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How to Clean a Transmission Filter

by Katebo

The transmission filter in your vehicle is designed to catch small metallic particles and keep them from going into the transmission. This filter is made out of metal and needs to be disassembled in order to fully clean out all the trapped particles. Normally, a transmission filter is replaced, not cleaned. But if you have an older model car that is discontinued, you may be unable to locate a replacement filter or if you do locate one, it may be expensive.

Disassemble the filter, noting how it is put together so you can reassemble it in the correct order. Use a bench grinder to cut the crimps that hold the clamshell-like transmission filter together. Hold the bench grinder perpendicular to the filter and run it along its perimeter to separate the seam.

Drill through the mounting hole crimps with a drill bit to separate the two halves.

Hold the filter pieces over a pan and spray them with disc brake cleaner to clean them. The dirt and particles will drip off into the pan. Anything that is still stuck to the filter pieces can be dislodged with a toothbrush. Be careful not to damage the brass parts with the toothbrush.

File the rough outer edges of the filter pieces.

Reassemble the pieces together in the correct order and put new crimping metal in place with crimpers.


  • Some people prefer to remove the transmission filter altogether for better transmission performance, but this is debatable. If you do remove it, put a magnet in its place to catch some of the particles.

Items you will need

About the Author

Katie B. Marsh is a self-published author, article writer, screenwriter, and inventor. After graduating from South Coast College of Court Reporting, she worked as a congressional and freelance court reporter for eight years. She began her writing career in 2005. Her content may be found on,, and She completed her first screenplay in October 2009.

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