how do you put transmission fluid in a 1990 ford festiva /how do you put transmission fluid in a 1990 ford festiva?

Asked by Mar 22, 2014 at 04:56 PM about the 1990 Ford Festiva L

Question type: Maintenance & Repair

replaced cv joint on drivers side and lost some tran. fluid.

2 Answers


If you look down by the firewall on the top / back of the trans, closest to the engine. You'll see your speedo cable going down there and it has a little nub towards the passenger side with a 10mm bolt. I like to use either 3-4 extensions or one super long extension, 16" or more, to get to it. Then you have to wiggle it back and forth, side to side and you'll feel it give, then start to pull upward with a bit of twist. On the side of the housing below the o-ring (what is inside the trans) is a little mark / line and that represents "full" or "low". That is the hole that you fill it up with. If you decide to replace the other, just in general, make sure you don't pull both axles at the same time without having something to hold up the differential. It can fall down inside the trans. Lovely disclaimer! Hope that is thorough enough. Getting the right amount, trial and error, keep checking, etc. I don't know of any tricks for it.

6 of 6 people found this helpful.

I have a few thoughts to add to this. 1. Some festiva gurus have mentioned Pennzoil Synchromesh as the best option for fluid, Dexron III / Mercon ATF second, gear oil not really recommended (if you do use it, it must be compatible with yellow metals). 2. One of the same gurus fills his trans (or tops off) to where you can see the fluid in the gear hole. It's a "good enough" kind of rule, I think. 3. The trans axle seals are different for each side, ever so slightly. 4. A trick to getting the axles to come out of the trans: loosen the axle nut, lift the car (and make sure it's stable and safe), remove the top strut bolt and then push in the knuckle and pull it towards you in a slamming motion. If your axles are green (original) they should come out easy. If they're black (reman) they might be stuck, literally, because the lock ring that is inside the trans is the wrong size (too big) from whoever reman's them (yes, all reman axles). AdvanceDynamic figured the axle issue out, afaik anyway. 5. The shift shaft seal can only be replaced by taking the entire trans apart. The good news is, these are pretty simple transmissions. If yours is leaking, just keep it topped off until you can get it fixed.

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