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#232 of 307 How do I check automatic transmission fluid level?
Apr 26, 2010 (10:11 am)
1991 Ford Ranger V-6, 4.0L: I have read the manual eight times but I am still not sure I have the proper amount of fluid . Checking it cold, without the engine running (is it supposed to be running when you check it cold?) the level is just below the hatchmarks on the dipstick; fluid covers both of the holes on the dipstick. Checking it after driving on the freeway for 25 miles, with the engine running, the dipstick is clean, no trace of fluid. I let it cool down for 30 minutes, checked it again (engine off), fluid reaches the bottom hole on the dipstick.
I am not comfortable with the dipstick being "clean" after the freeway driving. Please HELP !
#233 of 307 Re: How do I check automatic transmission fluid level? [lacrossesoaked]
Apr 26, 2010 (1:57 pm)
Interesting. I don't know a whole lot but there should be fluid present on the dipstick both when cold and hot although when hot it may be extremely low! Keep in mind that once the engine is running the fuild is moved about via pumps so there will be less from the point you are measuring from. Although it sounds like your truck is a manual transmission which means you should be checking the fluid when the engine is OFF & cold (takes a lot longer than 30mins for an engine to be cold to the touch).
First off, cold means that the engine hasn't been running and is cold to the touch.
Automatic transmission - check the fuild level while the truck is running.
Manual transmission - check the fluid while the truck is off.
Remove the dipstick & wipe it clean - re-insert & remove again & the fluid level should be between the high & low marks on the stick - the two holes. Keep in mind that when the truck is running pumps circulate the fluid which means less in the area you are measuring from - perhaps a LOT less.
Bottom line... if you're not experiencing hard shifts or noises while shifting then you're probably okay but if you've a real concern about it, you should take it to a mechanic & have them check it or for what little it costs, have them change it out. They can also tell you about the color - red=healthy, brown to black = time to change.
Hope this helps & cheers!
#234 of 307 Re: How do I check automatic transmission fluid level? [lacrossesoaked]
Apr 26, 2010 (10:02 pm)
Well, the post's title says 'automatic transmission'.
I assume, like most auto trannys, the manual tells you to check after being warmed up with the motor running, in Park or Neutral. Right?
You said 'Checking it after driving on the freeway for 25 miles, with the engine running, the dipstick is clean, no trace of fluid. '
I think the manual says to run the vehicle until warmed up, then check. Running this far, if the outside temps were high (90 or more), might make it hotter than the manual is requesting. But, hotter would just push the fluid level higher.
Anyway, after 25 miles, engine running, no fluid on the dip stick means obviously YOUR FLUID IS LOW!!!!!
Look in the manual for the correct tranny fluid to use, and go buy some and add some. Add a little at a time, one cup, and recheck. When it starts to show on the stick, it will come up quick while adding a little fluid, a few ounces. Of course, with it off the stick you might have to add more than one quart.
If it's this low, you have a leak somewhere. Or, the vacumn modulator for the transmission has a busted diaphram and the fluid is being pulled up the vacumn hose and burned in the motor.
#235 of 307 Re: How do I check automatic transmission fluid level? [lacrossesoaked]
Apr 27, 2010 (8:49 am)
Thanks for the advice. It is an automatic transmission. Here is the back story: a while back, the truck was serviced at a garage. Sometime after that, I checked the fluid level (after a 25 mile drive on the freeway); it read really high. Truck was shutoff for 4 hours. Drove it back home (25 miles on the freeway); still read really high, way up from the top of the hatchmarked area. Soooooooooo, and this is where I must have gone sideways, I assumed too much fluid was in the reservoir. So I removed about 1.5 qts of fluid (so stupid). Having re-read the manual now, it specifically states that after freeway or hot day driving, let the vehicle rest for about 30 minutes prior to checking. I put fluid back in yesterday.
Question now is: have I done permanent damage to the transmission or do I get a pass on this blunder? Drove it around 200 miles or less on the LOW fluid.
#236 of 307 Re: How do I check automatic transmission fluid level? [lacrossesoaked]
Apr 27, 2010 (1:45 pm)
I think you're okay. Sounds like you caught it in time & although you took quite a bit out you left enough to do the job so I don't think there's any permanent damage. The only real way to tell is to drain a bit in a glass & check it for color & impurities - metal shavings, dirt, etc... but I think you're fine.
#237 of 307 Re: How do I check automatic transmission fluid level? [lacrossesoaked]
Apr 27, 2010 (10:10 pm)
I also think you are probably ok.
Low,low fluid will cause 'drivability' problems. Harsh or sloppy shifts. Not 'going into gear' quickly. If you drove it a while with symptoms like this, you might do damage.
My somewhat simular story - A previous wife, before she became a wife, had a 69 Camero that everyone in her family drove and no one maintained. It was a 3 year old car. When we go so close that she would let me grope her car, I checked the tranny. Nothing on the stick. I buy a quart of Dexron and slowly start adding it. And adding it. And adding it. Got the entire quart in there - don't remember if it was on the stick or not. But it took about another half quart to get to the mark. I then jacked it up and looked at the bottom. For some reason, most of the bolts on the tranny pan were loose. One was gone. Tightened up the pan bolts and replaced the missing one and the fluid then stayed in it.
And the car never missed a shift and was very smooth - with 1 1/2 quarts low.
#238 of 307 Re: How do I check automatic transmission fluid level? [lacrossesoaked]
Apr 28, 2010 (3:43 am)
I did not notice any problems with shifting while driving on LOW fluid. Maybe I did get lucky this time. Thanks to both of you for your assistance.
#239 of 307 Re: 95 Ford Ranger 4cyl. [birdyx99]
May 12, 2010 (2:17 pm)
I have a 97 ranger does the same thing, I have installed heat deflectors, and wrapped hyd clutch line in tin foil. but on 85 to 90 degree days I had better not drive over 20miles or the clutch will act up, Let it cool 15 min and away you go.. I now carry a jug of water...for cooling..
#240 of 307 Possible Transmitions
May 15, 2010 (2:29 pm)
I have a 93 Ranger 2wd 4 cyl 5 speed. This will be my 2nd transmit ion replacement. I will be driving along and it just seems to go to neutral. I try to engage the clutch but it is not there. I roll to the side of the road. After about 15 mins my clutch comes back but the transmission does not.
I would like to know what is going on? What transmissions can I look for to replace it. What years will bolt up and if a different make like Masda would also work?
#241 of 307 need help please!!!!
Jun 05, 2010 (11:08 am)
hey guys, new member here.............I recently had my reverse band break in my 99 3.0 v6 ranger automatic tranny, I am having financial troubles right now so I decided to pull the tranny out myself....everyhing was going great till I got to the top bellhousing bolts...........lol now I have no idea how to get to them......any tips???? I can't reach from the top or bottom and I am really frustrated cause once they are out so is the transmission!!!!!!!!!
does anyone know where I could get a picture or the tranny or where all the bolts are????