How to Change the Transmission Fluid on a 2003 Acura TL

by Jericho McCuneUpdated November 07, 2017
itstillruns article image
Jupiterimages/ Images

Items you will need

  • Drain pan

  • Wrench

  • Funnel

  • Honda Z1 transmission fluid

  • Rag

The transmission fluid in any vehicle should be checked every three months or 3,000 miles, and the 2003 Acura TL is no exception. If the transmission fluid is discolored or extremely low, it is a good idea to change it rather than just filling it. Only Honda Z1 transmission fluid should be used. Any thing else could cause damage. Not all the transmission fluid can be changed at once. Two-thirds of the transmission fluid is trapped in the torque converter, so changing the fluid is a three-part process.

Park the Acura on a flat, level surface and apply the parking brake.

Place a drain pan under the transmission drain plug. Remove the drain plug with a wrench and let the transmission fluid drain completely.

Put the drain plug back in the transmission and tighten it with a wrench until it is snug. Do not over-tighten.

Open the hood of the Acura and prop it open with the hood prop. Remove the transmission fluid dipstick and wipe it clean with a rag. Place a funnel in the dipstick tube and refill the transmission with the same amount of fluid that was drained, which is typically about three quarts.

Insert the dipstick, pull it out and check the transmission fluid level. If it is still short, fill it the rest of the way with fresh transmission fluid. Do not overfill.

Drive the car a short distance, making sure to shift into every gear at some point during the drive.

Repeat all of the steps two more times.


A full transmission fluid replacement isn't necessary every time the vehicle is serviced. A good rule of thumb is to go through the steps one time for regular maintenance and do the full three-step process at least once a year.

More Articles

article divider