How to change automatic transmission fluid

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Transforming your own automatic transmission fluid should really be completed every 20,000 to 50,000 miles. Good thing it really is pretty effortless! See how on this Autoblog Wrenched.

View all of our Autoblog Wrenched videos for more guidelines on how to diagnose, fix, and modify autos from professional detailer Larry Kosilla. Though you might be at it, look at out Larry’s other car cleaning and servicing movie collection Autoblog Details!

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Guidance (video transcript):

[00:00:00] [Narrator] Modifying your computerized transmission fluid is easy and really should be performed each and every 20 to 50,000 miles for most autos that call for a provider, but examine your owner’s guide to locate out when it must be transformed, what variety of fluid is required, and how several quarts the process holds right before you get started. Right here are the resources you will want to do it yourself. Socket and torque wrench, brake clear, catch can, scrubbing pad, bucket, gasket adhesive, transmission fluid, gloves, basic safety glasses, basic tools, rags, and a funnel.

[00:00:30] I’m Larry Kosilla, professional-detailer and trainer for the past 15 decades, but when it arrives to what is actually under the hood, I’m the pupil. Comply with me as gurus teach me how to diagnose, correct, and modify cars on Autoblog’s Wrenched. I’ve heard of rapid lube spots featuring a transmission change, a company, and even a flush. What is actually the difference among these two? – Nicely, a fluid alter would be the place you just drop the fluid out, you set fresh fluid on best. A company would be taking away the pan,

[00:01:00] putting in a clean filter, and then filling the fluid back again in the best. A flush basically cleans the fluid out of the torque converter, which hold a handful of quarts of oil that you are not able to drain by just having the pan out, so one of the far better means to do it is if you place in fresh new fluid, set in a new filter, travel it around for awhile, you happen to be dissipating a large amount of the outdated fluid, mixing it in, then you drop that once more. Now it is tough due to the fact you have to do it two times, but it is so straightforward you can essentially do it yourself. – [Larry] Check the latest fluid to get an plan of its affliction, odor, shade, and level.

[00:01:30] Use the exact same color paper towel now as you will afterwards so you can assess the transmission fluids easily. Be positive to have an empty catch can right before you start out this procedure. With the car or truck in the air, discover the transmission and unscrew the drain plug or, in some instances, you can expect to want to unscrew a couple of bolts on the pan and do what’s termed a sluggish drain before getting rid of them all to steer clear of a massive mess. Luckily for us, this vehicle has a drain plug, which can make this process a whole lot a lot easier.

[00:02:00] Now, with most of the fluid out, clear away the transmission pan. With the pan out of the auto, now it is time to do some detailing. 1st, get rid of the prior gasket with a plastic razor blade or scrub pad, making sure not to gouge the flat area, which may well lead to a long run leak. Brake cleanse the pan inside and out, linked bolts and pay back particular consideration to the magnet filter. A great deal like oil drain plugs, transmissions have magnets, as effectively, connected to the within of the pan

[00:02:30] to catch the attention of metal shavings from the transmission in the course of its use. It can be frightening to see all the metal pieces, but I’m informed it really is fully normal. Glance at the transmission mating surface and make sure this is as cleanse as the pan. This is an extremely critical phase for a great seal, so it shouldn’t feel tough or bumpy, or have any leftover gasket residue. Now that everything is clean up and completely ready to go, it is really time to swap the filter, but it is a great concept to make confident the old one and the new one particular are just the exact same.

[00:03:00] Most filters will have a rubber gasket, like this 1 right here. Insert new transmission fluid to the rubber for a far better seal prior to installing and torquing. Up coming, reinstall the pan, but a new gasket is essential to swap the aged a person we scraped off. Before adding a new gasket, a sticky gasket adhesive is positioned on the mating surface to hold the gasket in area throughout the re-installation to avoid it relocating or sliding and possibly causing a leak down the highway. Now very carefully put in the pan although attempting to prevent transferring the gasket,

[00:03:30] then hand tighten all the freshly cleaned bolts. After the pan bolts are hand comfortable, torque them in a criss-cross sample to evenly crush the gasket, a lot the similar as torquing your lug nuts. In this circumstance, it truly is just a couple much more bolts. If you are wanting to know where by to locate the torque specs for your car or truck, you can quickly examine on line or with your nearby vendor. Consider the outdated fluid in your earlier empty capture can and pour it into an aged gallon or quart container to evaluate particularly how a great deal was removed from the tranny.

[00:04:00] Be sure to appropriately dispose of the spent fluid. This is toxic and must be disposed of effectively. Check your area vehicle areas retailer to see if they recycle or can recommend exactly where to go. Add your funnel to the dipstick tube, and switch the very same amount of money of old fluid, but with new fluid. Upcoming, start the car or truck, and with your foot on the brake, go through the gears to assist flush the clear fluid by way of the torque converter, which will squeeze out the aged fluid that was after trapped and still left driving even immediately after our first drain.

[00:04:30] Now with the car or truck turned off, go again to the drain plug and drain the fluid at the time again without eliminating the pan. You can see the thoroughly clean fluid we put in just a couple of minutes ago mixed with the outdated, and now has turned every thing a small little bit darker, but it really is certainly better than our aged or authentic fluid we the moment had in the car. Now repeat the final move by including the exact same sum that was removed like we did ahead of. Afterwards, start out the auto, operate by the gears once more,

[00:05:00] and top rated off the fluid as essential. Most vehicles require to be functioning in idle for the dipstick looking at to be precise, but test your handbook to be positive. Also, make positive your car is on a flat or even surface to stay clear of a fake dipstick measurement. So here is what I have uncovered. When switching your fluid, you truly only get about 50% of the previous fluid out since the rest is trapped in the intricate maze that is your transmission. Amount two, make guaranteed you use the correct spec fluid for your transmission located in your handbook

[00:05:30] or you might result in untimely carrying. Quantity a few, owning a drain plug is essential to total our compromise among a very simple adjust and our Diy flush as we did in this video clip. And finally, if you make a decision to go to a experienced, fully grasp the variance between a modify and a flush. Make confident your mechanic is aware that you know the change among the two services, how quite a few quarts your tranny holds, if he is modifying the filter, and of training course, if which is integrated in the selling price. For far more how-to auto repair service video clips, go to

[00:06:00] I’m Larry Kosilla from As often, thanks for viewing.