How to Change the Transmission Fluid on Cars

by Contributing Writer

Unlike its larger brethren, Harley Davidson car employs a smaller motor that houses two separate fluids rather than three. The first, engine oil, is kept in an oil tank that facilitates an easy oil change. Replacing the primary/transmission fluid, however, often leaves DIYers confused. Fortunately, changing a Harley Davidson car transmission fluid is much easier than it appears, requiring only a few tools to accomplish the task. Please remember to dispose of your used transmission fluid responsibly by having it recycled at your local auto parts store.

Under The Hood:

 How to Change the Transmission Fluid on a Pontiac Montana

Park the Pontiac Montana on a level surface so all the fluid can properly drain.

Pop the hood and remove the dipstick located near the rear of the engine. Set the dipstick in a clean location. You do not need to measure the level of transmission fluid before starting.

Slide under the minivan with a socket wrench and an oil drip pan. If you need more room under the van, use a jack to raise the van 6 inches.

Unscrew the drain plug lug on the transmission fluid pan. The drain plug should be easily visible and will either be on the side or the bottom of the pan. The bolts attaching the pan to the van are located on the top of the pan. You want to remove only the drain plug. The fluid will drain rapidly at first, so make sure the pan is underneath the drain plug before you unscrew it. Let the fluid drain for at least 10 minutes.

Clean the lug with a rag and screw it back on the pan. You are now done with the work underneath the van.

Measure the amount of fluid drained. You can use a measuring cup similar to the Radio-Rite measuring cup listed under Resources.

Put a small funnel in the dipstick tube and begin pouring the Dexron-VI transmission fluid. You must use a clean lint-free funnel that has not been used with any other fluids. Mobil 1 is a recommended brand. Pour the amount of fluid measured in Step 6. Try to be as precise as possible. You do not want to overfill the transmission. If you are unsure of how much fluid you drained, pour in a little less than what you measured. You can always go back and add more fluid after checking the fluid level with the dipstick.

Let the fluid settle by driving the van for 5 minutes. Measure the level of fluid by pulling out the dipstick and seeing if the fluid reaches the top mark on the end of the dipstick. If the fluid is low, add a little more and remeasure.

Record the transmission fluid change in a journal so that you remember to change the fluid again in 30,000 miles.

Items you will need

  • Transmission fluid

  • Funnel

  • Oil drip pan

  • Socket wrench

 How to Change the Transmission Fluid in a 883 Sportster Harley Davidson

Locate the drain plug bolt beneath the motor's primary cover. Place a catch basin directly below the drain plug. Remove the drain plug bolt using a hex head socket and allow the transmission fluid to drain completely. Replace the drain plug bolt when the fluid has reduced to a thin trickle and wipe the surrounding area with a shop towel.

Remove the derby cover and its gasket from the primary cover with a Torx driver to remove the derby cover bolts. Add fresh transmission fluid into the primary through the derby cover hole. Continue to fill the primary until the transmission fluid level rises to the base of the round clutch assembly.

Install the derby cover and its gasket onto the primary cover. Apply a small amount of anti-seize compound to the threads of the derby cover bolts and tighten into place with a Torx driver. Wipe away any spilled transmission fluid with a shop towel.

Items you will need

  • Hex head socket set

  • Socket wrench

  • Catch basin or container

  • Shop towels

  • Torx driver set

  • Transmission fluid

  • Anti-seize compound

 How to Change the Transmission Fluid in a Mitsubishi

Prepare your transmission fluid for drainage by driving your Mitsubishi for at least 10 minutes prior to beginning. This will heat the transmission, allowing the fluid to drain more completely.

Elevate your car at least 6 inches off the ground using a car jack, so that you can work comfortably underneath it. It is extremely important that your car is evenly elevated so that the transmission pan isn't tipped when you remove it.

Support the jack using four jack stands next to the inner side of each tire before getting under your car.

Place your drip pan beneath the transmission pan under the front of your car. The transmission pan on a Mitsubishi is located at the underside of your transmission, closer to the driver's side front of the car.

Uncap the drain plug at the center of the transmission pan. Beware that hot fluid will pour out, so stay physically clear of the transmission pan as soon as the cap is released. Your drip pan on the ground is intended to catch the draining fluid.

Use your 17mm socket wrench to unscrew the other bolts from your transmission pan after the fluid seems to have stopped dripping from the transmission pan.

Dump any leftover old transmission fluid from the floor of the transmission pan into your drain pan.

Clean the transmission pan using a small amount of degreaser on your shop rag. Any old fluid remaining in the pan could contaminate the new fluid, so it is important to wipe the pan thoroughly.

Replace the transmission pan by screwing the bolts back into place using your socket wrench.

Remove the four jack stands and lower your car back to ground level using the car jack.

Uncap the fill plug on the top of your transmission and set it aside.

Insert your funnel into the fill plug to avoid unnecessary spills.

Add the first qt. of transmission fluid, using caution not to let it squirt out of the bottle too fast.

Start your engine with your emergency brake engaged.

Shift your Mitsubishi into each gear with your foot on the brake pedal in order to push the fluid through every component of the transmission.

Pour the second qt. of transmission fluid into the funnel and fill plug. The engine should still be running at this point and the emergency brake should still be all the way to the floor for safety purposes.

Put the transmission into every gear again, encouraging the fluid to run through the transmission system.

Check the transmission fluid level using a screwdriver to ensure that the fluid has reached the top of the transmission. Mitsubishis do not typically come with a dipstick, but as long as the fluid is not overflowing, it is not too full because the level will go down a bit after the first couple drives.

Replace the fill plug cap and close the hood of your car.

Release your emergency brake and turn your car off. Your Mitsubishi transmission fluid is good to drive at least another 15,000 miles.

Items you will need

  • Car jack

  • Jack stands

  • Drip pan

  • 3 qt. new transmission fluid (Dexron)

  • 17mm socket wrench

  • Safety glasses

  • Petroleum-resistant gloves

 How to Change Transmission Fluid in a Dodge Neon

Draining the Transmission Fluid

Drive your Dodge Neon for 20 minutes at highway speed then park the car on a firm, level surface.

Shift the transmission into neutral, apply the parking brake and block the rear tires with two wheel chocks. Raise the front of the Neon with a floor jack and support it on two jack stands.

Put on a pair of goggles, climb under your car and position a large drain pan under the transmission pan.

Remove the mounting bolts from the sides and front of the transmission pan with a ratchet, long ratchet extension and socket. Be careful not to burn your hands as hot transmission fluid will begin to drain from the pan. Loosen the pan rear bolts about four turns, hold the bottom of the pan with a shop rag with one hand and finish removing the rear pan bolts.

Lower the transmission pan over the drain pan. Tilt the transmission pan to drain the remaining oil into the drain pan then remove it from the vehicle. Carefully pull off the transmission filter from the bottom by hand and the O-ring seal from the filter mounting fitting.

Refilling the Transmission Fluid

Scrape off any sealant material from the drain pan and the mating surface at the bottom of the transmission with a gasket scraper. When finished, thoroughly clean the mating surfaces and mounting bolts with solvent and let the parts air-dry.

Install a new O-ring seal at the filter mounting fitting and a new transmission filter.

Apply a continuous, 1/8-inch wide bead of silicone adhesive sealant around the transmission pan mating surface, circling around the outside of the mounting holes.

Position the transmission pan in place with one hand and install the mounting bolts finger-tight with your other hand. Gradually begin to tighten the mounting bolts with the ratchet, long ratchet extension and socket, starting at the center of each side and working your way towards the front and rear of the pan. Torque the mounting bolts to 165 inch-pounds with a torque wrench, long ratchet extension and socket.

Lower your Neon off the safety stands with the jack.

Open the hood, pull out the transmission dipstick from its tube and fill the transmission with 4 quarts of ATF+4 Type 9602 through the dipstick with a funnel.

Start the engine. With the parking brake applied, push the brake pedal to the floor and hold it there. Shift the transmission gradually through every gear then back to park. Let the engine idle.

Reinsert the transmission dipstick then pull it out again. The fluid level on the dipstick should be about 1/8-inch below the lower mark near the tip of the dipstick. Add very small amounts of fluid to bring the fluid to the correct level, if necessary, then turn off the engine.

Items you will need

  • Floor jack

  • Jack stands (2)

  • Wheel chocks (2)

  • Goggles

  • Large drain pan

  • Ratchet

  • Long ratchet extension

  • Socket

  • Gasket scraper

  • Solvent

  • New transmission filter O-ring seal

  • Silicone adhesive sealant

  • Torque wrench

  • 5 quarts of ATF+4 Type 9602

  • Funnel

 How to Change Transmission Fluid in a Hyundai Accent

Pop the hood and remove the dipstick. The dipstick is located near the rear of the engine and has a loop at the top, making it easy to remove. Place the dipstick in a clean place where it can not get dirty. You do not want to transfer any dirt particles into the transmission fluid. Removing the dipstick releases pressure in the transmission fluid tank and allows the fluid to drain quicker.

Jack the car up 6 inches. If you can fit under the car, you do not need to lift it.

Go underneath the car and place a pan underneath the transmission fluid reservoir to catch the draining fluid.

Unscrew the drain plug on the transmission fluid reservoir. Use a socket wrench to unscrew the lug. The fluid will take a few minutes to completely drain.

Screw the lug back on the transmission fluid reservoir and clean any excess fluid from around the lug with a rag.

Go to the hood and put a funnel in the place where the dipstick was located.

Pour the transmission fluid in the funnel. Make sure the funnel is clean and has not been used with any other fluids, such as motor oil. You should use SP-III transmission fluid, which is available to buy from your dealer. The Hyundai Accent takes seven quarts of fluid.

Let the fluid settle for five minutes, and then put the dipstick in and pull it out. Look at the fluid level on the end of the dipstick. The fluid should be at the highest hash mark on the end. If it is low, pour a little more fluid and check the dipstick again. Do not overfill the tank.

Shut the hood and record the transmission fluid change in a maintenance journal. Make note to change the fluid again in 30,000 miles.

Items you will need

  • Transmission fluid

  • Oil drip pan

  • Small funnel

 How to Change Transmission Fluid in an Alero

Lift the front of the Alero with a floor jack and position two jack stands under the front sub frame. Lower the car onto the jack stands, and remove the jack from under the car. Raise the rear of the car with the floor jack and position the other pair of jack stands under the rear sub frame. It is important for the vehicle to be level when it is on the stands when adding the fluid to the transmission.

Place a drain pan under the transmission pan and remove the 10 mm bolts attaching the pan to the transmission. Remove the last few bolts slowly, and hold the pan in place, to prevent accidental spillage of fluid if the pan drops suddenly. Lower the pan into the drain pan. Remove the transmission filter by rotating the filter while pulling down. Additional fluid will drain out when the filter is removed. Use a screwdriver to pry out the orange rubber seal in the hole that the filter plugs into.

Push the new seal that comes with the transmission kit into the transmission where the filter snaps in. Push the new filter into the seal until it seats fully. A few taps with the palm of your hand may be needed to seat the filter completely.

Remove the old gasket from the transmission pan and the transmission sealing surface. Attach the transmission pan gasket to the pan using adhesive. Bolt the pan into place on the transmission and tighten the bolts snugly. Avoid over-tightening the bolt to prevent splitting the gasket and causing it to leak.

Remove the check plug on the transmission case, located bellow and slightly in-board of where the passenger side drive axle plugs into the transmission. This can be a little difficult to remove because it is between the engine and transmission and there is not much room to maneuver.

Remove the large red fill plug located on top of the transmission. This is accessible from under the hood. Inset the transmission funnel into the fill opening and add Dextron 3 transmission fluid until it runs out the check plug. Replace the check plug, and the fill plug. Lower the vehicle from the jack stands and test drive.

Items you will need

  • Floor jack

  • Jack stands (two pairs)

  • Socket set

  • Drain pan

  • Filter and gasket kit

  • Gasket adhesive

  • Dextron 3 transmission fluid

 How to Change the Transmission Fluid on a Polaris 250 Trail Blazer

Park the Trail Blazer on flat ground and allow the engine to cool down.

Remove the six screws securing the engine case at the front of the vehicle, using the Phillips screwdriver. Place the screws in a safe location to keep them from getting lost while completing the fluid change.

Find the transmission on the right side of the engine. Remove the bolt in the center of the transmission assembly using the 1/2-inch socket wrench. Set the bolt to the side.

Place the plastic hose of the fluid pump into the bolt hole. Pump the handle until the meter reads 1.5 quarts. Empty the transmission fluid from the fluid pump's tank into a safe plastic container.

Fill the fluid pump tank with 1.5 quarts of new transmission fluid. Place the clear hose into the transmission bolt hole. Switch the tab on the clear hose to "inject" and pump the handle until the fluid pump's tank is empty.

Replace the transmission bolt and reattach the engine casing.

Items you will need

  • Phillips screwdriver

  • 1/2-inch socket wrench

  • Fluid pump

  • Plastic container

 How to Change Transmission Fluid for a Lancer

Raise the front end of the Lancer off the ground using the jack. Rest the front end on jack stands.

Locate the transmission fluid drain plate on the bottom of the transmission. Place the drain pan under the transmission plate.

Remove the bolts on the transmission drain plate using the ratchet set. Allow the transmission to drain completely.

Remove the seal from around the transmission drain plate. Replace the seal with the new one. Remove the magnets from the transmission, and clean them with the cleaning solvent. Replace the transmission fluid filter.

Replace the magnets to the transmission. Replace the transmission drain plate to the transmission. Replace the securing bolts to the plate.

Open the hood and remove the transmission dip stick. Pour in the recommended type and amount of new transmission fluid. You can find this information in your owner's manual.

Items you will need

  • Jack

  • Jack stands

  • Ratchet set

  • New transmission plate seal

  • Magnet cleaning solvent

  • New transmission fluid filter

  • New transmission fluid

 How to Change the Transmission Fluid in a 2002 Mercury Mountaineer

Park the 2002 Mercury Mountaineer on a level location and set the emergency brake.

Crawl under the driver side of the Mountaineer and locate the two-part drain plug on the bottom side of the transmission pan. The hex head drain plug has a smaller Torx plug in the center of the big plug. Place the fluid catch pan under the area of the drain plug.

Loosen the hex head drain plug by turning it counter clockwise with the ratchet and a 22-millimeter socket. Finish unscrewing the drain plug with your fingers until the transmission fluid begins to run out. Do not remove the plug, just loosen it up enough for the transmission fluid to drain out. Once all of the fluid has drained out from around the plug, tighten the plug with the ratchet and the 22-millimeter socket.

Unscrew the Torx plug by turning it counter clockwise with the ratchet and the TX-30 Torx bit until the plug is loose. Finish removing the plug completely from the transmission pan with your fingers. Set the Torx plug in a safe area near where you are working.

Insert the end of the small plastic hose into the center Torx plug hole. Pump the Mercon automatic transmission fluid into the pan with the fluid pump until the fluid begins to flow out of the fill hole. Remove the tube from the fill hole. Crank the engine and shift the transmission gear lever throughout all of the gears and then back into park.

Inspect the fluid level inside of the Torx plug hole. If the fluid has stopped flowing out of the Torx fill hole, insert the plastic tube back into the fill hole and continue to pump the Mercon fluid into the transmission pan until the fluid flows out of the hole again. Screw the Torx plug back in and tighten down with the ratchet and Torx socket. Remove the drip pan out from under the 2002 Mercury Mountaineer.

Items you will need

  • Fluid catch pan

  • 1/2-inch drive ratchet

  • 22-millimeter socket

  • TX-30 Torx bit socket

  • Hand-held fluid pump

  • Mercon automatic transmission fluid

 How to Change the Transmission Fluid in a 2006 Nissan Altima

Start the Altima’s engine and allow it to idle until the temperature gauge is about halfway up. Stop the engine. Raise the front of the vehicle with a floor jack and slide jack stands under the Altima’s subframe. Lower the Nissan onto the jack stands.

Crawl under the front of the vehicle on the driver’s side and find the transmission drain plug on the bottom of the transmission.

Slide a measured drain pan under the drain plug and loosen the drain plug with a ratchet and socket. Wrap your hand in a thick shop cloth to prevent being burned by hot transmission fluid and remove the drain plug by hand. Pull the washer off the drain plug and discard it.

Allow the fluid to drain into the drain pan. Slide a new washer onto the drain plug once the fluid stops draining. Hand-thread the drain plug into the transmission and tighten it with a ratchet and socket.

Raise the vehicle off the jack stands with a floor jack and remove the jack stands. Lower the vehicle to the ground.

Look in the measured drain pan and see how much fluid you drained from the transmission. Ideally, there should be almost 9 3/4 quarts of fluid in the drain pan. Remove the automatic transmission dipstick, wipe it off with a clean, lint-free cloth and set it aside. Insert a funnel into the ATF dipstick tube. Pour 9 3/4 quarts of Genuine Nissan Matic D ATF into the transmission.

Remove the funnel from the dipstick tube and reinsert the dipstick.

Start the engine and allow it to idle until the temperature gauge is about halfway. Shift through each gear in the transmission, pausing for about five seconds at each gear, then put the transmission back into “Park.” Stop the engine and wait about two minutes for the transmission fluid to settle.

Remove the transmission dipstick and wipe it off with a clean, lint-free cloth. Reinsert the dipstick and remove it again. Verify the fluid level is within the crosshatched area on the “Hot” side of the dipstick. Add more Genuine Nissan Matic D ATF as needed.

Insert the funnel into an empty bottle of transmission fluid and fill the bottle with oil from the drain pan. Remove the funnel and tighten the cap onto the fluid bottle. Repeat this step until you transfer all of the fluid into the empty bottles. Take the now-full bottles to a used-automotive-fluid recycling plant. Many auto parts stores take old transmission fluid for free.

Items you will need

  • Floor jack

  • Jack stands

  • Measured drain pan

  • Ratchet

  • Socket set

  • Thick shop cloth

  • New washer

  • Clean, lint-free cloth

  • Funnel

  • Genuine Nissan Matic D ATF

 How to Change the Transmission Fluid on a 2003 Acura TL

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.

Items you will need

  • Drain pan

  • Wrench

  • Funnel

  • Honda Z1 transmission fluid

  • Rag

 How to Replace the Transmission Fluid in an Audi A4

Warm your car's fluids by driving at least 10 minutes before parking. This allows the fluid to thin, making the emptying process easier.

Elevate your vehicle evenly using a car jack and jack stands.The car should not be tipped in either direction, since a tipped transmission is dangerous during the procedure because hot fluid could spill out and cause injury.

Locate your transmission pan under the driver's side hood of your vehicle. The fluid will be in the square, bolted filter pan.

Place your drip pan on the ground beneath the transmission pan area, as a safeguard in the case of spillage.

Remove all of the bolts using your socket wrench on one side of the transmission pan, beginning in any corner. It is important to take the bolts off very slowly, so that any fluid that drips will gradually fall into the drip pan and not on you.

Lower the transmission pan to ground level without tipping it to either side, since it is likely to be filled with old transmission fluid. If any fluid spills, use your shop rag to wipe up the spill.

Discard the old transmission fluid by carefully pouring one corner of the transmission pan at the opening of the milk jug until the pan is completely emptied.

Wipe the transmission pan clean, so that no particles or residue from the old fluid can contaminate the new fluid.

Mount the transmission pan back into its original position by hand-tightening the bolts for a temporary hold.

Secure the bolts into place using your socket wrench. It is important to wiggle the pan a bit to be sure that no bolts are loose and that there is no crevice between the transmission pan and the actual transmission.

Remove your jack stands and lower the car jack with caution.

Fill the new transmission fluid to the "fill" line. The typical refill capacity for an Audi A4 is three quarts, although you should watch the line carefully to be sure that you do not go significantly over or under this marking.

Run your engine in the "park" gear for approximately five minutes before checking the fluid levels again. The warmth of the engine will make the fluid settle into the transmission.

Measure the fluid level using the transmission dipstick. If the fluid reads below the capacity line, more fluid can be poured into the transmission opening while the car is still running. Shifting the gears of the car may also help the fluid to settle for a more accurate reading, although this is not required.

When the dipstick shows the transmission fluid at a sufficient level, the transmission fluid change is complete.

Items you will need

  • Shop rags

  • Safety glasses

  • Audi A4 transmission fluid

  • Socket wrench

  • Empty milk jug

  • Drip pan

 How to Change the Transmission Fluid in an Oldsmobile Bravada

Place wheel chocks behind the rear wheels and set the parking brake. Lift the front of the Bravada with a floor jack, and position jack stands under the frame. Lower the truck onto the jack stands and remove the floor jack for maximum working room under the vehicle.

Place a drain pan under the transmission pan located at the bottom of the transmission. Using a 10-mm socket and socket wrench from the set, remove the bolts that attach the transmission pan to the transmission case. Be careful removing the last few bolts and allow the fluid to drain into the drain pan. Remove the pan and gasket from the transmission.

Remove the transmission filter by pulling with a twisting motion. Additional fluid will drain out of the transmission when the filter is removed. Use a screwdriver to carefully remove the round seal located inside the opening that the filter snaps into in the transmission.

Clean all traces of the old gasket from the pan and the transmission with the gasket scraper and clean the pan with a parts cleaner. Wipe the transmission sealing surface dry with a shop rag. Glue the new gasket to the transmission pan with adhesive.

Push the new seal, included in the filter kit, into the transmission. Push the end of the new filter into the transmission until it's completely in place. A slight tap with the palm of your hand may be needed for this. Install the trans pan and filter. Bolt the pan and new gasket to the transmission with the 10-mm bolts previously removed.

Raise the truck, with the floor jack, until it clears the jack stands. Remove the jack stands and lower the vehicle to the ground slowly.

Fill the Bravada transmission with 4.5 quarts of Dextron 3 transmission fluid. Start the engine and, with your foot on the brake, run the transmission through all of the gear positions. Place the transmission in park, and check the transmission fluid. Add fluid one pint at a time until the fluid level is in the crosshatch area on the dipstick.

Items you will need

  • Wheel chocks

  • Floor jack

  • Jack stands

  • Drain pan

  • Socket set

  • Shop rags

  • Gasket scraper

  • Transmission fluid

  • Filter and gasket set

  • Work gloves

  • Safety glasses

 How to Change the Transmission Fluid in a 2004 Chrysler Pacifica

Prepare your car for the transmission fluid check and potential change. The Chrysler Pacifica owner's manual suggests running your car at idle speed for at least 60 seconds. While the vehicle is on a flat surface, fully depress your car's parking break, and move the car through each of its gears, ultimately ending in park. With the vehicle still turned on, exit the car.

Open your Pacifica's hood, and identify the transmission dipstick, which is located right behind your car's radiator.

Remove the dipstick. You may want to wear work gloves at this point, because the transmission fluid on the dipstick (and the dipstick itself) may be hot. Feel the dipstick to determine how warm the fluid is. If the fluid is so hot that it is uncomfortable or painful to touch, it means it is still in good condition. If it is cold (comfortable to the touch, even room temperature), the fluid may not be heating up enough to keep the gears running smoothly. It should be replaced. Skip to Step 6.

Check the transmission fluid level. Wipe the dipstick clean, then place it completely back into the transmission fluid well. Remove the dipstick again, and note of the fluid level. If the fluid level is below the indicator line, you should add transmission fluid.

Add transmission fluid by inserting a funnel into the hole where the dipstick usually goes. The Chrysler Pacifica owner's manual recommends Mopar ATF+4 transmission fluid, and it warns against using other fluids, which can lead to the breakdown of critical engine parts. Add a little fluid, then replace the dipstick to see whether the fluid is at the correct level. Continue adding fluid and checking the dipstick level until the fluid reaches the correct level. Do not overfill the fluid well, as this can cause serious damage.

Raise your Pacifica using a pair of jack stands or a ramp if you must change the transmission fluid. Put blocks behind the tires so the vehicle doesn't roll. Turn the car's engine on again for a few minutes to give the transmission fluid time to warm up. The warmer the fluid, the easier it is to drain it from the transmission.

Turn off your vehicle before getting underneath it to work. Look on the bottom of your vehicle to locate the transmission pan, which is directly underneath the dipstick. Locate the drain plug, which is at the lowest point of the transmission pan.

Place a collection bucket directly underneath the drain plug. Loosen and remove the plug; the old fluid will begin draining immediately. This draining process may take several minutes. Leave the drain unplugged for up to an hour to drain out as much of the old fluid as possible before replacing the drain plug.

Remove the transmission pan by using a wrench to loosen and remove the bolts securing it to the vehicle. Wipe down the pan and the bolts with a clean rag to remove oil and any debris that may have made its way into the transmission. Secure the transmission pan back into place with the bolts.

Follow the same process outlined in Step 5 to fill the transmission well with fresh oil. The 2004 Chrysler Pacifica can hold up to 9.8 quarts of transmission fluid.

Place the dipstick back into the transmission well. Make sure it is on securely, so debris can't get inside.

Items you will need

  • Clean cloth

  • Work gloves

  • Protective eye wear

  • Jack stands or ramp

  • Tire blocks

  • Drainage pan

  • Wrench

  • Funnel

  • New transmission fluid

 How to Change the Transmission Fluid in a 2004 Elantra

Purchase three quarts of transmission fluid from your local Hyundai dealer. Other fluids can potentially harm your transmission system, so it is essential that you use only the Hyundai-specified fluid for your Elantra.

Drive your Elantra for at least 10 minutes before beginning the transmission fluid replacement. This allows the fluid to heat up and drain more easily than if it were at air temperature.

Engage your Elantra's emergency brake to prevent potential hazards as you work on and under the hood of your car.

Turn your car off so to prevent accidental sparking or injury.

Raise your Elantra's front end using a car jack. Jack stands are recommended for extra support, and the stands should be locked by their security bar. You may want to wiggle your car before getting under it to be sure that the vehicle is being adequately supported by the stands.

Open your hood and disconnect the tube that connects the transmission and radiator. This can be accomplished by gently unclamping the tube with your adjustable wrench. Exercise caution in this step, since the transmission fluid will be extremely hot.

Place the line into a drain pan for safety purposes, as small amounts of fluid will seep from the tube during the transmission-fluid changing procedure.

Get under your Elantra and find the metal plate that is fastened by several bolts, securing the transmission drain pan to the transmission itself.

Remove the bolts from the drain pan using an 8 mm hex socket, allowing the drain pan to catch any extra fluid that falls from the transmission area during this step.

Wipe the drain pan clean using your dry shop rag. Do not moisten the shop rag, as water or cleaners could damage the transmission.

Replace the drain pan, re-bolting it with the hex socket. Do not over-tighten the bolts, since this could damage or even cut through the drain pan.

Remove the jack stands by releasing the safety bar and pulling the stands out from under your vehicle.

Lower the car jack cautiously, as your transmission-fluid line is still sitting open with the drip pan under the hood of your car.

Remove the black cap from the transmission-fluid port, which is located next to the dipstick.

Position your funnel into the entry of the fill port and slowly begin pouring each quart of transmission fluid until the fluid has reached the fill line. If you are unable to see the fill line, the dipstick can be used to check the fluid level. The Elantra's fill capacity is slightly less than three quarts, so the amount needed will depend on how much fluid was left in the container after the drain-pan process.

Close the hood of the vehicle and remember to change your transmission fluid again in 25,000 to 35,000 miles.

Items you will need

  • Drip pan

  • Funnel

  • Adjustable wrench

  • 8 mm hex socket

  • Shop rag

  • 3 quarts of Hyundai transmission fluid

  • Jack

  • Jack stands