Automatic Transmission Filter
Changing the filter is one of the minor automatic transmission maintenance issues you'll have to deal with many times throughout your vehicle's lifetime. Automotive manufacturers recommend that you replace your ride's automatic transmission filter every two years or every 30,000 miles.whichever comes first. However, this must-be-done maintenance task is too often forgotten.
If it has a dirty or clogged filter, the transmission system can malfunction prematurely, giving you inconsistent transmission shifts and poor performance. So when it's time for the scheduled replacement of your automatic transmission filter or as soon as you notice signs of a clogged or damaged filter, have it replaced as soon as possible.
It's a good thing that replacing a transmission filter is such a simple maintenance task that even a newbie do-it-yourselfer can do. Here's a guide on how to replace the filter of an automatic transmission:
What you'll need:
- Drain pan
- ¼-inch drive ratchet and socket set
- Clean rags
- Flat scrapers/Putty knife
- Gasket adhesive
- Jack stands
- Flat head screwdriver
- New automatic transmission filter
- New transmission pan gasket
Preparing the vehicle
Step 1: Park your car on a solid, level surface. Jack it up and secure it with jack stands to have a firm support while you're working with your transmission.
Draining the transmission fluid
Step 2: Locate the drain plug and position the drain pan underneath it. Remove the drain plug and let the transmission fluid flow into the drain pan. Loosen and remove the bolts that secure the pan in place to release the pan from the transmission.
If your ride doesn't have a drain plug, place the drain pan under the transmission pan and remove the bolts that hold the transmission pan in place. Once the bolts have been removed, lower the transmission pan and drain the fluid unto to the drain pan.
Cleaning the transmission pan
Step 3: With the scraper or putty knife, remove the old transmission pan gasket and discard it. Also, scrape off the debris and any accumulated dirt around the pan's edges particularly on the area where the new gasket will be placed. Just be careful not to make dents and deep scratches on the pan.
Step 4: Use the clean rag to wipe off any residue left by the transmission fluid. If the pan comes with a magnet for collecting steel dust, clean the magnet well and put it back in place right after. Make sure to remove all the dirt and debris that may have formed inside the transmission pan over time.
Installing the new transmission pan gasket
Step 5: Take the replacement gasket out. Put a thin layer of gasket adhesive directly into the gasket before installing in on the transmission pan. Allow the gasket to set by placing the pan on a flat surface.
Removing the old automatic transmission filter from the transmission
Step 6: Depending on your transmission set up, you can either loosen and remove the mounting bolts of the old automatic transmission filter or pry the filter out using a flat head screwdriver. There are also filters that are snapped into place with retaining clips that you can simply disengage to release the filter.
Installing the new filter
Step 7: Install your new automatic transmission filter and secure it in place by tightening the bolts or snapping it into place using the retaining clip.
Putting the transmission pan back in place
Step 8: Reinstall the transmission pan, thread the bolts by hand, and tighten them using the socket set. Avoid over tightening as it will cause the gasket to squash out and leak. Put the drain plug back in place.
Adding transmission fluid
Step 9: Carefully remove the jack and jack stands to lower the vehicle.
Step 10: Open the hood. Locate the transmission dipstick, pull it out, and insert a funnel into the dipstick tube. Add your manufacturer's recommended transmission fluid to your vehicle. Put in just enough fluid to bring the level to .FULL. mark when the vehicle is running. Check the fluid level using the dipstick. Top off as needed.