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vitz

Automatic Transmission Fluid Change - DIY Job

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Hi All,

I thought of  it would be good to gather your experiences on ATF/CVTF change Just to have an idea about do's and don'ts. Then perhaps this can be considered as a DIY job for most of us.

I have two questions to start with,

1. My Mechanic  flushes the remaining CVTF in the gear box (honda fit hybrid) by starting the engine after draining CVTF and run the engine for a while (I cant remember he shifted the gear to D position , but break paddle was pushed in). He did it during last two times of oil change but the gear box is still  nothing bad happened. Is this a recommended practice?

2. Where in sri lanka we can buy the lengthy funnel to access the opening of the CVTF fill in located bottom of the engine.

 

regars

 

Edited by vitz

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Your idiot greese monkey will be the death of your autobox.

Turning on the engine with no fluid in the transmission is a recipe for disaster.

 

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2 hours ago, vitz said:

2. Where in sri lanka we can buy the lengthy funnel to access the opening of the CVTF fill in located bottom of the engine.

Simple. Fix a piece of flexible pvc hose to your funnel.

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As Twin Turbo pointed out above you should not run the engine without fluid in the gear box. Not only that could result in undue wear but may leave some air trapped in the fluid path.

 

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Indeed I agreed with TT, as far as I remember he did while pouring new oil from the inlet. I think it is still a risky job though our gear box survived. 

by the way, isn't it necessary to remove entrapped oil inside the gear box when we do the change?

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On 1/21/2018 at 12:07 PM, vitz said:

Indeed I agreed with TT, as far as I remember he did while pouring new oil from the inlet. I think it is still a risky job though our gear box survived. 

by the way, isn't it necessary to remove entrapped oil inside the gear box when we do the change?

Yes. You need to remove used fluid but emptying the gear box is not the way to do it. For most auto transmissions you can follow following DIY steps.

1. Note the fluid capacity of the box. It is in the region of 6 - 8 litres for most common cars. Buy the required amount of fluid with one to two litres in excess.

2. Identify the fluid output line from the fluid cooler to the gear box. If you are not sure of it, disconnect any one of the lines, keep a bucket below to capture spilling fluid, and get someone to start the engine for just a few seconds  to identify the output side.

3. Run the engine until it comes to its working temperature range.

4. Drain fluid by removing the drain plug. Usually only about 2 - 3L will be drained out. Rest of the fluid will be retained in the transconverter and valve body. Allow to drain for a couple of hours if possible unless  you intend to execute Step 5 below. Otherwise skip to Step 6. Fix the drain plug back.

5. (Optional) Remove the fluid sump, inspect and clean the magnets, inspect and replace fluid filter and fix the sump back with a new packing. Inspect the magnets and filter for metal and fiber shavings. That will give you an idea of the state of the gear box. This step may be only necessary in every other fluid change or if the fluid is severely discolored .

6. Remove the fluid output line from the fluid cooler. Connect it to a clear plastic tubing (usually a 3/8 or 1/4 inch diameter one from a hardware shop will do but check the inner diameter of the tube first). Keep the other end of the clear tube in a bucket of 4 to 6 L capacity to capture drained fluid. Plug the free end  of the fluid return inlet to the gear box just to create an additional vacuum when the fluid is drained out. Make sure that any dirt and debris do not make their way into the gear box during this process.

7. Keep a funnel (some cases a long neck one or a tube attached to a normal funnel may be necessary) and fluid cans ready to pour in as and when you empty the cans.

8. Fill up the gear box to the top mark of the dip stick and get someone to start the engine. Go on filling fluid as the used fluid in the transconverter is being drained out now. Keep an eye on the clear tube connected to the fluid cooler output for a change in the fluid color from dark to clear. As soon as new fluid comes  out through the clear tube stop the engine.

9. Fix the cooler lines back, start the engine and with the engine running adjust the fluid level to the mark on the dip stick.

The procedure above is somewhat generalized but should be good for most common auto transmissions. (Hope I didn't miss out on any details).

Edit: Forgot to add a detail to step 8. While adding new fluid with the engine running, get someone to change the gears from P to the bottom and all the way back again to P pausing at each gear for a couple of seconds.

Edited by Rumesh88
Add a detail
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A good way to speed up fluid draining out is to remove the filler bolt or dipstick (whichever exists) before taking out the drain plug. This increases the flow of oil from the drain outlet depending on the design of the transmission.

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On 1/21/2018 at 8:06 AM, vitz said:

1. My Mechanic  flushes the remaining CVTF in the gear box (honda fit hybrid) by starting the engine after draining CVTF and run the engine for a while (I cant remember he shifted the gear to D position , but break paddle was pushed in). He did it during last two times of oil change but the gear box is still  nothing bad happened. Is this a recommended practice?

 

horrified-face.jpg?w=217

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10 hours ago, Rumesh88 said:

Yes. You need to remove used fluid but emptying the gear box is not the way to do it. For most auto transmissions you can follow following DIY steps.

1. Note the fluid capacity of the box. It is in the region of 6 - 8 litres for most common cars. Buy the required amount of fluid with one to two litres in excess.

2. Identify the fluid output line from the fluid cooler to the gear box. If you are not sure of it, disconnect any one of the lines, keep a bucket below to capture spilling fluid, and get someone to start the engine for just a few seconds  to identify the output side.

3. Run the engine until it comes to its working temperature range.

4. Drain fluid by removing the drain plug. Usually only about 2 - 3L will be drained out. Rest of the fluid will be retained in the transconverter and valve body. Allow to drain for a couple of hours if possible unless  you intend to execute Step 5 below. Otherwise skip to Step 6. Fix the drain plug back.

5. (Optional) Remove the fluid sump, inspect and clean the magnets, inspect and replace fluid filter and fix the sump back with a new packing. Inspect the magnets and filter for metal and fiber shavings. That will give you an idea of the state of the gear box. This step may be only necessary in every other fluid change or if the fluid is severely discolored .

6. Remove the fluid output line from the fluid cooler. Connect it to a clear plastic tubing (usually a 3/8 or 1/4 inch diameter one from a hardware shop will do but check the inner diameter of the tube first). Keep the other end of the clear tube in a bucket of 4 to 6 L capacity to capture drained fluid. Plug the free end  of the fluid return inlet to the gear box just to create an additional vacuum when the fluid is drained out. Make sure that any dirt and debris do not make their way into the gear box during this process.

7. Keep a funnel (some cases a long neck one or a tube attached to a normal funnel may be necessary) and fluid cans ready to pour in as and when you empty the cans.

8. Fill up the gear box to the top mark of the dip stick and get someone to start the engine. Go on filling fluid as the used fluid in the transconverter is being drained out now. Keep an eye on the clear tube connected to the fluid cooler output for a change in the fluid color from dark to clear. As soon as new fluid comes  out through the clear tube stop the engine.

9. Fix the cooler lines back, start the engine and with the engine running adjust the fluid level to the mark on the dip stick.

The procedure above is somewhat generalized but should be good for most common auto transmissions. (Hope I didn't miss out on any details).

Edit: Forgot to add a detail to step 8. While adding new fluid with the engine running, get someone to change the gears from P to the bottom and all the way back again to P pausing at each gear for a couple of seconds.

Thanks Ramesh,

This is really helpful and comprehensive. I cannot more than that from a Pro-member of Autolanka. Excellent......

 

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11 hours ago, Rumesh88 said:

Yes. You need to remove used fluid but emptying the gear box is not the way to do it. For most auto transmissions you can follow following DIY steps.

1. Note the fluid capacity of the box. It is in the region of 6 - 8 litres for most common cars. Buy the required amount of fluid with one to two litres in excess.

2. Identify the fluid output line from the fluid cooler to the gear box. If you are not sure of it, disconnect any one of the lines, keep a bucket below to capture spilling fluid, and get someone to start the engine for just a few seconds  to identify the output side.

3. Run the engine until it comes to its working temperature range.

4. Drain fluid by removing the drain plug. Usually only about 2 - 3L will be drained out. Rest of the fluid will be retained in the transconverter and valve body. Allow to drain for a couple of hours if possible unless  you intend to execute Step 5 below. Otherwise skip to Step 6. Fix the drain plug back.

5. (Optional) Remove the fluid sump, inspect and clean the magnets, inspect and replace fluid filter and fix the sump back with a new packing. Inspect the magnets and filter for metal and fiber shavings. That will give you an idea of the state of the gear box. This step may be only necessary in every other fluid change or if the fluid is severely discolored .

6. Remove the fluid output line from the fluid cooler. Connect it to a clear plastic tubing (usually a 3/8 or 1/4 inch diameter one from a hardware shop will do but check the inner diameter of the tube first). Keep the other end of the clear tube in a bucket of 4 to 6 L capacity to capture drained fluid. Plug the free end  of the fluid return inlet to the gear box just to create an additional vacuum when the fluid is drained out. Make sure that any dirt and debris do not make their way into the gear box during this process.

7. Keep a funnel (some cases a long neck one or a tube attached to a normal funnel may be necessary) and fluid cans ready to pour in as and when you empty the cans.

8. Fill up the gear box to the top mark of the dip stick and get someone to start the engine. Go on filling fluid as the used fluid in the transconverter is being drained out now. Keep an eye on the clear tube connected to the fluid cooler output for a change in the fluid color from dark to clear. As soon as new fluid comes  out through the clear tube stop the engine.

9. Fix the cooler lines back, start the engine and with the engine running adjust the fluid level to the mark on the dip stick.

The procedure above is somewhat generalized but should be good for most common auto transmissions. (Hope I didn't miss out on any details).

Edit: Forgot to add a detail to step 8. While adding new fluid with the engine running, get someone to change the gears from P to the bottom and all the way back again to P pausing at each gear for a couple of seconds.

Seems to me that Step 7 is bit tricky. We need to maintain draining and pouring at a same rate to avoid any starvation of ATF in the gearbox!!!!

 

Nice Video illustrating all steps:

 

 

Edited by vitz

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Hi what will happen if we try to have a mathematical solution to this.

if oil changing interval is 40k km 

 capacity of the box is 8lt

only 2lt can be drained  from the drain hole.

what will happen if we  change oil in 10k km intervals. 

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Hi what will happen if we try to have a mathematical solution to this.

if oil changing interval is 40k km 

 capacity of the box is 8lt

only 2lt can be drained  from the drain hole.

what will happen if we  change oil in 10k km intervals. 

This is a "these days halmasso very mathematisss" kinda calculation

 

How do you now that everytime you pour in 2 liters the oldest oil will come out?

 

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9 minutes ago, The Stig said:

This is a "these days halmasso very mathematisss" kinda calculation emoji28.png

 

How do you now that everytime you pour in 2 liters the oldest oil will come out?

 

pls contact a maths student in colombo campus and ask him to calculate the old oil left in the box after 40k km.

it can be calculated and it will be less than 1lt my dear sir.

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17 minutes ago, kolithawick said:

Hi what will happen if we try to have a mathematical solution to this.

if oil changing interval is 40k km 

 capacity of the box is 8lt

only 2lt can be drained  from the drain hole.

what will happen if we  change oil in 10k km intervals. 

First of all, which problem are you trying to solve? There is no problem here. You can drain most if not all oil from the transmission if you follow the advice given above by @Rumesh88. Would you rather go through the hassle of performing most of the steps multiple times (4 times instead of just once according to your example) instead of just doing it right in one go?

As for "what will happen?" Probably nothing. The car will probably run fine if you're mixing the same grade/type of oil. However, when you drain all the oil, there is a higher chance of most of the small metal shavings inside the transmission to be drained out with the oil. Plus, once you've drained the oil out, you have the chance to take out the sump and clean the valve body and magnets which will in turn give you a cleaner gearbox. Draining a small amount of oil and topping up doesn't let you do that. 

 

 

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Dear "Thoras" and "Moras".

Pls let "Halmassa" to explain a little thing. "Halmassa" has townace cr27 with auto gear box. which he brought as reconditioned vehicle in1995. Those days there were no oil changers and "Halmassa" has to do it himself.This is how he did it and other than that he did the step five of Rumesh88 's method in 40k km intervals.

Last year "Halmassa" did a overhaul to the engine and with that he replaced the gear box as a future investment.

gearbox has done 350k km and not a single repair done on it.That's why "Halmassa" tried to share it with fellow "Halmassas"!!!

Now pls don't try to say this is ok with old type boxes and can't be done with new electronic boxes. We are talking about quality of the oil and not the box it used.

I am totally agreed with the Rumesh88's method and it is very good. Infact I tried it those days, only problem with that is it's very difficult to pour the oil to the box with the same amount which is going out. and another thing removing the drain plug 3 times is easier than removing oil lines to the cooler.

 

Edited by kolithawick

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Going a bit OT here, but it does sound like the anglers club in this thread!

I am all into DIY in fact I do most of the bits on my car myself.

and With all due respect to the Davy and Rumesh and other AL Members who know what they are doing, but why try to do a DIY on something that is so vital, and expensive to repair incase u mess it up?

I do not know if OP is not a novice or not but clearly you are seeking opinion on online forums meaning you need a bit of help.

 Trying DIY is fine in my opinion but why for an expensive and critical component such as the transmission, besides the oil itself is costly, might as well pay the extra bucks and get it done by a reputed garage. 

You will have a bit of credibility with a receipt someday if you want to let the car go too.

In short what I meant was an ATF change comes up roughly in like 2-3 years (40,000Km) thus why take all this trouble whilst like saving 5,000 bucks for mechanic / agent charges. If you mess up your gearbox you are going to end up spending more than that sum just looking for gearboxes all over.

And please do change that mechanic

cheers

Edited by tiv

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2 hours ago, tiv said:

And please do change that mechanic

cheers

I think that's the whole point in these DIY procedures. It is not about saving a few bucks but if you know the procedures then you can pass a judgement on the mechanic yourself. When it comes to reputed garages I was at a loss couple of times when I sought services of the agent (once I changed axle boots and they gave me the car with wrong toe-in adjustment. Another time they asked me to overhaul an engine which only needed a simple tune up ). Also if the garage is good then the queue is long and you are sure to get stuck for a whole day for a job otherwise will take only  a hour or two.  Anyway just different viewpoints.

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3 hours ago, tiv said:

Going a bit OT here, but it does sound like the anglers club in this thread!

I am all into DIY in fact I do most of the bits on my car myself.

and With all due respect to the Davy and Rumesh and other AL Members who know what they are doing, but why try to do a DIY on something that is so vital, and expensive to repair incase u mess it up?

I do not know if OP is not a novice or not but clearly you are seeking opinion on online forums meaning you need a bit of help.

 Trying DIY is fine in my opinion but why for an expensive and critical component such as the transmission, besides the oil itself is costly, might as well pay the extra bucks and get it done by a reputed garage. 

You will have a bit of credibility with a receipt someday if you want to let the car go too.

In short what I meant was an ATF change comes up roughly in like 2-3 years (40,000Km) thus why take all this trouble whilst like saving 5,000 bucks for mechanic / agent charges. If you mess up your gearbox you are going to end up spending more than that sum just looking for gearboxes all over.

And please do change that mechanic

cheers

Thanks for the advice. I have been to some reputed places in Kandy but never carried out flushing out step. Even Kundasale Auto  did not carry out flushing when I had my Vios. Therefore,  later I got it done by my mechanic (I will never call him again). 

After all these lessons,  I thought of doing the DIY job not to save money, but to do the general practice that garages undertaken while allowing some more time to drain oil.   Plus, as Ramesh mentioned, to avoid wasting time at smelly garages and avoid dishearten myself by seeing dirty work done by training guys in these garages.  Finally, the happiness I get myself by a DIY is worth than money!!!!! 

Edited by vitz

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11 hours ago, tiv said:

I am all into DIY in fact I do most of the bits on my car myself.

and With all due respect to the Davy and Rumesh and other AL Members who know what they are doing, but why try to do a DIY on something that is so vital, and expensive to repair incase u mess it up?

 

8 hours ago, Rumesh88 said:

I think that's the whole point in these DIY procedures. It is not about saving a few bucks but if you know the procedures then you can pass a judgement on the mechanic yourself. When it comes to reputed garages I was at a loss couple of times when I sought services of the agent (once I changed axle boots and they gave me the car with wrong toe-in adjustment. Another time they asked me to overhaul an engine which only needed a simple tune up ). Also if the garage is good then the queue is long and you are sure to get stuck for a whole day for a job otherwise will take only  a hour or two.  Anyway just different viewpoints.

Couldn't agree more with this. There are so many such incidents I have experienced as well - some even leading to a fire due to negligence of mechanics. 

My father was a total grease monkey back in the day. He did most of the repairs on his cars at home because he thought he could do a better job than the garages and because he didn't trust any garage to leave his car there even for a couple of hours. Back when cars were simple machines, this totally made sense. This is not to say that he hasn't messed up. He has. But for the most part, his work was pretty solid. I was highly influenced by this. So I think an oil change is one of the simplest things you can DIY. It might seem a bit daunting at first, but it becomes easier each time you do it. 

The only concern I have with doing fluid changes at home is proper disposal of the used fluid. In Sri Lanka, I had a few contacts through which I could dispose oil at a service station (god knows what happens to the oil after that though), but here in Australia, I actually have to pay to dispose oil safely. By "safely" I mean without harming the environment. 

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Honda vehicles come with  a " inline transmission oil filter". Some of web information ask to replace it after 100000 km. Any ideas about this????

image.png.d545a7a20bb986b310792ba4794c5a72.png

 

Edited by vitz

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