Lincoln MKZ Transmission Fluid Capacity

The Lincoln MKZ served as one of Lincoln’s cornerstone sedans, embodying a unique blend of luxury and performance. Debuting in 2007, the MKZ underwent various changes across two major generations and their respective facelifts, continuing to be an attractive option for consumers until its final model year in 2020.

Designed for those who seek comfort, technology, and a touch of opulence, the MKZ holds a distinguished position in the Lincoln vehicle family.

With features like adaptive cruise control, plush interiors, and efficient yet potent engines, it has carved its niche in the mid-size luxury sedan market.

Key Takeaways:

  • 1st Gen (2007-2009) and 1st Gen Facelift (2010-2012): 7.4 quarts.
  • 2nd Gen (2013-2016) and 2nd Gen Facelift (2017-2020): from 9 to 11.6 quarts.
  • Signs Your Fluid Needs Changing: Symptoms like slipping gears, unexplained noises, and darkened fluid are tell-tale signs that it might be time for a fluid change.
  • DIY vs. Professional Service: Whether you opt for a DIY approach or professional service, both have their pros and cons. DIY can save you money but requires time and effort. Professional services offer expertise but come at a cost.
  • Cost Implications: The cost for a fluid change can range from $150 to $300 depending on various factors like location, choice of mechanic, and the type of fluid used.
  • Benefits of Using Recommended Fluid: Using manufacturer-recommended fluid types prevents transmission damage, ensures optimal performance, and may be essential for warranty compliance.
Lincoln MKZ transmission fluid

The transmission is essentially the backbone of any vehicle, including the Lincoln MKZ. It ensures that power is aptly distributed from the engine to the wheels, enabling the vehicle to move forward or in reverse and change speeds smoothly.

The transmission fluid acts as both a lubricant and a coolant for these intricate mechanical parts. Therefore, maintaining the proper type and level of transmission fluid is paramount for the longevity and efficiency of the car’s transmission system.

Failure to keep up with the fluid maintenance can lead to a range of problems, from annoying and expensive to downright disastrous. These issues could include rough shifting, gear slipping, and even complete transmission failure, which would incur significant costs for repair or replacement.

By adhering to Lincoln’s recommended maintenance schedule and using the correct type of transmission fluid, you not only ensure that your MKZ performs at its best but also maximize the lifespan of its transmission system.

2007-2012 Lincoln MKZ Transmission Fluid Capacity And Transmission Fluid Type

2010 Lincoln MKZ

1st Gen Lincoln MKZ (2007-2009)

Transmission Fluid Capacity

The first-generation Lincoln MKZ from 2007 to 2009 has a transmission fluid capacity of approximately 7.4 quarts for a complete overhaul. However, for a regular fluid change where the torque converter isn’t drained, you can expect to replace around 4-6 quarts.

For these models, it’s generally recommended to use Motorcraft XT-8-QAW ATF meeting specification WSS-M2C924-A. Always refer to your owner’s manual to ensure you are using the type specified by Lincoln.

Fluid Change Intervals

For optimal performance, it is recommended to change the transmission fluid every 30,000 to 40,000 miles. However, if you subject your vehicle to heavy use, such as frequent towing or driving in high temperatures, you might consider more frequent changes.

1st Gen Facelift Lincoln MKZ (2010-2012)

Transmission Fluid Capacity

For the facelifted first-generation MKZ models from 2010 to 2012, the transmission fluid capacity is similar to their predecessors, approximately 7.4 quarts for a complete flush and 4-6 quarts for a regular change.

GearboxFluid capacityFluid type
3.5L 6-speed automaticTotal fill: 7.4 quarts (7 liters)Mercon-LV
2.5L CVTTotal fill: 4.4 quarts (4.2 liters)
Drain and refill: 4.2 quarts (4 liters)

The recommended fluid type for these models remains Mercon-LV ATF unless otherwise specified in the vehicle’s owner’s manual.

Fluid Change Intervals

The recommended intervals for changing the transmission fluid are the same as the earlier models, generally every 30,000 to 40,000 miles. Again, heavy usage conditions like towing or extreme climates may necessitate more frequent changes.

By adhering to these guidelines, you can help ensure that your first-generation Lincoln MKZ remains a reliable and efficient performer on the road. Always remember to consult your owner’s manual or a qualified mechanic for the most accurate and personalized advice.

2013-2020 Lincoln MKZ Transmission Fluid Capacity And Transmission Fluid Type

2019 Lincoln MKZ

2nd Gen Lincoln MKZ (2013-2016)

Transmission Fluid Capacity

The second-generation Lincoln MKZ from 2013 to 2016 features a transmission fluid capacity of roughly 9-11.6 quarts for a complete overhaul. For a standard fluid change where the torque converter isn’t drained, you’ll be looking at replacing around 4-5 quarts.

GearboxFluid capacityFluid type
3.7L 6-speed 6F50 automaticTotal fill: 11.6 quarts (11 liters)Mercon-LV
2.0L HF35 CVTDrain and refill: 4.8 quarts (4.5 liters)Mercon-LV
2.0L Turbo 6-speed 6F35 automaticTotal fill: 9 quarts (8.5 liters)Mercon-LV

The fluid typically recommended for this generation is Mercon LV ATF. Always refer to your owner’s manual to make sure you’re using the fluid that Lincoln recommends for your specific model and year.

Fluid Change Intervals

It’s recommended to change the transmission fluid every 30,000 to 50,000 miles, but this interval can be shorter depending on driving conditions like stop-and-go traffic, extreme climates, or frequent towing.

2nd Gen Facelift Lincoln MKZ (2017-2020)

Transmission Fluid Capacity

For the facelifted second-generation models from 2017 to 2020, the transmission fluid capacity remains similar to the non-facelifted second-gen models, with approximately 9-11.6 quarts for a complete overhaul and around 4-5 quarts for a regular change.

GearboxFluid capacityFluid type
3.7L 6-speed 6F55 automaticTotal fill: 11.6 quarts (11 liters)
Drain and refill: 4.5 quarts (4.3 liters)
2.0L HF35 CVTDrain and refill: 4.8 quarts (4.5 liters)Mercon-LV
2.0L Turbo 6-speed 6F35 automaticTotal fill: 9 quarts (8.5 liters)Mercon-LV

Mercon LV ATF is generally the recommended fluid for these models as well unless otherwise indicated in the owner’s manual.

Motorcraft XT10QLVC Mercon Lv Automatic Transmission Fluid (1Qt)
605 Reviews
Motorcraft XT10QLVC Mercon Lv Automatic Transmission Fluid (1Qt)
  • Provides excellent performance in electronically controlled automatic transmissions. Dyed red for easy leak detection
  • Manufactured with high-viscosity index, premium-quality, hydroprocessed base oils and specially designed performance additives. Helps prevent rust and corrosion
  • Provides excellent shifting characteristics at high and low ambient temperatures, and guards against transmission shudder
  • Offers excellent thermal, oxidation and shear stability, as well as good low-temperature fluidity. Provides wear protection and inhibits the formation of gum, sludge, lacquer and foam

Fluid Change Intervals

The fluid change intervals are consistent with the earlier second-gen models, which is generally every 30,000 to 50,000 miles. However, if you frequently use your MKZ for towing, drive in extreme temperatures, or have a habit of stop-and-go driving, you should consider changing the fluid more often.

By adhering to these transmission fluid guidelines for your second-generation Lincoln MKZ, you can keep your car running efficiently and help prevent costly repairs down the line.

Signs Your Transmission Fluid Needs Changing

Recognizing the signs that your transmission fluid needs to be changed can save you from costly repairs and significantly extend the lifespan of your Lincoln MKZ’s transmission system. Below are some warning signs that should prompt you to check your transmission fluid:

Symptoms to Look Out For

  1. Slipping Gears: If your vehicle unpredictably changes gears or has difficulty staying in gear, this could be a sign of low or deteriorated transmission fluid.
  2. Delayed or Rough Shifts: Hesitations, hard or jerky shifts when changing gears may indicate that the fluid is old, dirty, or low.
  3. Unexplained Noises: Grinding or whining noises coming from the area of the transmission are often indicative of an issue with the fluid.
  4. Transmission Overheating: An overheated transmission can result from inadequate fluid levels, and this is a very serious issue that demands immediate attention.
  5. Check Engine Light: While this can be triggered by numerous issues, it sometimes is indicative of a problem with the transmission that could be fluid-related.

The Appearance of Old vs. New Fluid

  • New Fluid: New transmission fluid is generally transparent, with a red tint. It should also have a somewhat sweet or tart smell.
  • Old or Worn-Out Fluid: Old or dirty transmission fluid will be darker in color, ranging from dark brown to black. The fluid may also have a burnt smell, which is a warning sign that it needs to be changed immediately.

If you notice any of these symptoms, it is advisable to check your transmission fluid right away. This involves not only checking the level but also the color and smell. For detailed guidelines on how to check your transmission fluid, always refer to your vehicle’s owner’s manual or consult a qualified mechanic.

Lincoln MKZ Transmission Fluid Change Intervals

Maintaining your Lincoln MKZ at its best performance involves regular upkeep, and one of the essential aspects is keeping an eye on your transmission fluid. The following information should guide you on when to change this crucial fluid:

Expected Lifespan of the Transmission Fluid

The typical lifespan of transmission fluid in a Lincoln MKZ varies based on several factors, but generally, you can expect it to last between 30,000 and 50,000 miles. This is a general guideline, and the specific interval may vary depending on your driving habits and conditions.

Lincoln generally recommends changing the transmission fluid approximately every 30,000 to 50,000 miles. However, these are broad recommendations and your specific model’s owner’s manual should have the most accurate information tailored to your vehicle.

How Driving Conditions Affect Fluid Change Intervals

  1. Stop-and-Go Traffic: Driving in heavy traffic often requires more shifting and can wear out your transmission fluid more quickly.
  2. Towing: If you use your Lincoln MKZ for towing, you are placing additional stress on the transmission, which can degrade the fluid faster.
  3. Extreme Temperatures: Both very hot and very cold climates can affect the lifespan of your transmission fluid.
  4. Frequent Short Trips: Short trips that don’t allow the transmission to fully warm up can also reduce the lifespan of the fluid.

Given these variables, you may need to change the fluid more often if your driving habits or conditions fall into these categories. Always consult your owner’s manual or a qualified mechanic to determine the most appropriate fluid change intervals for your specific situation.

Staying on top of your transmission fluid can significantly extend the lifespan of your Lincoln MKZ’s transmission system and save you money on potential repairs in the long run.

Cost of Transmission Fluid Change

Changing the transmission fluid is a maintenance task that comes with a cost, but neglecting it can lead to much more expensive problems down the road. Here’s what you can expect in terms of expenses for a Lincoln MKZ:

Average Costs

The average cost of a transmission fluid change for a Lincoln MKZ can vary significantly based on several factors but generally ranges from $150 to $300. This price estimate usually includes both the labor and the materials, such as the fluid itself and any required gaskets or filters.

Variables Affecting the Cost

  1. Location: Costs can vary depending on your geographic location. Prices in large cities or high-cost-of-living areas may be higher than in smaller towns or regions with a lower cost of living.
  2. Dealership vs. Independent Mechanic: Dealerships often charge a premium for their specialized knowledge and original parts, but independent mechanics can be less expensive.
  3. Type of Fluid: Using a high-end or manufacturer-recommended fluid can be costlier but is usually worth the expense for the sake of long-term performance and warranty compliance.
  4. Additional Services: Some services might recommend changing the filter, and gasket, or even performing a complete transmission flush, which would increase the overall cost.
  5. Regional Price Differences: The local market and demand can also play a part in determining how much a shop will charge.

By understanding the average costs and variables involved, you can better anticipate what you might spend on this important maintenance task. Remember that keeping up with your transmission fluid changes is an investment in the long-term performance and reliability of your Lincoln MKZ.

DIY vs. Professional Service

Choosing between a do-it-yourself (DIY) approach and professional service for changing your Lincoln MKZ’s transmission fluid has its own set of pros and cons. Here’s what you should consider:

Pros and Cons



  1. Cost Savings: Doing it yourself can save you labor costs.
  2. Learning Experience: You get to understand your vehicle better.
  3. Control: You choose the exact type and brand of fluid you want to use.


  1. Time-Consuming: It can take a few hours, especially if it’s your first time.
  2. Potential for Error: A mistake can be costly and may void your warranty.
  3. Equipment: You’ll need to buy or rent the necessary tools and ensure proper disposal of old fluid.

Professional Service


  1. Expertise: Professionals have the experience and specialized tools to do the job right.
  2. Convenience: Drop off your car and pick it up when it’s ready.
  3. Warranty: Many services offer warranties on their work.


  1. Cost: It can be more expensive, especially at a dealership.
  2. Upselling: Some services may try to sell you additional services you might not need.

A Brief DIY Guide for the Interested

  1. Tools & Supplies: You’ll need a drain pan, a socket set, transmission fluid, new gaskets, and a funnel.
  2. Safety: Always use jack stands to secure your vehicle, and never work under a vehicle supported only by a jack.
  3. Drain Old Fluid: Locate the transmission drain plug, place the drain pan under it, and then remove the plug to allow the old fluid to drain.
  4. Replace Filter and Gasket: Once drained, remove the transmission pan, replace the filter and the gasket.
  5. Refill Fluid: Use a funnel to refill the transmission fluid through the dipstick tube.
  6. Check Levels: Start the vehicle and let it run for a few minutes, then check the fluid level using the dipstick.
  7. Test Drive: Finally, take your vehicle for a test drive to ensure everything is running smoothly.

Note: This is a simplified guide; always consult your vehicle’s service manual for detailed instructions and safety precautions.

When it comes to the well-being of your Lincoln MKZ’s transmission, using the recommended type of transmission fluid is crucial. Here are some reasons why it’s essential to stick to the manufacturer’s recommendations:

Importance of Adhering to Manufacturer’s Recommendations

  1. Optimal Performance: Transmission fluids are formulated specifically for different types of vehicles and transmissions. Using the manufacturer-recommended fluid ensures that the fluid’s properties match what’s needed for optimal performance.
  2. Longevity: Using the proper fluid can extend the life of your transmission, saving you from costly repairs or replacement in the long term.
  3. Warranty Compliance: Many vehicle warranties require the use of specific types of fluids, including transmission fluid, to remain valid. Using non-recommended fluids can void your warranty.
  4. Predictable Maintenance: Sticking to the manufacturer’s specifications makes it easier to anticipate maintenance intervals and potential issues that may arise.
  1. Transmission Damage: Using the wrong type of fluid can lead to inadequate lubrication, improper cooling, and even corrosion, potentially damaging your transmission over time.
  2. Reduced Efficiency: Non-recommended fluids may not provide the same level of efficiency, which can lead to poor fuel economy and sluggish performance.
  3. Incompatibility: Some fluids may be incompatible with the materials used in your transmission system, leading to seal leaks or degradation of plastic components.
  4. Increased Maintenance Costs: In the worst-case scenario, using the wrong fluid can cause severe damage, resulting in costly repairs or even a complete transmission replacement.

By adhering to your manufacturer’s recommendations, you’re not just complying with guidelines; you’re actively contributing to the longevity and performance of your Lincoln MKZ’s transmission system.


Last update on 2024-05-20 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

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