How to Replace the Transmission Fluid in a 2005 Equinox

by Susan RevermannUpdated November 07, 2017

Items you will need

  • Floor jack

  • 2 jack stands

  • Ratchet and metric sockets

  • Shop rags

  • New drain bolt gasket

  • Torque wrench

  • Clean transmission (long-neck) funnel

  • 5 quarts GM T-IV transmission fluid

Chevy recommends that you drain and fill the automatic transmission fluid every 50,000 miles in your 2005 Equinox. It's critical that you use GM T-IV -- or T-4 -- fluid. If you use anything else, such as Dexron III, transmission failure will result. When adding fluid, double-check that you're removing the correct bolt. Removing the wrong bolt will cause damage that's expensive to repair. The filter in this transmission is not replaceable.

Out With the Old

Locate the front jacking points. There is an arrow on the plastic lower body panel, to the rear of each front wheel opening. Position the floor jack under the jacking flange indicated by the arrow, and not under the plastic panel itself. Lift that side of the Equinox and place a jack stand under the frame lifting point 12 inches inboard from the jacking flange. Lower the vehicle onto the jack stand. Repeat for the other side.

Find the transmission drain bolt at the bottom of the transmission, near the bell housing. Place the drain pan underneath and remove the drain bolt with a ratchet and socket. Pull the gasket from the drain bolt and throw it away. Allow the fluid to drain for at least five minutes.

Clean the drain bolt and install a new gasket. Thread the bolt in by hand and tighten it to 29 foot-pounds with a torque wrench. Remove the drain pan and lower the Equinox to the ground.

In With the New

Find the fluid level indicator behind the front transaxle mount. It looks like a dipstick secured by a flange with a bolt through it. Be sure you're looking at the flange bolt, and not the anchor band bolt on top of the transmission. If you remove the anchor bolt it will cause damage you'll need to remove the transmission to repair.

Remove the flange bolt and the fluid level indicator. Use the long-neck funnel to add 4 quarts of T-IV fluid through the hole.

Start the engine and allow it to idle up to operating temperature. With your foot on the brake, move the shift lever from Park through every gear, pausing three or four seconds in each gear, and back to Park.

With the engine still running, use the level indicator as a dipstick to check the fluid level. If the fluid isn't within the "Hot" range, add fluid, a little at a time, to bring it into range. It should take about 4.25 quarts total. If you put too much in so it's above the "Hot" range, you'll have to drain the excess fluid, so be careful.

Turn the engine off. Replace the level indicator and tighten the flange bolt to 89 inch-pounds.

Dispose of the used fluid responsibly. Take it to a recycling center, service station or auto parts store for acceptance.

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