How to change an Automatic cars Transmission Fluid

by carserviceaccount11. September 2012 09:05

Your about to change your Transmission fluid but first it's always a good idea to check your transmission fluid. This can be done by pulling out the Transmission dip stick usually located at the back of your engine. If your transmission fluid is low you can simply top it up but placing a very thin funnel or by using a Transmission syringe into the dipstick hole, and pouring in the fluid, until the dipstick reads full.

If you pull out the dipstick and the fluid is dirty, and smells burnt then you should consult your mechanic as you may have a problem with your transmission that cannot be solved by changing your transmission fluid.

If it’s clear pink or red and still smells sweet, and it’s been at least 30,000km since the last time you changed your transmission fluid, well then your good to go.

Remember: Changing your Transmission Fluid in an Automatic vehicle is different to changing the Transmission Fluid in your Manual vehicle So make sure you follow the correct instructions.

How to change your Automatic Transmission Fluid


     Unlike other fluid changes it is recommended you change your transmission fluid while the vehicle is still warm. Let your car cool down, so it is no longer hot, but the bonnet is still warm

  1. Jack up the front of your vehicle and secure it with a jack/axle stand. Make sure you put blocks under your rear tyres to prevent the car from rolling.
  2. Find the Transmission pan, this is usually located underneath where the dipstick sits in your engine.  Make sure you have clear access to the transmission pan. (in some vehicles this may mean removing the oil pan or parts of the exhaust system.
  3. Place a large pan under the transmission pan. Some vehicles have a drain plug in which case you can open the drain plug on the transmission pan. On other vehicles you will be required to remove the whole transmission pan. If this is the case, start to loosen all the bolts that hold the transmission pan to the engine. Only remove the bolts from one side of the transmission pan.
  4. You may have to tap the pan with a rubber or wooden mallet to break the seal. Make sure you hit the pan away from you, as it will pivot on the remaining bolt spilling Transmission Fluid, hopefully into the pan you placed early.
  5. Once the fluid is only a trickle undo the last bolt holding the transmission pan onto the engine, and pour the remaining fluid into the drain pan.
  6. While your changing your transmission fluid, change your Transmission filter. You’ve done half the job already. Just remove the old transmission filter which will be attached to the transmission by, bolts, clips or an O-ring seal. Throw the old Transmission filter out.
  7. Now it’s time to clean! Using a rag make sure you clean your transmission pan thoroughly, if it has a magnet that catches the metal make sure you clean it all out, even the gasket needs to be taken out and cleaned. Make sure you get it all.
  8. While the pan and bolts dry, install the new filter. Make sure it’s in the same position as the last one, and that the O-ring is properly attached. Then reattach any bolts or clips that helped secure the last one on.
  9. Now you can reinstall your clean transmission pan. Find out what type of gasket is recommended by your manufacturer. Rubber will seal itself, however cork gaskets will need fastening cement applied before you install them.
  10. Screw the Transmission pan back onto the engine by hand to begin with, then using a screwdriver tighten the bolts. Make sure they’re not too tight.
  11. Now you can lower your car and add your new Transmission fluid. Make sure you have the right Transmission Fluid for your vehicle.
  12. With a long thin funnel, or something with a thin nozzle you can fill the Transmission fluid through the dipstick area. Pour in enough so it is about ¾ full.
  13. Start your engine and let it run for a couple of minutes. Apply all the brakes one at a time, then move the gears through all the options ending in Park.
  14. Recheck your fluid levels and add the fluid so it is just below the add mark on the dipstick. Run your engine again and run through the gears.

Important: Each vehicle recommends it's own type and sometimes brand of Transmission Fluid. This will be listed in your Owner's Manual or at your local Automobile parts store ie: Super Cheap Auto or Repco.

Otherwise it is recommended you contact your closest dealership or licenced mechanic for information on your vehicles Transmission Fluid.

You can find your closest dealership or authorised mechanic at

For information on Transmission Fluid see - Transmission Fluid.

If you have a Manual vehicle see - How to change a Manual cars Transmission Fluid.


Comments (1) -

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