How to Change Transmission Fluid on a Ford Escape

by Allen Moore
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Justin Sullivan/Getty Images News/Getty Images

Ford Motor Company recommends servicing the transmission in your Ford Escape every 30,000 miles or less. If you use your Escape to tow often, make frequent short trips, or drive primarily in stop and go traffic, you may want to adjust that interval down as far as 20,000 miles, depending on how often you engage in the aforementioned driving activities. While it is best to have the transmission professionally flushed, in the event that is just not possible, draining the fluid from the pan and replacing it is your best bet.

Step 1

Put on your safety glasses. Engage the parking brake and place the wheel chocks in the front and back of the rear tires.

Step 2

Jack the front end of the Escape up carefully. Place jack stands under the subframe, one on each side. Lower the Escape gently onto the jack stands. Pull the jack out of the way.

Step 3

Put the drain pan underneath the transmission pan. Then use the socket set to loosen all the transmission pan bolts about 1/8-inch.

Step 4

Use the screwdriver to carefully pry the rear of the transmission pan away from the transmission, if the pan did not drop when the bolts were loosened. Use extreme care not to distort the pan or gouge the transmission sealing surface.

Step 5

Slowly remove the pan bolts at the rear of the pan, allowing the transmission fluid to pour over the rear edge of the transmission pan and into the drain pan.

Step 6

Remove the rest of the pan bolts. Pour the last of the fluid out of the transmission pan into the drain pan.

Step 7

Lift the old transmission pan gasket off the pan and discard it. If it sticks to the pan, you made need to carefully scrape it off with a razor blade.

Step 8

Clean the transmission pan by spraying it down with brake clean and then wiping it off with rags. Make sure the sealing surface is clean.

Step 9

Seat the new transmission pan gasket onto the pan.

Step 10

Reinstall the pan and bolt it back in place. It is easiest to hold the pan up and partially thread in a bolt in each corner to hold it up. Then, you can put in the rest of the bolts and tighten them down.

Step 11

Refer to your Escape’s specific owner’s manual for transmission fluid capacity and pour that amount into the transmission dipstick tube. It is best to put a funnel at the top of the dipstick and pour the fluid into the funnel.

Step 12

Start the Escape with your foot firmly on the brake. Shift it through the gears and back into park. Check your transmission fluid level on the dipstick and add accordingly if needed. It is best not to add more than ½-quart at a time before rechecking the level.

Step 13

Shut the engine off and check for leaks around the pan. When done, jack the front end back up, remove the jack stands and carefully lower the Escape back onto the ground.

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