Replacing the transmission fluid in your vehicle is recommended around thirty to forty thousand miles for most vehicles. An auto transmission fluid drain can be tricky, but if you take your time and make sure you have the right parts to do the job, most good home mechanics can get the job done.
Buying Supplies And Parts
Before you attempt an auto transmission fluid drain, you need to get some parts and supplies. The first thing you will need is a large drain pan to put under the vehicle to collect the old transmission fluid. Many transmissions do not have a standard drain plug, so loosening the bolts around the pan is the best way to drain them, but it can be messy, so the wider the drain pan is, the less likely you are to get fluid or oil on the ground.
It is essential to get a transmission pan gasket to replace the old one after you remove the pan. Most auto parts stores sell the gaskets separately, but if you are going to drain the system, you should replace the oil filter at the same time. It is located just under the oil pan with the valve body and oil pickup.
You will also need new transmission fluid to fill the system, and you will need to check the owner's manual to determine how much your transmission holds. Buy a few extra quarts if you are not certain about the capacity to ensure you are not running the transmission with low fluid.
Draining the Fluid
When you are ready to start the auto transmission fluid drain, position the drain pan under the transmission oil pan and removed the bolt on one corner. Loosen the bolts moving along the edges leading away from the first corner. The pan will drop enough to allow oil to flow out and into the drain pan below.
Once the oil is drained, remove the pan from the transmission and set it aside. Locate the filter in the transmission housing and remove it. It may have a screw securing it or may snap into place. Replace the old filter with the new clean filter, clean the old gaster material off the sealing surface of the transmission and the pan, and clean out the oil pan with solvent to remove any debris or clutch band material that has settled there.
Replace the oil pan and gasket, following the directions from the kit, then secure the bolts evenly so you do not crush the gasket.
Refilling The System
Most auto transmissions require you to fill them through the dipstick tube in the engine compartment but check the owner's manual in your car for the fill point if you are not sure. Fill the transmission to the correct level, and the auto transmission fluid drain is complete. You should now be ready for another thirty to forty thousand miles before your transmission needs service again.
Contact a local auto shop for help with auto transmission fluid drain services.