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Author Topic: Transmission Fluid Change - Whadda I need?  (Read 3499 times)
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« on: August 16, 2011, 02:01:18 PM »

Fluid... (how much and is there a recommended brand)
Filter (brand?)

Do I need a new gasket?

Anything else, other then a bunch of rags?

Thanks in advance

goodbye friend, thank you for your service... you always got me home, and I thank you.
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« Reply #1 on: August 17, 2011, 07:49:21 AM »

I'm not sure about all the items in your list... never have done/had done for me - the Aztek. BUT I did have a shop change the transmission fluid in my wife's Sunfire. It was an all day train wreck. Make sure you have time to spare the day you do change it or have it changed... if air gets into the system it will show full, but then as the air gets out/moves around you'll start to overheat as you are actually low on coolant and will have to add more - and maybe more again even after that... OH MY *bad memories* Shocked

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Owner/operator of Tek Sgt & Mini Me

« Reply #2 on: August 17, 2011, 08:05:15 AM »

Here's a repost of my repost:

Well since Tek Sgt now has 55,000 miles on the clock, I decided to go ahead and change the fluid in the transaxle. I was getting ready to do an oil change anyway and figured as long as I was down there I might as well just do it.

It was a painless procedure, as fluid changes typically are and I was amazed to see that the original fluid was still nice and red. Probably could have gotten away with leaving it but I aready had all the supplies. Anyway for those of you who have never done something like this, I'll offer up a few pointers.

1- The filter and pan gasket that I purchased came as a kit. The gasket was a flimsey rubber piece. When I pulled the pan off, I found that the original gasket was a much more rigid piece covered with rubber. Had I known that I would have gone and picked up an original style gasket. I'm sure that the replacement will be fine, but I would have felt better with the more substantial one.

2- Raise the vehicle so that the front is a good bit higher than the rear. Completely remove a half dozen or so of the 10mm bolts at what is now the lowest point of the pan. This will allow you to funnel the fluid into a catch basin as you begin to gradually loosen more and more bolts, working in both directions out from the ones that were removed. Eventually You'll work your way to a point where only one bolt is holding the pan at it's highest point. Be careful not to bend the pan!

3- Once the fluid has stopped dripping, remove and clean the pan, especially the gasket surface. I used a little silicone to secure the gasket to the pan while I was changing the filter.

4- The filter itself just pulls out, no hardware secures it. It will take some coaxing but it will eventually pull free. The new filter simply replaces the old one. I used a rubber mallet to LIGHTLY tap the filter into place until it seated. Now clean the gasket mating surface on the transaxle case. Reinstall the pan with new gasket with the 20-10mm bolts. I installed all 20 then worked my way around the pan snugging every other one to ensure that the gasket seated evenly, then went around one last time to torque the bolts down. 

5- Added the 7.4 US quarts of fluid through the transaxle dipstick tube. No leaks were visible today, I'll check again in a day or so. Intial test drive showed no surprises.

I used Royal Purple full synthetic fluid for my change so it was a bit pricey. Still the entire procedure only cost me about $100, the filter/gasket kit was only $12. Using Dexron III would have been much cheaper but I've been using the Royal Purple motor oil for some time so I figured I'd stick with that line of products. Maybe the power steering fluid will be next.

PEWTER '01 GT 1SB, Pioneer AVIC-D2 in dash GPS, Code Alarm CA-610 remote starter,  custom exhaust, Spectre cold air intake, GP 5 spoke rims, Michelin HydroEdge tires, camping package,HUD, DIC

"To those who have fought for it, freedom has a sweetness unknown to the protected."
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« Reply #3 on: August 23, 2011, 03:28:13 PM »

The plastic/rubber OEM gasket is designed to be reused, I'd use that any day over the piece of junk that came with my replacement filter.

You should use a torque wrench that does inch pounds - I believe upon re installation the bolts should be torqued to 10 foot pounds.  I found out the hard way that my larger torque wrench wasn't precise enough on the wifes mini-van. Remember to criss-cross when torquing them down.

There's a rubber metal flange seal that will most likely still be in place when you pull out the old filter, it's a bear to get out.  You could carefully pry up an edge to get vicegrips or something on it.  I used a hack saw blade (careful, the surrounding material is aluminum!) to put a groove in it, and then tapped with a screwdriver and hammer to spin it out.

Have fun!
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« Reply #4 on: August 07, 2017, 05:31:23 AM »

Just changed the ATF on my 01 'Tek for the first time. I figured 103k miles or 16 years is a reasonable service interval Smiley

Transmission has never given me any problems and always shifts smoothly. I do lots of basic mechanical work but taking off the ATF drain pain has always intimidated me. Turns out it's really not much difficult than an oil change, though it takes longer.

The 20 bolts that hold on the drain pan come off easily. Buy one of those large oil drain pans or the biggest foil turkey roaster pan to catch the old fluid because  two gallons won't fit in the standard oil drain pan.

You don't really need a torque wrench, just tighten the bolt until they become tight and you'll be fine. Don't overtighten is really the only rule. If you undertighten and get a little leak it's easy enough to tighten up the offending bolts.

I asked a mechanic and you don't really need to remove the troublesome little rubber gasket that sits in the hole the filter installs into. It's unlikely to be worn.

Getting the pan to line up without disturbing gasket alignment can be a little tricky. I used my jack to slowly raise it up into place in perfect alignment. Took about 3 minutes.

While I had the pan off I painted it red to match the car. Granted only mechanics will likely ever see it but I had the paint and several hours of time on my hands while the old ATF dripped out.

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« Reply #5 on: August 12, 2017, 01:03:18 PM »

I know this is an old post, but this maybe helpful to others later on.

The transmission filter has a tube and a compression gasket that fits over it. It's easy to remove the filter, but the gasket is a little harder. I used a small pry bar to gently lift it out. Putting it back in with the filter was another challenge - at least for mine, I put the gasket over the filter tube, and put it into the hole - would not go it all the way. So I first put the compression gasket into the hole, using a solid plastic hammer - I put the hard plastic side on the gasket, and hammered lightly on the other end of the plastic hammer head to seat it. Then I put the filter tube into the hole, and gently hammered it with a rubber mallet - went in pretty easy.

One lesson learned is the dipstick tube has a rubber gasket that sits in the tranny housing. I couldn't pull it out, but I was able to push it down into the pan. Of course I had already installed the pan and filter - had to take it apart again. It's worthwhile to replace this dipstick tube gasket since it tends to leak.
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