Transmission refill not going great | Ford Explorer Forums - Serious Explorations

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Transmission refill not going great


Active Member
July 9, 2012
Reaction score
City, State
Lawrence, ks
Year, Model & Trim Level
2003 Lincoln Aviator
Did some work on the Aviator today.
Replaced the catalytic converter system, and replaced the trans filter.

I've done some reading and a lot of people are saying they're only getting about 3 qts out when they drain/drop the pan and replace the filter.

Well, my 7 qt drain pan is full close to the very top, so I got at LEAST 5, probably about 6 qts. The trans was rebuilt by Lincoln about 30k ago. I suppose it's possible they had a bit too much fluid in it.

So I put 6 back in. When I started the engine to see how the flow looked it was a little bubbly (symptom of an over-filled trans, right?), and not a very steady flow.
Should I just let it drain for a while? Should it smooth out eventually?

You know, I recently did mine as well and had same results.

I filled back in what I measured of what came out. I started engine and did test, and was bubbly at first. I let the engine warm for about 10 minutes to watch the flow. It never got very steady, so I pumped some more fluid in, which took away the bubbly and started a slow drip. Well, I filled some more in and sure enough, it started to flow as it should. Steady, but not super fast steady flow.

So, I buttoned it all up and had great results from drain and fill.

I sold the Ex 3 months ago for a Pathfinder.

This is the Ford service procedure for checking/filling the transmission - follow it to a tee and do not deviate from it. My experience has shown me that there is really only one way to do it and be confident in an accurate level.


Ok, thanks.

It seemed like I had put plenty back in -- but maybe not. It started to clear up and bit and the stream slowed down.
I took it for a test drive and it seemed generally normal but MAYBE a bit slow to down shift during acceleration.

I won't be able to work on it for a few days, but my wife will be driving it locally. I may do another check later in the week. Might try adding a little more fluid.