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How to flush automatic transmission fluid? What ATF to use? How to check the level?

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How to flush automatic transmission fluid? What ATF to use? How to check the level?

Old 10-01-2003, 04:22 AM
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Bill

Is it ok for me to mix/blend Amsoil into the tranny which currently is filled with a non-synthetic (Castrol) ATF? I wasn't planning on a doing a flush, just a drain and fill.

Thanks
Al
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Old 10-01-2003, 10:04 AM
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It is ok to mix non-synthetic and Amsoil.

Since yours is '97, if you haven't done a flush before, I will recommend you to do so. Just go to Jiffy Lube and do a regular one (if they don't let you bring your own ATF). You will amaze how much differences it makes.


Originally Posted by Albertt
Bill

Is it ok for me to mix/blend Amsoil into the tranny which currently is filled with a non-synthetic (Castrol) ATF? I wasn't planning on a doing a flush, just a drain and fill.

Thanks
Al
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Old 10-01-2003, 10:34 AM
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Originally Posted by SunMax
It is ok to mix non-synthetic and Amsoil.

Since yours is '97, if you haven't done a flush before, I will recommend you to do so. Just go to Jiffy Lube and do a regular one (if they don't let you bring your own ATF). You will amaze how much differences it makes.
Oh I did do a flush...at 90K miles. I've also had a drain and fill done at 120K. I'm now at 150K. I figure I'll do a drain and fill now, and a flush at 175K.
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Old 10-01-2003, 01:09 PM
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Originally Posted by Albertt
Oh I did do a flush...at 90K miles. I've also had a drain and fill done at 120K. I'm now at 150K. I figure I'll do a drain and fill now, and a flush at 175K.

Personally I would do another flush since you've been using dino. Dino really shouldn't go more than 30k on our vehicles.


I did the home-flush with Amsoil ATF and am now just doing a drain an fill every year with Amsoil ATF. No worries for the remainder of the cars life.
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Old 11-14-2003, 07:53 PM
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Thanks for a great post, the directions were very valuable for the flush I did this weekend. All those part #s and recommendations were very helpful. I expect the Amsoil ATF and B&M tranny cooler to bring more life to this car that I hope to own for a long time!
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Old 12-01-2003, 07:12 AM
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Originally Posted by bill99gxe
A) Aiming the hose into a container
B) Star car
C) Go to container and make sure it isn't spewing everywhere. It should take 15 to 20 seconds for 2 quarts to drain out; I recommend draining 2 quarts at a time
D) Shut off car.
E) Repeat this 5 times and it will "flush" 10 quarts through the system. Once you get used to it, you can shift between Park and Reverse and Drive and then Neutral, etc. during these short intervals to run through all the gears.
Most of the instructions are pretty straight forward but I'm a bit confused on one thing. How many quarts does the Maxima hold? I tried looking this up in my manual but it didn't say. The reason why I ask is because if I follow Bill99GXE's instructions to drain 2 quarts at a time X 5 times, that equals to 10 quarts of ATF. When I but a case of ATF from Costco, it comes in 12 quart cases. That leaves me with 2 quarts, which I don't think is enough right? Doesn't it hold somethinng like 4.xx quarts of ATF? Maybe I should just flush it 3 or 4 times instead of 5?
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Old 12-01-2003, 10:45 AM
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couldn't remove the filter screen

Hi, I dropped the pan and flush my atf last weekend. However, I wasn't able to take out the screen to clean it after dropping the pan. After removing the dozen bolts off the metal screen, there was one nut that I couldn't remove. It was strange that this was a nut and not a regular bolt like the dozen that I just took off. Not sure why Nissan decided to put in a nut there. Anyway, when I unscrewed the nut, the bolt that it was attached to turned as well so the nut couldn't come off. There was no access to the other side of the bolt that the nut attached to, so I could hold the bolt still while turning the nut. Can someone please tell me how to remove this nut so I can detach the screen the next time around.

thanks.
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Old 12-04-2003, 10:39 AM
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Originally Posted by shuefu
Most of the instructions are pretty straight forward but I'm a bit confused on one thing. How many quarts does the Maxima hold? I tried looking this up in my manual but it didn't say. The reason why I ask is because if I follow Bill99GXE's instructions to drain 2 quarts at a time X 5 times, that equals to 10 quarts of ATF. When I but a case of ATF from Costco, it comes in 12 quart cases. That leaves me with 2 quarts, which I don't think is enough right? Doesn't it hold somethinng like 4.xx quarts of ATF? Maybe I should just flush it 3 or 4 times instead of 5?
4th gen automatics hold around 10 quarts. 3rd gen autos hold about 8 quarts.

Flushing it 6 times would require 12 quarts, so you could always just flush it 6 times.


More importantly, flushing until the fluid is a nice clean red color should dictate how many flushes should take place. I've seen cars need 2 cases of ATF before "clean" fluid comes out.....
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Old 12-04-2003, 11:28 AM
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Question:

When searching for these part numbers,
Tranny Pan Gasket 31397-80X01 (required if dropping the pan)
19mm Tranny Drain Plug 31377-31X06 (optional, but might as well)
(21) Tranny Pan Bolts 31377-80X09 (required if dropping the pan)
Tranny "Screen" inside transmission 31728-80X04

I couldn't find the plug, or the bolts. Are the part numbers incorrect, or what?
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Old 12-04-2003, 02:11 PM
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Originally Posted by gabex
Question:

When searching for these part numbers,
Tranny Pan Gasket 31397-80X01 (required if dropping the pan)
19mm Tranny Drain Plug 31377-31X06 (optional, but might as well)
(21) Tranny Pan Bolts 31377-80X09 (required if dropping the pan)
Tranny "Screen" inside transmission 31728-80X04

I couldn't find the plug, or the bolts. Are the part numbers incorrect, or what?
Part numbers may have been superceded with newer ones. Call Dave Burnette at South Point Nissan (888) 254-6060
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Old 12-21-2003, 07:20 AM
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I've seen pics of flushing an AT as well as rebuilding the MT. Does anyone have pictures on dropping the pan for an AT?
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Old 01-01-2004, 10:24 PM
  #52  
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Hey guys. Does this instruction, on how to do a full flush, works for the 3rd gen also? It's the tranny without a serviceable pan and filter. Cuz everytime I tried to to drain it using the plug, it only released 4 quarts but I know the 3rd Gen tranny has a capacity of 8 quarts. Thanks

Originally Posted by bill99gxe

A) Aiming the hose into a container
B) Star car
C) Go to container and make sure it isn't spewing everywhere. It should take 15 to 20 seconds for 2 quarts to drain out; I recommend draining 2 quarts at a time
D) Shut off car.
E) Repeat this 5 times and it will "flush" 10 quarts through the system. Once you get used to it, you can shift between Park and Reverse and Drive and then Neutral, etc. during these short intervals to run through all the gears.

Good luck Tom.
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Old 01-03-2004, 11:03 AM
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Originally Posted by bvtran
Hey guys. Does this instruction, on how to do a full flush, works for the 3rd gen also? It's the tranny without a serviceable pan and filter. Cuz everytime I tried to to drain it using the plug, it only released 4 quarts but I know the 3rd Gen tranny has a capacity of 8 quarts. Thanks

I did the exact same thing on my 94......and if you want to replace the ATF hoses, hold your wallet. Both of them are around $30 each......
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Old 01-08-2004, 07:44 AM
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I must of had the worse luck every when I dropped my pan to do the flush. Everything went relatively smooth until I put the bolts back on. Initially, 3 out of the 21 sockets for the bolts became stripped. I could not tighten the bolts back on. Since I drop the pan New Years Eve, I was not able to fix this problem until the day after New Years. So for 2 days, I had a pan under my car collection ATF!!!

Took it to a transmission shop and paid $80 bucks to have them heat-shield and fix the threads correctly (turn out 5 was stripped, not 3). I even asked them if there was anything I could of done differently to prevent this problem and they said no.

So as a lesson learned (or as a warning), when dropping your pan, you might have this problem so be prepared.
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Old 01-09-2004, 06:29 AM
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I have no idea how those machine bolts can be stripped unless they were overtorqued from the factory.
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Old 01-09-2004, 11:03 AM
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Originally Posted by bill99gxe
I have no idea how those machine bolts can be stripped unless they were overtorqued from the factory.
I'm sure it was overtorqued from the factory since this was my first time removing the pan since I purchased the car new. I had no choice but to swallow the repair bill and fix the problem. Bad luck I guess.
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Old 03-29-2004, 02:23 AM
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can anyone give a how-to with pics....
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Old 03-30-2004, 11:56 AM
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Amsoil Atf

Is amsoil ATF only available through websites/mail-order or can I buy it from a particular retail store (Pep Boys, AutoZone, etc)?

Correct me if I'm wrong, but when you flush your tranny, you need about a case of amsoil ATF just to do the flush (2 qts. in, 2 qts. out), then you need another case to fill it up. 2 cases of amsoil would run about $200 with shipping whereas I could get a flush from some shop for $80. Granted the shop would use inferior dino fluid but there's a big difference between $80 and $200 so I don't understand how doing the flush yourself is cost-effective.
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Old 03-31-2004, 09:57 AM
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Originally Posted by leoniv
Is amsoil ATF only available through websites/mail-order or can I buy it from a particular retail store (Pep Boys, AutoZone, etc)?

Correct me if I'm wrong, but when you flush your tranny, you need about a case of amsoil ATF just to do the flush (2 qts. in, 2 qts. out), then you need another case to fill it up. 2 cases of amsoil would run about $200 with shipping whereas I could get a flush from some shop for $80. Granted the shop would use inferior dino fluid but there's a big difference between $80 and $200 so I don't understand how doing the flush yourself is cost-effective.

First, it depends on the current condition of your fluid. If it's dark and has not been serviced in a long time, then yes you could have to flush 10+ quarts of ATF before "clean" looking ATF comes out. But once that "clean" looking ATF appears, you should only have to add what you've lost in the current flush (2 quarts or so).

I understand what you're getting at. My dad's 99 TL took 20 quarts of ATF before coming out clean. And that was with Honda's $3+/quart fluid.



It's all about what you are comfortable with. If you are real concerned and don't have the time or the inclination, then I would get a machine flush performed every year (15k to 20k miles).



The nice thing about mine now is I can simply do a drain and fill every year and change out 4 quarts of Amsoil ATF or so and not worry about it anymore.


Another option would be changing the fluid every time you change your oil.
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Old 04-21-2004, 02:25 PM
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Is it really necessary to change ATF? My family never changes ATF and never had a problem... some car with 200k+ miles. I also heard that a high mileage car that never had an ATF change should not get an ATF flush as it can mess up the transmisson.
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Old 06-16-2004, 10:20 AM
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Originally Posted by tiep
Hi, I dropped the pan and flush my atf last weekend. However, I wasn't able to take out the screen to clean it after dropping the pan. After removing the dozen bolts off the metal screen, there was one nut that I couldn't remove. It was strange that this was a nut and not a regular bolt like the dozen that I just took off. Not sure why Nissan decided to put in a nut there. Anyway, when I unscrewed the nut, the bolt that it was attached to turned as well so the nut couldn't come off. There was no access to the other side of the bolt that the nut attached to, so I could hold the bolt still while turning the nut. Can someone please tell me how to remove this nut so I can detach the screen the next time around.

thanks.
Anyone else know about the nut on the transmission screen? There is only 1 the rest are bolts. I noticed this too, mine came off, but when I reinstalled a new screen that nut would not take a torque because the stud started to spin.

You can use a box end wrench on the nut and grab the end of the stud with some needle nose pliers to remove it. Be cafeful not to damage the threads on the stud.
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Old 06-25-2004, 04:30 PM
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i just got my tranny oil flushed on my 99 with 52k miles....immediately noticed teh difference with amsoil....--that annoying hardshift from 1-2nd gear is nearly gone...car is running a lot smoother overall
took 10 quarts total
amsoil--worth every penny
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Old 06-30-2004, 12:00 PM
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Originally Posted by bill99gxe
Personally I would do another flush since you've been using dino. Dino really shouldn't go more than 30k on our vehicles.


I did the home-flush with Amsoil ATF and am now just doing a drain an fill every year with Amsoil ATF. No worries for the remainder of the cars life.

How many quarts of ATF is needed for a drain-and-fill?
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Old 06-30-2004, 12:35 PM
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Drain and Fill -- 4 Quarts

Flush: The capacity of tranny is 10 quarts for 5th gen Max!!!
I bought 12 quarts Valvoline ATF and used all 12 to be sure that the flush was complete.
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Old 07-01-2004, 06:06 AM
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Originally Posted by Love_00_Max
Drain and Fill -- 4 Quarts

Flush: The capacity of tranny is 10 quarts for 5th gen Max!!!
I bought 12 quarts Valvoline ATF and used all 12 to be sure that the flush was complete.

Done drain and fill yesterday, put almost 6 quart in. Dont know how your 4 quarts figured out.
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Old 07-01-2004, 10:15 AM
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I did a drain and refill 2 weeks ago. It took 4.5 quarts for my 4th gen, unless 5th gen has a bigger tranny.
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Old 07-01-2004, 02:40 PM
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so you flush out the old oil with 4 quarts of syn oil with the pan dropped. then you tighten the pan and fill it with 10 quarts. right?


Originally Posted by Love_00_Max
Drain and Fill -- 4 Quarts

Flush: The capacity of tranny is 10 quarts for 5th gen Max!!!
I bought 12 quarts Valvoline ATF and used all 12 to be sure that the flush was complete.
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Old 07-01-2004, 03:12 PM
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Originally Posted by joew
so you flush out the old oil with 4 quarts of syn oil with the pan dropped. then you tighten the pan and fill it with 10 quarts. right?


Let me get it right -- if you are doing a flush, first drain the old fluid from the pan by removing the tranny drain plug and u will drain anywhere from 4-5 quarts based on if the car is parked inclined or downward. Anyway, you will drain some quarts by draining the bolt. Dropping the pan and cleaning is optional (I did it though and there was quite a lot of clutch material on the magnets). Tighten the tranny plug and refill via the dip stick with new oil (4-5 quarts and with this the pan is full of fluid). Then disconnect the return line, start car and as old fluid comes out of the return line continue pouring into the fill line fresh fluid (remember as long as there is fluid coming out of the return line there is fluid in the tranny -- no reason to believe that the tranny will be running without oil as already the pan is full). Once you see clear fluid stop the car and top off the liquid.

IMP : There is always more fluid coming out of the return line compared to what you are pouring -- so stop when you have put 10 quarts of new fluid thro the sys. AND please use a galon jug to pour into the fill line -- these quart bottles are annoying becoz you would have to keep 6 of them opened and in close proximity becoz as soon as one quart is poured in the next should be ready. This whole exercise is a sure success if there are 3 folks -- one driving the car, one holding the return line and one pouring simulateouly into the tranny fill line. I personally don't like this 20 second / 2 quart logic.

Enjoy!!!
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Old 07-01-2004, 05:25 PM
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sorry, some of the car terms i don't understand.

can i do this.

1. drain old fluid from the drain bolt.
2. drop pan and clean.
3. install pan.
4. fill fresh fluid on the dip stick and let it drain from the return line. (about 4 - 5 quarts)
5. once see clear fluid - turn on the engine and fill in fresh fluid (about how many quart is this?)

are there concerns if i pour fresh fluid too slow into the tranny and no oil drain out. with no oil in the tranny, does it hurt the tranny?
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Old 07-01-2004, 05:57 PM
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Originally Posted by joew
sorry, some of the car terms i don't understand.

can i do this.

1. drain old fluid from the drain bolt.
2. drop pan and clean.
3. install pan.
4. fill fresh fluid on the dip stick and let it drain from the return line. (about 4 - 5 quarts)
5. once see clear fluid - turn on the engine and fill in fresh fluid (about how many quart is this?)

are there concerns if i pour fresh fluid too slow into the tranny and no oil drain out. with no oil in the tranny, does it hurt the tranny?

Steps 1-3 are just fine.
Step 4 is fine but before disconnecting the return line make sure that the pan is full of new fluid (4-5 quarts).
Step 5 : Disconnet the return line, turn on the car and as fluid drains via the return line simultaneously pour new fluid via dip stick (not a tough act to be in sync). The way I looked at it was you would drain 1-1/2 quarts for every 1 quart you put in while doing the flush.

Remember if you pour via the dipstick relatively quick you won't be frying up the tranny becoz the torque converter sucks from the pan which has 4-5 quarts. I would think frying up the tranny is almost impossible --- unless one is sleeping. YES, there is permanent damage to the tranny if there is no fluid coming out from the return line while engine is running!!!!

Good luck.
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Old 07-01-2004, 07:45 PM
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Thanks. I really appreciate the help. One last question, should purchase 12 quarts or 15 quarts of syn fluid?
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Old 07-02-2004, 04:50 AM
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Originally Posted by joew
Thanks. I really appreciate the help. One last question, should purchase 12 quarts or 15 quarts of syn fluid?

12 quarts is just fine and remember stop when 10 quarts of old fluid is out of the system and if you think your calculations is going wrong midway in the flush just stop the car and check and restart!!!! Enjoy.
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Old 07-02-2004, 09:48 AM
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thanks, i appreciate the help.



Originally Posted by Love_00_Max
12 quarts is just fine and remember stop when 10 quarts of old fluid is out of the system and if you think your calculations is going wrong midway in the flush just stop the car and check and restart!!!! Enjoy.
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Old 07-30-2004, 12:06 PM
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I performed a flush this week and I'd like to add a tip that I found/used and it worked out nicely.

Basically, I went to Home Depot and bought a 3/8" 10ft section of clear tubing(vinyl?) for like $2. Next, I took a 1-gallon milk jug and marked the middle with a marker. I then connected one end of the clear tubing to the tranny using a hose clamp and shoved/taped the other end into the marked milk jug. Finally, I placed the jug out next to the car where I could see it from the drivers' seat and performed Bills' start car, dump 2qts, stop car, refill 2qts. procedure. Of course I dumped the half full(2qts.) milk jug into another container each time also.

Worked like a charm with almost no mess.
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Old 08-01-2004, 01:49 PM
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Drained my 04' Maxima SE automatic transmission oil. Used Nissan Matic-K oil. Measured the drained oil and it was only 3 1/2 quarts. So I only used 3 1/2 to replaced the old one.
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Old 08-01-2004, 04:15 PM
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So you connect the clear tube into the transmission return line. I assume you did not jack up your car to do this. Why did you drain out 2 quarts at a time while there is more oil in the transmission?



Originally Posted by IceY2K1
I performed a flush this week and I'd like to add a tip that I found/used and it worked out nicely.

Basically, I went to Home Depot and bought a 3/8" 10ft section of clear tubing(vinyl?) for like $2. Next, I took a 1-gallon milk jug and marked the middle with a marker. I then connected one end of the clear tubing to the tranny using a hose clamp and shoved/taped the other end into the marked milk jug. Finally, I placed the jug out next to the car where I could see it from the drivers' seat and performed Bills' start car, dump 2qts, stop car, refill 2qts. procedure. Of course I dumped the half full(2qts.) milk jug into another container each time also.

Worked like a charm with almost no mess.
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Old 08-04-2004, 04:06 AM
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Originally Posted by wcasskicker
can anyone give a how-to with pics....

I second that or a link or something , 1rst car so need some guidence
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Old 08-04-2004, 10:06 AM
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First, this wasn't on my Max, but should apply, so sorry for the non-explicit details. I just used the above tips plus one I found elsewhere which worked great, so I thought I'd add it here.

Anyways, there are two tranny connections to the tranny cooler in the radiator. I performed the change just like Bill99gxe stated ABOVE except instead of using a drain pan and running back/forth around the front of the car, I improvised with the clear tubing.

I jacked up the car.

You drain the pan first, then refill. Now that new fluid will be drawn into the tranny flushing out the old and sending it to the tranny cooler, which I've now intercepted with the clear tubing and milk jug. So, I turn on the car, allow 2qts. to pump out and shut it down. Then refill 2qts, so I know I'm not running it dry or overfilling...at least by much. Repeat until you've got clean fluid or in my case, you run out of fresh oil. Make sure you leave at least 2qts. to top off the last time once you lower the car down.

Originally Posted by joew
So you connect the clear tube into the transmission return line. I assume you did not jack up your car to do this. Why did you drain out 2 quarts at a time while there is more oil in the transmission?
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Old 09-06-2004, 02:02 AM
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I took my 2000 Maxima in to the local Nissan dealership to have some service work done, one being changing/flushing the tranny fluid and using AMSOIL ATF in place of the stock tranny oil. Dealer calls a couple hours after I dropped the car off to tell me the mechanic does not recommend using the AMSOIL ATF because it may cause some issues, so the tranny flush/change is not done. I ask what these "issues" would be if we used the AMSOIL ATF, but the service guy really couldn't provide me with a legitimate answer. Has anyone else encountered the same situation? Does the dealer know something about the AMSOIL oil that I don't?
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Old 09-06-2004, 10:52 AM
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I did my 2000 Max with Redline ATF. Both AMSOIL and Redline are Synthetic, I don't think it will cause issue if you change them regularly.
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