicus said:

 

Can any of you great TC owners direct me to where I can find a diagram or image of where the transmission fill plug is so I can check the tranny fluid?  I guess while we are at it, the trans drain plug as well, so I can drain and refill the trans at 30,000 miles.  Does the TC 2.5 trans have a filter that will need to be changed as well? 

 

 

There is no dipstick to check the fluid with.  With other automatic transmissions, you would check the dipstick, then add fluid as needed through the dipstick tube.  
 
This vehicle's transmission is best serviced by a fluid exchange via the cooling and return lines.  Add fresh fluid into the return line as old fluid comes out of the cooling line.  Continue until fresh fluid exits the cooling line, which indicates that all of the used fluid has been pumped out.  
 
Since I have yet to take my transmission apart, I am under the impression that there is a screen inside of the transmission casing.  Why do I think this?  I don't see an external filter.  And most transmissions do have some sort of filter accessible by dropping the pan.  
 
This service video of a Ford Focus may be useful.
 
 
 

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And if you can use this photo......

GM_6T40.jpg

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Here's the post I did on changing the Transmission fluid it could help

 

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MLB    3
On 3/1/2017 at 1:23 AM, Copernicus said:

Big thanks to Beta Don, Dandytc, GBL and zalienz for your very helpful information.  Mobil 1 5W-20 Full Synthetic oil it will be!  So great to hear that the 2.5L motor comes with BOTH an engine oil and transmission cooler.  Interestingly, I asked this question at my local Ford dealer when ordering our LWB Connect for trailering, and they "informed" me these features were not available, so they encouraged me to buy the extended warranty due to their absence!  (I usually don't go for these...) Unbelievable!  We will feel so much better now towing with these features keeping things cool(er)! 

Can any of you great TC owners direct me to where I can find a diagram or image of where the transmission fill plug is so I can check the tranny fluid?  I guess while we are at it, the trans drain plug as well, so I can drain and refill the trans at 30,000 miles.  Does the TC 2.5 trans have a filter that will need to be changed as well?  On my wife's 2005 Toyota Matrix, I am used to dropping the trans pan every 40,000 miles and changing out both the filter and the entire AT fluid.  (Thus the trans shifts and operates like new with over 130,000 mountain miles on it.) A bit messy, but relatively easy to do myself.  (This is the only other car I have ever owned besides our newly purchased TC that has had an automatic transmission.)

Thanks again for your knowledge and kindness.  Happy trails!

   It's old school "pull bolt and see if oil is up to the hole" under the car behind the front half shafts on the drivers side.  Under the soft belly pan so easiest to do it when you change oil. 

Edited by MLB

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Although this perhaps only marginally applies, my son crosses the desert fairly regularly between Colorado and Cali in his 2012 TC using 5W20 with a 1000 lb plus load with no apparent problems. Even in this most recent heat wave he had no problem.  His 2012 has a 2.0 engine with a four speed auto tranny.  He uses standard Ford recommended products.  He changes oil every 5000 miles.

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