ford f150 transmission fluid check steps

Ford F150 Transmission Fluid Check: How to Do It Yourself?

If your car makes loud noises when shifting gears and the gear changes feel slow or rough, it could be a sign of either low transmission fluid or a bad transmission that requires replacing.

To confirm it, you’ll need to do a Ford F150 transmission fluid check. To do that, just drive your car for a few kilometers, prepare the car, start the engine, and shift through gears. Then, put the gear in the Park and check the fluid level using the dipstick.

In case you find the process confusing, don’t worry. I’ll explain it in eight simple steps, so you can easily perform the check yourself. Let’s Begin!

Steps To Ford F150 Transmission Fluid Check

To keep your Ford F150 running smoothly and lasting a long time, it’s vital to check its transmission fluid on a daily basis. Here’s how to check the transmission fluid F150 in the proper way.

ford f150 transmission fluid check steps
Image 1: Steps To Check Ford F150 Transmission Fluid

Step 1: Drive Your Car to Normal Operating Temperature

Before you start to check the F150 transmission fluid, ensure your Ford F150’s transmission fluid is at the right temperature for an accurate check.

Automatic transmission fluid expands when it’s warm, so it’s essential to bring it to normal operating temperature, which is typically achieved after driving approximately 30 kilometers (20 miles).

If you’ve been operating your vehicle at high speeds, in city traffic during hot weather, or while towing a trailer, it’s advisable to let the vehicle cool off for about 30 minutes before proceeding with the check.

Step 2: Prepare Your Vehicle

  • After that, you’ll need to park your F150 on a level or even ground.
  • Then, engage the parking brake to ensure the car stays in stationary during the fluid check.

Step 3: Start the Engine and Shift Through Gears

  • Now, with your foot on the brake pedal and the parking brake engaged, start the engine of your F150.
  • Next, shift the gear lever through all of the gear ranges (P, R, N, D, 2, 1). Be sure to let each gear engage fully holding for around 5 seconds before changing to another position.

Step 4: Lock the Gearshift Lever in “P” (Park)

After cycling through all the gear ranges, you’ll need to place the gear lever in the Park (P) position. During this period, keep the engine running during this step. To know whether you check transmission fluid in Park or Neutral, check this guide and know it all.

Step 5: Check the Transmission Fluid Level

  • Then, find out the transmission fluid dipstick on your F150. To do that, you may need to check your owner’s manual to know the exact spot easily.
  • After that, you’ll need to carefully take out the dipstick and wipe it clean using a lint-free rag or towel, ensuring it’s entirely dry.
  • Next, locate the F150 transmission fluid tube to use the dipstick into it. After finding it, insert the dipstick into the filler tube, ensuring it’s fully seated. Then, remove the dipstick once more and inspect the fluid level.

Step 6: Understand the Transmission Fluid Level

After F150 transmission fluid checking, you’ll need to know whether the dipstick is showing low, high, or correct levels. You’ll need to know how to read it if using a dipstick to determine the fluid level in the proper way. If it’s new to you, here’s what each point means:

ford f150 transmission fluid level check with dipstick
Image 2: Testing Fluid Level with the Ford F150 Dipstick

1. Low Fluid Level

If your transmission fluid is very low, and it is above 10°C or 50°F, don’t drive your vehicle. In that case, you’ll need to add transmission fluid like this.

2. Correct Fluid Level

This fluid level means it’s in the proper state and doesn’t require refilling. The fluid level should be right in a certain range when it’s either hot or not too cold (between 10°C to 35°C or 50°F to 95°F).

3. High Fluid Level

If your transmission fluid is too high, it can damage your transmission. This might cause issues with shifting and getting your car to move properly. Having too much fluid can happen if your car’s engine gets too hot.

Step 7: Find Out the Temperature of Transmission Fluid

Now, it’s the right time for you to test out the temperature of the transmission fluid in your F150. According to Ford Truck, it’s ideal to check the transmission fluid whether it’s hot or cold before you fill it up.

Just see the dipstick whether it stays on the COLD or HOT side to know the actual temperature of the fluid. For a detailed direction, check if the transmission fluid in your F150 is cold or hot by reading this out.

Note: After checking whether the transmission fluid is hot or cold, ensure to add some using one of the best transmission fluids for the Ford F150.

Step 8: Know the Quality of Transmission Fluid

Based on the Car and Driver, it’s best to check the color of the transmission fluid to know the actual health of the transmission. So, before you put everything back, it’s essential to see if the fluid is in good shape or not. In order to do that, follow the given directions:

ford f150 transmission fluid condition check with color change
Image 3: Transmission Fluid Health Based on Color Change
  • You’ll need to begin the process by putting the dipstick into the filler tube.
  • Then, pull it out and drop some transmission fluids on a white tissue paper or a rag so you can clearly see the color.
  • Next, check the color of the transmission fluid and detect the quality –
    • If the color is dark brown or black, it means the fluid is burnt and you need to visit the service center.

Project Cost: $0.

Project Duration: 10 – 20 minutes.

Ending Notes

Checking your Ford F150 transmission fluid is a crucial thing that all drivers need to do regularly. This simple task not only saves you money, typically around $100 to $300 but it also doesn’t take much time.

Hope you found this guide beneficial and able to do it confidently to perform this task. And, keep in mind safety is a top priority, so make sure to follow your vehicle’s manual and take necessary precautions during the process. Good Luck with This Project!

Frequently Asked Questions

Why check the transmission fluid in my Ford F150?

You should check the transmission fluid if your truck’s transmission is acting strangely, like making strange noises, not shifting properly, and so on.

How often do you need to check transmission fluid F150?

It’s a good idea to check your F150’s transmission fluid every 2 to 4 years or every 30,000 to 60,000 miles (which is about 48,280 to 96,561 kilometers).

Is it safe to check the transmission fluid myself on the F150?

Yes, you can do it yourself if you follow the instructions. However, if you’re not sure how or you’re not comfortable with basic car stuff, it’s better to get an expert to check the transmission fluid in your F150.

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