How to Change Your Car’s Transmission Fluid Quickly and Cheaply

Posted by on Monday, December 15th, 2014

An automatic transmission is important, so choose carefully. Image source: Wikimedia Commons

Changing out your transmission fluid is actually quite simple once you learn how.
Image source: Wikimedia Commons

Transmission fluid is something that needs to be changed periodically to ensure that your vehicle experiences greater longevity and health. Most owners change their transmission fluid (or have it changed out by a mechanic) every 30,000 to 60,000 miles. But as you might already know, hiring a mechanic can be expensive. That’s why we’re going to show you how to take the DIY approach so that you can keep more money in your pocket.

Step 1: Locating The Transmission Fluid Pan  

Start by checking the level of transmission fluid using a dipstick. The transmission fluid dipstick shouldn’t be too difficult to find, but if you’re having difficulty, refer to your owner’s manual. If the levels are low, but the fluid looks clear and clean, then all that you’ll need to do is simply top it off with more fluid. However, if your fluid looks dirty or smudgy, then you’ll need to change it.

You can get this started by lifting and supporting your vehicle on jack stands. Be sure that you provide yourself with plenty of room to squeeze underneath the vehicle while it is being securely supported. Located the transmission fluid pan, which will usually be attached to the bottom of the transmission. In most vehicles, you can simply train your transmission fluid by removing a drain plug that is located in the center of these pans. However, in other models, you’ll need to remove this drain pan entirely.

Step 2: Draining The Transmission Fluid

Make sure that you place a collection pan underneath the drainage hole. This will help catch the transmission fluid as it falls out. There are plenty of inexpensive ones that you can purchase at automotive stores. Unscrew the drain bolt and the fluid should start draining immediately. You might get some on your hands, which is fine – just try to avoid getting the fluid in your mouth or eyes.The 4T60E GM 4-Speed Automatic Transmission should allow you to change out your transmission fluid less frequently due to its all new custom-spec bushings.

In some cases, you’ll need to remove the entire transmission fluid pan. To do this, simply unscrew the two upper-most bolts about half way, followed by unscrewing the other bolts completely. Once you do this (when the final bolt has been completely unscrewed), it’s likely that the pan is going to drop a small amount and that the fluid is going to rapidly start draining. Be prepared for this. Once the fluid has completely drained, screw the transmission pan and necessary bolts back into place.

Step 3: Replacing The Fluid

While changing out your transmission fluid, take this time to also check the status of the gaskets and filter. You might need to replace them depending on what condition they are in. Once the pan is back on the vehicle, you can remove the vehicle from the jack stands and add the new transmission fluid. Check your owner’s manual to make sure that you add the right transmission fluid.

Also, use a funnel to ensure that you accurately get the transmission fluid into the proper hole. Very important: start your vehicle and allow it to run for several minutes. Afterwards, turn off the vehicle and check the fluid level. If necessary, add more. Repeat this process until you’ve achieved the right level. Finally, dispose of the transmission fluid responsibly. Many auto parts stores will offer some kind of fluid recycling program to where you can drop off excess vehicle fluids at no cost. Be sure to take advantage of these.

If you’re looking for a quality remanufactured transmission, then you won’t do better than ETE REMAN. That’s why we offer a three-year/unlimited mileage warranty on all our products. Browse our online catalog and contact us today.

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