Larry Crider
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First make sure your car is warmed up and the transmission is at normal operating temperature then park it on a level surface. Pull the transmission dipstick (located near the firewall in most cars) and look at your fluid noting the level. Fresh fluid is translucent and cherry red. Some darkening is normal, but if it is reddish brown or mustard color and smells like burnt varnish, its time to change it. Worn out transmission fluid no longer protects, lubricates and cools the transmission and can lead to poor or rough shifting and expensive repairs. Here’s how to change it yourself 
1. Before getting started make sure you have enough transmission fluid of the correct specification for your vehicle and the correct filter and gasket to replace the one you are removing from the pan. Drain the fluid by loosening the bolts on the transmissions pan. The pan reservoir will hold anywhere from three or four quarts to as much as 10 or more depending on the vehicle so have a large pan to catch the fluid. Then loosen each pan bolt a turn or two and loosen one corner more than the rest so the pan hangs down on one side more the other. Drain mostly from this corner. 
2. Once the bulk of the oil has been drained from the pan, finish removing the pan and any gasket material from the pan and transmission case. Avoid scratching the metal and make sure the pan’s gasket surface isn’t bent or distorted.
3. Remove the old filter. Most transmission filters are held in place with a bolt or two, but some are held by a clip. Be careful to include O-Rings or other seals that your particular transmission might have. 
4. Install a new filter. Use the clips or bolts from the old filter. Be sure O-Rings, etc. are in place. If the filter has a long intake neck, gently push the neck into place without unseating the O-Ring. 
5. Clean the pan thoroughly. Inspect the pan before cleaning. A small amount of fine grey clutch dust is normal however; if you find metal shavings, there has been transmission damage... Clean the pan with solvent and wipe dry so there is no harmful residue. Some transmissions have a magnet stuck to the inside bottom of the pan for catching fine metallic particles from the transmission fluid. Clean this magnet off with a clean rag and replace it in the same spot you found it in the pan. 
6. Position the new gasket on pan. Some gaskets have four holes slightly smaller than the rest to allow four bolts through the pan and through these smaller holes to locate and hold the gasket in place. 
7. Hand tighten pan bolts in a criss-cross pattern. After that, use a torque wrench to tighten bolts to proper ft-lbs as per manufacturer. 
8. Refill the transmission using only the amount shown as “refill capacity” in the owner’s manual using the type of fluid specified for the vehicle. 
9. If doing only a partial fluid replacement,(pan only) skip to instruction 12 below. If doing a complete fluid replacement, follow the steps in instruction 10. 
10. You now have replaced the fluid in the pan. To replace the fluid in the torque converter and oil cooler also, follow these steps. 
Step 1. Obtain the total system capacity of the vehicle from the manufacturer or owners manual. Have this amount readily available. 
Step 2. Disconnect the oil cooler line from the oil cooler. As you may not know which is the pressure side and which is the return side, have both directed so the stream of fluid will be directed toward a receptacle. 
Step 3. With another person, be prepared to add ATF to the fill area as it is being pumped out of the oil cooler line. 
Step 4. Start the engine, and as the old fluid is pumped out, add fresh fluid to the pan. 
Step 5. When either the fluid color brightens or the total capacity has been replaced, shut the engine off and re-attach the oil cooler line. All fluids have now been changed. 
11. Recheck the fluid level. With the car on level ground, set the parking brake and the transmission in “Park” or “Neutral.” Let the engine idle for a few minutes. Shift the transmission into different positions before returning the lever to “Park” or “Neutral.” Check the fluid level again and check for leaks and you’re done! 
Amsoil inc. introduced the first American Petroleum rated synthetic motor oil in 1972. Today, Amsoil is considered the world leader in synthetic motor oils and lubrication. Amsoil manufactures high quality synthetic automatic transmission fluids for almost every application. 
Larry Crider Amsoil direct jobber

 Corpus Christi, TX 78411