Ford automatic transmission fluid flush & replacement, made easy

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Our expert insights into automatic transmission fluid flush & replacement

What does Automatic Transmission Fluid (ATF) do?

Automatic Transmission Fluid (ATF) provides the lubrication to the moving parts, wear and corrosion protection and is there to transfer the mechanical power of the automatic transmission.

What are the symptoms of requiring an Automatic Transmission Fluid Flush & replacement?

Usually, there a few signs you can look for:

  • Transmission grinding or strange noises

  • Problems changing or selecting Gears

  • Slipping gears

  • Failure to change up or down smoothly

  • Jolts or a delay as you change from Park to Drive

  • Transmission overheat warnings

  • Transmission Control Unit warning lights

What happens when we do automatic transmission fluid flush and replacement?

  • The gearbox drain plug will be removed, or a syphon pump inserted down the filler tube.

  • The old fluid will be removed and replaced with new fresh transmission fluid.

  • Once refilled to the correct level and run through its selection routine, the vehicle will be test driven before returning it to the owner.

Daniel, from LondonDaniel, from London

Hey Fixter, how often should I have my automatic transmission fluid flushed?

Most manufacturers recommend replacing transmission fluid every 30,000 to 60,000 miles. If you tow anything, or do mostly city driving with more frequent changes of gears, it may be wise to change your ATF even more often.

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Want to learn more about Ford automatic transmission fluid flush & replacement?

What does Automatic Transmission Fluid (ATF) do?

Automatic Transmission Fluid (ATF) provides the lubrication to the moving parts, wear and corrosion protection and is there to transfer the mechanical power of the automatic transmission. This is why regular servicing of an automatic transmission is vital to change this fluid (and its filter where fitted) in line with manufacturers recommendation. Failure to do this can result in many issues, such as transmission overheat, solenoid failure, jerky gear changes and even total gearbox failure.

What is an Automatic Transmission Fluid Flush?

A transmission fluid flush is a process in which the fluid in an automatic transmission is flushed out of the transmission (gearbox) and replaced with new Automatic Transmission Fluid (AFT). The flushing process, when done correctly, replaces nearly 100% of the old fluid with new fluid, including fluid in the torque converter and oil cooler lines.

Ford

The Ford Motor Company is an American multinational automaker, founded by Henry Ford in 1903. One of the most long-standing giants of the motoring industry with an estimated asset wealth of around $256 billion, Ford became a popular household name throughout the UK in the 1960s with the introduction of the Ford Transit, the Ford Escort and the Ford Capri.

With the Ford Fiesta consistently winning accolades as the best selling car in the UK, it’s no surprise to hear that in 2018 there were approximately 5.5million Ford cars on the roads by the end of the year.

With a proven track record for good value and sensible, practical driving, along with a dealership just around every corner, Ford has developed a method of sustaining great sales by giving drivers just what they need.

There’s a Ford car for practically every sensible driver. Actually, there are a few Ford cars for the more daring driver too. Take a look at the history of RS and Cosworth models, both making an impact in the world of rally driving and touring car racing.

While they’re better known for providing family transport that includes the Ka, the Fiesta and the Focus, Ford also produces the lavishly equipped Edge SUV, and also the S-Max and Galaxy people carriers too.

And for something quite a lot less mainstream, Ford deliver some muscle

From a very traditional and mainstream marque, it’s refreshing to see that they still deliver a great big slice of larger than life America—and the latest model Ford Mustang is no exception. If a Mondeo or a Focus isn’t really your thing, and even the RS models aren’t sporty enough, then the new Mustang’s brawny delivery of sleek lines powered by its 5-litre V8 engine could be just the thing. Failing that, the Ford GT supercar with its twin-turbo V6 won’t fail to turn heads. All £420k of it.

How often should I have my automatic transmission fluid flushed?

Most manufacturers recommend replacing transmission fluid every 30,000 to 60,000 miles. If you tow anything, or do mostly city driving with more frequent changes of gears, it may be wise to change your ATF even more often.

What happens during an automatic transmission service?

There are many different processes required depending on the manufacturer, some of which may include all the following or just some:

  • Mechanics will raise the vehicle and increase the gearbox temperature if required by the procedures.

  • The gearbox drain plug will be removed, or a syphon pump inserted down the filler tube.

  • If the vehicle has a filter, the sump is likely to be removed so the filter can be accessed.

  • The parts will then be cleaned before a new filter is installed and the sump refitted with a new gasket or sealing compound.

  • The gearbox will then be refilled with the correct ATF for the gearbox and application in accordance with the manufacturer's procedure.

  • In some cases the refilling operation requires diagnostic input as well as manual.

  • Once refilled to the correct level and run through its selection routine, the vehicle will be test driven before returning it to the owner.

What are the symptoms of requiring an Automatic Transmission Fluid Flush & replacement?

Usually, there a few signs you can look for:

  • Transmission grinding or strange noises

  • Problems changing or selecting Gears

  • Slipping gears

  • Failure to change up or down smoothly

  • Jolts or a delay as you change from Park to Drive

  • Transmission overheat warnings

  • Transmission Control Unit warning lights

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