How to Change the Transmission Oil on Cars

by Contributing Writer; Updated June 12, 2017

The Ford car transmission system comes with transmission oil that keeps the gears and seal lubricated. The transmission oil also prevents the gears and the seals from heat friction. When the engine is running and the transmission is engaged, the transmission oil circulates throughout the entire gearbox of the transmission to protect all of the internal parts. Once the oil breaks down, it will not be able to protect all of the internal parts as it should.

Under The Hood:

 How to Change the Transmission Oil on a Harley Davidson Evolution Engine

Park the bike on a level surface and place it in a bike stand so it remains upright. If you don't have a bike stand, have another person hold the bike upright while you change the transmission oil.

Remove the 10 screws that hold the engine cover in place, using the Phillips screwdriver. Place the cover and the screws in a safe location.

Locate the transmission on the right side of the engine. Place a collection pan beneath the drain bolt to catch the transmission oil as it comes out. Remove the drain bolt with the 18-mm socket wrench. Replace the drain bolt when the draining is complete.

Remove the transmission dipstick from the top of the transmission. Put a funnel in the dipstick tube. Pour in 1.5 quarts of transmission oil. Remove the funnel and reinsert the dipstick in the tube.

Reattach the engine cover.

Items you will need

  • Bike stand

  • Phillips screwdriver

  • Collection pan

  • 18-mm socket wrench

  • Funnel

  • Transmission oil

 How to Change Transmission Oil on a Ridgeline

Park the Honda Ridgeline in a safe area that has a level surface. Raise the hood.

Crawl under the Honda Ridgeline and locate the drain plug on the bottom of the transmission pan.

Slide the drip pan under the transmission drain pan. Loosen and remove the drain plug with the 1/2-inch drive breaker bar and a 1/2-inch drive socket. Turn the drain plug counterclockwise to loosen and remove. Once all of the transmission fluid has drained out of the transmission, screw the drain plug back in the drain hole and tighten down tight with the breaker bar and socket.

Slide the drip pan out from under the Honda Ridgeline. Pull the transmission dipstick out of the transmission dipstick tube and place it on the fan shroud.

Insert the long-neck funnel into the dipstick tube. Make sure the neck of the funnel is in the dipstick tube at least two to three inches.

Pour three quarts of the Honda ATF-Z1 automatic transmission fluid into the dipstick tube. Wait for the fluid to drain into the transmission. Pull the funnel out of the tube and reinsert the dipstick.

Crank the Honda Ridgeline and hold down the brake pedal. Shift the transmission shift lever through all of the gears. Then, put the lever back into park.

Pull the dipstick out with the engine still running. Check the fluid level on the dipstick. The fluid level should be on the full mark after three quarts of the transmission fluid. Slide the dipstick back in and close the hood. Turn off the engine.

Items you will need

  • Drip pan

  • 1/2-inch drive breaker bar

  • 1/2-inch drive socket set

  • Long-neck funnel

  • Honda ATF-Z1 automatic transmission fluid

 How to Change Transmission Oil in a Honda

Park the car on a smooth, level surface and turn the steering wheel to the left to create more clearance between the right front wheel and the inner fender. Allow the motor to cool for 10 minutes.

Remove the inner fender from the right front wheel. With a socket wrench, loosen the bolts that secure the bottom of the inner fender to the front bumper. Remove the plastic screws securing the inner fender by twisting the screw counterclockwise until the screw head pops outward; pull the screw out. Pull the inner fender away from the car and set it aside.

Locate the fill and drain plug bolts on the side of the transmission. The fill bolt has a hex-type head, while the drain bolt has a square-shaped indentation. Place a catch basin or container directly under the drain plug bolt.

Turn the fill plug bolt counterclockwise with a 17mm wrench until it is unscrewed completely. Insert the 3/8" socket wrench's head into the square indentation on the drain plug bolt and turn the bolt counter-clockwise until it is loose.

Pull the socket wrench off of the drain plug bolt and loosen the bolt slowly, by hand, until it has been completely unscrewed. Allow the transmission fluid to drain into the catch basin. Replace the drain plug bolt as the flow of the transmission oil becomes a thin trickle.

Open the hood and slide a length of plastic tubing into the gap between the battery and the air intake tube. Slip the lower end of the tubing into the transmission filler hole and attach the upper end to a funnel.

Pour fresh Honda manual transmission fluid into the funnel, adding no more than two quarts. Remove the plastic tubing and, with a clean rag, wipe away any transmission fluid that may have spilled or leaked. Replace and tighten the fill plug bolt with a 17mm wrench.

Reinstall the inner fender, placing the plastic screws into their mounting holes. Turn the screw head clockwise to secure it. Install the lower mounting bolts and tighten it with a socket wrench.

Items you will need

  • Screwdrivers

  • Socket set, metric, 3/8" drive

  • Socket wrench, 3/8" drive

  • Catch basin or container

  • Wrench, 17mm

  • Funnel

  • Plastic tubing

  • Honda manual transmission fluid, 2 quarts

  • Rags

 How to Change the Transmission Oil on a Toyota Sienna

Park your Toyota Sienna in a safe place with a level surface. Start the engine and let it idle until it reaches operating temperature. Raise the front of the vehicle using a floor jack, and safely support it on two jack stands.

Put on a pair of working gloves to shield your hands from hot oil. Place a catch pan under the transmission drain plug. Remove the plug using a wrench or ratchet and socket. Let the oil drain completely.

Inspect the drain plug gasket. If worn out, replace it with a new one. Reinstall the drain plug but do not over-tighten it, or you may damage the threads.

Lower the vehicle, open the hood, and remove the transmission oil dipstick. Insert a long funnel on the dipstick tube, and fill the transmission with Toyota Type T-IV transmission oil. Add 1 quart less than the amount of oil recommended by the car owner's manual for your particular model. Replace the dipstick in its tube.

Turn on the engine. Shift the transmission through all its gears, and back to park. Let the engine reach operating temperature. With the engine running, pull out the transmission dipstick, and wipe the tip with a clean shop towel or rag. Insert the dipstick in the tube and pull it out again to check the fluid level. The oil should be between the Add and Full marks. If necessary, add more oil, a little at a time, until it reaches the proper level.

Items you will need

  • Floor jack and 2 jack stands

  • Wrench or ratchet and socket set

  • Drain plug gasket

  • Shop rag

  • Toyota type T-IV transmission oil

 How to Change the Transmission Oil on a Ford Laser

Park the Ford Laser on a level surface and turn the motor off. Engage the parking brake.

Jack the front end of the Ford Laser up and place a jack stand under the proper front jacking points. Lower the car onto the top of the stands and leave the jack in place.

Slide under the Aveo and locate the round gear box connected to the back of the engine. The gear box has a metal pipe coming out of each end. The drain plug is on the bottom of the gear box and the fill plug is in the pipe that is coming out of the rear of the gear box. Slide the fluid catch pan underneath the drain pan.

Insert the end of the 1/2-inch drive ratchet into the square hole of the fill plug. Loosen and remove the fill plug. Place the fill plug in a safe area.

Loosen and remove the drain plug on the bottom of the gear box with the 1/2-inch drive ratchet. Set the drain plug on the surface and wait for all of the gear oil to drain out of the gear box. Screw the drain plug back in and tighten with the ratchet.

Fill the fluid pump up with the gear oil. Slide the end of the plastic tube into the gear box oil fill hole. Pump three quarts of gear into the gear box. The oil should be dripping out of the fill hole after three quarts.

Remove the plastic tube from the fill hole and screw the fill plug back into the pipe. Tighten the fill plug with the ratchet.

Crank the engine and hold the brake pedal down. Shift the gear lever through all of the gears so that the gear oil can bond to all of the internal parts inside of the gear box. Turn the engine off.

Jack the front of the Ford Laser back up and remove the jack stands. Lower the car to the ground and remove the jack.

Items you will need

  • Jack

  • Jack stands

  • Fluid catch pan

  • 1/2-inch drive ratchet

  • 3-quarts of gear oil

  • Fluid pump with long plastic hose

 How to Change Transmission Oil in an F-150 Triton

Apply the parking brake and allow the engine at least 30 minutes to cool.

Place a container large enough to safely contain approximately 7 qts. of fluid underneath the pan on the bottom of the transmission.

Twist the drain bolt on the bottom of the pan in a counterclockwise direction with a socket wrench until the bolt detaches from the pan, then allow the transmission fluid to drain into the container.

Insert the transmission pan’s drain bolt into the pan, then twist the bolt in a clockwise direction with the socket wrench until the bolt is tight.

Raise the hood and withdraw the transmission’s dipstick.

Insert a long funnel into the transmission’s dipstick tube, then pour approximately 6 qts. of Mercon V-type transmission fluid into the funnel.

Turn the engine on and allow it to idle for approximately 30 seconds, then turn the engine off.

Insert the transmission’s dipstick into the transmission, then withdraw the dipstick and check the fluid level.

Add transmission fluid until the fluid level reaches the “FULL” mark on the dipstick.

Items you will need

  • Large container

  • Socket wrench

  • Long funnel

  • Approximately 7 qts. of Mercon V-type transmission fluid

 How to Change the Transmission Oil in a BMW 528I

Start the vehicle and let it run for 10 to 15 minutes so that the various parts in the engine have been thoroughly warmed up. Set the parking brake on the vehicle.

Loosen the drain plug on the transmission fluid pan with a wrench and put the draining container underneath the pan. Remove the plug and measure the amount of fluid that drains from the pan. This will be the amount of new fluid that needs to be put in.

Remove the transmission fluid pan from the vehicle by loosening the fasteners with a wrench. Remove the gasket and place a small amount of brake cleaner onto a rag. Use it to clean all of the components of the pan.

Remove the transmission fluid filter underneath where the fluid pan was, by taking off the attached fasteners with the wrench. Replace the old filter with a new one by re-attaching the fasteners back in their original place.

Re-install the fluid pan by refastening it to the vehicle and fill the pan with the same amount of transmission fluid that you removed from the vehicle in the second step. To do so, simply remove the filler plug and pour the fluid in to the necessary level. Replace the filler plug afterward. Be sure to use enhanced Dexron fluid, as mentioned in the BMW Owner's Manual.

About the Author

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