How to Change Transmission Fluid

by Contributor

Keeping your car tuned up and running properly is not optional. You must maintain your car to keep it on the road and safe, but you don't have to pay a mechanic to do all of the work. By doing it yourself, not only will you catch any problems before they need professional servicing, you will find that doing minor repairs and maintenance yourself can save time and money.

Start your vehicle and let it warm up to the regular running temperature.

Check the transmission fluid dipstick to see if the fluid needs to be changed. If it is low or anything but a bright red color, the fluid should be changed.

Drain the fluid by removing the pan under the car. Use a large container to catch the fluid. You should also change the filter after the pan has drained.

Replace the old pan gasket with a new gasket. Do this after draining the fluid out and before bolting the pan back together.

Bolt the pan back together. Use a torque wrench to tighten the bolts to the manufacturer specifications.

Fill the transmission with fluid. Follow the owner's manual for the correct amount and type of fluid you need.

Start the vehicle and let it warm up to normal running temperature.

Shift the gears a few times before returning the transmission to the "park" position.

Check the transmission fluid level. The level should be showing at the correct line on the dipstick.


  • check Allow the vehicle to warm up to regular running temperature. If the car is not warmed up, the transmission dipstick will not show the correct reading.

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