changing transmission filter & Fluids

Old 06-11-07, 03:11 PM
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Smile changing transmission filter & Fluids

I have already changed my transmission filter in my 98 windstar van for the second time ,but i have never yet changed all the fluids in the whole system ,just the filter pan. Is there a way of doing that at home ? I know i could take it to a garage but i have heard to many stories of them charging for a job but not actually doing the service . is there a kit a person can get to drain or remove the trans.fluid out and put all new in?
Actually i know a lot of people that never have changed they transmission filter ,or hardly even their oil. thanks for any advice
Old 06-11-07, 03:23 PM
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tranny fluid and filter

Actually, if you change the tranny fluid and filter every 30K miles or so, depending on your driving habits, etc. you should be ok. Entire tranny flush of course is better but most cars do ok with just the new filter and top off.
I'd recommend an entire flush in case of severe duty service or tranny overheat or maybe after 100K miles ?
Old 06-11-07, 03:53 PM
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All I do is change the filter and what oil comes out of the pan - IMO it's better than not changing it any AND I know what's been done and what it cost me = less than garage/dealer.
Old 06-11-07, 04:43 PM
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You could do this yourself. Here are some instructions, but, the location(s) of the tranny hoses going to your radiator may be different. Same with capacities. These instructions were for my Maxima, but the same procedures.

1. Jack up either the front or drivers side of the car and put in jackstand.

2. Remove any splash shields in the way if applicable.

3. Remove drain plug from transmission and drain fluid into suitable container, this will be approximately 4 qts. Insert drain plug and pour the same amount of new fluid into the transmission. (Transmission should now be back to stock level)

4. Disconnect the fluid supply line at the bottom of radiator. Its the bottom line connected to the transmission. (Be very careful removing this line, its very easy to break the hose nipple on the radiator) Put the end of the hose into a clean, clear or white plastic 1 gal container.

5. While you are holding the hose get someone to start the car until the transmission pumps out approximately 2 qts (half the container). This should take 15-20 seconds, its not really fast so don't panic, I do it all myself but its easier if you have someone to start and stop the engine for you.

Note: If the trans fluid comes out of the bottom of the radiator vs the hose you are holding you have the wrong line. Put it back on and remove the other one.

6. Pour the same amount of new fluid back into the transmission that you pumped out.

7. Repeat steps 5 and 6 until fluid changes color. Since you already put 4 qts in initially and the trans holds 9 qts we are talking about approx 5 qts. I buy 10 qts and remove that much just to be sure I got it all. (The trans flushing places use much more and synthetic fluid is expensive).

8. If your fluid is in fairly good condition the color change will be very small and may not be noticable so stop at 10 qts.

9. Reinstall hose to radiator, replace engine cover, lower car and recheck trans fluid level to make sure you have the correct level. Maybe even go for a small drive and recheck to make sure, its difficult to read at times.

10. There you have it. What you have basically done is removed all the fluid from the pan and replaced it. The internal pump takes its suction from the pan and pumps to convertor and all internal trans part then to radiator for cooling. So you have completely replaced all fluid internal to the transmission without shocking your transmission into submission like the force flush machines do.

btw When the dealer does a transmission fluid change all they do is drain the pan and refill.
Old 06-11-07, 09:29 PM
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Thumbs up transmission filter change & fluids

thank you very much for all that description of changing fluids. I will print that out and put it to use.

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