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1997-2003 Ford F-150 Truck/Expedition Routine Maintenance FAQ

Ford Expedition

Modern cars and trucks need less maintenance than the vehicles of 25 years ago, but they still need fluid changes, checks, 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 inspections are still essential to your vehicle’s longevity. What follows is our quick reference guide for the 10th generation 1997-2003 Ford F-150 pickup truck, F-150 based light duty 1997-1998 Ford F-250 (non-Super Duty), and 1997-2006 Ford Expedition and Lincoln Navigator.

Most of these recommended routine maintenance tasks you can do yourself at home for practically no money, with just a few tools and a little time. If you need guidance, or step by step instructions, check out our OnDemand video tutorials, or get the online manual, or our traditional printed manual.

Oil Change

Engine Oil Type                                           5W-30 (1997-99)
                                                                     5W-20 (2000-newer)
Engine Oil Capacity                                    6.0 quarts (1997-2004)
                                                                     7.0 quarts (2005-newer)
Oil Drain Plug Torque                                 96-144 in-lbs(1997-2006)

Transmission Fluid Change

Transmission Fluid Type                            Mercon ATF(E4OD, 4R100, manual)
                                                                     Mercon V ATF (4R70W, 4R70E, 4R75E)
                                                                     Mercon SP STF (6HP26, 6R75)
                                                                     Mercon LV ATF (6R80)
Transmission Fluid Capacity                     6-7.5 quarts (E4OD, 4R100)
(with filter/fluid change)                                4.5-5 quarts (4R70W, 4R70E, 4R75E)
                                                                     5 quarts (6HP26)
                                                                     about 7 quarts (6R75, 6R80)
Transmission Fluid Capacity                     15.9/16.4 quarts (E4OD 2WD/4WD)
(total including converter)                            13.9 quarts (4R70W, 4R70E, 4R75E)
                                                                     17.1/17.7 quarts (4R100 F150 2WD/4WD)
                                                                     15.9/16.4 quarts (4R100 Expedition/Navigator 2WD/4WD
                                                                     9.5 quarts (6HP26)
                                                                     11 quarts (6R75)
                                                                     13.0 quarts (6R80)
                                                                     3.75 quarts (manual)
Transmission Drain Plug Torque               18 ft-lbs (4R100)
                                                                     71 in-lbs (6HP26)
                                                                     30-43 ft-lbs (manual)
Transmission Check/Fill Plug Torque       26 ft-lbs (E4OD, 4R70W, 4R100)

Transmission Pan Bolts Torque                108-132 in-lbs

Torque Converter Drain Plug Torque        22 ft-lbs (E4OD, 4R70W)
                                                                     19 ft-lbs (4R100)

Transfer Case Fluid Change

Transfer Case Fluid Type                           Mercon ATF (1997-2006)
Transfer Case Capacity                              2.0 pints (1997-2006))
Transfer Case Drain Plug Torque              80-203 in-lbs (1997-2002)
                                                                     132 in-lbs (2003-up)

Differential Oil Change

Differential Oil Type                                    75W-90 GL-5 gear oil (front 1997-2006)
                                                                     75W-140 GL-5 synthetic gear oil (rear 1997-2006)
                                                                     -plus 4 oz Ford XL-3 friction modifier (8.8" and 9.75" axles)
                                                                     -plus 8 oz Ford XL-3 friction modifier (10.25" axle)
Differential Oil Capacity                             3.6 pints (front)
                                                                      5.5-6.9 pints (F-150)
                                                                      7.8 pints (F-250)
                                                                      5.7 pints (1997-2003 Expedition/Navigator)
                                                                      4.5 pints (2004-up Expedition/Navigator)
Differential Drain Plug Torque                   15-22 ft-lbs (front)
                                                                     15-30 ft-lbs (rear)
Differential Cover Bolts Torque                 20-27 ft-lbs (front)
                                                                      28-38 ft-lbs (1997-2002 rear)
                                                                      24 ft-lbs (2003-up rear)

Cooling System Flush and Fill

Coolant Type                                               Motorcraft Premium (green) or Premium Gold (yellow) coolant
                                                                      mixed 50/50 with water (match color already installed)
Cooling System Capacity                           15.7-20.1 quarts (V6 F-150)
                                                                      17.9-23.9 quarts (1997-2003 V8)
                                                                      18.0-20.8 quarts (2004-2006 V8)                                                         

Other Miscellaneous Fluid Types

Power Steering Fluid                                  Mercon auto transmission fluid (1997-2005)
                                                                      Mercon V auto transmission fluid (2006-later)
Brake Fluid                                                  DOT 3 brake fluid
Clutch Fluid                                                 DOT 3 brake fluid

Other Miscellaneous Torque Specs

Wheel Lug Nuts                                          100 ft-lbs (12mm wheel studs)
                                                                     150 ft-lbs (14mm wheel studs)
Brake Caliper Bolts                                     21-26 ft-lbs (1997-2002 front)
(front)                                                             21-26 ft-lbs (2003 F-150 and F-250 front)
                                                                      41 ft-lbs (2003-2006 Expedition/Navigator front)
(rear)                                                              20 ft-lbs (1997-2002 rear)
                                                                      20 ft-lbs (2003 F-150 and F-250 rear)
                                                                      26 ft-lbs (2003-2006 Expedition/Navigator rear)
Caliper Bracket Bolts                                  136 ft-lbs (1997-2002 front)
(front)                                                             136 ft-lbs (2003 F-150 and F-250 front)
                                                                      148 ft-lbs (2003-2006 Expedition/Navigator front)
(rear)                                                              80 ft-lbs (1997-2003 F-150 and F-250 rear)
                                                                      70 ft-lbs (1997 Expedition/Navigator rear)
                                                                      40 ft-lbs (1998-2002 Expedition/Navigator rear)
                                                                      140 ft-lbs (2003-2006 Expedition/Navigator rear)

Ford F-150 teardown shot

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 car, 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). 

Every 250 miles or weekly

  • Check the engine oil level
  • Check the coolant level
  • Check the windshield washer fluid level
  • Check the brake and clutch fluid levels
  • Check the tires and tire pressures

Every 3,000 miles or 3 months
...all items listed above, as well as

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

Every 6,000 miles or 6 months
...all items listed above, as well as

  • Rotate the tires
  • Inspect/replace the windshield wiper blades
  • Inspect exhaust system
  • Check and service the battery
  • Check the seat belts

Every 15,000 miles or 12 months
...all items listed above, as well as

  • Replace fuel filter
  • Replace air filter*
  • Inspect all underhood hoses
  • Inspect engine accessory drive belt
  • Inspect cooling system
  • Inspect steering and suspension
  • Inspect the brakes
  • Check fuel system
  • Check the differential oil level in the front (4x4) and rear
  • Check the transfer case oil level (4x4)
  • Check manual transmission fluid level

Every 30,000 miles or 30 months
...all items listed above, as well as

  • Inspect/repack front wheel bearings (2WD)
  • Flush and refill cooling system
  • Change the brake fluid
  • Change the automatic transmission fluid and filter**
  • Check the steering, suspension and drive axle boots
  • Inspect evaporative emissions control system

Every 60,000 miles or 48 months
...all items listed above, as well as

  • Check the PCV valve
  • Replace the spark plugs
  • Inspect/replace the spark plug wires
  • Change the differential oil
  • Change transfer case fluid
  • Change manual transmission fluid

* Replace more often if the vehicle is driven in dusty areas.

** If the vehicle is operated in continuous stop-and-go traffic or mountainous areas, change at 15,000 miles.