Maintenance: Changing Transmission Fluid

Ford suggests that the first transmission fluid change is recommended at 150,000 miles for the 2017 Ford Explorer Platinum, but I like to change my maintenance a lot sooner than the recommended. So at 55,000 miles I decided to change the transmission fluid via the drain and fill method. For Ford transmission fluid, it’s recommended to stick with the OEM so I’ll be changing the oil with Motorcraft Mercon LV.

What I used:
Step 1: Jack up the car.

Lifting the front is all that’s needed for a transmission fluid change.

Step 2: Locate and drain the transmission fluid.

I used a 7/16″ socket  to unscrew the drain plug. While I was waiting for the fluid to drain, I went to the next step.

Step 3: Remove the transmission cap to release vacuum.

In order to reach the transmission cap, part of the intake hose needs to be removed. The intake hose clamps can be loosen with a 5/16″ socket or a flat head screwdriver.

The transmission fill cap is hidden to the left of the intake filter box.

Once the intake hose is removed, I was able to reach behind the air intake box and unscrew the transmission cap. For the transmission cap, I had to twist and then give it a good pull.

Step 4: Once, it’s done draining put back the transmission drain plug.

I was able to drain a tad bit above 4.25 qt.  Once it’s all drained, make sure you install back the drain plug.

Step 5: Insert the long funnel and refill the transmission.

Since I drained 4.25 qts, I filled back the same amount. After I was done filling, I placed back the transmission cap.

Step 6: Take the car for a drive around the block.

For this step I put back the intake, shifted through all the gears for a few seconds and then took the car for a drive around the block.

Step 7: Rinse and repeat 2 more times.

Draining and filling the transmission does not remove all of the fluids since some fluids are still in the transmission. I drained and filled 2 more times to replenish majority of the fluid.

Step 8: Apply thread sealant on the drain plug in the final fill

For the final fill I applied Permatex 59214 High Temperature Thread Sealant on drain plug’s thread to stop any leaks.

Step 10. Check the transmission fluid level.

I shifted through all the gears first before checking the fluid levels. Add as needed.


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