Depending on the production date of the transmission, Motorcraft MERCON® or DEXRON® type automatic transmission fluid is required. To determine which type of fluid your transmission requires, inspect the base of your transmission dipstick. The recommended fluid will be stamped on the bottom of the dipstick.
See Figures 1, 2 and 3
The automatic transmission fluid level should be checked when the fluid is at an operating temperature of 150-170ºF (66-77ºC). This fluid temperature can be reached by driving the car for 15-20 miles (24-32 km) of city type driving with an ambient air temperature of 50ºF (10ºC) or higher. When the fluid is checked at this temperature, the fluid level should be within the cross-hatched area on the dipstick.
Check the transmission fluid level as follows:
- Make sure the vehicle is parked on a level surface. Place the transmission selector lever in P and start the engine.
- Apply the foot brake and move the transmission selector lever to each position, pausing for a moment while the transmission is in each position.
- Place the transmission selector lever in P and apply the parking brake. Leave the engine running.
- Clean any dirt from the transmission fluid dipstick cap.
- Remove the dipstick from the tube. You may want to wrap a rag around the dipstick handle; it will be hot. Wipe the fluid from the dipstick using a clean lint-free rag and reinsert the dipstick into the tube. Make sure the dipstick is fully seated.
- Pull the dipstick from the tube and check the fluid level. It should be within the cross-hatched area on the dipstick.
In order to obtain an accurate reading, if the vehicle has been operated for an extended period at high speed, in city traffic, in hot weather, or has been pulling a trailer, allow the fluid to cool for at least1/2hour after the vehicle is shut off.
- If the fluid level is okay, reinstall the dipstick in the tube, making sure it is fully seated.
- If the fluid level is low, add only enough fluid through the dipstick tube to bring the fluid to the correct level. Use a funnel to prevent spilling the fluid over the engine.
- When the transmission fluid level is correct, reinstall the dipstick in the tube, making sure it is fully seated.
DRAIN AND REFILL
See Figures 4 through 8
The transmission fluid should be changed at the intervals specified in the Maintenance Intervals chart at the end of this section. Anytime the transmission pan is removed, the transmission filter should be replaced.
- Raise and safely support the vehicle on jackstands. Refer to the Jacking Procedure in this section.
- Remove the torque converter dust cover from the transmission housing.
- If equipped with a torque converter drain plug, install a socket and breaker bar on the crankshaft damper bolt. Turn the crankshaft until the torque converter drain plug can be seen.
- Position a suitable drain pan under the torque converter. Remove the torque converter drain plug and allow the fluid to drain.
- After the torque converter has drained, install the drain plug and tighten to 21-23 ft. lbs. (28-30 Nm). Install the dust cover.
- Position the drain pan under the transmission fluid pan. Loosen the pan retaining bolts, removing all but 2 at opposite ends of the pan. Allow the fluid to drain into the container. If the pan is stuck to the transmission, tap it lightly with a plastic mallet. Do not attempt to pry the pan away from the transmission housing.
- When the fluid has drained off, unfasten the 2 remaining bolts, and remove the pan. Allow the pan to drop and slowly drain any remaining fluid.
- If equipped, remove the filter retaining bolts. Remove the filter, grommet or gasket.
- Remove the magnet from the transmission fluid pan, if equipped. Thoroughly clean the pan and magnet. Clean all old pan gasket material from the transmission housing.
The magnet is installed to collect any metal shavings from the transmission fluid. A small amount of shavings clinging to the magnet are not cause for concern; they are caused by normal wear of internal components during transmission operation. However, you should consult a reputable transmission shop if any large pieces of metal are found on the magnet, especially if the transmission is not operating properly.To install:
- If equipped with automatic overdrive transmission, install a new filter on the transmission valve body, using a new gasket. Install the retaining bolts and tighten to 80-120 inch lbs. (9-14 Nm).
- Place the magnet, if equipped, in the fluid pan in its original location. Install a new gasket on the fluid pan.
- Install the fluid pan with the retaining bolts. Tighten the retaining bolts, evenly, to 107-119 inch lbs. (12-14 Nm).
- Lower the vehicle.
- Fill the transmission with the proper quantity of fluid. Refer to the Capacities chart at the end of this section. Check the fluid level according to the procedure described earlier.