How Do I Change Transmission Fluid in a Ford Ranger?

by Don Bowman

Changing the transmission fluid on a Ford Ranger should be done when the transmission fluid has changed color from red to a brownish color, indicating clutch material in the fluid, or at regular intervals of 30,000 miles. To change the transmission fluid in a Ranger, you will need one case of transmission fluid and a transmission service kit. The service kit includes a pan gasket and filter.

You will also need some common tools: ¼-inch drive socket set, ¼-inch drive ratchet with extension, common screwdriver, oil catch can, floor jack and jack stands. Raise and support the vehicle on the jack stands, making sure it is high enough to work underneath easily. Place the catch pan underneath the transmission.

Take the bolts out of the bottom of the transmission pan but leave two bolts in the front engine side partway in to keep the pan from falling. Remove the last two bolts while holding the pan and tip it slowly in the rear to pour out the oil. Once the oil is out, clean the pan and the magnet inside the pan with carburetor cleaner and a soft rag. Take the bolts out of the transmission filter and remove the filter and the rubber o-ring. Replace it with a new o-ring and tighten the bolts. Make absolutely sure that there is no lint or anything else left in the pan. The smallest piece of material can block a port in the valve body and cause it to malfunction.

Install the transmission gasket on the pan. If an adhesive is desired then use weatherstrip adhesive. Use a small amount, just enough to hold it in place. Do not use RTV silicone since that will squeeze into the oil pan and cause a malfunction. Lift the pan into place and install the bolts. Let the vehicle down.

Using a funnel, fill the transmission with 7 quarts of transmission fluid to start. Start the truck and let it run for 2 minutes and then, holding the brake, shift it through reverse and drive, hesitating for 30 seconds in each position. Put the transmission back into neutral. With the engine running and the transmission in neutral, check the fluid and fill as needed.

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