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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 09-04-2002, 11:39 AM
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Amsoil ATF Fluid?

With all the oil posts going on lately I figured I'd open this one up regarding Automatic Transmission Fluids.

My 99 has 51,500 miles on it and I'm looking at flushing my A/T with Amsoil Tranny Fluid. The only maintenance done on my A/T was at approx 32,000, when a drain and refill was done TWICE over the course of 2 days. (a mini flush)

I used Penzoil Synthetic Blend ATF fluid.

Since I've switched my engine oil over to Amsoil I'd like to switch the tranny over as well. What benefits will I have using Amsoil over other name brands such as Mobil 1 or even DINO ATF fluids? (OK perhaps thats a stupid question) Will my shifts become smoother using Syn. ATF fluid? How about clutch pack life? Temperature changes/effects - We all know the auto tranny has a hard shift from 1st to 2nd when it's cold. Will Amsoil ATF help out on cold mornings with a smoother shift? Will it make my shifts more stable when the tranny is hot?

What is the recomended change interval for Amsoil ATF? Drain / Refill or Flush?

Any feedback from anybody using Amsoil ATF would be appreciated. I'd like to know if you actually "felt" a difference in how your tranny shifts.

Bill - I have a sample bottle, I'll most likely have the tranny fluid analysed for your spread sheet.

Tom



How to check the ATF fluid level.

I'm not sure about a 95, but my 01 Max and 01 Altima both have the same procedures in their respective owners manuals for checking ATF hot and cold. To check the fluid cold, bring the engine up to normal operating temp before driving and then read between the markings on the cold range on the dip stick. For hot, drive the car at least 5 minutes and then read on the hot side of the dip stick.

Before I changed the fluid on the Altima the last time, I checked the fluid both ways in the morning so I knew the engine & tranny would be cold to start with. I did this on 4 consecutive days and recorded the readings. There was a consistnet hot/cold pattern I could use as a baseline for refilling the tranny once I changed out the old ATF fluid.
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Old 09-04-2002, 12:08 PM
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Re: Amsoil ATF Fluid?

Originally posted by njmaxseltd
With all the oil posts going on lately I figured I'd open this one up regarding Automatic Transmission Fluids.

My 99 has 51,500 miles on it and I'm looking at flushing my A/T with Amsoil Tranny Fluid. The only maintenance done on my A/T was at approx 32,000, when a drain and refill was done TWICE over the course of 2 days. (a mini flush)

I used Penzoil Synthetic Blend ATF fluid.

Since I've switched my engine oil over to Amsoil I'd like to switch the tranny over as well. What benefits will I have using Amsoil over other name brands such as Mobil 1 or even DINO ATF fluids? (OK perhaps thats a stupid question) Will my shifts become smoother using Syn. ATF fluid? How about clutch pack life? Temperature changes/effects - We all know the auto tranny has a hard shift from 1st to 2nd when it's cold. Will Amsoil ATF help out on cold mornings with a smoother shift? Will it make my shifts more stable when the tranny is hot?

What is the recomended change interval for Amsoil ATF? Drain / Refill or Flush?

Any feedback from anybody using Amsoil ATF would be appreciated. I'd like to know if you actually "felt" a difference in how your tranny shifts.

Bill - I have a sample bottle, I'll most likely have the tranny fluid analysed for your spread sheet.

Tom
First, you need to look at the spreadsheet to see the difference between Mobil 1 and Amsoil ATF in the baseline oil section. You may notice (as I did) that there is no significant empirical difference. Are they the same? Not quite. The main reason I went with Amsoil was because of their testing illustrating their fluids lasting 3 times (in the range of 90k) what a normal dino ATF should last. However, we do have one Mobil 1 ATF analysis as well, which occurred after 27k. Blackstone had no problem recommending 35 to 40k on the Mobil 1. There's an ATF section also that details the Nissan D4 in my 99 after 32k and a couple of Amsoil ATF readings, although none of the intervals have been more than 16k.....

I'm probably the only one here who has dropped the pan cleaned it completely (the two magnets at the bottom of the pan were NASTY and my Minima had only 47k and 1 full ATF machine flush at 32k), ordered a new tranny pan gasket, filled it up with Amsoil ATF, then dropped the cooler return line and did a full system flush by:

A) Aiming the hose into a container
B) Start 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.

Changing the ATF did not improve shift quality for me, but I also NEVER tell a butt-dyno or smoothness difference when switching from dino to synthetic oils, etc.

Here's what you need:

==* 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 31377-32X02 (required if dropping the pan)
==* Tranny "Screen" inside transmission (some think it is a filter, but it is not. Changing isn't necessary, but while you have the pan off, you might as well consider replacing) 31728-80X04

I didn't replace the screen, I just took it off and cleaned it real good with brake parts cleaner.....

If you wanna be cheap and not drop the pan, then look at this thread:

http://forums.maxima.org/showthread....hreadid=128621


A good pic that shows the transmission cooler return line:

http://www.greghome.com/images/Maxim...urnLineOff.jpg

You can also see the tranny pan and even the tranny drain plug if you look closely.

Greg's overall tranny cooler instructions can be found here, and have some other good overall pics of the tranny area:

http://www.greghome.com/Greg's%20Gar...n%20Cooler.htm

Good luck Tom.
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Old 09-04-2002, 12:18 PM
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Tom, yer such a wannabe!

I still have dino LOL...was going to get another flush done at 75k.
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Old 09-04-2002, 12:31 PM
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Has anyone done the external cooler mod to a 2002? Was anything changed in 2002 (larger stock cooler, greater fluid capacity, etc)?

This is a mod I have considered for a long time. My girlfriend/families previous Ford car/trucks have suffered from tranny implosions at about 100,000 miles. The rebuilds do not last quite as long. I would like to see some serious data on this mod, such as:

1)before/after tranny temp.
2)longevity of tranny w/stock tranny cooler and w/Hayden (others)
3)bypassing the stock cooler all together? (just a thought)
4) #2 as compared to stock with SYN ATF fluid.

(Bill this could be your next spreadsheet project)
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Old 09-04-2002, 12:36 PM
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Re: Amsoil ATF Fluid?

[QUOTE]Originally posted by njmaxseltd
[B]With all the oil posts going on lately I figured I'd open this one up regarding Automatic Transmission Fluids.

My 99 has 51,500 miles on it and I'm looking at flushing my A/T with Amsoil Tranny Fluid. The only maintenance done on my A/T was at approx 32,000, when a drain and refill was done TWICE over the course of 2 days. (a mini flush)

Tom, I have converted 2 97 Automatics to AMSOIL ATF. One had 51k on it and the other had 130k on it. I used 2 different flush procedures. On the car with 51k I drained the tranny and refilled it on 4 separate occasions, which turned out to be about every 2 weeks. On the one with 130k I disconnected the tranny return line and pump out the old ATF, about 4 quarts at a time, then adding 4 quarts of new ATF, repeating this procedure until I saw the new red ATF being pumped out. The 1st procedure took about 20 quarts and it gave a 96% mixture of new ATF. The second procedure only takes about 10 quarts of ATF and gives at least a 96% mixture of new ATF. Obviously the second procedure saves 10 quarts of ATF thus is more cost effective.The most significant thing I noticed was how much tranny noise (what I thought was normal) was completely eliminated. The shifting became smoother yet was quick. Since you are going from a synthetic ATF to a Synthetic ATF I don't know how much of a difference you'll see. I went with AMSOIL ATF to extend drain intervals, reduce component wear and to reduce the tranny temp. Rather significant temperature reductions have been acheived using AMSOIL ATF so I chose it as a way to reduce tranny temp w/o installing an additional transmission cooler. By the way I strongly recommend the 2nd procedure. Do a search, there is an excellent write up with some outstanding pictures. I hope this helps.
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Old 09-04-2002, 12:42 PM
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Re: Amsoil ATF Fluid?

Originally posted by njmaxseltd
What benefits will I have using Amsoil over other name brands such as Mobil 1 or even DINO ATF fluids? (OK perhaps thats a stupid question) Will my shifts become smoother using Syn. ATF fluid? How about clutch pack life? Temperature changes/effects - We all know the auto tranny has a hard shift from 1st to 2nd when it's cold. Will Amsoil ATF help out on cold mornings with a smoother shift? Will it make my shifts more stable when the tranny is hot?



Tom
Tom,
The shifts should smooth out particulary when cold. The fluid will also maintain visocosity better than dino ATF when hot, let alone protect better. The results I have seen show a 20-50F reduction in temp. under load.

Bill already mentioned the recommended drain intervals and the apparent similarity to Mobil 1 ATF. The biggest difference between the Mobil and the Amsoil ATF is that Amsoil will back their products with a warranty. Mobil says to follow the manufacturer recommendations and leaves you on your own if their product causes an equipment failure. Amsoil stands behind all their products, and to date (30 years) no one has taken them up on their warranty.
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Old 09-04-2002, 02:39 PM
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Thanks for the input guys!

Bill - I think I'm going to drop the pan and take a look at whats in there. A new gasket will go on for sure. I'll just clean everything with Brake Cleaner.

As far as the flush goes, I like the idea of removing the return line hose from the tranny and pumping out a few quarts at a time. After I drop the pan and clean it, I'll refill and start my pumping process. That should give me the best conversion to Amsoil ATF and a good clean start as well.
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Old 09-04-2002, 02:52 PM
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You'll notice a difference with the Amsoil ATF.
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Old 09-04-2002, 04:03 PM
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Originally posted by njmaxseltd
Thanks for the input guys!

Bill - I think I'm going to drop the pan and take a look at whats in there. A new gasket will go on for sure. I'll just clean everything with Brake Cleaner.

As far as the flush goes, I like the idea of removing the return line hose from the tranny and pumping out a few quarts at a time. After I drop the pan and clean it, I'll refill and start my pumping process. That should give me the best conversion to Amsoil ATF and a good clean start as well.
That's exactly what I did. Good luck!
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Old 01-20-2003, 02:56 PM
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Re: Re: Amsoil ATF Fluid?

Originally posted by bill99gxe


First, you need to look at the spreadsheet to see the difference between Mobil 1 and Amsoil ATF in the baseline oil section. You may notice (as I did) that there is no significant empirical difference. Are they the same? Not quite. The main reason I went with Amsoil was because of their testing illustrating their fluids lasting 3 times (in the range of 90k) what a normal dino ATF should last. However, we do have one Mobil 1 ATF analysis as well, which occurred after 27k. Blackstone had no problem recommending 35 to 40k on the Mobil 1. There's an ATF section also that details the Nissan D4 in my 99 after 32k and a couple of Amsoil ATF readings, although none of the intervals have been more than 16k.....

I'm probably the only one here who has dropped the pan cleaned it completely (the two magnets at the bottom of the pan were NASTY and my Minima had only 47k and 1 full ATF machine flush at 32k), ordered a new tranny pan gasket, filled it up with Amsoil ATF, then dropped the cooler return line and did a full system flush by:

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.

Changing the ATF did not improve shift quality for me, but I also NEVER tell a butt-dyno or smoothness difference when switching from dino to synthetic oils, etc.

Here's what you need:

==* 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 (some think it is a filter, but it is not. Changing isn't necessary, but while you have the pan off, you might as well consider replacing) 31728-80X04

I didn't replace the screen, I just took it off and cleaned it real good with brake parts cleaner.....

If you wanna be cheap and not drop the pan, then look at this thread:

http://forums.maxima.org/showthread....hreadid=128621


A good pic that shows the transmission cooler return line:

http://www.greghome.com/images/Maxim...urnLineOff.jpg

You can also see the tranny pan and even the tranny drain plug if you look closely.

Greg's overall tranny cooler instructions can be found here, and have some other good overall pics of the tranny area:

http://www.greghome.com/Greg's%20Gar...n%20Cooler.htm

Good luck Tom.
WOW!!! now, THAT's a GREAT post!!!
OK -- some questions:

-- Do I need to buy the 21 pan bolts if I remove the pan?
-- Do I need to buy the tranny drain bolt?
-- Do I need to buy a new screen?
-- Is there a filter, or, is it just the screen?

Thanks!
FLO_BOY
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Old 01-31-2003, 10:44 PM
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Changed ATF tonight, it works!

FLO_Boy: no, no, no, it's a screen.

I followed Jime and Bill99gxe's directions, and changed the tranny fluid tonight. 1st time I ever did that on a Max. Was easier than I thought. Half the dealer's price, and a better job too. The oem fluid had been in the car for 46K miles.

I dropped the pan and cleaned it, as well as the magnets and the screen. Wasn't as dirty as I thought it might be, but you could tell it needed cleaning. There was a fine gray colored coating all over the screen housing that washed off nicely with a shot of brake cleaner.

I installed a new gasket, but reused the pan bolts. The old drain plug was reinstalled too. So far, no leaks.

The only surprise were the different sized retaining bolts that held the screen housing. There were about a dozen bolts, but 4 different sizes. One was a nut too, not a bolt. Keeping track of them and the hole they came out of made for an interesting reinstall.

I had a tough time telling the difference between clean and old oil coming out of the transmission line. It looked like some of the old was still mixing with the new at the end which blended the color enough to confuse me. So I just quit after I put in 12 quarts. The 1st 5-7 quarts of old oil were noticeably dark however. Almost black.

I poured the old fluid into a clear milk jug, and simply matched that amount with new fluid in a 2nd (very clean!) milk jug before I added the new fluid. I attached a short hose to the transmission line so I could extend the line to the front of the car instead of working under it at that point in the operation. Unfortunately, the joint leaked while I was filling the jug. Messy! Had that not happened, I bet I'd have matched exactly the old amount with new fluid. So, after a test drive I had to add a few ounces to bring the fluid up to the full mark.

All in all, a very enjoyable and relaxing evening.
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Old 02-01-2003, 04:23 AM
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All i can say is that i have the MTF and i love it.
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Old 02-01-2003, 08:18 AM
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"Half the dealer's price, and a better job too." This just depends on how you look at it. How long did it take you to do this? I make $35 an hour. I'm assuming this takes about 2 hours to do, maybe less. When I take it to get a full transmission flush, they charge me $70-$80. It's not worth my valuable time to do particular procedure.
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Old 02-01-2003, 09:11 AM
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Originally posted by Virus
"Half the dealer's price, and a better job too." This just depends on how you look at it. How long did it take you to do this? I make $35 an hour. I'm assuming this takes about 2 hours to do, maybe less. When I take it to get a full transmission flush, they charge me $70-$80. It's not worth my valuable time to do particular procedure.
You only make $35 an hour when you are on the job. Unless you do car maintenance on the job, you are not costing yourself $35 an hour. But of course that is relative, how valuable you see your time. I see it as a loss of sleep, and heck 2 hours of lost sleep is fine with me if I can save $70-80.

I just did mine a few days ago and I have a question. When I took the pan off I didn't notice a screen?? Is it attached to the pan? Or the underside of the tranny?

About 3k miles before I did my own ATF change to synthetic (a few days ago) I had the car taken in for a TSB concerning the tranny slippage and they had to take the pan off. I'm wondering if they forgot to put the screen in???
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Old 02-01-2003, 09:39 AM
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Re: Re: Re: Amsoil ATF Fluid?

Originally posted by FLO_BOY


WOW!!! now, THAT's a GREAT post!!!
OK -- some questions:

-- Do I need to buy the 21 pan bolts if I remove the pan?
-- Do I need to buy the tranny drain bolt?
-- Do I need to buy a new screen?
-- Is there a filter, or, is it just the screen?

Thanks!
FLO_BOY

I recommend buying the 21 bolts if the pan is removed, mainly because of the red "sealant" used on the bolts, which will eliminate the risk of having leaks around the bolts themselves. The FSM is very clear about this. They recommend replacing the bolts if the pan gasket is replaced.


Tranny drain bolt isn't necessary......but I think it's $1 or so. I just took the "might as well" approach.


I didn't replace my screen, nor did a I see a need to. If it was ripped, etc. then yes it should be, but I don't see that as a possibility.
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Old 02-01-2003, 09:43 AM
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Re: Re: Re: Re: Amsoil ATF Fluid?

Originally posted by bill99gxe

I didn't replace my screen, nor did a I see a need to. If it was ripped, etc. then yes it should be, but I don't see that as a possibility.
Where is the screen attached to? The pan itself or the underside of the tranny? When I changed my fluid I didn't notice a pan.
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Old 02-01-2003, 09:50 AM
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Originally posted by Virus
"Half the dealer's price, and a better job too." This just depends on how you look at it. How long did it take you to do this? I make $35 an hour. I'm assuming this takes about 2 hours to do, maybe less. When I take it to get a full transmission flush, they charge me $70-$80. It's not worth my valuable time to do particular procedure.

A) Someone with a questionable high school diploma isn't screwing with your car's transmission.

B) You don't waste upwards of 6 quarts of ATF lost in a machine flush.

C) It takes about an hour if you are only flushing the fluid. Two if dropping the pan and cleaning the magnets, etc.

D) Dealers won't do C) without laughing or charging you several hours of labor.

E) My time is valuable, and so is the $20,000+ I've sunk into the car.
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Old 02-01-2003, 11:59 AM
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Originally posted by 2002 Maxima SE
Has anyone done the external cooler mod to a 2002? Was anything changed in 2002 (larger stock cooler, greater fluid capacity, etc)?

This is a mod I have considered for a long time. My girlfriend/families previous Ford car/trucks have suffered from tranny implosions at about 100,000 miles. The rebuilds do not last quite as long. I would like to see some serious data on this mod, such as:

1)before/after tranny temp.
2)longevity of tranny w/stock tranny cooler and w/Hayden (others)
3)bypassing the stock cooler all together? (just a thought)
4) #2 as compared to stock with SYN ATF fluid.

(Bill this could be your next spreadsheet project)
I did a flush /fill to Amsoil ATF about a month ago. Immediately noticed smoother shifts. I have about 15K on my 2K2.
I also put in a tranny cooler (B&M supercooler). I don't have specific before / after temps but with the frigid temps we've had this past month, a drawback is is takes a GOOD 20 mins fort the fluid to heat up and shift quickly. You have to take it easy or it sounds like "your clutch is slipping". It'll be great during warmer temperatures though. I didn't bypass the stock - I put the B&M after the outflow of the stock cooler and before the inflow into the tranny.
It took about another 8 ozs. or so but I'm not sure because after the flush/fill I've been monitoring weekly to add to get the level correct (Do not overfill!).

Hope this helps. Amsoil Rocks!
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Old 02-01-2003, 12:08 PM
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Originally posted by Shaydz


I did a flush /fill to Amsoil ATF about a month ago. Immediately noticed smoother shifts. I have about 15K on my 2K2.
I also put in a tranny cooler (B&M supercooler). I don't have specific before / after temps but with the frigid temps we've had this past month, a drawback is is takes a GOOD 20 mins fort the fluid to heat up and shift quickly. You have to take it easy or it sounds like "your clutch is slipping". It'll be great during warmer temperatures though. I didn't bypass the stock - I put the B&M after the outflow of the stock cooler and before the inflow into the tranny.
It took about another 8 ozs. or so but I'm not sure because after the flush/fill I've been monitoring weekly to add to get the level correct (Do not overfill!).

Hope this helps. Amsoil Rocks!
Shaydz...can you tell me where the AT screen (filter) is attached to? The drain pan or the bottom of the tranny???
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Old 02-01-2003, 12:13 PM
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Originally posted by Shaydz


I did a flush /fill to Amsoil ATF about a month ago. Immediately noticed smoother shifts. I have about 15K on my 2K2.
I also put in a tranny cooler (B&M supercooler). I don't have specific before / after temps but with the frigid temps we've had this past month, a drawback is is takes a GOOD 20 mins fort the fluid to heat up and shift quickly. You have to take it easy or it sounds like "your clutch is slipping". It'll be great during warmer temperatures though. I didn't bypass the stock - I put the B&M after the outflow of the stock cooler and before the inflow into the tranny.
It took about another 8 ozs. or so but I'm not sure because after the flush/fill I've been monitoring weekly to add to get the level correct (Do not overfill!).

Hope this helps. Amsoil Rocks!
I thought B&M coolers had a temperature bypass control? Is it just on specific models. The AMSOIL ATF has been shown to run 20 - 50 degrees F cooler. I also noticed tranny was much quieter in Drive at idle. Is yours?
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Old 02-01-2003, 02:53 PM
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Tranny Flush

Bill: The FSM, huh? I wondered what all that gunk on the threads was for. Well, hopefull there was enough still there that it got the job done. If not, I'll hump it back down to the dealer. But so far this afternoon and 60 miles later, still dry as a bone.

Floodmanry: The filter is bolted to the bottom of transmission, not the pan, smack dab in the middle. It's roughly 5x6 inches. Can't miss the 10 (or so) gold colored bolts all around the sides. My screen was clear, but I still cleaned it off.

Virus: Well, to each his own. My local bimbo Nissan dealer 1st tried to sell me the $375 complete 30K service job that included a transmission flush. Insisted I needed it without even asking how many miles were on my car. Then assured me that it wasn't necessary to clean the filter, magnets or the pan bottom. Said their $100 tranny blood transfusion would be all the car needed. They could be right, but I still walked. Frankly, I enjoy working on my cars so much that I really don't watch the time. It's recreation to me.
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Old 02-01-2003, 03:19 PM
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Re: Tranny Flush

Originally posted by knapp9
Floodmanry: The filter is bolted to the bottom of transmission, not the pan, smack dab in the middle. It's roughly 5x6 inches. Can't miss the 10 (or so) gold colored bolts all around the sides. My screen was clear, but I still cleaned it off.
Thank you! I was beginning to think people were ignoring me.

I feel at ease now knowing it's on the bottom of the transmission because I was in such a hurry I could have easily missed it.

Lesson learned? Don't do critical car maintenance when you are in a hurry or with your girlfriend present.
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Old 02-01-2003, 06:46 PM
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Originally posted by karguy


I thought B&M coolers had a temperature bypass control? Is it just on specific models. The AMSOIL ATF has been shown to run 20 - 50 degrees F cooler. I also noticed tranny was much quieter in Drive at idle. Is yours?
There's no electronics or anything but it may work like a thermostat.

If that's true about Amsoil, between theat and the tranny cooler would explain the long warm-up time. Wish these cars had a tranny temp guage. I had Merchants's tire do the flush and fill with my ATF (and I helped the guy doing it). They charged $36. I was very pleased.
Foodmanry: I didn't do anything with the pan (althoungh it probably would have been good to clean the screen. According to the ESM, it's attached to the tranny, but you get to it through removing the pan.

Also, call around to find someone to flush fill for a minimum amount if you provide the ATF. I used a full 9 quarts plus added almost another over the next 3 weeks with the tranny cooler and getting it to the correct level. Also always check the tranny fluid when hot - never cold. Not reliable.
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Old 02-01-2003, 11:02 PM
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Originally posted by foodmanry


You only make $35 an hour when you are on the job. Unless you do car maintenance on the job, you are not costing yourself $35 an hour. But of course that is relative, how valuable you see your time. I see it as a loss of sleep, and heck 2 hours of lost sleep is fine with me if I can save $70-80.
2 extra hours of sleep mean the world to me this week. Last week I worked (10 days actually) 182 hours in Conneticut and Rhode Island. Man was it cold up there
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Old 02-02-2003, 06:54 PM
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Re: Tranny Flush

Originally posted by knapp9
Bill: The FSM, huh? I wondered what all that gunk on the threads was for. Well, hopefull there was enough still there that it got the job done. If not, I'll hump it back down to the dealer. But so far this afternoon and 60 miles later, still dry as a bone.


Many times the FSM is a bit overzealous in recommendations. I concurred based on my experience, as the oh-so-wonderful-and-perfect Tochigi plant people overtorqued the crap out of those tranny pan bolts from the factory, which was why the gasket was ripped in the first place. So I had fluid (just drops of ATF and very hard to see easily) slowly leaking. My local dealer took me asking them to replace the gasket as a 10-minute clean-it-off-the-pan-so-the-customer-stops-b!tching approach and didn't even check the gasket, although curiously enough Nissan was charged for a tranny pan gasket and 4 qts of ATF (and no bolts were replaced, which was the first red flag to me that they didn't do anything).


Virus: Well, to each his own. My local bimbo Nissan dealer 1st tried to sell me the $375 complete 30K service job that included a transmission flush. Insisted I needed it without even asking how many miles were on my car. Then assured me that it wasn't necessary to clean the filter, magnets or the pan bottom. Said their $100 tranny blood transfusion would be all the car needed. They could be right, but I still walked. Frankly, I enjoy working on my cars so much that I really don't watch the time. It's recreation to me.
I disagree with the dealer's contentions. I had a flush performed at 30k. Then about 18k later I dropped the pan. It was nasty on the bottom of that pan; metal shavings everywhere. A flush probably is effective elsewhere in the transmission, but only a true cleaning is achieved when dropping the pan and doing it yourself.
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Old 02-03-2003, 02:39 AM
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Re: Re: Amsoil ATF Fluid?

Originally posted by bill99gxe

I'm probably the only one here who has dropped the pan cleaned it completely (the two magnets at the bottom of the pan were NASTY and my Minima had only 47k and 1 full ATF machine flush at 32k)
Bill, that will make me the second person who has dropped the pan and cleaned it, except I asked my mechanic to do it. Yeah, you are right, the magnets were full of small metal pieces (I watched while he did it).

I did replace the gasket, but didn't replace the bolts, nor I asked him to clean the screen. So I don't see any leaks after over 1 year and 10k miles, I guess I am lucky.
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Old 02-03-2003, 07:42 AM
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Re: Re: Re: Amsoil ATF Fluid?

Originally posted by SunMax
Bill, that will make me the second person who has dropped the pan and cleaned it, except I asked my mechanic to do it. Yeah, you are right, the magnets were full of small metal pieces (I watched while he did it).

I did replace the gasket, but didn't replace the bolts, nor I asked him to clean the screen. So I don't see any leaks after over 1 year and 10k miles, I guess I am lucky.

Yeah the bolt replacement is probably optional. Since mine were overtorqued from the factory, I didn't have that choice.




And kudos to your mechanic for not looking at you dumbfounded when asking to have it cleaned.
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Old 02-03-2003, 10:21 AM
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Re: Re: Re: Re: Amsoil ATF Fluid?

Originally posted by bill99gxe

And kudos to your mechanic for not looking at you dumbfounded when asking to have it cleaned.
I think he got used to it already, because I always go to him with some "special" request. On the other hand, I don't think he cares anyway, cause he just charge me based on his rate. He charged me $65 for change the oil (I brought Mobil 1 and Nissan filter), clean the pan (again, my own Redline D4), and flush the entire brake system (Ford HP brake fluid).
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Old 06-14-2003, 08:15 AM
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Bill,

I did a flush to amsoil a few weeks ago. I'll probably drop the pan after 20K. What I want to know is what order to do it the next time around, as I dont want to do a flush, but I DO want to clean the pan.

My question is: Do I have to drain the tranny of its ~4.5 quarts BEFORE i drop the pan? Or can I just get under there and take the pan out and not worry about any atf spewing over me.

Common sense tells me i have to drain the tranny first, then drop the pan, clean all the crap and just refill the tranny again. But I just want to be sure.

Also, the flush I did a few weeks ago, there were some metal shavings, the size of........ best way i can describe is cornflakes all scrunched up......is this indicitive of a bad (or going bad) tranny? Are some metal shavings considered normal?

Thanks.
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Old 06-14-2003, 12:16 PM
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I guess I can answer that before Bill

You have to drain the ATF before you drop the pan. Even if you drain, there will be some more ATF when you drop the pan. Don't forget to change the gasket.
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Old 06-18-2003, 11:04 AM
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How much should I torque the tranny pan bolts? Any particular sequence? Do you need to apply gasket sealant on the gasket?
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Old 06-18-2003, 03:57 PM
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Originally posted by UncleMax
How much should I torque the tranny pan bolts? Any particular sequence? Do you need to apply gasket sealant on the gasket?
Torque spec is almost nothing.....7 ft.lbs (single digits I know for sure). Just get them snug and you'll be fine


No gasket sealant is necessary.
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Old 06-20-2003, 05:13 PM
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Do you need to reapply sealant to the bolts?
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Old 06-21-2003, 09:44 AM
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Originally posted by Maxima10to1
Do you need to reapply sealant to the bolts?
I would. The bolts are special self sealing bolts that the FSM recommends replacing if they are removed. They cost over a $1.00 each and i beleive there are 21 of them. A tube of Permatex Number 3 is a lot cheaper.
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Old 06-23-2003, 07:58 AM
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All of the bolts already have a red "sealant" embedded on them so it's not necessary. I've personally used them and have had no problems. I would say the biggest concern is not overtorquing the bolts.
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Old 07-11-2003, 01:15 PM
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Proper Procedure for Checking ATF Level?

On my last vehicle, the agreed way to get an accurate reading was as follows: Drive car for 10-15 minutes, normal driving, park on level surface, leave engine running, move gear selector through all gears, then check dipstick with gearbox in Park.

Does this apply to my 95 Max? If not, what's the best way to get an accurate measure?

-Ryan
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Old 07-11-2003, 06:53 PM
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I'm not sure about a 95, but my 01 Max and 01 Altima both have the same procedures in their respective owners manuals for checking ATF hot and cold. To check the fluid cold, bring the engine up to normal operating temp before driving and then read between the markings on the cold range on the dip stick. For hot, drive the car at least 5 minutes and then read on the hot side of the dip stick.

Before I changed the fluid on the Altima the last time, I checked the fluid both ways in the morning so I knew the engine & tranny would be cold to start with. I did this on 4 consecutive days and recorded the readings. There was a consistnet hot/cold pattern I could use as a baseline for refilling the tranny once I changed out the old ATF fluid.
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Old 08-25-2003, 04:49 PM
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Nissan specifies using a type "D" ATF in my 2003 manual. All I can find are dextron, mercon, Ford type F etc. Are any of these types compatible with Nissan trannys?
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Old 08-26-2003, 07:03 AM
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Dextron III is the same, I use Mobil-1 syn.
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Old 08-26-2003, 03:25 PM
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Thanks! I plan to go synth myself, but I only have 3k on the car. I was planning to switch over at 10k (along with the motor oil).

Don't ask how I am down two qts on ATF at 3k miles. "Why is my motor oil red? Doh!"
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