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Old 01-03-2011, 06:16 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Default Transmission slighlty overfilled bad?

I had my trans rebuilt this summer and its been driving nicely. Though today i noticed a slight leak around the trans and engine so i checked the fluids to make sure it wasn't my nice new rebuilt tranny leaking. As it turned out it was the engine leaking a little it was 1/2 quart low I topped off that and drove around to heat up the car. Then I parked it and checked the tranny fluid while idling and it showed that it was consistantly 1/3 to 1/4 quart low of fluid so i decided to add 1/4 quart to be safe. after adding the fluid letting it idle for 2 or so minutes i checked it again and it showed that it was slightly over full. So worst to worst if i was some how at full but the fluid was not completeley heated up and expanded then will i hurt my transmission by being 1/4 quart over? If so I will most def drain some out the fill tube. I drove around afterword it shifted great still and I didnt smell or see trans fluid after parking again and idling. Do you guys think im safe? I have heard that some transmissions actually benefit to being 1/4 to 1/2 overfull? I swear some one on TCCA said that before but i couldnt find it in the search. Thank ya in advance!
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Old 01-03-2011, 07:34 PM   #2 (permalink)
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No, 8oz. is not going to hurt anything. Just remember, when dealing with atf, think in pints (16oz.) or 1/2 pints (8oz.), not quarts (32oz.). System is vented.
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Old 01-03-2011, 07:39 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by taurusglv6 View Post
I had my trans rebuilt this summer and its been driving nicely. Though today i noticed a slight leak around the trans and engine so i checked the fluids to make sure it wasn't my nice new rebuilt tranny leaking. As it turned out it was the engine leaking a little it was 1/2 quart low I topped off that and drove around to heat up the car. Then I parked it and checked the tranny fluid while idling and it showed that it was consistantly 1/3 to 1/4 quart low of fluid so i decided to add 1/4 quart to be safe. after adding the fluid letting it idle for 2 or so minutes i checked it again and it showed that it was slightly over full. So worst to worst if i was some how at full but the fluid was not completeley heated up and expanded then will i hurt my transmission by being 1/4 quart over? If so I will most def drain some out the fill tube. I drove around afterword it shifted great still and I didnt smell or see trans fluid after parking again and idling. Do you guys think im safe? I have heard that some transmissions actually benefit to being 1/4 to 1/2 overfull? I swear some one on TCCA said that before but i couldnt find it in the search. Thank ya in advance!
In my uneducated opinion, it probably wouldn't hurt too much as long as it isn't too far past the crosshatch. My Windstar has been slightly overfilled since the spring and I haven't had an issue with it, but if someone indicates that this might cause problems then I might consider reducing it too. I had a slow leak in my 99 Taurus, I always topped and sometimes over topped it, didn't seem to hurt it, but the tranny did blow in the end (it was old and tired). Isn't the capacity something like 14l for the transmission? 0.47th of a litre over in relation to 14 litres is a fairly small amount.
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Last edited by JW657; 01-03-2011 at 07:41 PM. Reason: corrected numbers
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Old 01-03-2011, 07:48 PM   #4 (permalink)
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A small amount over should be OK. Ford recommends keeping it at the top of the crosshatch area so it won't suck in air on turrns.
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Old 01-03-2011, 11:23 PM   #5 (permalink)
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I heard it's definitely bad if you see little bubbles in the fluid.
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Old 01-04-2011, 08:50 AM   #6 (permalink)
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I heard it's definitely bad if you see little bubbles in the fluid.
Yes it is. That can be issues with underfilling or overfilling i hear? Bubbles tho also can mean issues with the trans fluid pump or the fwd clutch piston. Mine had to rebuilt cuz it has the craptastic aluminum fwd clutch piston in it. The aluminum just wasnt up to par and cracked. The local trans shop that rebuilt it for me let me keep the piston as a momento

Hmm and I never knew it was useful to add fluid and monitor it in pints. Ill also keep driving it a bit and check trans fluid level again soon and see where it is.

Some people on other forums online were saying that if in cold weather the fluid level says full crosshatch then in the spring it will read way over full because the fluid will expand with much more due to the higher temps which will cause the tranny to blow seals because of way to much pressure ?

JW657, are you gonna pump out that extra little bit of fluid? how much were you over?
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Old 01-04-2011, 09:04 AM   #7 (permalink)
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The big problem with overfilling is that the fluid can foam, causing it to expand almost exponentially, and the surplus will be blown out the vent. After the foam dissipates, you will end up with a low fluid level.

Whiles this hasn't happened in your case, I would remove the surplus and get it to the correct level.
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Old 01-04-2011, 09:13 AM   #8 (permalink)
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The big problem with overfilling is that the fluid can foam, causing it to expand almost exponentially, and the surplus will be blown out the vent. After the foam dissipates, you will end up with a low fluid level.

Whiles this hasn't happened in your case, I would remove the surplus and get it to the correct level.

Good point. Hmm, so having bubbles on the dipstick couldnt be from overfilling?
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Old 01-04-2011, 11:04 AM   #9 (permalink)
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I meant when refilling or topping off, and atf is visible at the bottom of the dipstick, start adding in small increments (8-16 ozs. at a time and rechecking level to avoid overfill situation). Iirc, a quart thrown in the tranny will raise the dipstick level significantly more than a quart thrown in the oil pan. A little dab will do you (at a time).
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Old 01-04-2011, 11:34 AM   #10 (permalink)
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I meant when refilling or topping off, and atf is visible at the bottom of the dipstick, start adding in small increments (8-16 ozs. at a time and rechecking level to avoid overfill situation). Iirc, a quart thrown in the tranny will raise the dipstick level significantly more than a quart thrown in the oil pan. A little dab will do you (at a time).

Thank you for the new method i will most definately start doing it that way. I dont think it has been leaking. The shop put on a new gasket and filter with the rebuild ( they let me watch them work on my car and help out when i could). On the bright side the fluid was nice and red still . The PO let the trans fluid get burnt and brown. I think their mechanic didnt want to service it since the fluid was brown and the tranny had well over 100k miles.
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