Every vehicle has a transmission, and this part of your car is made up of a gearbox that holds a variety of gears and a clutch. These parts work together to turn vehicle speed into torque so your car can move at a consistent pace as you drive. The gears are shifted automatically inside your transmission if you have an automatic vehicle, and a red or green fluid is pumped through and around the gears to cool, lubricate, and clean them. This fluid is much like the oil that runs through your engine and it does need to be changed like the oil. It is wise to change the fluid around every 60,000 driven miles. If you want to complete the change yourself, then keep reading.
What You Need
- Jack stand
- Large pan or bucket
- Transmission Fluid
Draining the Fluid
The first thing you need to do during the transmission fluid change is to release the old fluid from the reservoir. Run your vehicle for about five minutes to make sure the transmission fluid is warm and thin, and then use your jack stand to lift the front of your vehicle. It is wise to place the stand underneath the front axle of your car to lift it, and two stands are better than one to secure the entire weight of your vehicle. Once your car is lifted off the ground, place one brick behind each rear wheel so your vehicle does not shift or move.
Look for two black rubber hoses that run from your vehicle's transmission to your radiator. Find the spot where the hoses meet your transmission and set your bucket just below this area. Loosen the hose clamps that hold the hoses in place. Usually, the clamps will be band style devices that loosen with the assistance of a screwdriver. Pull the hoses from the transmission and allow them to hang in your bucket. The transmission fluid will start to pour out of these hoses. Allow the hoses to drain for several minutes.
Flushing and Refilling the Transmission
Leave the coolant hoses in place and screw off the cap from the transmission fluid reservoir. Place your funnel inside and turn your car on. Immediately dump the entire contents of one container of transmission fluid in the funnel. Turn the engine off as soon as the fluid flows out of the funnel. This process forces the old transmission fluid out of the transmission and through the rubber hoses. Secure the rubber hoses back in place with the band clamps and add another container of transmission fluid to the reservoir. This time, make sure the fluid reaches the fill line. Remove the funnel, secure the cap on the fluid reservoir, and lower your vehicle. Run your car for five minutes afterwards to make sure the new transmission fluid runs through the transmission.
If you don't want to do this yourself, contact a transmission repair shop, such as S & A Transmission, and they can service your car for you.