How to Check Transmission Fluid on 2003 Ford Explorer


Is there something wrong with your Ford Explorer? By knowing how to check the transmission fluid on your 2003 Ford Explorer, you’ll always be ready to go! So, let's see what you can do to get your valuable car back on the road.

See more: Transmission Cooler Lines Leaking at Radiator: What You Need To Know?

Ever since Ford introduced the Explorer in 1990, many car enthusiasts have wanted to own one or add one to their car collections. This new family vehicle became one of the top-selling Ford models. Just like in any vehicle, transmission fluid is essential consumables in the automotive system. 

Transmission fluid is the sturdy lubricant that cover each moving component of the Ford car transmission. A lack of transmission fluid can lead to an increased damage on transmission parts, besides making the shifting equipment feel rougher. It is recommended to check the transmission fluid level every time you stop to get a tank of gas. 

One of Ford's best models is the 2003 Ford Explorer. It is sought-after not only because of its high performance and powerful engine, but also due to other luxurious accessories and features included. If your Ford 2003 is suffering from mild or severe transmission fluid problems, and you don't know how to check transmission fluid, this article is for you.

Ford car transmission

Why Does My Ford 2003 Have A Transmission Fluid Leak?

The reasons vary. How did you determine your car deals with a transmission fluid leak? Have you noticed pools of some funny smelling or funny color oil on the ground where your car have parked?

What cause the transmission fluid to leak are miles of hard, torque driving conditions, changes in temperature and any other abuses, leading the seals to leak.

Also, the seal's inside is continuously rubbing against the shaft. Thus it is prone to wear out over time. The materials of gaskets and seals can wrap, reduce in size or even become stiff and get dry, which eventually results in malformations and cracks.

In order to ensure your car has a transmission fluid, it is always best to check the level of transmission fluid on a regular basis to see a drop over time. The easy way to do it is every morning before starting a ride, or in the evening after driving. 

How to Check Transmission Fluid on 2003 Ford Explorer

Checking the transmission fluid of your car can be a simple venture, providing you have an in-depth knowledge of the entire process as well as possess the right tools. But, if you think the task doesn't suit you well, professional help is highly recommended. 

Before starting, here are the items you will need:

Checking the transmission fluid

And follow the methods below:

Method 1

Here's how to get started.

Step 1. Start the car, open the hood and depress the parking brake.

Step 2. Find the transmission dipstick and pull it out. The transmission dipstick has the abbreviation 'trans' or the words 'transmission' written on the handle.

Step 3. Thoroughly wipe the fluid off the dipstick. Then, reinsert it in the transmission dipstick into the tube. 

Step 4. Get in the driver's seat of the car and put your foot on the brake pedal. Push it down as far as possible. Move the transmission from ark down to Drive. The purpose is to enable the transmission to move in the gear before shifting to the next.

Step 5. Get out of the car, pull out the transmission dipstick and look for the fluid level onto the stick. It must land inside the crosshatched area. If it is underneath the crosshatched area, put the funnel in the dipstick tube and then add transmission fluid.

Ensure that the liquid you will be adding is the right kind for your vehicle. Avoid mixing types of transmission fluid.


Method 2

There is another simple way to check the transmission fluid on your 2003 Ford Explorer. You can try this one:

Step 1. Drive your Ford about twenty minutes or so for the transmission to get up to operating temperature.

Step 2. Chock the wheels, set it impartially and get a ratchet with a t-30 torx bit socket and a drain pan.

Step 3. Move slowly under your car. Using the drain pan underneath the transmission, take the bolt out of the drain plug's center (do not remove the entire plug, only the part that the torx socket will perfectly fit in).The transmission fluid will continue to run out if it is overfilled, while it will not drip if it is low. You can say the transmission fluid is adequately filled if it drips out slowly.

During this entire process, you need to keep the Ford running because fluid may begin to drain out of routes. Cooler lines may also drain out and down the transmission. To get a more precise insight of the process, you can watch the video below: 

Final Thoughts

Now that you're sure the transmission of your vehicle is leaking fluid, either because of a continuous measuring of the level of transmission fluid or because of an inspection, you can start fixing the problem yourself or get the help of a more experienced mechanic to ensure your hard-earned investment will be saved. 

Knowing how to check the transmission fluid on a 2003 Ford Explorer doesn't need to be a challenging task. With these steps, you can have it tested without asking the help of a professional, saving you more money in the long run! 

If you have questions or want to share your thoughts, please leave a comment below. Like and share this article.Enjoy!  


Hi there! I’m Jordan, chief editor of Crush the Road and I’m a self-confessed automative fanatic. Cars or vehicles has always been a passion of mine and will always be my favorite pastime. Now that I am married and has one adorable son, I have the time to write and share my personal experiences with other automative enthusiasts like me. Welcome to my fantastic blog!

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Avatar for Robert Nowak
Robert Nowak - August 17, 2018

I have,a sealed tranny, and it slipped like crazy, next day its fine!@ i was told to have this addative injected into my transmission, any comments, because EVERY FORD I HAD, THAT SLIPPED, IT WENT TO THE JUNKYARD!


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