Jim Grant's Tech Tips
‘03 Ford, Checking Transmission Oil
Noting that on the Ford ‘03 automatic transmission there is not a dipstick to check the transmission oil level, how does one check the level without taking it to a shop and how and where would I add the transmission oil?
- Bernard Foster
Sealed transmissions are becoming very common on today’s vehicles. This makes it difficult for the vehicle owner to perform, what once was, a basic check and service. If you want to check the transmission fluid level you must have the vehicle on a level surface and at operating temperature. Then get under the vehicle and remove the plug with a 3/16” Allen wrench, while holding the larger one that it is screwed into. The large plug is the drain. A little bit of transmission oil will spill out when you do this. Behind this small plug is a standpipe that goes up into the transmission pan. The top of the standpipe is the level that the transmission fluid should be at. If the transmission level is high fluid will run out until the correct level is achieved. If fluid doesn’t run out it is possible that the transmission fluid level is low. To add transmission fluid you have to pump it into the transmission via the same point that you’re checking the fluid. Once you’ve pumped a pint or 2 in, you remove the pump. If you overfilled the transmission, fluid will run out until the fluid reaches the correct level or you add more until it does run out.