ford transmission change

The Ultimate Guide To F150 Ford Transmission Change

Ford transmission change is indeed a crucial topic that requires precision and attention to detail.

To change the Ford F150 transmission fluid, you’ll need to consider a few things before draining and adding new fluid. This ranges from understanding fluid capacity to locating the dipstick, checking temperature, and selecting the right transmission fluid. Actually more!

In this comprehensive guide, I’ve distilled the process into nine essential considerations Let’s navigate the intricacies together for a well-maintained and smoothly operating Ford F150.

9 Things to Consider When Changing Ford F150 Transmission Fluid!

When you’re changing the transmission fluid in your Ford F150, it’s good to keep a few simple things in mind to make the process easier:


1. Know How Much Fluid Your Truck Needs

Before you change the transmission fluid in the proper way, you’ll need to know how much your car’s transmission needs to fill the pan. Based on when the car is made, you’ll find the different fluid capacities of the pan.

In general, your Ford F150 car can hold up to 1.4 – 17.03 liters of transmission fluid in the tank. To know the exact capacity of your car’s transmission tank, read this guide.


2. Take Safety Measures and Read the Owner’s Manual

Always wear safety gear like gloves and masks as the transmission fluid can harm your body when it’s super hot. And, you’ll need to read out the owner’s manual to know the basics and procedure of changing the fluid.


3. Run the Engine to Idle

When you are adding the transmission fluid, it’s vital to run the car for a couple of minutes at 600 to 700 RPM.

This helps keep the inside warm up to stop overfilling and stir up the contaminants. You can know whether you leave the car when adding the fluid or not in detail by reading this guide.


4. Park or Neutral? The Right Gear Matters

As you’ll need to do some preparations before adding the transmission fluid, it’s essential to shift the gears to Park, Neutral, Reverse, Drive, and Manual.

Then, you’ll need to end the process by placing the gearshift in Park. This helps later when you are trying to check the fluid level. Check this guide to know if you check transmission fluid in Park or Neutral gears.


5. Find Where the Dipstick Is

You’ll also need to figure out the location of the dipstick in your F150 car to continue checking the fluid. It’s basically either near the engine bay or transmission housing based on the year the car is made.

To know the exact spot of it, I suggest reading this informative guide where I’ve explained the dipstick location in detail.

And, in case you have a Ford car that is different from than F150, then learn the location of the dipstick by reading this guide.


6. Check the Transmission Fluid Level

It’s essential to find out the level of the pan in order to avoid overfilling or not filling properly. To do that, you’ll need to use the clean dipstick and simply put it inside the transmission tube to know the fluid level. In case it’s new to you, learn here how to check the fluid in your F150.


7. Read the Transmission Fluid Temperature

Just like checking the fluid level, you also need to detect the fluid temperature in order to safely fill the pan. Well, you can read the fluid temperature and take action like running the car to warm up the engine.

In other words, you can check the fluid when your car’s engine is hot or cold. However, when it’s cold, you’ll need to drive for a little while to warm up the fluid. Go ahead and check this guide to fully understand whether you should check fluid when hot or cold.


8. Locate the Transmission Fluid Pan

To add fluid to your car, you need to figure out the spot where is the transmission pan. Based on the Ford owner’s manual, you can add fluid in a dipstick tube hole under the hood or filler cap near the transmission.

Figure out exactly where to pour fluid into your F150 car. Knowing the right spot avoids mistakes and keeps your truck running smoothly.


9. Add Fluid on a Flat Surface

When adding fluid, you need to make sure your truck is on a level or even surface. This helps you get the right amount in without causing any problems.

To understand the process of adding fluid to your car, read here to learn how to add transmission fluid in the proper way.


How to Change Ford F150 Transmission Fluid?

By following the given steps, you can easily replace the transmission fluid in your Ford F150 in the proper way:

ford Transmission Change steps
Steps To Change Ford Transmission Fluid Change

Things You’ll Need:

  • 5.7 liters (6 quarts) of transmission fluid
  • Ratchet wrench
  • 10mm socket
  • Funnel
  • Jack stands and pads
  • Bucket


Step-by-step Procedure:

  • Preparation: Wear the protective gear and idle the engine for a couple of minutes while placing the gear in the Park. Be sure that your car is in a flat spot.
  • Jack Up the Car: Lift the car upward using a transmission jack or usual jack stands along with pads.
  • Drain the Transmission Fluid: Remove the drain plug (a big bolt) with the rachet wrench and 10mm socket near the transmission housing and pan. Ensure to place a bucket underneath to avoid mess when draining the fluid fully.
  • Take Out Transmission Filter and Pan: Detach the transmission filter and pan by removing all the bolts that hold them.
  • Clean the Transmission Pan: Wipe out the leftover fluid and dirt from the pan before reinstalling or replacing both parts.
  • Add New Transmission Fluid and Reinstall All the Parts: Pour fluid either on the dipstick tube near the engine bay or the hole near the transmission housing. Once it’s done, reinstall the dipstick back to its place.


How Long Do Ford F150 Transmissions Last?

The F150 transmission can last quite a long period to keep on working. Usually, it lasts for around 15 – 20 years or more if you take good care.

According to Dave Arbogast, Your Ford F-150 transmission can keep going for 160,000 to 320,000 kilometers (100,000 to 200,000 miles) without needing a new one, especially if you drive about 16 kilometers (10 miles) every day.

This range is okay for those who own the F150 and regularly take care of it by changing the fluid on time, making sure it doesn’t turn dark. If this is new to you, know the F150 transmission fluid change interval period and mileage in this guide.


What Kind of Transmission Does the Ford F150 Take?

The Ford F150 comes with two kinds of transmissions: manual and automatic. In the manual transmission, the most common type is a 5-speed one.

In the automatic transmission type, you’ll see variations like 6-speed (6R80), E4OD, 4R70W, 4R100, 4R75E, 4R70, 75 E-W, and 10-speed (10R80), and which one you have depends on the year and the engine type of your F150.

Depending on the model year and the type of transmission or engine you have, you’ll need a specific type of fluid to fill it up.

In most cases, Ford recommends using the MERCON series fluid. If you’re not sure which one to use, you can find the information about the F150 transmission fluid type.


How Much Fluid You’ll Need to Add When Changing F150 Transmission?

When you change the transmission in an F150, you’ll need to add the same amount of fluid that the tank can take.

To put it in detail, if the transmission tank is 13 – 14 quarts or above, you’ll need to add around 6.50 quarts or more fluid to fill the empty tank.

However, if the transmission tank is 11 – 12 quarts or below, you’ll need to fill around 5.50 quarts or more fluid on the tank. To understand it better, check here how much transmission fluid to add if empty.


How Much Does It Cost to Change Ford F150 Transmission Fluid?

The total cost of changing the transmission fluid is around $100 to $570 or even more based on where you are doing this.

If you are seeking the help of an expert from Ford or local auto stores, it’ll cost more, around $140 – $570 or above. However, it’ll be much less if you do it yourself, approximately $100 or above.

Based on the Repair Pal, the average cost from a local store is about $240 to $274 for changing the Ford F150 transmission fluid.

The reason why it costs more when seeking an expert is because it involves changing the transmission fluid, cleaning, and so on tasks. To know the Ford F150 transmission fluid change cost, check this guide.


Can I Add Transmission Fluid Through the Dipstick Hole?

Yep! If you have a Ford F150 from 1997 to 2004, you can add transmission fluid through the dipstick hole. Just find the dipstick location and you’re good to go.

But, if your car is built in 2005 or newer, it might have a check plug or filler cap under the transmission. In this case, you can’t add transmission fluid through the dipstick hole.

To understand this better, check out this guide that explains whether you can add transmission fluid where the dipstick is or not.


Can You Add Transmission Fluid without Checking the Fluid Level?

Without detecting the fluid level via a dipstick, you can add transmission fluid by draining and then filling fully.

To do that, you’ll need to drain all the old fluid from the transmission pan. Then, take off the pan and put it back. After that, use a special tool called a fluid injector with a fill tube to add the new fluid.

If you want to know the procedure in step-by-step detail, check this guide to know exactly how to add transmission fluid without a dipstick.


Why Choosing the Right Transmission Fluid Matters?

Picking the right transmission fluid for your Ford F150 is really important to make sure your car’s transmission works well.

Using the right transmission fluid also helps your car avoid issues like rough shifts, rust in moving gears, buzzing sounds, and so on.

To do this, you just need to find the right transmission fluid. If you want to know the best one for your Ford F150, check out this guide. It’ll help you pick the fluid that keeps your car running smoothly.


Can I Add Fluid When the Transmission Dipstick Tube Is Broken?

It is suggested by experts to never use transmission fluid when the dipstick tube is broken or cracked. This can cause the fluid to not reach the pan or tank and may often show an overflowing issue.

In that case, the best thing you should do is change the dipstick tube with a new one. To know the procedure, look into this guide that shows how to change transmission dipstick tube in F150 cars.


When Should You Change Transmission?

There are many signs that indicate when you need to replace the transmission or gearbox in your Ford F150 car. Here are some signs to look out for:

ford transmission change signs
5 Signs To Change Transmission Fluid
  • Shifting takes too long
  • Transmission fluid leaking
  • Slipping gears and don’t stay in place
  • Weird buzzing noise
  • Burning scents

If your F150 car is acting up like this, it might be time to change the transmission. Check out this easy guide to learn more about replacing your Ford F150 transmission.


Ending Notes

That’s everything you need to know about changing the transmission fluid in your Ford F150! If you’re unsure, it’s okay to ask an expert for help and get it done professionally. And, I hope this guide was clear and helpful, covering all the questions you had. See you next time!

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