Change Transmission Fluid in a Ford F‐150 Pickup Truck

The transmission fluid must be changed regularly in order to extend the life of your transmission. Ford trucks that have the E40D transmission are especially vulnerable to burnt transmission fluid, leading to larger problems down the road. It should be red or pinkish in color and will start turning brown or black when it is getting old.


  1. Obtain necessary tools and supplies. You will need: a 13mm socket wrench, around 17 quarts of oil depending on the year (Mercon V if you're working with an E40D transmission), a filter and pan gasket for the specific year, and a large bucket or pan to drain the fluid into.
  2. Drain the pan. Depending on the year of your vehicle, you may or may not have a drain plug on your transmission pan. If you do have a drain plug, slide the bucket under the vehicle and loosen the drain plug with the wrench, remove the rest of the way by hand, and be sure to have the bucket in place to catch the oil once the bolt is removed.
    • It will take several minutes for the oil to drain If you do not have a drain plug; things might be a little messier.
    • You will have to loosen the bolts around the pan, and then remove all the bolts on one side to allow the pan to tilt and the oil to pour out from one side of the pan while keeping the bucket underneath that side to catch the oil.
    • You may want to have rags and several pans to catch the oil because it may not all come out from one spot.
  3. Remove the pan. Unscrew all of the remaining bolts holding the pan on and set the pan to the side. You will now be able to see the oil filter attached to the transmission; this is only held in by an O-ring and is removed by simply pulling down on the filter.
  4. Remove the torque converter cover. The torque converter will also need to be drained in order to remove as much oil as possible. To do this, there is a metal cover directly in front of the transmission pan that is held on by four bolts. Remove these bolts to expose the torque converter.
  5. Find the torque converter drain plug. The torque converter spins with the motor and has a drain plug attached to it. In order to be able to access the drain plug, you may need to ”bump” the starter on the vehicle in order to spin the engine slightly until the drain plug is on the bottom of the torque converter.
  6. Drain the torque converter. Remove the drain plug well, keeping a bucket or pan underneath to catch the oil. Let the oil drain for 10 to 20 minutes. The majority of the oil is stored in the torque converter so be sure there is enough room in the bucket so it doesn't overflow.
  7. Reinstall the drain plug on the torque converter and both the cover back on. Be sure to not over tighten the drain plug.
  8. Clean the transmission oil pan of the old gasket and also the sealing surface on the transmission to prevent any leaks.
  9. Install the new filter by simply pushing it into position. The pain is what holds it in place.
  10. Place the new gasket on the pan and align with the bolt holes.
  11. Lift the pan back up underneath the transmission and screw all the bolts back into place. If your transmission pan has a drain plug, reinstall it now.
  12. Add the oil. Add about 5 courts, then start the engine and let it sit idle for a minute. Shut off the engine and add another 5 quarts. Repeat with all 17 quarts. This will allow the oil pump to fill the torque converter back with oil and will avoid overfilling the pan.