The process begins with a friend, Cody, who had just completed a transmission swap on a Ford Expedition equipped with a 6R80 transmission. Cody is preparing to show you which fluid to use and the tool required for its insertion. Cody explains that the 6R80 is a transmission used by Ford in many different vehicles, and the recommended fluid is Mercon LV, which stands for low viscosity. This is a thinner type of transmission fluid. However, Cody prefers to use Valvoline Max Life, a multi-vehicle fluid.
Importantly, the Valvoline Max Life packaging also states that it is recommended for use with Ford Mercon LV. This fluid can be found at most stores. Additionally, an extraction pump is required to insert the fluid and remove any excess if overfilled. This pump can be purchased at Autozone for less than 15 dollars. Cody emphasizes that these are the two essential items needed to complete the task.
Now, moving underneath the Expedition, Cody and his dad prepare to show where to insert the fluid on an old transmission. They remove a cap using a three-quarter inch or 19-millimeter wrench to reveal the check stick. This stick has markings indicating ‘idling in the park’ and ‘crosshairs,’ which the fluid level should be between when the vehicle is at operating temperatures. Cody advises filling the transmission with four quarts of fluid, starting the vehicle, and then checking the level from there when changing the fluid and filter or installing a used transmission.
Adding Transmission Fluid to Ford F150:
Generally, you can add transmission fluid to a Ford F150 by checking its level using the ring-shaped dipstick. After determining its status, slowly add the fluid using a funnel. Recheck the transmission level to prevent damage to the truck due to excessive or insufficient transmission fluid in the system.
Different Transmission Fluids:
The transmission fluid used in the Ford F150 depends on the type of engine and the truck’s year. These fluids come in various ranges in the market, each having specific properties. Choosing the correct product can increase the engine’s life and decrease excessive wear and tear.
Transmission Fluids for Automatic Transmission System:
These types of fluids are used for the truck’s automatic transmission system, increasing its lifespan and ensuring it works perfectly in hot temperatures. These oil-based fluids used in transmission systems increase lubrication and prevent oxidation in the engine.
This results in smoother transmission by moving gear shifters and wheels more swiftly. It is essential for the vehicle’s proper functioning to check its level, as a low level of fluid can decrease the pressure, slowing the system when changing the gear assembly of the truck.
Steps to Change Transmission Fluid:
Check the Ford F150:
Check the truck’s transmission fluid when the engine is warm by driving the vehicle for approximately 15 to 20 minutes or covering a distance of 10-20 miles until the engine reaches its average operating temperature, between 82°C to 93°C. This warming helps give a precise reading as the fluid expands with heat. After warming the vehicle, change the gear shifter into a park position and leave the truck running. Ensure to set the parking brakes for more safety.
You will need gloves, safety glasses, a funnel, and rags. It is essential to know that adding too much liquid or the wrong type can significantly damage your truck.
Open its hood:
Find the hood release lever, usually located on the lower side of the driver’s compartment near the truck’s door with a hood lifting sign on top of it. Pull the lever, and the bonnets will open. Slide the safety catch and raise the truck’s hood with the help of an internal prop.
Check the transmission fluid level:
Check the exact transmission fluid level before adding more. Locate the dipstick used to measure the precise fluid level, usually present on the passenger side of the engine bay with a bright yellow ring on top. Remove the hidden dipstick inside the bolt by turning it counterclockwise, and the bolt becomes detached from it.
Now pull the dipstick from the dipstick tube by holding it from its ring. Take a clean rag and wipe away the fluid on the end of the dipstick. Again, put the dipstick in its tube, ensuring it inserts entirely. Now, pull the dipstick out and check its level. It should be between the lines of the cross-hatched operating area of the dipstick.
Make sure to perform this task when the engine is running. If your vehicle is parked, try to drive it for 10-20 minutes before checking the fluid level. Some dipsticks have warm and cold indicators that help identify the accurate fluid temperature. When the truck is drivable, the fluid reaches the maximum level on the dipstick because it expands on heat and shows the correct level.
A fluid level below the operating area of the dipstick indicates that the transmission body needs a refill.
Add the transmission fluid:
It is crucial to know which type of fluid is approved by the manufacturer. The type of fluid used for the transmission system is present in the owner’s manual capacity and specifications section. It is vital to use the recommended fluid because using the wrong one can damage your vehicle by causing different pressures, corrosion of transmission parts, clogging, and overheating.
As a result, the transmission system fails to work correctly, and it can also shorten the lifespan of your vehicle. Different fluids have distinct purposes; a pickup with a manual transmission needs an entirely different fluid than an automatic transmission. Check its level after turning the vehicle to the average operating temperature. For this purpose, get the precise speed of the pickup by converting it into different gears.
You need to park the vehicle, remove the dipstick, and add the funnel to the dipstick tube. Now add the fluid slowly; you need to be very careful in this step because the transmission system fills quickly. If you add fluid more than the capacity of the transmission system, it will become foamy, decreasing its lubricating property and slowing down the crankshaft movement. The addition of too much or too little fluid is harmful to your vehicle, so it is essential to measure its exact level.
Testing the level of transmission fluid:
Check the procedure by turning the vehicle ON and changing it into different gears to get a precise speed again. After that, put the dipstick in its tube for the second time and check its level; it will give an accurate reading. Place the dipstick in its original position and fix it. The dipstick that hides in the transmission body adds the bolt to its top and turns it clockwise to fix it in its original place.
How often to change it?
Hot weather, plowing snow, or excessive towing of heavy loads can significantly increase the demand for transmission fluid. As a result, the oil needs to be changed more frequently. However, it is usually recommended to change the transmission fluid after every 30,000 to 60,000 miles. However, your manufacturer’s recommendations and guidelines should always be consulted to ensure the optimal performance of your vehicle.
The transmission fluid needs to be checked and changed more frequently if the vehicle experiences regular heavy-duty use, such as towing heavy loads, excessive stop-and-go driving, or off-road usage. A good way to keep track of your truck’s transmission fluid status is to check it regularly during your routine maintenance checks.
It is vital to maintain your vehicle’s transmission system for its proper functioning and longevity. Transmission fluid is an essential part of the transmission system, which lubricates, cools, and cleans the transmission parts. The steps mentioned above will help you change the transmission fluid easily and with minimal effort. Proper maintenance of your vehicle will ensure its longevity and performance.