PTU Fluid Change...Kind Of...

Matt M PA

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Well, today with almost 10,000 miles, I figured it was a good time to change the PTU fluid. Good thing too apparently, as it looked nasty and the plug needed to be wiped off.

Before I get into what we did...a simple question. I was under the assumption that the PTU holds just less than a quart of fluid. We were only able to get about 6-8 ounces. Why couldn't I get more out despite moving the hose multiple times. It seemed like I was getting the hose pretty far in.

I am fortunate to have a 4 post lift in the garage, so I put the car up and found that with a few extensions, I could get the 3/8 ratchet onto the drain plug working from the wheel well.

I used a Vacula Brake Bleeder that I use on old car work to draw the fluid out of the PTU using some thin hose. However, despite trying numerous times to get "deeper" into the unit with the hose, we were only able to extract a total of 6-8 ounces.

Next, we dropped a larger hose from the engine compartment and fed it into the fill hole. Using a funnel on the other end of the hose and slowly poured the 75-140 down the hose and into the hole until it dribbled out. It took about as much as we removed.

So, while I'm glad it's better than nothing....I would've liked to have gotten more out to exchange. I'd also like to find a better way to fill it. I do have a suction gun that I didn't use...which in retrospect may work. The car was also cold..should I have done it with the fluid warm?

Glad for your thoughts...thanks
 
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Matt M PA

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Thanks....from the admittedly short check on "pigtail PTU fluid", looks like this is for PP cars...which mine is not. Am I wrong about the non PP cars not having the vent?

Since posting originally...I found that MityVac makes a fluid extractor that also can replace fluid....may look into that, too.
 

Sgtmeatsauce1

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Pigtail became more of a thing with PP cars because the cooler goes by plug so it hard to get it off. All ptu's should have the vent. Just drain by drain plug, reinstall fluid through pigtail. I had mine elongated with some tubing vent plug on the end tied to brake booster area so I can change the fluid easily often. I use Amsoil severe duty
 

Matt M PA

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"Pigtail" is referring to filling the unit via a hose connected to the PTU's vent.

It was easy to **** the fluid out of my non PP car using a vacuum brake bleeder...getting it back in...well...that was something else. My concern was more on how much I was able to get out, which was apparently about a third of the capacity.

Doing some more research, it looks like I can put a small pump that screws onto the gear oil bottle to pump it into the car. Sounds like that would be less messy than my suction gun.

I think moving forward, I'm going to change whatever comes out of the PTU each time I change the oil. I do it at home on a 4 post lift...
 

SHOdded

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It will take a few rounds to get mot of the old fluid out once it is sludged.

The vent wasnt always there on the SHO. First came a TSB then came the change in production. All 2013+ should have it IIRC.

And the ptu holds 18 oz, not a quart.
 

Sgtmeatsauce1

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Essentially elogate the vent tube with hose tie off near brake booster out of the way. Empty ptu, refill via vent tube. Not have to get to refill bolt hidden behind cooler on +PP cars.
 

Matt M PA

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Thanks all...I had no problem getting the plug out or in....fluid removal was easy too. Gonna make it part of my oil change ritual to change as much of the PTU fluid as possible.
 

Jeff2017

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I was watching a you tube video on a guy that used an 1/8" drill bit and a self tapping ***** to drain the PTU on a Ford Freestyle. Looks pretty easy. Just wondering how well 75w-140 will drain thru a 1/8 hole? Wondering if the Freestyle uses thinner gear oil.

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Jeff2017

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I looked at mine during my oil change. Looks like a pain to reach. Think I'll ping my dealer about doing it.
 

shaker281

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On my 2010 I've used a small 12v oil extraction pump. The tubing it comes with is fairly effective. A suction gun would likely work fine with the right tubing/hose. Warmer fluid is definitely easier to pump out, but it was fairly thin regardless. Refilled with a hose and bottle until it started dribbling. Never actually measured the stinky goo, but 6-8 oz seems about right. It should probably be a 30K mile service (minimum) to keep up on the process.

https://www.walmart.com/ip/ABN-12V-...tPFz6mJCQD5ztRk-1osHUtDGxt5zDTmwaAtcWEALw_wcB
 

Christian

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I looked at mine during my oil change. Looks like a pain to reach. Think I'll ping my dealer about doing it.

Yep. That's what I did. The tech told me it was a PITA job. I paid 300 bucks or so. The process he used was to to drain and fill several times in order to extract all old fluid.
 

Billy VK

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Just had mine done at the shop next to where I work. They pulled about 9 ounces out and then put new fluid in. Drove it hard a couple times and the next day they pulled it all out again. Helped break up the sludge. 16 ounces went back into it so it made a difference to run it.
 

Christian

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Just had mine done at the shop next to where I work. They pulled about 9 ounces out and then put new fluid in. Drove it hard a couple times and the next day they pulled it all out again. Helped break up the sludge. 16 ounces went back into it so it made a difference to run it.

Care to share what it cost? Curious what the price is compared to what I pay in Canada at the dealer.
 

Matt M PA

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I also don't recall seeing a drain plug on my 2018 non PP car...I didn't think the nonPPs came with a drain plug.
 

Billy VK

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Care to share what it cost? Curious what the price is compared to what I pay in Canada at the dealer.
Well, a hundred bucks.... But that's a neighbor deal I would guess with what I am seeing other people have paid.
 

Christian

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Thanks Billy. And yeah....Matt, I don't have a drain plug on my '17. The dealer had to service mine by sucking the fluid out several times.
 

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