How to Change Your Vehicle’s Transmission Filter and Fluid

In order to keep your vehicle in good running order, it needs to be properly maintained. There are a lot of little things you can do yourself that will keep you from making too many trips to the mechanic, and from spending too much money. For instance, you can change most of the filters yourself. This includes the transmission filter and fluid.

How Do You Know When the Transmission Filter and Fluid Need to be Changed?

The first thing to do is check the fluid. It must be warm, so run the engine for a few minutes or take a short drive. Use the transmission dipstick to check the fluid color. If it is red, it is fine. If it is dark yellow or brown and has an odor, it needs to be changed. You should also change the transmission filter at this time, as it will also be dirty.

How Do You Drain the Fluid?

Get an approved container to catch the fluid that will flow out. Loosen the pan, with one corner being looser than the rest. This is where the fluid will drain from. Once the fluid has completely drained, remove the pan and gasket. Be careful not to damage the pan.

When Do You Change the Filter?

Now it is time to replace the transmission filter. Remove the old one, and keep any clips, bolts, and O-rings. Clean the pan with a solvent. Put the new gasket on the pan and hand-tighten the bolts, and replace the clips and O-rings. Once they are in place, use a torque wrench to tighten the bolts.

When Should You Add New Transmission Fluid?

Once everything is back in place, you can put new fluid in. Check your vehicle manual to be sure of how much to add. Also, make sure that you are using the type of fluid that is specified for your vehicle. This is extremely important. Using the wrong type of fluid could cause a lot of damage to your vehicle. You should be able to find this in the owner’s manual or on the manufacturer’s website.

Should You Check the Levels Again?

Once you have finished, take the vehicle for a short drive or let it idle for a few minutes. Make sure that it is parked on a level surface. The vehicle may be in park or neutral for this step. Check the fluid levels. Make sure there are no leaks.

You can save a lot of money when you do little auto repair and maintenance jobs yourself. Changing a transmission filter and the fluid is a pretty easy job. You can do it by yourself in a couple of hours with only a couple of tools. Just remember to take all of the proper safety precautions before you start working.