|How to change your automatic transmission fluid and filter
Tranny fluid... How often do you even think of
changing your automatic fluid? Probably not that often, not until it starts to slip,
but then its too late. To many people changing the tranny fluid and filter seems a
little bit of out of reach for them to do....whether it seems too hard to do, or if its
just the fact they don't know how to do it. In reality its pretty easy to do,
although it might get a little messy, it shouldn't be hard at all.
This "how to" is aimed at automatic transmissions in general. Most mustangs
that have autos are either AOD's, AODE's or 4R70W's, but this was made to give you a general idea
on how to change the tranny filter and fluid on most transmissions.
1. First thing to do is to make sure you have
the right tools for the job.
-You'll need the transmission filter and gasket, never use the old gasket or filter over.
-You'll need a drain pan big enough to hold all of the tranny fluid.
-You will need a ratchet and socket set, or at least a ratchet with the right sockets to
fit the transmission pan bolts.
-You will also need the regular stuff to jack the car up...Jack, Jack stands, Wheel
-Also make sure you have enough of the right type of tranny fluid for your particular
2. The next thing to do is to jack the car up,
and put the wheel chocks, and jack stands in place. As always, never ever get under that
car unless it is properly supported by jack stands, never get under a car only supported
by a jack.
3. Place the drain pan under the the
transmission pan. A wide drain pan is very helpful at this point.
4. Find the right socket, and loosen all of the
transmission pan bolts. Loosen them, but don't take them all out. At this point
trans fluid should be pouring out. If its not then gently pry the tranny pan loose.
Let it drain, then take all of the bolts out.
The reason you don't just remove all of the pan bolts at one time is because you need to
let the tranny fluid drain, if you do remove all the bolts before it drains, you'll make a
5. Remove the tranny filter. Usually you
have to remove two or three bolts to take the filter off. Make sure that you remove
any gaskets that are between the filter and tranny too.
6. Clean up time. One of the biggest
pains of doing a tranny filter is the fact that you have to scrape all of the old gasket
off the tranny and tranny pan. So get to it! Gently scrape if off and clean
everything up. Sometimes scraping the old gasket off is really easy, other times you
wish you weren't born...LOL
7. Now that everything is cleaned off its time
to install the new filter. Make sure that if you removed any gaskets that were between the
filter and tranny that you replace it with a new gasket. Not doing so will damage the
Make sure you line up the filter with right holes or you'll be going nowhere when you're
8. Last thing to do under the car is to put the
pan and new gasket on. Try to line up the gasket with the right holes on the pan
and use a couple of bolts to hold the gasket in place. Usually just pushing a few bolts
through the pan holes and then through the gasket will help hold the gasket in place until
you are ready to put it on the tranny. Then hold the pan up to the transmission and
tighten a few bolts. Make sure the gasket stays in place.
Obviously.....tighten all of the bolts.
Note: Never use any type of glue or RTV on the gasket
or as a substitute for a gasket. Why? You may be asking...because if any of the dry
rtv falls into the tranny it will clog it up, causing major tranny damage.
9. Next thing to do is to lower the car, add
the proper amount of fluid for your particular tranny and start the car up. While
holding your foot on the brake put the car through all of the gears to let the fluid
circulate. Put the car back in park and check for any leaks. Re-check the fluid with
the engine running (at idle), with the tranny is park.
-Remember that not following all manufacturer's specifications, and
instructions can/will cause severe transmission damage. So follow them!
We apologize for not having pictures to go along with this article but the ones we had were lost and we have no access to an auto trans at this time.
If anyone wants to contribute pics to go along with this article feel free to contact us.
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for any damage you do to
your car or to yourself while working on your car. You work on your car at your
own risk. If you don't know you can do this yourself, bring it to a mechanic who
Any modifications, repairs or maintenance can be very dangerous, so be careful!