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|By Anna Finger
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It is important to replace your transmission filter every 30,000 miles or so. It can be a fairly easy and inexpensive job for someone with an average knowledge of mechanics.
The first thing you must do is remove the transmission dipstick and set it aside. You will then jack up the vehicle and securely support it with jack stands. With the vehicle raised, look for your drain plug; it will be located on either the transmission pan or the case. Place a drain pan beneath the drain plug.
Leaving two pan bolts on both side, remove the other pan bolts to release the transmission fluid. Take out the two bolts on one side as the fluid runs out. When the fluid seems to be done draining, loosen the remaining two bolts. When these two bolts are nearly out, hold the pan with one hand and remove the two bolts with the other hand.
With these bolts now out, lower the pan and let it drain into the drain pan. Remove the old gasket from the pan, being careful to not cause any significant scratches or gouges. (Note: if you see a small plastic plug in the pan, you can throw it away; it is used in the building of the transmission and is of no use).
Almost all transmission pans contain a magnet that is used for collecting the steel dust. Clean this magnet off, return it to the pan and then clean the interior of the pan, too. After cleaning the pan, place a bead of weather strip cement around the mating surface of the pan. Place a new gasket inside the pan and press it onto the cement. Rest the pan, along with the new gasket, on a clean and flat surface to allow the cement to harden.
Take the mounting bolts from the old filter, making sure to avoid the excess fluid that will pour out. Remove the old filter and then allow the fluid to drain. This can take anywhere from twenty minutes to an hour. Install the new filter and your drain plug. You may want to put some wheel bearing grease along the top of the pan gasket in order to seal it. Be sure to tighten every pan bolt and then refill the car with transmission fluid.