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1988-1996 Ford F-150, F-250, F-350 Pickup Truck Routine Maintenance FAQ

Ford Bronco

Modern vehicles need much less maintenance than the vehicles of 25 years ago, but they still need fluid changes, inspections, and adjustments. You no longer need to do a tune-up every six months or change the oil every three months, but regular service and check-ups are still essential to your vehicle’s longevity. What follows is our quick reference guide for the 1988-1996 Ford F-150, and 1988-98 F-250, and F-350 (not including new style 1997-98 F-250) pickup trucks taken directly from Haynes manual 36058.

Most of these recommended routine maintenance tasks you can do yourself at home for practically no money, as long as you have a few simple tools and the time to invest. If you need more guidance, or even step by step instructions and a video demonstration, get the online manual, or our traditional printed manual.

Oil Change

Oil type API “certified for gasoline engines”
Oil viscosity SAE 5w-30 all temperatures
  SAE 10w-30 temperatures above 0 degrees F
Oil capacity(including filter) 6.0 quarts
Recommended fastener torque  
Engine oil drain plug 15-20 ft-lbs

Transmission Fluid Change

Automatic transmission fluid type  
C4, C6, AOD  
   1981 on MERCON
   C5 Type H
   E4OD and 4R7OW MERCON
Manual transmission lubricant  
   1988-1992 4-speed SAE 80W gear lube
   1993 on 4-speed and 5-speed MERCON
Automatic transmission (total capacity with toque convertor)  
   C4 9.6 to 10.0 qts
   C5 11.0 qts
   C6 11.7 to 13.5 qts
   AOD 12.0 qts
   E4OD 16.2 to 17.7 qts
   4R7OW Up to 14 qts
Note: This is a dry-fill specification so the amount for a routine fluid change will be substantially less. Determine the amount of fluid to add by measuring the amount drained, initially add 1/3 of that amount. Then, with the engine running, add 1/2-pint at a time (shifting through each gear position between additions) until the level is correct. It is important to not overfill the transmission.
Manual transmission  
   Ford 3-speed 3.5 pints
   Ford 4-speed overdrive and single-rail overdrive 4.5 pints
   New Process 435 4-speed with extension 7.0 pints
   New Process 435 4-speed without extension 6.5 pints
   Warner T-18, T18B and T19B 4-speed 7.0 pints
   Mazda M5 OD 5-speed 7.6 pints
   ZF S5-42 and ZF S5-47 5-speeds 6.8 pints
Note: All capacities approximate. Add as necessary to bring to appropriate level.
Recommended fastener torque  
Automatic transmission pan bolts 120 to 168 in-lbs
Automatic transmission converter drain plug  
   C4 15 to 26 ft-lbs
   C5 12 to 17 ft-lbs
   AOD and C6 8 to 28 ft-lbs
   E4OD 18 to 20 ft-lbs
Automatic transmission filter screen-to-main body bolts  
   C4 and C6 40 to 55 in-lbs
   C5 25 to 40 in-lbs
   AOD 80 to 100 in-lbs
Manual transmission drain and fill plugs  
   New Process 435 25 to 35 ft-lbs
   Borg-Warner 4-speed (all) 25 to 40 ft-lbs
   Mazda M5 OD 5-speed 29 to 43 ft-lbs
   ZF S5-42 5-speed 37 ft-lbs
   ZF S5-47 5-speed 44 ft-lbs
   All others 10 to 20 ft-lbs

Transfer Case and Differential Fluid Change

Transfer case lube type MERCON
Differential lubricant type*  
Ford rear axles (conventional and limited slip) Hypoid gear lubricant
Dana rear axles (conventional and limited slip) Hypoid gear lubricant
Dana front axles Gear oil
*Add friction modifier to limited slip differentials - four ounces for 8.8 inch and Dana limited slip differentials, eight ounces for 10.5 inch differentials.
Transfer case capacity  
New Process 2-speed part-time 6.0 to 6.5 pints
Warner 13-45 full-time 6.0 to 6.5 pints
Borg Warner 13-56 manual and electronic shift 2.0 U.S. pints
Borg Warner 13-56 with PTO 6.1 U.S. pints
Borg Warner 44-07 2 US pints
Differential capacity  
Ford 8.8 and 9.0 5.5 U.S. pints
Ford 10.25  
   1989 and earlier 7.5 U.S. pints
   1990 and later w/Limited Slip Differential** 6.5 U.S. pints
Dana 44 IFS, IFS HD and 50 IFS - front 3.6 to 4.0 U.S. pints
Dana 60 - front 6.0 U.S. pints
Dana 60, 60-5, 61-1, 61-2 and 62 6.0 U.S. pints
Dana 70 6.5 U.S. pints
Dana 70 HD 6.0 to 7.5 U.S. pints
Note: Capacity includes any friction additives as noted for Ford Traction-Lok and Dana limited slip axles. Capacities given in the chart are approximate dry capacities, the fill plug level height should be used to determine actual fluid requirements. 
Recommended fastener torque  
Transfer case drain and fill plugs  
   New Process 208 30 to 40 ft-lbs
   Borg-Warner 13-45 14 to 22 ft-lbs
   Borg-Warner 13-56 14 to 22 ft-lbs
   Borg Warner 44-07 7 to 17 ft-lbs
Differential fill plug  
   Conventional 15 to 30 ft-lbs
   Dana 20 to 30 ft-lbs

Cooling System Flush and Fill

Engine coolant type 50/50 mixture of Ethylene-glycol based antifreeze and water
Cooling system capacity  
Inline six-cylinder engines 14 qts
232 cu in V6 engines 12 qts
255 and 302 cu in engines 14 qts
351 and 400 cu in engines 16 qts
460 cu in engines 17.5 qts
** Cooling system capacities vary depending on engine/transmission package, radiator and A/C system type. Add coolant as necessary to bring to appropriate level.

Other Miscellaneous Fluid Types

Brake fluid type DOT 3 brake fluid
Clutch fluid type DOT 3 brake fluid
Power steering fluid  
   1988-1995 Type F ATF
   1996 and on MERCON

Other Miscellaneous Torque Specs

Spark plug  
4.9L engine 17 to 22 ft-lbs
7.5L engine 72 to 120 in-lbs
All others 10 to 15 ft-lbs
Wheel lug nuts  
1/2-inch nut 100 ft-lbs
9/16-inch nut (single rear wheels) 145 ft-lbs
9/16-inch nut (dual rear wheels, standard lug nut) 220 ft-lbs
9/16-inch nut (dual rear wheels, swivel lug nut) 145 ft-lbs
Key retaining bolt (light duty) 12 to 20 ft-lbs
Key retaining bolt (heavy duty) 14 to 22 ft-lbs
Anchor plate-to-spindle 74 to 102 ft-lbs
Caliper anchor bracket bolts (pin slider type) 141 to 191 ft-lbs
Caliper mounting bolts (pin slider type) 22 to 26 ft-lbs
Ford F150 rear cover

Maintenance Schedule

The following intervals are based on the assumption that you will be doing the service work yourself, as opposed to paying to have the work done. These are our recommended minimum maintenance intervals for vehicles that are driven daily, and in many cases are shorter than the factory’s recommendations. Because frequent maintenance enhances the efficiency, performance and resale value of your Jeep, we encourage you to follow our schedule. If you drive in dusty areas, tow a trailer, idle or drive at low speeds for extended periods, or drive for short periods (less than four miles at a time) in below freezing temperatures, even smaller intervals are recommended.

When the vehicle is new, follow the maintenance schedule to the letter, record it in your owner’s manual and keep all receipts to protect the warranty and resale value. In many cases the initial maintenance check is done by the dealer at no cost (check with the service department when you buy the truck for more information).

Normal driving conditions

Every 250 miles or weekly, whichever comes first

  • Fluid level checks
  • Tire and tire pressure checks

Every 3000 miles or 3 months, whichever comes first

All items listed above plus . . . 

  • Check the power steering fluid level
  • Check the automatic transmission fluid level
  • Change the engine oil and oil filter

7500 miles or 6 months, whichever comes first

All items listed above plus . . . 

  • Wheel inspection and lug nut torque check
  • Battery check, maintenance and charging
  • Underhood hose check and replacement
  • Drivebelt check, adjustment and replacement
  • Lubrication - driveline, steering and chassis

Every 15,000 miles or 12 months, whichever comes first

All items listed above plus . . . 

  • Fuel system check
  • Cooling system check
  • Wheel removal and tire rotation
  • Windshield wipers - inspection and blade replacement
  • Brake check
  • Suspension and steering - inspection
  • Exhaust system check
  • Clutch hydraulic linkage check
  • Driveline fluid level checks
  • Replace fuel filter
  • Clutch linkage adjustment - early models
  • Automatic transmission - band adjustment

Every 30,000 miles or 30 months, whichever comes first

All items listed above plus . . . 

  • Spark plug replacement
  • Spark plug wire, distributor cap and rotor check and replacement
  • Cooling system servicing, draining, flushing and refilling
  • Air filter - inspection and replacement
  • PCV valve and filter - inspection and replacement
  • Wheel bearings - check, repack and adjustment
  • Front spindle/knuckle needle bearing (4x4) - check and repack
  • Front locking hubs (4X4) - lubricant check and repack

Every 60,000 miles

  • Manual transmission - oil change
  • Transfer case - oil change
  • Automatic transmission - fluid change
  • Evaporative emissions system - inspection

Every 100,000 miles

  • Differential(s) - lubricant change

Severe driving conditions

Every 1000 miles

  • Lubrication - driveline, steering and chassis
  • Brake check
  • Check axle lube for contamination (if submerged in water)
  • Wheel bearings - check, repack and adjustment

Every 3000 miles or 3 months

  • Change the engine oil and filter
  • Replace air filter (dusty conditions only)
  • Change rear axle lubricant (heavy duty axles only

Every 30,000 miles or 30 months

  • Manual transmission - oil change
  • Transfer case - oil change
  • Automatic transmission - fluid change


Severe conditions include the following. If your vehicle is operated mostly under severe conditions, perform these maintenance tasks at the more frequent intervals specified:

  • Operating in dusty areas (dirt roads, or off-road)
  • Idling for extended periods and/or low speed operation
  • Mostly short trips (less than 4 miles) when outside temperatures remain below freezing
  • In heavy city traffic where the outside temperature is regularly above 90-degrees F (32-degrees C)
  • In hilly or mountainous terrain 
  • Frequent trailer towing 
  • Frequent off road use or if the vehicle is driven through water