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Ford is aware of this issue. They call the gear oil in the PTU a lifetime fluid. It is FAAAR from. Look up Ford Edge, Taurus, Flex, Explorer, or the Lincoln variants of these cars. They all have issues with this. I learned about it after my PTU overheated and leaking was noticed during a routine oil change at Firestone. I couldn’t drain the PTU because all of the oil had turned into black sludge. I was able to fill about 12-13 oz of fluid into the unit before it leaked out the fill port. This shows that my unit was significantly LOW on fluid. After I added fluid it started to drive a lot better, less hesitation, and overall a smoother pickup and acceleration. I filled it with new fluid to loosen up the blank gunk inside the PTU and also lubricate it to reduce overheating issues.
I will attempt a full drain and fill next time I get under the car which will be before my next oil change. Something really should’ve been done. I have a car I bought used for almost $17k that is gorgeous, has awesome features, gets reasonably good MPG for its size, and a leaking AWD unit at less than 50k miles. It was traded in by the previous owner probably because it was out of warranty and they discovered this issue.
- Alex B.,