How to Check the Gear Oil Level on a Ford Explorerby Alibaster Smith
The transmission oil in a Ford Explorer equipped with a 5-speed manual transmission is commonly called "gear oil." Gear oil differs from ATF (automatic transmission fluid) in its viscosity and lubricating properties. You should never use gear oil in an automatic transmission equipped Ford Explorer. That being said, it's important to maintain the gear oil level in your 5-speed Ford Explorer to make sure you don't damage the transmission gears, and that the transmission is able to easily shift into and out of gear. Change the gear oil once a year; between changes, check the transmission fluid level roughly once a month.
Start your Explorer's engine.
Wait for the Explorer to warm up to normal operating temperature (until the needle on the temperature gauge sits on or near the middle mark on the temperature gauge).
Open the hood and remove the looped-handled transmission dipstick from the back of the engine. Look at the oil level on the end of the dipstick. The oil should be red in color. If the oil is brown or black, you have probably grabbed the wrong dipstick by mistake: brown or black oil indicates motor oil.
Smell the oil on the dipstick to verify that it doesn't have a burned smell. If it smells burned, then the gear oil needs to be changed.
Look at the fluid level on the dip stick. The fluid level should rest between the upper and lower marks on the dipstick. If it is below the lower mark, have your transmission filled with gear oil to the proper level. If it is over the upper mark, your transmission has been over-filled and must be drained.
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