DIY Transmission Fluid & Filter Change; All You Need To Know

Before we dive into the main topic, how to change your transmission fluid and filter, we’re going to run through the basics to make sure we cover all the necessary information. If you feel as though you already know what a transmission filter is, when you need to change it, the costs associated with the fluid & filter change, and the tools you will need then you can skip down to the “DIY transmission fluid and filter change” section.

What Is A Transmission Filter

The transmission filter plays an integral role in the transmission. It is positioned above the transmission pan, capturing any surplus fluid beneath a pickup pipe attached to the oil pump, which controls the system’s fluid pressure. The filter operates as a sieve to acquire impurities like grime and debris before delivering lubricating fluid to the transmission.

When Do You Need To Change Your Filter?

Automobile Industry experts recommend transmission fluid, and the filter is replaced when you’ve driven your vehicle for 30,000 to 60,000 miles. It’s always best to follow your owner’s manual if it says differently.How often you change them depends on how you handle your transmission and how extreme the conditions are that you drive in.

When you do tasks that put pressure on the vehicle, such as towing, speeding, and driving in many cold conditions, the change time for filter and fluid can be reduced by as much as half. Some manufacturers suggest that the fluid should only be adjusted every 60 to 100 thousand miles for automatic transmissions. Adding a temperature gauge can help you identify how severely your transmission is being handled. 

Check Your Transmission Regularly

To stave off transmission troubles, you should test the level and condition roughly once per month using a dipstick. If the fluid is bright red and smells lovely, it is still useful, but if it’s darker, dirty, and has a burnt smell, it’s time for a change. If the level is too low, refill it and scan for leaks.

Cost To Change Transmission Fluid by DIY

The cost to change your transmission fluid is different from flushing the transmission, which is way more costly. When your fluid is changed at a dealer, service center, or independent mechanic ranges from the average price is $100, which means it can be twice that or a little less.

If you’d like to do it yourself(DIY), the price is typically chopped in half, and the steps are easy to follow.  A DIY change costs between forty and ninety dollars. The oil, filter, and gasket. The tools you need will likely be in your possession already.

62TE Transmission Filter Change

The DIY Change example below is for the 62TE transmission but the basic techniques and knowledge is pretty much universal among all transmissions. This transmission is used in a range of Chrysler, Dodge, Volkswagen, and Ram make vehicles, including the 2007 Chrysler Pacifica, up to 2016 Chrysler Town & Country and 2013 to current Ram ProMaster.

Tools You’ll Require For a DIY Filter Change

You will need the appropriate transmission fluid, filter, and gasket. The owner’s manual will have the necessary information like how many quarts of fluid are needed and the type as well as filter size. You will also need a torque or socket wrench, and don’t forget the pan to catch the fluid

DIY Transmission Fluid and Filter Change

Follow all the steps below, and you will quickly and efficiently change your tea emission fluid and save yourself some money.

Place Your Vehicle On-Ramps

Start by placing your car up on ramps while using jack stands or jacking up the front portion of your vehicle. Don’t forget to get the wheels blocked. Put on old clothes. This is going to get kind of messy. You may also want to put a newspaper underneath where you’re going to work so that there’s no oil on your driveway. It is also essential to properly dispose of it once you are done.

Many auto parts stores either have a spot where the oil can be dumped or tell you how to dispose of it properly. You are not advised to empty it in your garbage or your yard.

Locate The Transmission Pan

With the assistance of your owners’ manual, locate the transmission pan. Place the oil pan that you are going to use directly below it. Slowly remove the bolts and keep your face out of the way. The fluid will start leaking out until the seal on the bolts is broken. Put the bolts to the side and let the oil drain into the drain pan full. Wash out the sediments and deposits using fluid, not water, from the pan. Inspect the debris left in the pan. Doing so will help you decide if the transmission is working correctly or if there is an imminent issue in the immediate future.

You can see next to no filings or dirt, and then only on the first oil change process. There should be almost no contaminants for follow-up changes. There is an issue if your vehicle is relatively new and you encounter debris.

You’ll find just a trace of aluminum shavings or other very small pollutants. Still, the assembly process is so clean, and the newer gearboxes are so unforgiving of dirt that any real accumulation typically indicates a problem brewing.

Check the Gasket

Check the gasket to see if you need to replace it. Go ahead and substitute it if it is well worn. The fix will save you further down the road. To ensure a good, safe, leak-resistant seal, add a thin sheet of RTV bond to the pan’s flange.

Take Out The Filter

Remove the filter once it has drained completely. Take care; the filter also has fluid in it. Replace it with your new filter and tighten it to your owner’s manual specifications. Then replace the bolts on the pan and tighten them by hand before using a tool for the first couple of threads.

Now you are ready for the fresh oil to be added. A funnel is recommended because without leaking, hardly anyone can do this.When you’ve done changing the oil, start the car and let it run for a few minutes. A few times, change your gears, then position them back in the park. The dipstick can be tested now. Pull the dipstick out, wipe it, reinsert it and pull it out again on a clean rag. To see where the oil is sitting on the stick, keep it level and search.

It should stay on the right line, usually meaning it’s full. Finally, you are ready to take it off the ramps or let it down from the jack. Afterwards, start up your vehicle, let it warm up for 5 minutes or so and take it on an easy drive to make sure everything is functioning properly. Now look at you, you just saved money on regular automotive maintenance!

Author: Brandon Park