Those of you with the 6R75 or 6R80 (Ford’s newer 6-speed auto transmission found in 2007+ Expedition and 2009+ F150) may have been slightly alarmed when you popped the hood for the first time and can’t find a transmission dip stick. A few Google searches may also leave you baffled and ready to get rid of your vehicle because of all the misinformation. Unfortunately, there’s a lot of it, too much, imo.
I bought a 2007 Expedition back in April and found it amusing that I couldn’t check my transmission fluid. It’s one of the ‘regular’ things you should always do, I still check my oil at almost every fuel-up, that’s pretty much just how I was raised. I pull a trailer from time to time, so not having something I can put my own eyes on worried me. I did some Googling and was met with such phrases as “sealed system”, “dealer only service”, but the gold medal winner wrote it was a ‘throw away transmission, just use it til it breaks and get another’. Seriously? How ignorant can one be? The manual states something along the lines of fluid change at 30k miles if you’re pulling a trailer 100% of the time, and was vague otherwise (or I simply ADD’d over it). My friend Google gave me a wide range of 100k to 150k miles.
I decided to do what I should have done before going to Google, and that was simply get personal with my vehicle.
Hey look! What is that thing right where you’d expect a dip stick tube to be (passenger side, above right-front corner of the pan)? I decided to get my 19mm wrench out to see what’s in there.
Came out really easily and look what I found, a DIP STICK!
Now that we’ve found the dip stick, all the same rules apply:
- Must be at operating temperature
- Must be idling in park
- Must on flat level ground
Now that’s 100% normal, except now the dipstick is mere inches from the catalytic converter, which will be quite hot, as well as the nut holding the dipstick in.
I recommend some Mechanix-type heat-resistant gloves for the next few steps.
Your vehicle should be idling at operating temperature in park on level ground, and the dipstick cap/nut & dipstick removed:
Clean the plastic dipstick as you normally would any dipstick. It has a lip that will keep it from falling all the way in, so insert it til it stops:
Then simply pull it out and check your fluid level:
Now, I obviously am made of steel, since I was able to have my hand up against the catalytic converter and not be burned. Any lesser (wo)men should make sure they’re wearing their gloves here :P
This is in my 2007 Expedition with the 6-speed auto transmission, which is the 6R75. In 2009, they changed to the 6R80 in the Expeditions (F150’s started with the 6R80 in 2009), which simply increased the amount of torque the transmission can handle (as seen at the input shaft), otherwise they’re the same. A quick Google image search of the 6R80 will show you the cap/nut is still there, although I haven’t actually put my hands on one of those yet to see if the dipstick is there. I would assume so, but you never know…
**UPDATE August 6, 2014**
A comment below asked about this working on the Mustangs, too. I did some quick research and found that 2011 & up Mustangs also got the 6R80 transmission six speed automatic transmission. It should work for you Mustang owners, too!
To add fluid, you can use one of the following (or both if you like).