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How to Change Transmission Fluid on an Impala

by Dan Ferrell; Updated November 07, 2017

Items you will need

  • Floor jack

  • 2 Jack stands

  • 2 Wooden blocks

  • Ratchet and socket

  • Ratchet extension

  • Screwdriver

  • Shop rag

  • Spray carburetor cleaner

  • New transmission pan gasket

  • New transmission fluid

  • Large funnel

The transmission fluid on your Chevy Impala should be replaced every 20,000 miles or at your recommended car manufacturer intervals. The change removes metal particles, friction material and other substances floating in the fluid, which helps increase the life of the transmission. Make sure you have the right amount and type of transmission fluid for your particular model.

Start the engine and let it idle for four minutes. This will help to remove as much loose particles from the transmission as possible.

Turn off the engine. Raise the front of the vehicle using a floor jack, and support the vehicle with two jack stands.

Apply the emergency brakes and block the rear wheels with two wooden blocks.

Place a large drain pan underneath the transmission pan.

Loosen the front and side mounting bolts from the transmission pan using a crisscross pattern. Then remove the bolts. Use a ratchet, ratchet extension and socket.

Loosen the rear mounting bolts from the transmission pan about 4 turns each.

Pry the transmission pan open at the front using a screwdriver and let the oil drain onto the drain pan.

Hold the transmission pan from underneath, using a shop rag as you remove the remaining pan mounting bolts.

Separate the transmission pan from the transmission, and tilt it over the drain pan to remove the remaining oil. Discard the transmission pan gasket.

Clean the transmission pan with spray carburetor cleaner and a shop rag.

Install a new gasket over the transmission pan flange.

Set the transmission pan in place and start the pan mounting bolts by hand.

Start tightening the transmission pan bolts in a crisscross pattern, a little at a time, until all the bolts are tight. Use the ratchet, ratchet extension and socket. Just tighten the bolts enough to create a seal between the pan and the transmission to avoid damaging the pan gasket.

Lower the car and remove the wooden blocks from the rear tires.

Fill the transmission with the right amount of transmission fluid recommended by your car manufacturer. Look up this information on your car owner's manual, check with your local dealer or auto parts store. Pour the oil through the transmission-oil dipstick tube using a large funnel.

Start the engine and shift the transmission through all the gears and back to Park. Let the engine idle for four minutes.

Check the transmission fluid with the engine running. The oil level on the dipstick should be between the Low and Full marks. Add if necessary.

Turn off the engine.

Warnings

Be extra careful when draining the transmission fluid from your vehicle. The oil is very hot and may cause sever skin burns and other injuries.

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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Photo Credits

  • Photo courtesy of IFCAR at Wikipedia.org.