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How to Change Transmission Fluid in a F150

by Carl Pruit

Transmission fluid is used for lubricating the transmission parts and needs to be changed routinely to keep the parts running. The Ford F150 uses type "F" transmission fluid which is formulated for Ford vehicles. The type "F" transmission fluid needs to be changed about every 2 to 3 years or about every 30,000 miles. It has a long usefulness, but after about 3 years, it begins to break down and loose it's viscosity. When that happens, it does not protect the transmission parts the way it should. Changing your transmission fluid regularly will help your transmission to run more efficiently and have a longer life.

Drive your Ford F150 forward up onto car ramps and then put the transmission in park and set the emergency brake. Place a 4 by 4 inch wood block behind one of the rear tires to help prevent the truck from rolling backward.

Place a drain pan below the transmission pan at the bottom of the vehicle toward the back of the engine. The transmission pan will have a plug located on the bottom of the pan and sits behind the engine, just below the firewall.

Unfasten the drain plug on the bottom of the transmission pan with a socket wrench and allow the transmission fluid to drain from the pan completely. Reattach the drain plug to the bottom of the transmission pan and then locate the transmission cooler lines that run from the transmission to the bottom of the radiator.

Slide the drain pan underneath the transmission cooler lines next to the radiator and detach the transmission cooler lines from the bottom of the radiator with an open end wrench. Allow the transmission fluid to drain into the pan until it is completely drained. Reattach and secure the cooler lines to the radiator.

Place the drain pan back under the transmission pan and remove the transmission pan by using a socket wrench to remove the bolts holding the pan in place. As you remove the bolts, allow any remaining fluid to drain into the drain pan until you have completely removed the radiator pan.

Detach the transmission filter with a socket wrench that is located at the bottom of the transmission once the transmission pan is removed. Replace the transmission filter with a new filter and secure to the transmission. Reattach the transmission pan to the bottom of the transmission with bolts.

Remove the transmission dipstick from the fill tube located on the back of the engine near the fire wall and place a funnel inside the top of the fill tube. Refer to your Ford F150 owners manual for the proper amount of transmission fluid to use when changing the fluid. Fill the transmission with fluid and check the level by placing the dipstick back in the tube and then pulling it out and then verifying that the transmission fluid is at the correct level. Put the dipstick all the way back into the tube.

Remove the wood blocks from the back tire of your vehicle and start the Ford F150 engine, allowing the transmission fluid to cycle through the transmission before trying to move the vehicle. Let it cycle for about five minutes and then back the truck off of the ramps and shut the motor off.

Warning

  • Never attempt to change transmission fluid in a hot engine. Allow it to cool off before attempting to change the fluid.

Items you will need

About the Author

Carl Pruit has been a freelance writer since 2005, specializing in service journalism and travel. His work has appeared on various websites. Born and raised in California, Pruit attended Contra Costa Community College in San Pablo, Calif. and received an associate degree in the administration of justice.

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