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Automatic Transmission Flush
Do-it-Yourself Procedures


Before flushing your transmission pull the dipstick and look closely at the fluid.  If the fluid is dark and has a burnt odor, a transmission flush is not recommended.  The recommended service is a fluid and filter change.  See DIY Fluid and Filter Change Procedures

Transmission Fluid Flush
Procedures Begin Here


transmission flush
checkmark Automatic Transmission Fluid
checkmark Floor Jack & Jack Stands or Ramps
checkmark Screwdriver, Ratchet and Socket Set
checkmark Wheel Chock or Wooden Block
checkmark Drain Pan
checkmark Long Neck "skinny" Funnel
checkmark Shop Rags or Paper Towels

1Start the engine and allow it to warm up to normal operating temperature and then shut it off.  Place a wheel chock (or wooden block) behind one of the rear tires.   

Raise the front of the vehicle with a floor jack.  Position jack stands securely under the vehicle.  Slowly lower the floor jack until the entire weight of the vehicle rests on the jack stands.  Push on one corner of the vehicle to check stability of jack stands - the vehicle should not move.

Or, drive the front of the vehicle onto ramps.

1Locate the two transmission oil cooler lines.  These lines run from the transmission or transaxle to the radiator.  One line carries hot ATF from the transmission to the radiator (transmission oil cooler) and the other line carries the cooled fluid back to the transmission.

Disconnect the lower transmission oil cooler line where it enters the radiator.  Position the drain pan to catch the fluid coming out of the line.

1From underneath the hood, pull the transmission dipstick out of the dipstick/fill tube and insert a long skinny funnel into the fill tube.

transmission fluid flushNote: If you do not have a long skinny funnel that will fit into the dipstick tube you can use a short funnel with a small diameter hose or tube extension.

The reason for using a longer funnel or a short funnel with an extension hose is that it makes it easier to keep the funnel filled with fluid during the flush.

1Now, remove the caps from 9 quarts of transmission fluid and position the containers in close proximity to the funnel that you've inserted into the dipstick tube because once you start the engine you will continuously poor all 9 quarts into the transmission one quart immediately after the other.  As you are pouring the new fluid into the transmission, the old fluid is being pumped out of the transmission into the drain bucket.

1Start the engine and pour all 9 quarts of fluid into the transmission through the funnel trying not to allow the funnel to run dry before beginning to add the next quart.  When all 9 quarts have been added, shut the engine off.

1Reconnect the transmission oil cooler line.  Now, back up on top, remove the funnel from the dipstick/fill tube and insert the dipstick.  Be sure the dipstick is pushed all the way down into the tube.

1Now start the engine while the vehicle is still raised and check for leaks.  If no leaks are present, shut the engine off and then lower the vehicle.

1With the vehicle sitting on level ground, start the engine and allow it to warm up to normal operating temperature.  Once warm, depress the brake pedal and move the shifter through all gears (pausing for a couple of seconds between each shift) before returning the shifter to the Park "P" position.

1Check fluid level.  With the engine still on and at idle, pull the transmission dipstick and check the fluid level.  If it shows full, (or in the full range), wipe the dipstick clean then reinsert it back into the tube.  Check fluid level a second time to confirm the reading.  If it shows full a second time, you are done.  If the fluid level is low, add no more than 1/3 quart of fluid - then recheck.  Repeat this process, adding less fluid each time, until the dipstick reads full, or in the full range.  Do NOT overfill.

Note: Most automatic transmissions do not have a drain plug.  So, if you accidently overfill the transmission with fluid, remove one of the oil cooler lines where it enters the radiator to allow some fluid to drain out.  Or, if you have a small hand pump and a long small diameter hose you can pump fluid out of the transmission through the dipstick/fill tube. 

This concludes the DIY
Automatic Transmission Flush Procedures.

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