Edmunds Answers



  • zaken1 03/03/09 2:22 am PST

    This depends on how thorough a job you intend to do. There are three levels of thoroughness you can do here. The least thorough would be to remove the transmission drain plug, catch the fluid in a container, reinstall the plug, and refill the transmission with enough fluid to reach the normal level on the dipstick. This procedure will leave about 50% of the total fluid unchanged, as it will still be in the torque converter. The transmission filter will also not be changed.

    The second level of thoroughness would be not to remove the transmission drain plug, but instead to disconnect the transmission fluid lines at the radiator; run the discharge line into a large catch pan, and connect the suction line to a 12 volt electric fuel or liquid transfer pump, which draws from a large container of fresh transmission fluid. Start the electric pump, and then start the vehicle engine. Watch the level and appearance of the fluid in the two containers. The goal here is to run the engine long enough for the transmission's internal pump to pump out the dirty fluid in the torque converter, while not running faster than the supply pump can refill the transmission. If the discharge is a lot faster than the refill; you may need to stop the vehicle engine long enough for the electric pump to catch up. When the discharge fluid comes out clean; stop the vehicle engine, shut the electric pump off, and reconnect the fluid lines to the radiator. Then adjust the transmission fluid level. This will flush and replace all the fluid, but the transmission filter will not have been changed.

    The third level will be to do the stage 2 procedure, and then to drain the fluid, remove the transmission pan, replace the filter, install a new transmission pan gasket, seal the gasket with the proper gasket sealer, reinstall the pan, and refill with new fluid. On a 7 year old vehicle, I would consider this as somewhat excessive.

    The optional fourth level would be to decide that it all is not worth the hassle; and take it to a shop to have the fluid flushed and the converter drained.


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