Automatic transmission fluid level check (Every 12 000 miles (20 000 km) or 12 months)

1 Fluid level should be checked with the transmission at operating temperature (after a run) and with the vehicle parked on level ground.

2 Open and prop the bonnet. With the engine idling and the handbrake and footbrake applied, move the gear selector through all positions three times, finishing up in position “P”, 3 Wait one minute. With the engine still idling, withdraw the transmission dipstick (see illustration).

17.3 Automatic transmission dipstick location and markings
17.3 Automatic transmission dipstick location and markings

Wipe the dipstick with a clean lint-free rag, re-insert it fully and withdraw it again. Read the fluid level at the end of the dipstick: it should be between the two notches.

4 If topping-up is necessary, do so via the dipstick tube, using clean transmission fluid of the specified type (see illustration). Do not overfill.

17.4 Topping-up the transmission fluid
17.4 Topping-up the transmission fluid

5 Stop the engine, refit the dipstick and close the bonnet.

6 Note that if the fluid level was below the minimum mark when checked or is in constant need of topping-up, check around the transmission for any signs of excessive fluid leaks.If present, leaks must be rectified without delay.

7 If the colour of the fluid is dark brown or black this denotes the sign of a worn brake band or transmission clutches, in which case have your Ford dealer check the transmission at the earliest opportunity.

    See also:

    Idle speed compensator - removal and refitting
    Removal 1 The idle speed compensator is only fitted to K-Jetronic systems from 1986 onwards and is located in the centre of the engine compartment bulkhead (see illustration). 19.1 K-Jetronic s ...

    Major body damage - repair
    Where serious damage has occurred or large areas need renewal due to neglect, it means certainly that completely new sections or panels will need welding in and this is best left to professionals. ...

    Heated seats
    Driver side Passenger side CAUTION: Operating the heated seats with the engine off will drain the battery. The heated seats will operate when the ignition switch is in position II. ...