How to Change Transmission Fluid in a Ford F-150 Pickup

Written by dan ferrell
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How to Change Transmission Fluid in a Ford F-150 Pickup
Change the transmission fluid on your Ford F-150 pickup. (Photo courtesy of IFCAR at Wikipedia.org.)

The automatic transmission fluid on your Ford F-150 should be changed at recommended manufacturer intervals. The fluid becomes contaminated with metal, dirt, moisture and other particles after months of use, and may damage internal components if not changed regularly. Before you begin to change the transmission fluid, make sure you have the correct amount and type of transmission fluid for your particular model.

Skill level:
Moderately Easy

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Things you need

  • Floor jack and 2 jack stands
  • Chocks
  • Large catch pan
  • Goggles
  • Ratchet, ratchet extension and socket
  • Shop rag
  • Work gloves
  • Carburettor cleaner
  • New transmission pan gasket
  • New transmission fluid
  • Funnel

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Instructions

    Remove the Transmission Pan

  1. 1

    Park your Ford F-150 in a level surface and warm up the engine for three minutes. Then turn off the engine.

  2. 2

    Set the transmission to "Neutral," jack up the front of your truck using a floor jack and support it using two jack stands. Then apply the parking brake, chock the rear wheels and set the transmission to Park.

  3. 3

    Position a large catch pan underneath the transmission pan and put on your goggles.

  4. 4

    Start unscrewing and removing the sides and front transmission pan bolts using a ratchet, ratchet extension and socket. Alternately, loosen the bolts a couple of turns at a time. Be careful with the hot fluid, if it starts to drip from the pan.

  5. 5

    Loosen the pan bolts from the back using the ratchet, ratchet extension and socket. As they become loose, hold the pan with your hand and a shop rag as you remove the last bolts using the ratchet extension and socket. Then, carefully lower and tilt the pan on the catch pan to drain the transmission fluid. If necessary, wear work gloves and a long-sleeve shirt to prevent serious skin burns.

  6. 6

    Remove the transmission pan and gasket from the vehicle.

    Install the Transmission Pan

  1. 1

    Clean the transmission pan using carburettor cleaner and a shop rag. Clean the magnet inside the transmission pan as well, if your particular model is equipped with it.

  2. 2

    Set a new transmission pan gasket on the pan.

  3. 3

    Position the transmission pan and gasket in place and start the pan mounting bolts by hand to avoid thread damage.

  4. 4

    Tighten the pan bolts two turns at a time in a star-shaped pattern. Make sure not to over-tighten the bolts to avoid damage to the pan gasket.

  5. 5

    Lower your F-150.

  6. 6

    Fill the transmission with the manufacturer-recommended amount and type of fluid for your particular model. Use a funnel and pour the fluid into the dipstick tube. See the Tip box at the bottom for more information.

  7. 7

    Start the engine and warm up the engine for about three minutes. Then shift the gear selector through all the gears and back to park.

  8. 8

    Pull the transmission fluid dipstick, wipe it off with a shop rag and put the dipstick back in the tube. Then pull the dipstick out again and hold it over the shop rag. Make sure the fluid level is between the Add and Full or crosshatch marks on the dipstick. If necessary, add a little bit of fluid at a time to bring it up to the correct level.

  9. 9

    Turn off the engine and remove the chocks from the rear wheels.

Tips and warnings

  • Check the car owner's manual or service manual for your particular vehicle for the correct amount and type of transmission fluid. Buy a service manual at your local auto parts store or consult one at the public library.

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