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I have a 2016 mkc 2.3 L turbo AWD model.
1. It has about 48.5k miles and I want to change the transmission fluid.
2. It is not currently leaking but it makes sense to freshen up the fluid. It also seems to be operating without issues currently.
3. I had read elsewhere that you should avoid "flushing" the transmission and simply drain(by gravity) and replace.
4. I replaced the battery yesterday and noticed some trans fluid had "spashed" out from under the filler cap over time and had dirt/dust in it.
5. What would the advice be: flush or simply drain.
6. Which fluid does everyone seem to agree on as the best replacement fluid?
7. Should i at this point change the fluid filter and how is it accessed?
Thank you in advance for any help/advice....
I've drained and refilled the transmission fluid three (3) times on my wife's 2017 MKC 2.3L AWD model. This vehicle had about 30K miles on it when I started these drain/refill procedures, and I did them at about 1,000-mile intervals. The car now has about 38K on it and is running well.

I bought a 12-quart case of Motorcraft MERCON LV Automatic Transmission Fluid (ATF) and used exactly four quarts of new fluid for each drain/refill cycle.

There should be a spring-style clamp holding the ATF filler cap tightly in place. It's a robust clamp, and fluid really can't escape if the clamp is in place. The clamp's location makes it difficult to reach and release, so I purchased a pair of Lisle 17000 Long Reach Universal Hose Clamp Pliers. This tool makes it much easier to remove and replace the clamp on the ATF filler cap:

Lisle 17000 Long Reach Universal Hose Clamp Pliers

The original fluid didn't look too dirty, so I've ignored the transmission filter thus far but may take a look at in the future.
 
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