Change The Automatic Transmission Fluid In A Ford Focus

Per Ford maintenance guidelines, you should replace your Focus’s automatic transmission fluid every 30,000 miles (48,280 km) if used under normal operating conditions. In this post we will tell you how to change the automatic transmission fluid in a ford focus.

If you do a lot of towing with your Focus, it is recommended that you change your automatic transmission fluid every 15,000 miles (24,140 km).

Steps to change the automatic transmission fluid in a Ford Focus

Automatic transmission fluid from a Ford Focus
ford focus

Maintaining your Ford is important, here are the steps to change the automatic transmission fluid in a Ford Focus:

1. Drainage

Drive your Ford Focus for ten minutes to warm up the transmission fluid.. Park in a flat place. Turn off the engine. Put on the parking brake. Open the hood and secure it with the safety bar. Then do the following:

  1. Check the level and quality of the automatic transmission fluid (ATF). The dipstick is located at the rear of the engine. It is marked as ATF motor oil or transmission fluid. Take out this rod. Wipe it off with a clean paper towel. Look at the liquid on the paper towel. Transmission fluid needs to be replaced if it is brown. Fresh transmission fluid is translucent red.
  1. Put the rod back. Pull the dipstick out again and look at the level. You must be between the MIN and MAX lines. On some models made before 2005, there is no dipstick. This is called a closed system. In this case, you will have to proceed to change the ATF without checking the level and quality.
  1. Raise the front of the vehicle with a floor jack. Use jack stands placed under the jacking notch about 6 inches (15 cm) behind the front wheel well on each side of the vehicle. Lock the jack stands in place by lowering the safety bar.
  1. Disconnect the fluid line that connects the transmission to the radiator by loosening the clamp with an adjustable wrench, then gently pulling on the line. The ATF will be hot, so be careful not to burn yourself. The transmission is attached to the dipstick well. Place the open end of this tube in an empty container, such as an engine oil drain pan.
  1. start the engine. Make sure you leave the parking brake on. Watch the ATF line to see when the ATF stops flowing. Shut off the engine as soon as the flow of ATF stops. Reconnect the line to the transmission.

2. Change the filter

The next step is to change the filter. The steps for this job are as follows:

  1. Remove the drain pan. To do this, you will have to get under the vehicle. Directly below the transmission, you’ll see a solid plate with bolts around the edges. Remove the bolts with a 5/16-inch (8 mm) hex wrench. Some extra ATF may spill out when you do this. Remember that it will be hot. Remove the gasket from the edge of the drain pan.
  1. Wipe the bottom of the drain pan with a clean paper towel.. If it’s really dirty, you may need to pour in some transmission fluid to help remove some of the sludge. Using water to clean the pan is a bad idea as water will damage the transmission.
  1. Locate the 11/16-inch (18-mm) locknut on the bottom of the transmission filter. This is located in the opening that became visible when the drain pan was removed. Remove the locknut with an 11/16-inch (18-mm) socket. Then pull the filter down to remove it.
  1. Install a new filter by sliding it into the filter hole. Tighten the lock nut until it is secure.
  1. Put a new gasket on the drain pan, and then locate the drain pan so you can reattach the bolts. Hand-tighten until all screws hold the drain pan. Using the 5/16-inch hex wrench, tighten the bolts in a criss-cross pattern until they are secure. Keep in mind that over-tightening will dent this session and cause possible drainage.
  1. Unlock the jack stands and remove them. Then you must lower the vehicle with the floor jack.

3. Change the liquid

Well, to change the automatic transmission fluid in a Ford Focus you have to do the following:

  1. Check the engine specs sticker located inside the hood for ATF specs. This varies depending on the year of manufacture and the size of the engine. The sticker should indicate the type of ATF and the amount needed for your vehicle. If you can’t find the sticker, the information is also in the owner’s manual.
  1. Locate the ATF fill port. This is located next to the dipstick. Remove the black cap marked ATF or Transmission Engine Oil.
  1. Place a funnel into the fill hole. Pour the proper amount of ATF into the funnel. Check the level again. If it’s low, add a little more ATF and check again.
  1. Put the black cap back on and tighten it. He closes the hood. Start the vehicle and let it idle for ten minutes to circulate the ATF.


Now that you know how to change the automatic transmission fluid in a Ford Focus, you should know that if the ATF is low when the level is checked, there is more than likely a leak in the system. You should have the system checked before you change the fluid.

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