Transmission fluid and filter change

Discussion in 'Trucks and Trailers' started by mike lane lawn care, Nov 21, 2006.

  1. mike lane lawn care

    mike lane lawn care LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,707

    ok, so i decided to take my astro with 170,000 miles in to get the transmission filter and fluid changed. this is the first time i will have done that, considering i have only had the van for about 3,000 miles, but i'm sure it has been done before, as the previous owner was a school system with a full time mechanic. I called a local transmission speacialist garage. they estimated that it would cost $120 to have the filter and fluid changed, this included a road test. do you think this is too much or about right?

    if i chose to do it myself, how long would it take, and what would i need? or am i beter off just going to the shop?

    thanks guys
     
  2. MJLsLawnCareNmoreLLC

    MJLsLawnCareNmoreLLC LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 841

    Generally it is a very simple job. As long as the trans pan can easily be dropped. You will need to find out how many quarts and what type of trans fluid you need. You will also need a gasket and a filter. Take all the bolts out except the 4 corner bolts. Loosen these bolts, leaving two almost all the way out. Pop the pan loose with a screw driver, catch the trans fluid. The bolts will keep you from dropping the pan and making a mess. Then slowly remove the other 4 bolts and drop the pan. It can be messy so have cardboard or something laid down and a large catching pan. The technique I told you helps a lot with keeping it clean. Next you want to clean the pan and scrape the old gasket from the bottom of the trans and on the top of the pan with a gasket scraper/razor. Take the filter out, some are in the pan some look like an oil filter somewhere on the engine. If its in the pan usually a few bolts hold it on. You might have to replace a metal and rubber pipe thing(not sure of the name) but sometimes depending on the filter, a tube off the filter slides through this piece that is pressed into the trans. If you need to do this it usually comes with the filter. Next you need to put the gasket on the pan. This can be kinda difficult to get the gasket to stay on the pan and still line up the wholes. You can use a little light grease, silicone, or even gasket sealer/maker to help hold it on the pan. Line up the wholes and bolt back in place. Fill up the trans fluid through where ever you add it to on the van. Check level after running it (check manual for proper way to do this). I think thats it. Not usually a hard job at all. It really depends on the car. Ive done them in 20 minutes and up to a couple hours on some cars. You will probably spend between $30-$60 on that van for parts and fluid. Let me know if you have any questions.
     
  3. mike lane lawn care

    mike lane lawn care LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,707

    Huh? speak english will ya:eek:
    maybe i am better off going to the shop, i don't even know where i would find the transmission, never mind the trans oil pan.
     
  4. MJLsLawnCareNmoreLLC

    MJLsLawnCareNmoreLLC LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 841

    First off, I dont appreciate the smart a$$ comment. I was trying to help. You can take it or leave it.

    Second, here is a pic of what a trans pan should look like. This is on a racing truck, but the picture is clear in showing what I was talking about

    Third, here is a link of a more typical car's tranmission fluid change with pictures.http://images.google.com/imgres?imgurl=http://www.autoblog.com/media/2006/03/Trans-filter-10.JPG&imgrefurl=http://www.autoblog.com/2006/03/31/autoblog-maintenance-101-transmission-fluid-and-filter/&h=331&w=441&sz=41&hl=en&start=52&tbnid=VkA6f0HmR4xpVM:&tbnh=95&tbnw=127&prev=/images%3Fq%3Dtrans%2Bpan%2B%26start%3D36%26ndsp%3D18%26svnum%3D10%26hl%3Den%26lr%3D%26sa%3DN

    207s.jpg
     
  5. mike lane lawn care

    mike lane lawn care LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,707

    I wasn't trying to insult you, i truly didn't understand, as is my custom with car stuff. Thanks for the picture and the link, i'll read up and ask a fellow astro owner tomorrow if someone with my skill level should attempt it.
     
  6. lawnspecialties

    lawnspecialties LawnSite Silver Member
    Posts: 2,513

    Don't know if I'm too late but I always take my trucks to get the trans fluid "swapped out". The local Texaco XPress Lube would do this for my former '01 F-250. The machine backfilled new fluid into a trans coolant line while the old fluid was drained out another line. For $90, it's about as close to a complete swap of fluid as you can get (for the money).:)
     
  7. mike lane lawn care

    mike lane lawn care LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,707

    thanks for the reply, i called a few shops and they were about the same price, but none of them included a road test. so i'll probably take it to that first shop. I talked with a guy who owns an older astro, and he said not to do it, on theese vans it is a pain and worth it to pay a shop to do it. Now i am debating on whether or not to take it about 52 miles down the turnpike to my aunt's tomorrow, i'll be following my mom and she has never done under 70mph. I think i'll take the jeep, as i'm due for an oil change and i'm kind of nervous about driving the van down, i'd like to show it off, but i've never had it above 55mph before and don't want to discover that it isn't the greatest highway truck. don't get me wrong, i love my van and it is very solid, but i'm a little paranoid of something unforseen happening, and the "i told you so" look from my family.
     
  8. MJLsLawnCareNmoreLLC

    MJLsLawnCareNmoreLLC LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 841

    Ok, thats fine then.:)
     
  9. MJLsLawnCareNmoreLLC

    MJLsLawnCareNmoreLLC LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 841

    Thats what I was afraid of. Sometimes the pan cannot be easily dropped as there are crossmembers and such that can get in the way. If not for that, as long as you can take bolts out the job isnt too bad.
     
  10. Grass Man

    Grass Man LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 272

    .... I think you did a great job in trying to help him. I know I would have appreciated this kind of help when I was his age. patiences is truly a virtue.

    Keep up the good work.


     

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