ATF in Ford Ranger change intervals

Messages
733
Location
Kansas City Metro
My truck is fast approaching 60K miles and I am thinking about changing the ATF. My manual recommends changing it every 30K and that is what I have done. I checked it this afternoon and the level was okay (as expected) and it was still a nice red color and didn't smell bad. Should I go ahead and change it? Also, I'm a firm believer in synthetic motor oils; should I go synthetic in the tranny as well? Anything I should stay away from? You know, like how many people wouldn't go near a Fram oil filter.
 
Messages
1,335
Location
Arizona
My suggestions would be as follows. 1. Choose a high quality synthetic ATF ( Redline or Amsoil) 2. Flush the old fluid with whichever of the two you choose. 3. Buy a inexpensive filter ( a magnefine comes to mind here). 4. Change the fluid in the pan every 15-20K, not the trans filter, and call it a day. People have differing opinions on whether or not you really get much value from most synthetic motor oils in autos/light trucks. That being said, there is one thing most of us here at bitog agree upon and that is that synthetics really shine in transmissions. One last thing, the pan drain intervals listed above are my preference( without a bypass filtration) and by all means usually can be extended with the use of synthetic ATF and UOA. That's one really great attribute of synthetic ATF, it's ablility to stay in service longer.
 
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Messages
19,479
Location
Chicago Area
Heat is the #1 killer of ATF in an auto tranny. So synthetic ATf is usually best for places where it gets hot in the summer. An auxiliary trans cooler is a great idea to consider - in series with the factory one.
 

Kestas

Staff member
Messages
13,820
Location
The Motor City
dsmith41, you still have break-in material in the transmission. For that reason you should do a complete job -- drop and clean the pan, change the filter, and do a complete cooler line method fluid exchange. Next time (after ~60K with synthetic) the filter and pan aren't as important and you can abbreviate the job.
 
Messages
8,756
Location
RI
A full flush with any full synthetic ATF after dropping the pan for cleaning/filter change should keep you going.
 
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