Can someone please quickly tell me where? I need to take one of the
company car for long distance travel and want to make sure its top to
par, as the thing has been heavily abused (I mean utilized) by many
others. I popped the hood the other day and can't seem to find the
sucker dipstick anywhere.
You probably won't believe me and then you will probably laugh about
it, but in reality, it doesn't have one.
Why? the dipstick costs money and too many people put engine oil in
the tranny and tranny oil in the engine.
I really don't blame them. That is, until the tranny starts to leak or
you have to add a shift additive under a factory recall.
Your focus probably doesn't have one either.
You probably don't have a dip stick. The CVT transmissions don't have
them at all. Some 6 speeds have them, some don't. If it was there, it
would be at the front of the drivers side of the engine compartment
near the air filter box.
Ford (and other manufacturers) have been eliminating transmission dip
sticks in recent years. It seems that people don't know how to check
transmission fluid (usually done with the transmission hot, idling in
park) and often overfill the reservoir, or even worse, pour in the
wrong fluid, often with dire results. It also makes it harder for
Uncle Joe's Discount Auto Repair and House of Ill Repute to inflict
the latest miracle transmission additive on unsuspecting Customers
(again, often with dire results). Modern automatics rarely leak, and
when they do, it means they need to be fixed.
I would not worry too much about the transmission fluid.
You could always unhook a cooler line to get a sample.
I am assuming this is a warranty thing. Ford (and many others) have decided
the dangers associated with people overfilling or miss filling the
transmissions is greater than the advantages of allowing for easy fluid
checks. For most passenger cars, Ford doesn't recommend routine fluid
changes. I've always been a proponent of routine transmissions fluid
changes. I've never actually changed fluid and found it to be discolored, so
I guess I am doing it plenty often enough. On the other hand my parents
never had the fluid changed in their vehicles, and they never had any
transmission failures either. Usually by the time the fluid is brown and
smells bad, unfortunate things have already happened.
No this isn't a warranty thing. This is a money-saving thing. They can use
same transmission in a lot of different bodies and don't have to engineer
dipstick tubes for them. The vehicle speed
sensor now doubles as the transmission dipstick on a lot of these Fords.
to unbolt it of course. This is a similar approach to how manual
rear axle fluid levels are handled. Another technique is to use a standpipe
drain plug. You intentionally overfill the transmission then let it warm up
open the drain plug until the fluid stops draining out. I think that one is
on the 4R75E
Note that with any of these schemes it would be very simple to fabricate a
real trans dipstick. Pull the pan and braze on a copper compression tube
fitting. Put the pan back on and run a copper line from that up into the
compartment. Buy a universal trans dipstick and put it into the line. Fill
transmission to the correct level as per the manual, then pull the dipstick
mark the level on the stick. Instead of copper you could also use
Is this your assumption, or is this documented somewhere? I am guessing you
are just guessing (as was I). Probably both explainations have some
The 5R55E uses the standpipe method (as do transmission from other companies
as well). My Fusion with the Aisin-Warner 6 speed Automatic still has a dip
stick (and warnings all over the place to NOT use Mercon ATF). The new Ford
6 speed FWD Automatic doesn't have a dip stick. My Nissan Frontier has a dip
stick, and it has an actual drain plug (something I wish all automatics
But why bother? What percentage of people ever check the transmission fluid?
How many people actually do it correctly? And, at lesat for me, when I check
the fluid it is often difficult to figure out exactly what the level is on
the stick (clean hot fluid). The standpipe method (done correctly) is very
accurate. Dip sticks are not (at least for clean hot fluid).
Why are modern automatic more likely to leak fluid than a manual? If you
leak enough fluid out of an automatic, it quits working, possibly with
minimal to no additional damage. If you leak the fluid out of a manual, it
will keep working until a bearing fails (been there, done that).
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