How to Service a Chevy Astro Van Transmissionby Leonardo R. Grabkowski
The Astro was a rear-wheel drive van manufactured by General Motors and sold under the Chevrolet nameplate. Unlike many newer vehicles, the Astro has a transmission dipstick in the engine bay and a drain plug underneath, which makes servicing your transmission at home simple. Chevrolet recommends servicing your transmission at least once every 30,000 miles.
Park the Astro on level ground. Turn the engine off and engage the parking brake. Let the vehicle sit for at least 30 minutes to cool off.
Lift the front of the vehicle by the factory jacking point, located off center underneath the front of the vehicle. Place jack stands under each front-side jacking point, approximately six inches behind the front wheels. Lift the rear of the vehicle in the same manner.
Locate the transmission drain plug and let the fluid completely drain into the pan. Allow approximately 20 minutes to pass to ensure the fluid is completely drained. Inspect the fluid; transmission fluid should always have a red tint. If the transmission fluid is black or too dark, you may have an internal transmission problem.
Replace the drain plug and lower the vehicle. Locate the transmission dipstick in the engine bay and use the funnel to add transmission fluid. Check the level before adding the final quart; the cold level reading will be different from the hot reading. If the reading is within the specified guidelines, don't add anymore. Overfilling your transmission can cause damage. A small amount of fluid can be held in the torque converter, meaning your transmission was not completely emptied.
Crank the vehicle and change the gear shift selector through every gear setting. Check underneath for leaks.
- Measure the transmission fluid that you drain from your vehicle. The maximum capacity is 11.2 quarts; the fluid you drain should be within one quart of that (accounting for the torque converter). If your fluid was much lower than that, you have a leak. Transmission oil does not burn off like engine oil does.
- If you do not let your vehicle cool off, the transmission fluid will be extremely hot when draining into the pain. Use caution when draining the fluid.
Items you will need
- Floor jack
- Jack stands (4)
- Socket wrench set
- Drain pan
- 11 quarts of Dex-ron III Automatic Transmission Fluid