Auto mechanics and owners should use a transmission fluid that is recommended by the car's manufacturer, notes Mister Transmission. This often means checking the car's owner's manual to see if a specific brand is recommended as certain makers, including Ford, authorize the manufacture of a specific brand of transmission fluid for their cars. For example, Ford's transmission fluid is marketed under the brand name Mercon.
Ford owners should typically use Mercon-branded transmission fluids, but that does not mean that any Ford car or truck can take any Mercon transmission fluid. The model year of a Ford vehicle typically corresponds to a certain type of Mercon transmission fluid, notes ETE Reman. For example, in 1997, Ford introduced the Mercon V formula, which is considered to be backwards compatible. Not all formulas of Mercon transmission fluid are backward compatible.
Ford does not manufacture transmission fluid. Oil companies make the fluid, which is marketed under brand names, such as Pennzoil or Valvoline. In some cases, transmission fluids may be listed as Mercon/Dextron. Dextron is the name for GM transmission fluids. Ford owners should make sure the bottle they are purchasing includes the Mercon name if that is what is called for in their owners' manual. The presence of the Dextron name along with Mercon does not make the fluid unsuitable for a Ford.