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b2tamer 10-27-2012 11:36 AM

transmission fluid change
hi guys i have a 2000 ford focus with a 5 speed transmission, and i was wondering where i drain the fluid and where i fill it back up at? i cant find the plugs, and what would be a good fluid to use to refill it? i called orielly auto parts, and they said it takes regular trans fluid, that sounded kind of odd to me and they also said that it doesnt take synthetic fluid, so does my car take synthetic trans oil, and what is the special kind i have to buy? thanks

BC_ZX3 10-27-2012 12:31 PM

Get the gear oil from the Ford dealer. It's expensive but probably worth it.

Plug locations in this thread:

sailor 10-27-2012 12:48 PM


That "Parts Store" advice is 20-30 yrs. out of date.....
It's been about that long since all manual transmissions used gear oil...

SO, the "Right" lubricant will make the trans work easier/last longer than a "generic" fluid - the "wrong" thing prob. won't "break" it, but you won't be happy with the results!

For example, imagine how stiff the shifting would be if you used gear oil in a trans. that was originally filled with ATF on a cold winter's day!!!

The Ford synthetic fluid is quite pricey, but when using it the trans shifts "slick" and you won't have to worry about excessive wear since it's the best lube avail. for the purpose.


b2tamer 10-27-2012 01:17 PM

okay, i got some priced at a local dealer and they said about 25 a quart. does that sound about right?

Elizabeth 10-27-2012 03:04 PM

Yes that is the price for the stuff.
The plug to drain is not going to be a bolt sticking out. The drain is a flat insert with a hex cut in it. Probably an 8mm hex Most likely not on bottom, rather it will be near bottom on side of case.
FIND the ADD plug first! (before you drain it!!!) It also will most likely be a flat. flush hex
It will be high up on the trans case. And also not on top, but on the side.
For my last car i used a thin aluminum tube and bent it to fit down into the hole, from above the engine.. then added a funnel via a rubber hose.
So I could make certain it was in the right location, and keep it in place as to not waste a quart of $25 fluid pouring it all over the floor.

Finally get a real socket with the hex, or cut one off a hex "L" shaped tool and use it in a 8mm socket. Trying to get the nut loose with a'lL' shaped standard tool for hex will lead to frustration.
I actually used both, the cut off hex L shaped tool, so the hex on the 'L' of the tool had way less angular pull, and the sawn off bit in a 8mm socket. So i could fit the tool in there...
This was all on a Contour SVT with MTX 75.. Your tranny may vary, but I bet is way similar.

b2tamer 10-28-2012 01:05 AM

How do I know when its full?

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sailor 10-28-2012 12:28 PM

The "Fill" plug is at the "full" level, so if you add until it comes back out the hole - then let it drain 'till it stops - it's full.

Actually a LOT easier than dribbling in a bit, checking with a dipstick & repeating until the level is right - then draining some out again when you add too much.....

A LOT of transmissions & rear axles work this way, it's a cheap & easy way to set a fluid level.


6SPD_soul 10-28-2012 12:41 PM

Check your owners manual for the fluid capacity and go by that, or do a Google search and find a number. Unless you get the car level in the air when re-filling (and most people wouldn't when doing this themselves), it'll be a little overfull since the transmission is leaning back and effectively raising the fill hole. It's probably not enough to make much difference but be aware of that.

I'd like to know if the Getrag trans fill hole is at a place that corresponds to full, when I changed trans fluid a while back I don't think the specified 2.1 quarts filled it to the point
of fluid dripping out the hole, but I had the front end in the air creating the situation I described above.

Magus2727 10-28-2012 12:59 PM

^^^the problem with that is that transmissions hold fluid in all sorta of places (manuals less than automatics) But the spec capacity is not what you removed. You can buy the spec amount, then after draining in a pan measure how much was removed and go from there.

sailor 10-28-2012 01:50 PM

The "grumble" I've seen repeatedly is about that "extra" .1 qt..

It seldom seems to come out EXACTLY that much, but everyone I remember posting on this needed more than 2 quarts to fill it.

Calculating it out, I'm betting the actual capacity number is 2,000 cc's since that is approximately 2.1 quarts....

Since we can't buy 1 liter bottles here, we end up with the odd amount!

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