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Automatic Trans Fluid???

This is a discussion on Automatic Trans Fluid??? within the Automatic Transmission forums, part of the Drivetrain category; I've heard several people say if it's not broke don't fix it??? How often would you change the fluid in ...

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    Junior Member roadtrip505's Avatar
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    Automatic Trans Fluid???

    I've heard several people say if it's not broke don't fix it??? How often would you change the fluid in an 2001 trans am with 4 speed auto??? The fluid is a little dicolored...no problems just a little discolored???

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    Every 30,000 miles is a real good number, tops would be 50,000 miles for me.

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    Member RONS98TA's Avatar
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    30k is when I change mine. I think the owners manual will recommend every 30k also. I use synthetic for all my fluids. Oil, trans, and rear.

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    Mike The Guz's Avatar
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    Anyone have a good write up on how to change out the trans fluid? My dad's 02 Camaro could use a change.

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    Moderator 35th-ANV-SS's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by roadtrip505 View Post
    I've heard several people say if it's not broke don't fix it??? How often would you change the fluid in an 2001 trans am with 4 speed auto??? The fluid is a little dicolored...no problems just a little discolored???
    Here is the link to the sticky I wrote in 2011. Owner's manual recommends every 50,000 miles max, unless you drive it under certain conditions.

    General Routine Maintenance / Service Intervals
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    Pretty simple, but can be messy as the stock pan does not have a drain plug:

    Get the car up in the air and place the largest drain pan you have under the transmission. Loosen each of the pan bolts just a bit in a crisscross pattern and then remove every other bolt. Pick a direction for the "dump" and remove the bolts on that side or corner of the pan. Leave one bolt in the dump area that is only turned in a couple of threads as a safety catch. The side away from your dump will act as the hinge and these bolts will be loosened only a bit. When you are ready to make a mess use a small pry bar to carefully break the gasket seal and allow the pan to tip down onto the safety bolt. you can then remove this bolt and continue to tip the pan down by loosening the bolts on the hinge side. Once you have tipped it a ways, have someone push the pan back up into place, remove the remaining bolts and take off the pan.



    The transmission will drip forever. While it does you can clean the pan and pay special attention to the magnet. It will have all sorts of metal shavings and snot stuck to it.Clean the gasket surface (a fibrous drylock pad in an angle grinder works great) and then set the pan aside. You will now remove the filter which is simply pressed into the valve body. Grasp the filter and while twisting is back and forth pull down to release the filter neck.




    There is a seal installed in the valve body and I always replace it when a new one is included in the filter kit. I have a special tool that extracts the seal by grabbing the lip on the inside. You have to be careful not to gouge anything. The new seal can be tapped into place with an appropriate size socket. Lubricate the new seal with and neck on the new filter with clean transmission fluid before pressing it up into place. Once the filter is in place you can clean the gasket surface with brake cleaner and carefully scrape away any remaining gasket material.

    Install the clean pan and new gasket and run all the bolts in hand tight. In a crisscross pattern snug the bolts to 97 lb.in. (I go in steps, something like 40, then 75, then 97 to prevent warping the pan. Once the pan is in place you can drop the car back down and refill the transmission through the dipstick tube with a funnel. I usually measure the amount of the old fluid by pouring it into milk jugs. This gives me a real good idea of how much to put back in (assuming the level was correct before you start the job).



    Do NOT overfill the transmission. The spec calls for Dexron III, but the new Dexron VI is a good replacement and has worked fine in our car. Make sure you check the fluid hot after the job is done to ensure proper fill level. I always stop the car, place the selector in each separate gear for a moment, allowing it to fully engage each gear, and then go back into park before checking the level with the engine running.
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    Mike The Guz's Avatar
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    Thanks for the link and the photos. Very similar to changing out the trans fluid in my 99 Grand Prix by dropping the pan. Other than the fact that the pan gasket is reusable.

    I need to do his for sure. My 02 only has 14k miles on it and I am thinking about swapping that out as well just to swap it out and have fresh fluid.

    Is there any specific gasket to use or stay away from?
    2002 Artic White SS 35th Wheels|Full Hotchkis Suspension|Koni SA|Magnaflow CME|SLP lid|www.fquick.com/The_Guz

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    Neoprene gasket is much preferred over a cork style gasket. Most all kits today will include a new neoprene gasket.
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    Mike The Guz's Avatar
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    Thanks.

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