Tips For Changing Your Truck's Transmission Filter

Changing your transmission fluid, filter and gasket can help give you thousands of more miles on your Ford Super duty truck, Excursion and E series vans. This howto is geared mostly towards the Triton V-10. However transmission oil changes are relatively the same and can certainly be done at home.

Transmission Filter And Supplies Should Be Purchased Beforehand At Your Local Auto Parts Store

It is always important to change the fluids in your vehicle and the transmission fluid is among one of the most important. It is recommended to change your transmission fluid and filter every 10,000 miles. When you buy a filter from stores like Auto Zone or Checker Auto Parts you automatically get a gasket with it. Make sure to buy at least 2 gallons of Mercon transmission fluid as you will need a minimum of 6 1/2 quarts of new fluid. Make sure to have all these items on hand before working on your truck. Once you get the transmission fluid drained and the pan off you can't drive down to the store because you forgot something.

The first step is to properly lift your truck about 6 inches and place the front end on Jack Stands. make sure to block the rear wheels and the parking brake is set. Place the drain pan underneath the drain plug of your transmission pan. The pan will be just back of your transmission and will most likely have a bolt at the lowest part of the pan (for draining). If your pan is not equipped with a drain plug just loosen the pan bolts and let the fluid drain out from the back of the pan into the drain pan. Otherwise just remove the drain plug and let the transmission fluid drain into the drain pan. It is important to note that transmission fluid can stay hot for a very long time so make sure your truck is completely cool before working on it.

Once the transmission fluid has completely drained start removing the bolts that hold the transmission pan to the transmission. There is no sequence to worry about when removing or replacing the bolts on this particular project just don't lose any bolts.

Once you have the pan off it is time to clean it up. If the pan doesn't come off easily, gently pry it from the transmission with a flat tip screw driver making sure not to mar or scratch either the pan or the transmission housing as it may cause a leak. If the gasket comes off easily then you will probably be able to use it again otherwise it can be difficult removing the old gasket. You can use a screw driver to remove the old gasket making sure not to mar or scratch the pan. With the pan down the filter will come into view. Remove the filter by gently pulling down and rotating the filter at the same time. The filter cannot be used again unlike the gasket. Discard the filter and the fluid at your local shop at the end of your project. The pan can be cleaned with a lint free rag making sure that the seal is completely free of debris or old pieces of the gasket. Wipe the inside of the pan down.

Install the new filter and align the gasket of the pan and place the pan back in place. Insert the bolts making sure the gasket stays in place and tighten the bolts down one at a time. Once you have tightened the bolts go around one more time making sure all the bolts are still tight. Place the drain plug back in and tightened the drain plug as well.

Lower the vehicle and add 6 1/2 quarts of transmission fluid. Check under the truck to make sure there are no leaks. If there are leaks check to make sure the gasket is flat and that you didn't miss any bolts. If there are no leaks start the engine and apply the brakes whiling shifting through all the gears starting with park and ending in park. Check to make sure there are no new leaks and then take the car for a short test drive of no more than 10 miles at normal operating speeds. Once you are back home check the transmission fluid level and add fluid as necessary. One quart will raise the level of fluid from needing fluid to completely full so add transmission fluid slowly. If you can't find the transmission fluid fill cap it is because to add trans fluid you add it with a funnel through the dip stick tube. It is also important to check all hoses and seals at this time to make sure you don't have any other leaks or potential problems brewing. Once you have completed cleanup take the old fluid and filter to your local shop for proper disposal. Most shops recycle this and all fluids so they should take it for free.