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Many quick lube oil change companies are using flushing machines to change the automatic transmission fluid. Using flushing machines does not address the need for cleaning the sediment in the transmission pan, cleaning the magnet inside the transmission pan, or changing the transmission oil filter.

Flushing machines are used to provide a quick transmission fluid change, however they do not address transmission pan cleanliness or filter changes. By taking the transmission pan off, sediment in the pan as well as the magnet can be cleaned, and the fluid filter can be changed. Manufacturers recommend a filter change with the oil change, and recommend against the use of flushing machines due to possible fluid contamination from pan sediment.

AMSOIL recommends transmission fluid and filter changes based on the following 14 steps. For a transmission pan and filter oil change follow steps 1 through 12 and 14, for a complete system flush and filter change, follow steps 1 through 14.

1. Access the AMSOIL web page and click on the On Line Product Applications Guide for the correct transmission fluid, amount of fluid and transmission filter before starting the transmission and filter change procedure. Have these on hand when starting the fluid and filter change.

2. For best results, transmission fluid should be at normal operating temperature before draining the fluid (Caution: fluid will be hot).

3. With the engine off, position a drain pan under the transmission pan and drain the fluid by loosening the pan bolts. Loosen one corner more than the rest to direct the flow into the drain pan.

4. Finish removing the transmission pan bolts, and lower the transmission pan down carefully (Some fluid is still in the transmission pan).

5. Remove the old filter and discard. Most transmission filters are held in place with a bolt or two however, some are held by a clip. Make sure filter O-rings or seals are discarded with the filter.

6. Install the new filter by using the same bolts or clips and use a new O-ring or seal (supplied with the new filter).

7. Inspect the pan before cleaning. A small amount of fine gray clutch dust is normal. However, if you find metal shavings, there could be a mechanical malfunction or transmission damage. 

8. Clean the transmission pan thoroughly with solvent and wipe dry so there is no harmful residue. In some transmission pans there is also a magnet that should be cleaned and reinstalled in the same position in the transmission pan. Clean the transmission and transmission pan mating surfaces of all gasket material being careful not to damage the surfaces.

9. Position the transmission pan gasket on the pan. Some gaskets have four holes slightly smaller than the rest to allow threading four bolts through the pan and through these smaller gasket holes to hold the gasket in place.

10. Hand-tighten the transmission bolts in a crisscross pattern until snug. Use a torque wrench to tighten the bolts to the proper ft-lbs using the manufacturer recommended torque specifications. 

11. Refill the transmission through the dipstick fill hole using the amount shown as “refill capacity” in the owner’s manual or the AMSOIL “product Selection Guide” (G-50).

12. If performing a transmission pan fluid replacement only, skip to instruction 14. If doing a complete transmission pan and torque converter fluid replacement, follow the steps in instruction 13.

13. Follow these additional 5 steps for complete transmission pan and torque converter fluid replacement.

1) Obtain the total transmission fluid capacity from the manufacturer or AMSOIL and have that amount of transmission fluid available.
2) Place a drain pan large enough to hold the total fluid capacity under the oil cooler. Disconnect the oil cooler lines from the oil cooler and direct the lines toward the drain pan.
3) With another person, be prepared to add ATF to the transmission fill hole (dipstick hole) at the approximate rate as the fluid is being pumped out the transmission line into the drain pan.
4) Start the engine, and as the old fluid is pumped out, add fresh fluid into the transmission fill hole.
5) When either the fluid color brightens or the total capacity has been replaced, shut the engine off and re-attach the oil cooler lines. All fluid in the transmission pan and torque converter has now been changed.

14. With the vehicle on level ground recheck the fluid level using the manufacturer procedures outlined in the owner’s manual. Check the transmission and lines for leaks.

The automatic transmission fluid and filter change procedures are meant to serve as guidelines only. These guidelines do not take into consideration variations between vehicles. Changing transmission fluid should only be conducted by individuals with the proper mechanical knowledge and training. Personal injury and/or transmission problems can occur when the proper precautions are not followed. If in doubt, have your transmission serviced by individuals capable of performing this function.

Good Luck and Remember.
Change Your Mind, Not Your Oil.


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