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Fluid level checks Ford Taurus 2008 - 2014 Petrol 3.0 V6

OnDemand step-by-step maintenance & repair BETA

Ford Taurus 2008 - 2014  | 3.0 V6 Fluid level checks

  • time 5 to 30 minutes
  • difficulty 1
1 Fluids are an essential part of the lubrication, cooling, brake and windshield washer systems. Because the fluids gradually become depleted and/or contaminated during normal operation of the vehicle, they must be periodically replenished. See “Recommended lubricants and fluids” below before adding fluid to any of the following components
Note: The vehicle must be on level ground when fluid levels are checked

Engine oil

1 The oil level is checked with a dipstick, which is attached to the engine block (see below). The dipstick extends through a metal tube down into the oil pan
2 Engine oil dipstick (A) and oil filler cap (B) locations - 3.5L engine
3 The oil level should be checked before the vehicle has been driven, or about 5 minutes after the engine has been shut off. If the oil is checked immediately after driving the vehicle, some of the oil will remain in the upper part of the engine, resulting in an inaccurate reading on the dipstick
4 Pull the dipstick out of the tube and wipe all the oil from the end with a clean rag or paper towel. Insert the clean dipstick all the way back into the tube and pull it out again. Note the oil at the end of the dipstick. At its highest point, the level should be between the MIN and MAX marks on the dipstick (see below)
5 The oil level should be in the safe range - if it’s below the MIN or ADD mark, add enough oil to bring it up to or near the MAX or FULL mark
6 It takes one quart of oil to raise the level from the MIN mark to the MAX mark on the dipstick. Do not allow the level to drop below the MIN mark or oil starvation may cause engine damage. Conversely, overfilling the engine (adding oil above the MAX mark) may cause oil fouled spark plugs, oil leaks or oil seal failures. Maintaining the oil level above the MAX mark can cause excessive oil consumption
7 To add oil, remove the filler cap from the valve cover (see step 2 above). After adding oil, wait a few minutes to allow the level to stabilize, then pull out the dipstick and check the level again. Add more oil if required. Install the filler cap and tighten it by hand only
8 Checking the oil level is an important preventive maintenance step. A consistently low oil level indicates oil leakage through damaged seals, defective gaskets or past worn rings or valve guides. If the oil looks milky in color or has water droplets in it, the cylinder head gasket(s) may be blown or the head(s) or block may be cracked. The engine should be checked immediately. The condition of the oil should also be checked. Whenever you check the oil level, slide your thumb and index finger up the dipstick before wiping off the oil. If you see small dirt or metal particles clinging to the dipstick, the oil should be changed

Engine coolant

Warning: Do not allow antifreeze to come in contact with your skin or painted surfaces of the vehicle. Flush contaminated areas immediately with plenty of water. Don’t store new coolant or leave old coolant lying around where it’s accessible to children or pets - they’re attracted by its sweet smell. Ingestion of even a small amount of coolant can be fatal! Wipe up garage floor and drip pan spills immediately. Keep antifreeze containers covered and repair cooling system leaks as soon as they’re noticed
1 All vehicles covered by this manual are equipped with a pressurized coolant recovery system. A plastic expansion tank located at the right front corner of the engine compartment is connected by hoses to the cooling system (see below). As the engine heats up during operation, the expanding coolant fills the tank
2 The cooling system expansion tank is located at the right side of the engine compartment
3 The coolant level in the tank should be checked regularly
Warning: Do not remove the expansion tank cap to check the coolant level when the engine is warm
4 The level in the tank varies with the temperature of the engine. When the engine is cold, the coolant level should be at the COLD FULL mark on the reservoir. If it isn’t, remove the cap from the tank and add a 50/50 mixture of ethylene glycol-based antifreeze and water (see below)
5 When the engine is cold, the coolant level should be in the COLD FILL range
6 Drive the vehicle, let the engine cool completely then recheck the coolant level. Don’t use rust inhibitors or additives. If only a small amount of coolant is required to bring the system up to the proper level, water can be used. However, repeated additions of water will dilute the antifreeze and water solution. In order to maintain the proper ratio of antifreeze and water, always top up the coolant level with the correct mixture. An empty plastic milk jug or bleach bottle makes an excellent container for mixing coolant
7 If the coolant level drops consistently, there may be a leak in the system. Inspect the radiator, hoses, filler cap, drain plugs and water pump. If no leaks are noted, have the expansion tank cap pressure tested by a service station
8 If you have to remove the expansion tank cap wait until the engine has cooled completely, then wrap a thick cloth around the cap and unscrew it slowly, stopping if you hear a hissing noise. If coolant or steam escapes, let the engine cool down longer, then remove the cap
9 Check the condition of the coolant as well. If it’s brown or rust-colored, the system should be drained, flushed and refilled. Even if the coolant appears to be normal, the corrosion inhibitors wear out, so it must be replaced at the specified intervals

Brake fluid

1 The brake master cylinder is mounted on the front of the power booster unit in the engine compartment
2 To check the fluid level, simply look at the MAX and MIN marks on the brake fluid reservoir (see below)
3 The brake fluid level should be kept between the MIN (A) and MAX (B) marks on the translucent plastic reservoir
4 If the level is low, wipe the top of the reservoir cover with a clean rag to prevent contamination of the brake system before lifting the cover
5 Add only the specified brake fluid to the reservoir (refer to “Recommended lubricants and fluids” below, or to your owner’s manual). Mixing different types of brake fluid can damage the system. Fill the brake master cylinder reservoir only to the MAX line
Warning: Use caution when filling the reservoir - brake fluid can harm your eyes and damage painted surfaces. Do not use brake fluid that is more than one year old or has been left open. Brake fluid absorbs moisture from the air. Excess moisture can cause a dangerous loss of braking
6 While the reservoir cap is removed, inspect the master cylinder reservoir for contamination. If deposits, dirt particles or water droplets are present, the system should be drained and refilled
7 After filling the reservoir to the proper level, make sure the lid is properly seated to prevent fluid leakage
8 The fluid in the brake master cylinder will drop slightly as the brake pads at each wheel wear down during normal operation. If the master cylinder requires repeated replenishing to keep it at the proper level, this is an indication of leakage in the brake system, which should be corrected immediately. If the brake system shows an indication of leakage, check all brake lines and connections, along with the calipers and booster
9 If, upon checking the brake master cylinder fluid level, you discover the reservoir empty or nearly empty, the system should be bled

Windshield washer fluid

1 Fluid for the windshield washer system is stored in a plastic reservoir located at the right front of the engine compartment (see below)
2 The windshield/rear window washer fluid reservoir is located in the right front corner of the engine compartment
3 In milder climates, plain water can be used in the reservoir, but it should be kept no more than 2/3 full to allow for expansion if the water freezes. In colder climates, use windshield washer system antifreeze, available at any auto parts store, to lower the freezing point of the fluid. Mix the antifreeze with water in accordance with the manufacturer’s directions on the container
Caution: Do not use cooling system antifreeze - it will damage the vehicle’s paint

Power steering fluid

Note: Some later models are equipped with electronic power assist and do not use power steering fluid
1 Check the power steering fluid level periodically to avoid steering system problems, such as damage to the pump
Caution: DO NOT hold the steering wheel against either stop (extreme left or right turn) for more than five seconds. If you do, the power steering pump could be damaged
2 The power steering reservoir, located at the right side of the engine compartment, has MIN and MAX fluid level marks on the side. The fluid level can be seen without removing the reservoir cap
3 Park the vehicle on level ground and apply the parking brake
4 Run the engine until it has reached normal operating temperature. With the engine at idle, turn the steering wheel back and forth about 10 times to get any air out of the steering system. Shut the engine off with the wheels in the straight-ahead position
5 At normal operating temperature, the power steering fluid level should be between the MAX (A) and MIN (B) marks
6 Add small amounts of fluid until the level is correct
Caution: Do not overfill the reservoir. If too much fluid is added, remove the excess with a clean syringe or suction pump
7 Check the power steering hoses and connections for leaks and wear

Automatic transaxle fluid

Note: It isn’t necessary to check the transaxle fluid weekly; every 15,000 miles or 12 months is adequate (unless fluid leakage is suspected)
1 The level of the automatic transaxle fluid should be carefully maintained. Low fluid level can lead to slipping or loss of drive, while overfilling can cause foaming, loss of fluid and transaxle damage
2 The transaxle fluid level should only be checked when the transaxle is hot (at its normal operating temperature). If the vehicle has just been driven over 10 miles (15 miles in a frigid climate), and the fluid temperature is 160 to 175-degrees F, the transaxle is hot.
Caution: If the vehicle has just been driven for a long time at high speed or in city traffic in hot weather, or if it has been pulling a trailer, an accurate fluid level reading cannot be obtained. Allow the fluid to cool down for about 30 minutes
3 If the vehicle has not just been driven, park the vehicle on level ground, set the parking brake and start the engine. While the engine is idling, depress the brake pedal and move the selector lever through all the gear ranges, beginning and ending in Park. Now proceed to the relevant section, below

V6 models (6F50/6F55 transaxles)

1 With the engine still idling, remove the dipstick from its tube. Check the level of the fluid on the dipstick and note its condition
2 Wipe the fluid from the dipstick with a clean rag and reinsert it back into the filler tube until the cap seats
3 Pull the dipstick out again and note the fluid level. The fluid level should be in the operating temperature range. If the level is at the low side of either range, remove the filler tube cap and add the specified automatic transmission fluid through the filler tube with a funnel
Note: To access the filler tube, the air filter housing must be removed
4 Add just enough of the recommended fluid to fill the transaxle to the proper level. It takes about one pint to raise the level from the low mark to the high mark when the fluid is hot, so add the fluid a little at a time and keep checking the level until it is correct
5 The condition of the fluid should also be checked along with the level. If the fluid at the end of the dipstick is black or a dark reddish brown color, or if it emits a burned smell, the fluid should be changed. If you are in doubt about the condition of the fluid, purchase some new fluid and compare the two for color and smell

Four-cylinder models (6F35 transaxle)

1 Remove the engine splash shield fasteners and shield
2 Raise the vehicle on a hoist, keeping the vehicle in a level position, and place a drain pan under the transaxle
3 With the engine still idling and in the park position, remove the oil leveling plug on the side of the transaxle (see below). Check the level of the fluid - it should be even with the bottom of the plug hole
4 Location of the transaxle fluid leveling plug
5 If the level is low, remove the filler tube cap (arrowed) and add the specified automatic transmission fluid through the filler tube with a funnel until the fluid starts to drip out of the oil leveling plug
Note: Allow all excess fluid to drip out of the plug hole
6 Once the fluid is even with the oil leveling plug hole, install the plug and tighten the plug to 71 inch-lbs (8 Nm)
7 The condition of the fluid should also be checked along with the level. If the fluid is black or a dark reddish brown color, or if it emits a burned smell, the fluid should be changed. If you are in doubt about the condition of the fluid, purchase some new fluid and compare the two for color and smell

Recommended lubricants and fluids

Note: Listed below are manufacturer recommendations. Manufacturers occasionally upgrade their fluid and lubricant specifications, so check with your local auto parts store for current recommendations
Engine oil
  Type API “certified for gasoline engines”
  Viscosity
    Four-cylinder engine SAE 5W-30
    V6 engines SAE 5W-20
Fuel Unleaded gasoline, 87 octane
Automatic transaxle fluid
  2008 and earlier models MERCON V Automatic Transmission Fluid
  2009 models
    Early build MERCON V Automatic Transmission Fluid
    Late build MERCON LV Automatic Transmission Fluid
  2010 and later models MERCON LV Automatic Transmission Fluid
Caution: Do not mix MERCON V and MERCON LV fluids. Transaxle damage could occur
Transfer case (AWD models) MERCON LV Automatic Transmission Fluid
Rear differential lubricant (AWD models) SAE 80W-90 Premium Rear Axle Lubricant
Brake fluid DOT 3 brake fluid
Engine coolant
  2007 and earlier models 50/50 mixture of Motorcraft premium engine coolant with blistering agent and distilled water
  2008 through 2012 models 50/50 mixture of Motorcraft premium engine coolant (green colored) and distilled water
  2013 and later models 50/50 mixture of Motorcraft premium engine coolant (orange colored) and distilled water
Caution: Do not mix coolants of different colors. Doing so might damage the cooling system and/or the engine. The manufacturer specifies either a green colored coolant or an orange colored coolant to be used in these systems, depending on what was originally installed in the vehicle
Power steering system MERCON V automatic transmission fluid

Capacities*

Engine oil (including filter)
  Four-cylinder engine 5.7 quarts 5.4 liters
  V6 engines 6.0 quarts 5.7 liters
Coolant
  2007 and earlier models
    Without auxiliary heater Up to 10.6 quarts Up to 10.0 liters
    With auxiliary heater Up to 12.7 quarts Up to 12.0 liters
  2008 through 2012 models
    Without auxiliary heater Up to 11.9 quarts Up to 10.5 liters
    With auxiliary heater Up to 13.2 quarts Up to 12.5 liters
  2013 and later models Up to 11.1 quarts Up to 10.3 liters
Automatic transaxle (dry fill)
  Four-cylinder models (6F35) Up to 9 quarts Up to 8.5 liters
  V6 models
    6F50 Up to 10.9 quarts Up to 10.3 liters
    6F55 Up to 11.6 quarts Up to 11.0 liters
Note: Since this is a dry-fill specification, the amount required during a routine fluid change will be substantially less. The best way to determine the amount of fluid to add during a routine fluid change is to measure the amount drained. Begin the refill procedure by initially adding 1/3 of the amount drained. Then, with the engine running, add 1/2-pint at a time (cycling the shifter through each gear position between additions) until the level is correct on the dipstick. It is important to not overfill the transaxle. You will, however, need to purchase a few extra quarts, since the fluid replacement procedure involves flushing the torque converter
Transfer case (AWD models) Up to 18 ounces Up to 0.53 liter
Rear differential (AWD models) Up to 2.43 pints Up to 1.15 liters
Note: * All capacities approximate. Add as necessary to bring up to appropriate level
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