CarTalk.com Best of Deals Car Reviews Repair Shops Cars A-Z Radio Show

Changing you transmission fluid without the filter is betterthan never changing the fluid?

If you like doing things yourself and have a drain plug on your transmission maybe just maybe your saving lots of money and chancing a botched up job from a dealer or shop , I hear you can get 4 qts out and use synthetic fluid do this about ever 20,000 miles

A simple drain and fill is good if you do it at every 2 oil changes because it wont get all the old fluid out.Dropping the pan and changing the filter is even better and will get more out.Flushing the old fluid with a machine is not recommanded.Always use what the manufacturer recommand in your transmission.

1 Like

It depends on the transmission. Honda transmissions don’t have a service panel, and you can only drain them. Their way around it is to drain and refill three times to clear almost all of the old fluid out. A good way to handle it is change fluid every 30,000 miles and only refill once. I’m not sure what the procedure is for CVTs.

1 Like

That’s what I used to do on my Saab with its Aisin transmission. there was no access to any filter and the drain was just under 4 quarts so every 30K it got changed.

My Mustang and truck have no drain plug but the pans are accessible with a dozen bolts. You have to be careful not to make a mess but the filter is right there.

1 Like

thank you I believe from my own experiences with over 22 cars and trucks I have owned since 16 to 71 years of age this is the only way to do it yourself without harming anything or taking a chance with a botched up shop job.

thank you your right and i cant go under the cars like i used to so this is the only-way for me now not to get involved with a large costly repair job from a shop then it leaks after they finish with cigarette butts left in the bottom pan area yes it did happen to me at Toyota once dealer also.

so how else can you get the fluid out through the fill tube or you cant even do that?hmm

And what do you do with sealed transmissions?

Where there’s no pan, drain plug, or dip stick tube?

Tester

Remove the drain bolt at the bottom of the transmission, replace it, and refill with oil. Hmmmmmmm…

1 Like

The unknown that you’re dealing with by not changing the filter is that you have no idea just how restricted the filter may be.

A restricted filter can inhibit the flow of fluid from the pan through the transmission and over time that can cause shifting problems at the least or frying a transmission at the worst.

But if you can’t access the filter, then this is irrelevant.

1 Like

The LeSabres have a filter although granted, some cars don’t have a filter in the normal sense of the word or an easily accessible one.

1 Like