If you own a Falcon manufactured after Febuary 1996 chances are you have gone looking for the transmission dipstick and come up blank, and for good reason, they don’t have one!
Falcons made after this date have a ‘sealed’ transmission and have no dipstick, only a filler plug on the side of the transmission similar to what you would find on a manual gearbox.
This does make checking the fluid level and condition a bit more involved however with a trolley jack, two sets of chassis stands and a good quality 5/8 ring spanner or single hex socket and ratchet it can be done without too much drama. The reason I say to use good quality tools is because the plug in the transmission is usually very tight and sooo easy to round off and the only way you can be sure that this won’t happen to you is if you use quality tools.
This check should be done when the transmission fluid is cold.
The first thing to do is to jack the car up front and rear and try to get it as level as possible. It is important to use chassis stands as you will be getting underneath the car and this should not be done when the car is supported by the jack alone if you want to celebrate your next birthday!
Once you have the car level and secure, slide underneath the drivers side about in line with the front of the drivers door. This is what you are looking for; (please note in this pic the exhaust is removed as this transmission was coming out but it will give you the general idea).
The little red arrow points to the location of the plug. This particular plug was so rounded off that we had to drop the transmission down as much as possible and weld a nut to it. Shame really as the transmission was coming out but I wanted the pictures to look right!
Now with your 16mm spanner or socket fitted as squarely as possible on the plug heave on it in a anti-clockwise direction. All going well it should undo and screw all the way out with no problems. The plug has an ‘o’ ring on it to stop any fluid leaking.
When cold the transmission fluid should be level with this hole. The easiest way to get an idea of the fluids condition is to stick a clean finger in to the hole and have a look at the colour on your finger and also smell the fluid, checking for any ‘burnt’ or overheated smell.
NOTE: ‘Dexron’ type transmission fluid is not compatible with these transmissions. The correct TQ95 transmission fluid must be used. Shop EBAY for TQ95 Transmission Fluid.
If the fluid is not a clean red colour or if it smells like it has been hot I would advise getting a transmission service done as soon as possible. Also a good idea is to fit an aftermarket transmission cooler as the factory one is limited in it’s cooling capacity.
We have a great tutorial courtesy of Paul Taylor (Tinntter) for the fitment of two transmission coolers here. Paul fits two of them to further increase the cooling and has clocked up thousands of kay’s without a drama. Oh, and remember not to over-tighten the plug when your finished as you don’t want to have drama next time you do this job.