I Hate When I do Stupid Stuff

One of the things I tell people about why I work on my own cars is that since someone is going to screw things up I’d rather it be me. Its less hassle when you only have yourself to blame.

I dropped my transmission pan today - everything was great. No ugly looking things in the pan. Drives great. No leaks. Finished getting it all in order, and went to clean up. As I cleaned up I found my pan magnet on the workbench…[expletive, expletive…]

I am planning to do the fluid again in about 5K or so. (There is no torque converter drain on this car and I want to do a more thorough fluid replacement w/out putting it on a fluid exchange machine.)

I was thinking of just siphoning out the dipstick in 5K. But now I’m thinking of slapping a heavy duty magnet on the outside of the pan, letting it ride for 5k or so that way, and then drop the pan again to put the !@?#% magnet back in.

Any thoughts on that strategy?

2000 Olds Silhouette - van has 129K; transmission has only about 70K (it was replaced under GM warranty before I owned it - I don’t know why. This is its second service).

Transmissions survived for many years without the benefit of the magnets in the pan. If you’re planning on doing another pan drop in 5K I’d pass on the magnet until then.You’re not going to get enough metallic debris in 5,000 miles to be a concern. And if you do get that much metallic debris, you need more than a magnet anyway.

But placing a strong magnet on the bottom of the pan won’t hurt…If you can find an old computer hard drive, they contain some SERIOUS magnets…

True enough. I see nothing wrong with sticking a bigger magnet onto the outside of the pan and waiting until next time to put the original back in.


I would do what Caddyman says. 1 or 2 neodymium iron boron magnets like the ones from a computer hard drive, placed on the outside of the pan, will be more than enough.

Make sure to leave them attached to the base plates that come out of the hard drive, because the magnets by themselves are very brittle and will desintegrate rather easily if you try to remove them off those bases.

Slightly off-topic: I put one of those HD magnets on the oil filter for the same purpose…

Thank you folks. No old hard drives around. I was looking for an old pair of speakers I had around but I think I finally tossed them (that’s always how it goes - I finally throw something away and then I’m looking for it).

I was in a hardware store today and just picked up a couple of bar magnets - they are stuck on he bottom of the pan. I’ll be dropping it again in about 5k.

Does anyone know if a trans pan magnet can be too strong? The one in the pan was in the family of those cheap refrigerator magnets - small, weak, flexible. I was surprised as every other pan magnet I’ve seen has been a more serious one. I’m thinking of just putting the ones I bought in the inside when I drop it.