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ServicePlus

New TC Owner

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Hello everyone, just joined today. I've been doing Appliance Repair for the last 21 years, previously working for 2 different Appliance stores I started my own business in May of 2018, Service Plus Appliance Repair. Over the years I've worked out of 3 different full size pickups and 2 E-150 vans, when I started my own business I didn't want to go in debt so I used an extra car we had, a 2000 Subaru Outback. While obviously not ideal it actually worked quite well and it was great for getting around in the snow this winter, especially in customer's driveways that are often steep and not cleared. 

Anyway I knew the Subaru was only a temporary vehicle for my business, and once I had saved up enough I started looking for a vehicle. I first started looking for a full size van as that is what I was used to working out of but I worry that gas prices are going to continue to rise and a rear wheel drive van is awful for getting around in snow, so that got me thinking about a Transit Connect. After about a month of looking I found a 2015 XLT with the longer wheelbase, it has 112,000 miles on it, and also has shelves in the back, driver side shelf is short enough to allow access from the side door, the passenger side is full length, and it also has a cargo wall. 

I have a few questions and if I should start individual threads I can do that as well. 

Don't have an owners manual, can I download one somewhere?

I talked to my local Ford deal about how often the transmission should be serviced, he recommended every 60k miles. They also do a complete flush of the entire system, I plan on getting this done ASAP, but I have also read horror stories of a flush breaking loose items etc. and causing more problems than you started with. I asked about this, he said that used to be true but that isn't a worry any longer. Any thoughts? Should I look to get just a fluid change instead of a flush?

Sadly I don't know any service history on the vehicle other than the oil was changed before I bought it, only know that it was owned by Hobart. Any items I should look to do right away besides the transmission fluid?

After a few days of driving it I've noticed that the Cruise Control sometimes works, sometimes it doesn't. When it does work, it works perfectly, then at times you hit the on/off button and it won't respond at all. Any suggestions on that? 

I'd love to see pictures from other users on how they have their Transit Connect setup so I can get some ideas on how to make the best use of mine. I'd like to have a tablet mount in the cab, possibly make better use of the space in back with some more shelves or ways to best organize things. Any pictures for ideas to get the best use of the space and make it a nice environment to spend my days while working! 

Thanks!

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Welcome @ServicePlus and congrats on your TC!  Here is a link for your owners manual. https://owner.ford.com/tools/account/how-tos/owner-manuals-search-results.html?make=Ford&model=Transit Connect&year=2015

 

As for the flush, its a gamble.  If it works, you are definitely better off.  I however, would play it safe.  I would drain and fill.  Drive it until the next oil change and drain and fill again.  That will replace about half the transmission fluid.  Some members have done it four times in a row to get most of the fluid changed.  You can read up on what others have done in the transmission section.

 

I would check all your filters (air, cabin, etc).

 

Check here for info on your cruise control.

Check here for a laptop mount.  These are really popular: https://www.rammount.com/consumer/device-mounts/laptop-mounts

 

There are several companies that have shelving for the TC.  I guess it really depends on what you need and what inventory you want to carry.  You can just google "transit connect shelving"

 

With all of your experience, I am sure you will make the most of you new vehicle and truly enjoy it.  :thumbsup:

 

 

 

 

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3 hours ago, ServicePlus said:



Don't have an owners manual, can I download one somewhere?

 

https://www.fleet.ford.com/partsandservice/owner-manuals/

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https://owner.ford.com/tools/account/how-tos/owner-manuals.html

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To view your vehicle's owner manuals, please sign in or select a vehicle. You can also view all owner manuals for all vehicles.

 

3 hours ago, ServicePlus said:


I talked to my local Ford deal about how often the transmission should be serviced, he recommended every 60k miles. They also do a complete flush of the entire system, I plan on getting this done ASAP, but I have also read horror stories of a flush breaking loose items etc. and causing more problems than you started with. I asked about this, he said that used to be true but that isn't a worry any longer. Any thoughts? Should I look to get just a fluid change instead of a flush?
 

 

In the old days, transmission flush machines did knock things loose, and caused transmission failures, because the machine pumped cleaning formula into the transmission to "flush". . Back then, you would drop the pan, clean it out, and drain the torque converter if a service plug was available.  This was considered safer than to machine flush the transmission with high pressure and cleaning agents.

 

Today's modern transmission fluid exchangers are different.  They don't "flush" like the old machines.  The machine hooks up to the transmission's cooling and return lines.  The car is turned on, and the transmission's pump pushes fluid out the cooling line.  The machine contains fresh fluid which is added back to the transmission at the return line. 

 

Your vehicle should be in good hands at a dealership.  However, you can independent shops with the right transmission fluid exchanger.  Just ask them what kind of equipment they have and how it works.  If they aren't willing to discuss the equipment and process, then you don't need to go to that shop.  

 

Your vehicle was in commercial service when owned by Hobart.  You are using the vehicle as a commercial vehicle.  Follow the severe duty maintenance schedule.  Service the transmission every 30,000 miles.  

 

3 hours ago, ServicePlus said:

 Any items I should look to do right away besides the transmission fluid?
 

 

Belts.  Hoses.  Water pump.  Thermostat.  Brake fluid.  Power steering fluid.  Air conditioning chemical.  Air filter.  Cabin air filters.  Coolant.  Spark plugs.  COP ignition.  

 

You will get a lot of opinions about the tune-up parts.  Some people will tell you that it's a waste of money to replace any of those items, and just wait until you actually need new parts.  Do you want to be the guy who "needs" new parts?  In the middle of your work day, as you are already behind on service call appointments, is that a good time to "need" a new part?  No better time to have a drive belt fail or a hose burst.  You'll only be on the side of the road, hoping that your engine didn't overheat to the point of failure.  Then you lose all of the work for the rest of that day, and maybe the next day, until you get a replacement van.  Not to mention that it would hurt your reputation.  Commercial customer waiting for you to repair his walk-in's compressor, loses his entire inventory and all of his sales for the day.  That guy won't be calling you back to fix his ice machine.  

 

The Coil-Over-Plug ignition has to be removed for you to change the spark plugs.  Some people will tell you to carefully clean, inspect, and reinstall the existing COP.  My approach is to simply replace and install a new part.  Less effort and easier to just open the package and put a new one on top of your new spark plug.  After all, you didn't remove, inspect, and clean your spark plugs; just to reinstall the old spark plugs.  And you're not really going to wait until the spark plugs foul and your engine misfires, before you replace them.  Same way you're not waiting for the engine to build up sludge and seize, before changing the oil/.  

1697346950_tcmaintencancespecial.jpg.fe12d9d3cded84b64c2090fc68ad3830.jpg

3 hours ago, ServicePlus said:

I'd like to have a tablet mount in the cab, possibly make better use of the space in back with some more shelves or ways to best organize things. Any pictures for ideas to get the best use of the space and make it a nice environment to spend my days while working! 
 

There are already several threads on mounts for cell phones and such.  I used a cell phone mount to cradle my tablet on the dash.  Working so far.  Nothing fancy or expensive.  

IMG_20181214_143553512.jpg.077257adb32e3cadab6f564334206253.jpg

 

If the van doesn't have one already, get a roof rack for tools and ladders.  You may also want a hitch receiver, as a small trailer will come in handy for transporting washers, dryers, stoves, et cetera.  

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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 If you Drain and refill the Transmission 3 to 4 times you can change almost 100 % of the fluid  with out an invasive operation that would stir things up.  I change mine every 25000 miles.

If you slack the belts you can spin the pulleys and get an idea of what condition the water pump ,alternator and idler pulleys are in.  Have the AC system tested and topped  off, as over time they all loose refrigerant. 

I think you will find  it is a very good service platform.

Welcome abord

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1 hour ago, G B L said:

 If you Drain and refill the Transmission 3 to 4 times you can change almost 100 % of the fluid  with out an invasive operation that would stir things up.  I change mine every 25000 miles.

 

That's my service plan too.  I drained & refilled mine 4 times using Castrol Transmax Full Synthetic which is Ford approved for all Mercon LV vehicles, mostly because I found a deal on it for $5 a quart, which is less than half the price of Mercon LV and also because I wanted full synthetic fluid and I still don't know exactly what Mercon LV is

 

Now, every 25K I'll drain and refill it twice for the rest of the time I'll own this van

 

Ford obviously wanted you to take it to the dealer for all transmission service, because they didn't give you a dipstick to check fluid level and they also didn't give you an easy way to add fluid.  I *hate it* when any manufacturer does this sort of thing.  As much as I love this van, odds are pretty great that it's my last Ford.  The good news is, no more than we drive it though (it's a 2014 with only 25K on it now) it may last us another 10 to 15 years

 

Don

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7 hours ago, G B L said:

 If you Drain and refill the Transmission 3 to 4 times you can change almost 100 % of the fluid  with out an invasive operation that would stir things up.  I change mine every 25000 miles.

 

Dynamic fluid replacement with a modern device is not invasive by any stretch of the imagination. It hooks up to the coolant lines and gradually replaces all fluid while the transmission pumps the fluid around by itself with the engine running. Just had it done for my Toyota last year. Probably too late (past 100K miles) but it was better than not to.

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13 hours ago, mrtn said:

 

Dynamic fluid replacement with a modern device is not invasive by any stretch of the imagination

Having looked at the hose routing on the TC  I think that the most invasive part would be the hook up to the flushing machine.

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Thanks everyone, I'm going to have the dealer do the fluid replacement in a few days. So far I'm really enjoying working out of the van!

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On 3/23/2019 at 2:39 PM, ServicePlus said:

 

I've been doing Appliance Repair for the last 21 years,

 

Over the years I've worked out of 3 different full size pickups and 2 E-150 vans,

 

I found a 2015 XLT 

 

 

 

Just wondering how well the van handles if you are weighed down all the time, and how the suspension holds up.  What are your impressions of the Transit Connect, in comparison to working out of full size trucks & vans?  My van has only been used for passengers, not enough weight to make any difference at all.  With 7 passengers, the acceleration, braking, and maneuverability was still the same; which is suppose to be how it is designed.  From past experience, with trucks & vans, weight and cargo placement really changes the ride.   

 

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Honestly I don't carry that much weight, I'm guessing right now I have 350 lbs. of extra cargo? At most I'll have 600 lbs.? Appliance parts don't weight that much, and I don't need a huge amount of tools. A full load of passengers is probably more weight than I'll ever haul in cargo. 

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Okay.  I get it.  It's not like other service vans which carry, ladders, lumber, thousands of feet of extra wire, hundreds of feet of pipe & conduit, all sorts of fittings, thousands of pieces of hardware, and everything from hand tools, to power tools, to welders, air compressors, et cetera.  Plumbers, carpenters, electricians.....easily haul over a thousand pounds of extra weight.

 

I was imagining a mobile workshop with all sorts of pumps, motors, hoses, enough stuff rebuild, refurbish, or repair everything on the sales floor at Sears.

 

The other day, as I was driving around, I found a shop which only repaired lawn mowers.  The kind you push, not the kind you ride.  This place was in a large warehouse, and there were at least 2 dozen workers on workbenches actually doing repairs.   I never knew that kind of business could even exist.  

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