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

Fluids and Lubricants Motor oil, transmission oil, radiator fluid, power steering fluid, blinker fluid... wait, there is no blinker fluid. Technical discussion and analysis of the different lubricants we use in our cars.

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

Old 09-07-2004, 11:21 AM
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Only "issue" I'd consider is if it's a HIGH mileage tranny that has only seen non-syn fluid, then synthetic *MIGHT* cause problems.

Most likely, the mechanic is confused by the API rating of the AMSOIL compared to Nissan recommendations.
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Old 09-21-2004, 08:35 AM
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checking AT level with cooler installed?

Installed a Hayden 404 tranny cooler on my 96 recently. I drained out 5 quarts of fluid. Added just under 5 1/2 quarts of fluid back, but it's still showing slightly low on the dipstick (checking it hot according to procedure). Don't want to overfill it, but I can't imagine the cooler, with about 3 feet total of hose, adds over 1/2 quart of capacity. Feels fine on the road.

The question- Is the dipstick level reading still accurate with the cooler?
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Old 10-14-2004, 11:31 AM
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Originally Posted by IceY2K1
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.


Yep.....I've since learned from that approach that some clear tubing to a jug near the driver's door is MUCH easier to control how much fluid comes out......
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Old 11-07-2004, 04:05 AM
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i got a question....

I have ~41k miles on my 2k3 max, i did change tranny fluid on 30k miles at the dealer, so now i wanna change it to synthetic fluid, i heard from somebody that is gonna be bad for my seals, is it true?

he said i soposed to do it on 30k miles... anybody can help me?
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Old 11-07-2004, 01:32 PM
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Some folks on this forum did experience leakage. I have changed to synthetic oil for 2 months now and there is no leak problem so far. You should not go to the dealer to do a small job like this. How much did the dealer charge you?

I did lazy way and it appears to work very well. I drain the transmission oil down to the last drop and filled a little less than 4 quarts of synthetic oil 2 months ago. I feel the transmission immediately shifts better but still feel the 2nd gear shift. Today, I changed the oil again. I can almost swear that the 2nd gear shift is eliminated or almost eliminated. I have been driving it for like 20 minutes and it feels like I have a new transmission. Do you folks have the same experience as I?
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Old 11-07-2004, 01:47 PM
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Originally Posted by joew
Some folks on this forum did experience leakage. I have changed to synthetic oil for 2 months now and there is no leak problem so far. You should not go to the dealer to do a small job like this. How much did the dealer charge you?

I did lazy way and it appears to work very well. I drain the transmission oil down to the last drop and filled a little less than 4 quarts of synthetic oil 2 months ago. I feel the transmission immediately shifts better but still feel the 2nd gear shift. Today, I changed the oil again. I can almost swear that the 2nd gear shift is eliminated or almost eliminated. I have been driving it for like 20 minutes and it feels like I have a new transmission. Do you folks have the same experience as I?
they costed me about $105 i think. Im gonna go ask my mechanic and will see, i wanna change it though cuz i hear good things for synthetic fluid
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Old 12-07-2004, 08:27 PM
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hello all. i have a 97 and about 61k or so. winter break is coming up and i have time to maintainenance the care b4 I neglect it again :P. jk, im trying to keep it in the best preventitive maintenance i can.

well, i don't know when exactly the ATF was changed, and I've read a lot of diff't things regarding which ATF fluid would be the best. some say diff't things about the AFT like protection, friction and all that.. currently, I believe the car is running redline.

should i change it to AMSOIL since a lot of people is using it, or what is out there, and are there any charts or sheets in which i can read the plus and minus of?

is there a DIY in terms of pics? i am still a bit uncertain in terms of the procedures, forgive the newbie. i tried seraching but no privileges, and i wound up here in the stickies.. since im gonna try amsoil, i need to flush out and drain the old redline right? is this capable w/ limited tools? or should i just take it to shop or something?

anyhow thanks... i am up for it, and willing to try, just want to research more.. meanwhile i will read this thread again more thoroughly..
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Old 12-08-2004, 10:41 AM
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Originally Posted by FishyMan
is there a DIY in terms of pics? i am still a bit uncertain in terms of the procedures, forgive the newbie. i tried seraching but no privileges, and i wound up here in the stickies.. since im gonna try amsoil, i need to flush out and drain the old redline right? is this capable w/ limited tools? or should i just take it to shop or something?
There are DIY instructions with pictures, but you have to search for it. I don't have any links.

BTW, if you believe your tranny never been flushed, then you should pull down the pan (or had a mechanic to do it). You will amaze how dirty at the bottom, and also you can clean the two magnets attached to the pan.
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Old 12-08-2004, 11:16 AM
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I flushed my tranny recently and measured how much came out on the initial drain thru the plug. It was about 6.5qts! The previous posts were talking about 4.5qts coming out. Has anybody else had this much come out?
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Old 12-08-2004, 03:32 PM
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if you already have redline in your tranny, that means your tranny fluid was changed at least once in the past. at 61k it's will not worth time by dropping the pan. there is no need of going throught the trouble by flushing it either. you can simply drain and refill with syntheic oil. if you want to be **** about it, you can change your tranny oil after a month or two of driving from your 1st oil change. Amsoil is rated the best for engine oil according to some independent study. sorry, I did not have the link right now. as for tranny, I did not read any study about it but that is what I have in my tranny.
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Old 12-08-2004, 06:36 PM
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ya i'm running amsoil syn for engine oil.

is it okay to have some mixture of the redline along w/ the amsoil? i mean i can't get 100% redline out from just drain and refil, and even w/ flush i doubt 100% can be removed, but so im just curious if it is bad to have small amounts mixing.

so i should just drain old redline and refill w/ Amsoil?

i tried browsing since seraching function is not allowed to me, but the link i went to is dead. i have a 97 maxima. i will continue looking and see if i should bother doing a drain and fill. thanks.
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Old 12-08-2004, 08:06 PM
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Dude, I just realized that you are from Hawaii. I was in Maui, Honolulu and Kauai a few years back. It was niceee but the 12 hour flight was bad. I did not stay long enough. It was 2 weeks and it was stupid to travel between islands within the 2 week time frame. How can I get a good deal on a place to stay in Honolulu or Maui for a week or two, if you are from there? No pressure my friend. Iím just curious if you know any such deal available.

Anyway back to the car, there is no harm with a little mix of the old oil with the new. When I changed my transmission oil, I mixed dino oil with synthetic for 2 months and everyone said that was fine. There will be no harm with your mixture of syn with syn. If you are concern about it, you can drain, refill, and drive for a month or two, and then drain, refill.

Yes, you should drain redline and refill it with Amsoil.

No problem (regarding to the search function)

Remember that your tranny was maintained well with syn oil and you are in a good climate. Good luck.
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Old 12-08-2004, 10:15 PM
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Sup..

Are you talking bout deals in terms of hotels?? or what not?

It's better now, WARD is MORE developed and what not. It's good to come during holiday and what not. YOu get a diff't sense and feel to spend it here on OAHU. I mean city and night life is more up beat and more people are around ALA moana then typical days. There's different hotels and it depends of course. I think ala moana hotel is decent, its near ala shopping center, near ward, near waikiki, and near the beach. But of course everyone has their preference. I even rented a room there for grad. Best bet would be find a local friend, kamaiaina (sp? ) haha and get discounted room rates. There are some where you rent for a week or more at discounts i believe, but not exactly sure.

You've gotta try PHO, viet style noodle (cooking the raw meat in soup and eatting it), yakiniku (cooking raw meat and etc) on the platter and etc.. haha.. It depends what you want from the islands. I'll admit it improving but its moving at a slow slow pace . but nonetheless its better. If your single, then its another story, if your a family that too is another . hehe..

well good luck.. i'll think bout it if i have enough cash to even do the maintenance..

thanks. still need DIY .. also the jack stands, it doesnt have the wedge to accomidate the 97 maxima. and is it safe to put the WHOLE car on 4 stands?

thanks.
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Old 12-09-2004, 10:11 AM
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dude, are you vietnamese? i eat PHO in NYC just about a few times a month. i don't plan to move to any place only to visit. i only want to find a i will look into moana hotel.

to drain and refill your tranny oil, you do not need to jack up the car. you need to find the bolt (this is 5 speed tranny. pic is only for location of the bolt. http://www.motorvate.ca/mvp.php/805). be sure to place blocks on your wheels and put your tranny gear in netural. drain that tranny oil down to the last drop. good luck buddy.
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Old 12-09-2004, 08:53 PM
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oh no im *****.. haha i dunno how mainland tastes like but hawaii has some of the best, as lots of viet people open shops here..

thanks.. im gonna go browse the stuff..

also btw. what year for the 300zx should i get the fuel filter for my 97 maxima.
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Old 12-10-2004, 10:27 AM
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97 should be fine.
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Old 12-11-2004, 04:37 AM
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GUYS, GUYS, GUYS
Lets not go crazy here.
First LUBE 101: About 99% of the atf mineral oils out there at department staores are garbage. So if you go with ANY of the synthetics, not just AmsOil. You will have a happier transmission. Does someone here sell AmsOil? It is good but WAY over priced for the quality.
All the synthetis out there to my knowledge are PAO's. So they will mix with what is in your current tranny. If you are a ROOKIE, don't attempt to be a seasoned mechanic over the week end. Or you wind up with a major problem. Like triing to remove the screen. Nissan tranny screens can only be removed upon a tear down.
And 40,000 miles on a good synthetic fluid is great. Don't think you need to change every year. These fluids will hold up for 60-80,000 miles easily. Plus these trans are built great. But remember, if you do blow a tranny, change the radiator when you put a new tranny in or it won't last. You CAN NOT FLUSH THE RAD.
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Old 12-21-2004, 09:23 PM
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transmission oil return line

Want to do it myself also, have a question.

If I disconnect transmission oil return line and then start the engine, where the oil will pour from? From the radiator, right? Then, should I plug the disconnected hose somehow?

Also, will I break the tranny if I disconnect the wrong hose and start an engine for a couple of seconds?

Thanks much!
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Old 12-22-2004, 11:03 AM
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r5clp, the aft fluid will come out of the end of hose you disconnect while the engine runs. If you shut off the engine, the flow of fluid stops. It really is easy to do. Just have a helper to turn on/off the engine as you direct the hose flow into a bucket or jug. It comes out kinda fast. Here is link that has a photo of the hose you want to disconnect:

https://maxima.org/modules.php?name=TMC

You won't harm the engine by running it a couple of seconds with the wrong hose disconnected.
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Old 01-07-2005, 08:33 AM
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I have a question, I just skimmed through the threads about ATF's but didn't really find what i was looking for.

I'm low on tranny fluid, but is it okay to use any ATF to fill it back up to normal level?
I don't want to do a flush or a drain-and-fill. I just wanna fill it back up.

No leaks visible yet though.
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Old 01-07-2005, 10:44 AM
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I forgot the term, but any major brand of ATF should work. If you want, you can add synthetic ATF onto the old one. I will recommend you buy Mobil 1 or Redline. You can add now, and do a flush later on. Trust,the flush worths every penny. Your car's tranny will feel alot smoother.
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Old 01-07-2005, 10:50 AM
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Okay, thanks for the info.
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Old 01-13-2005, 05:44 PM
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Atf Flush!

THANK YOU EVERYONE that has posted information on how to do an ATF flush on the 03 Maxima. The pictures and the replies to others significantly helped. IT WAS A BREEZE like other were saying. The only questionable thing was knowing which line to disconnect...but being able to see the pictures posted......that was a SWEET! Being -41 today, -44 yesterday, and -37 the day before makes it worth while doing this little task on your own and not paying lube shops to do something you can do with better oils (AMSOIL). THANKS AGAIN!

Tomorrow is suppose to be -20 in Fairbanks Alaska which is significantly better than -45.

Take care all and I am a happy forum user .
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Old 01-17-2005, 12:20 PM
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Transmission Bolts

Dealer verified that the "red gunk" or whatever you call it on the bolts is simply threadlock. I asked about the FSM recommendation to replace the bolts and was told that it was completely unnecessary to replace, but to make sure to use some thread sealant/lock so that the bolts won't vibrate and become loose. This would lead to leakage.
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Old 01-17-2005, 08:57 PM
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i need to do this in the summer
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Old 02-13-2005, 12:54 AM
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i am a bit confused after re-reading haha.. i am thinking of going to amsoil atf.

i have a 97 maxima with about 62k, so im assuming time for a service interval.

if i was to order AMSOIL ATF, how much do i need? i was thinking of just flushing and refilling. please advise me. also, is there a DIY out there? is amsoil good for a 97? or will using somethign else be good?

thanks..
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Old 02-17-2005, 09:19 AM
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Originally Posted by FishyMan
i am a bit confused after re-reading haha.. i am thinking of going to amsoil atf.

i have a 97 maxima with about 62k, so im assuming time for a service interval.

if i was to order AMSOIL ATF, how much do i need? i was thinking of just flushing and refilling. please advise me. also, is there a DIY out there? is amsoil good for a 97? or will using somethign else be good?

thanks..
The initial posts in this thread should answer your questions. I would recommend getting (2) of the 10 quart containers of Amsoil ATF. It's going to cost $$$, so save up. It's almost imperative that you go ahead and drop the pan and clean it out real good. The two big magnets on the bottom of the pan on 4th gens pick up a LOT of metal debris.


Afterwards, do drain and fills (changes out about 4 quarts) every 6 months and you should never have to do the flush again.....
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Old 02-17-2005, 09:26 AM
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Originally Posted by cam_honestiam
Dealer verified that the "red gunk" or whatever you call it on the bolts is simply threadlock. I asked about the FSM recommendation to replace the bolts and was told that it was completely unnecessary to replace, but to make sure to use some thread sealant/lock so that the bolts won't vibrate and become loose. This would lead to leakage.


That is another viable way to do it as well, If you don't put the sealant on, you will notice a leak at some point in the future.
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Old 03-11-2005, 11:36 AM
  #109  
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changing from dealer atf to amsoil

i have an 02 max w 90k and want to flush and clean tranny and pan, but I am assuming this car has had only dealer flushings in past if any (just bought it). IS IT SAFE FOR ME TO SWITCH TO AMSOIL AT THIS POINT OR COULD THAT CAUSE DAMAGE???????
thanks
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Old 03-11-2005, 11:43 AM
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changing from dealer atf to amsoil at hi milage--bad???

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

i have an 02 max w 90k and want to flush and clean tranny and pan, but I am assuming this car has had only dealer flushings in past if any (just bought it). IS IT SAFE FOR ME TO SWITCH TO AMSOIL AT THIS POINT OR COULD THAT CAUSE DAMAGE???????
thanks
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Old 03-11-2005, 11:48 AM
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it should be no problem.
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Old 04-02-2005, 12:50 PM
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what kind of ATF brand should i use besides amsoil, for a 93 maxima? my aunt doesn't have her manual but i believe its dex 2/dex 3 right?

also, what about this sealent for the ATF bolt? do i really need anything? i dont wanna SEAL it up or anything like that right?
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Old 04-17-2005, 05:35 PM
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Originally Posted by FishyMan
what kind of ATF brand should i use besides amsoil, for a 93 maxima? my aunt doesn't have her manual but i believe its dex 2/dex 3 right?

also, what about this sealent for the ATF bolt? do i really need anything? i dont wanna SEAL it up or anything like that right?
I want to change my transmission fluid too. The manual for 93 maxima is Dex 2 Type-E fluid, but all I can find in the store are Dex III, ATF+3, Mer V, etc. I'm confuse. What should I get for my car?? Please help.
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Old 04-17-2005, 09:48 PM
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i think the dex III are suitable for the IIe and what not. i've used it and its alright.

don't get merc v. III or IIe i believe. if u look at the back of it, i believe it says IIe compatible. i either go w/ valvoline or penzoil.
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Old 06-12-2005, 09:40 PM
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would you be able to get Amsoil ATF Fluid at any automotive parts store?
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Old 06-15-2005, 02:20 PM
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amsoil syn is bought from dealers or independent vendors.
hmmm im thinking of either getting regular MOBIL ATF or the MOBIL SYN ATF> i d k.
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Old 06-17-2005, 02:49 PM
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For those of you with higher mileage trannies that have doubts about moving to a synthenic formula such as AMSOIL...

I just received a reply from Amsoil directly after asking them what their thoughts were on replacing my transmission fluid with their ATF synthetic fluid on my 160k mile tranny.

They actually asked me what my tranny type was before they answered...

Here is their response:

"As long as the transmission in your Nissan is mechanically sound (not currently leaking, etc.) I see no problem changing to a synthetic fluid, even with 160K. In this case, the best fluid choice for your application would be the AMSOIL (ATF) Synthetic Automatic Transmission Fluid."

Based on their response and the testimonials on their web site, I feel comfortable with using their product. I will be making the switch soon...
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Old 07-03-2005, 09:42 PM
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I would love to change my tranny fluid.(49k with no service to it at all)(it still smells good and is not brown) i want to do a complete flush and fill with either amsoil or mobil syn. however i do not know what the drain pan is that i have to drop. Is it possible to change all of the atf by opening the drain plug, refilling and so on until i get new fluid coming out of the plug? i am a noob at this and all of my local spots(dealership and aamco) want alot of money to do this.
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Old 07-03-2005, 09:54 PM
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imho i don't think u need to drop the pan. as long u flush things out u'll be fine...

ime i have drained, flush and it has given me no probs. smoothe shifting.

im gonna go mobil syn as its more avail then amsoil.
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Old 07-03-2005, 10:02 PM
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i would imagine that it would be the easiest thing to just take out the drain plug. measure as much as i can out, refill that. then maybe drive around and do it again. this should get me the most of a change correct?
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