How to Fill a Manual Transmission With Fluid

by Dan Ferrell

Checking and refilling the manual transmission fluid on your car is part of the maintenance service schedule that keeps your car in good working condition. The procedure is simple but varies depending on vehicle model and manufacturer recommendations. In some cases, it is required to remove the old transmission fluid and replace it with new oil. In either case, follow these simple steps to maintain and fill the manual transmission with fluid.

Park your car on a safe and level surface.

Open the hood and make sure the engine is cool enough to the touch.

Locate the drain plug along the bottom of the manual transmission. If your car manufacturer requires replacing manual transmission oil at regular intervals, lift the front of the vehicle using a floor jack and safely support it on jack stands. Place a drain pan underneath the drain plug and remove the plug using a wrench or ratchet and socket. After draining the old fluid, replace the drain plug.

Locate the fill plug on one side of the transmission. Clean the fill plug and the area around it to avoid oil contamination. Depending on type of plug, remove the plug using a wrench or ratchet with a 3/8-inch drive without a socket. If your car manufacturer requires replacing the oil at regular intervals and the transmission does not have a drain plug, use a hand pump to remove the old oil through the filler plug.

Fill the transmission with new oil through the fill hole using a funnel with a long, flexible spout and the manufacturer recommended transmission oil for your particular vehicle (some manufacturers do not require replacing the transmission oil). Pour enough oil until the level is even with the fill hole.

Replace the fill plug and lower the vehicle.


  • check Consult your car owner's manual for the manufacturer recommended transmission oil, amount and correct procedure to service transmission fluid on your particular vehicle. Some new vehicle models do not require manual transmission fluid service. They do not require checking fluid level or replacement. Under normal conditions, the transmission oil lasts for the life of the vehicle and may be checked by a service technician only if problems arise. Check your car owner's manual if necessary.


  • close Recycle used transmission oil according to local State regulations.

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About the Author

Since 2003 Dan Ferrell has contributed general and consumer-oriented news to television and the Web. His work has appeared in Texas, New Mexico and Miami and on various websites. Ferrell is a certified automation and control technician from the Advanced Technology Center in El Paso, Texas.

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