Changing the transmission fluid in a vehicle will save time and money if a few simple steps are followed. Drivers can easily change their own transmission fluid as long as they have the correct tools and replacement parts.

A vehicle's service manual will list any special instructions a driver needs before beginning the procedure. The instructions listed below are for a standard transmission fluid change.

  1. Buy the supplies
  2. To perform this task, a driver will need the following supplies: transmission filter and gasket, transmission fluid, socket wrenches, screwdriver, a catch pan for the used fluid, safety glasses, cleaning cloths and cat litter for soaking up spills.

  3. Locate and remove the pan
  4. Some vehicles must have part of the exhaust system removed before a driver can see the transmission pan. Find the pan and place the catch pan underneath. Loosen the bolts and tap the pan to break the seal. Slowly remove the pan.

  5. Measure the old fluid

    By measuring the fluid removed from the transmission, it will be easier to determine how much to put back in.

  6. Remove the gasket
  7. Remove the used gasket and thoroughly clean off any remaining debris. Use a parts solvent, if necessary.

  8. Remove and replace the old filter
  9. Some filters can be removed by twisting and pulling while others will need to have the bolts unscrewed to be removed. Once removed, replace with a new filter.

  10. Replace the gasket and pan
  11. Replace the gasket according to the directions and replace the transmission pan.

  12. Add fluid
  13. Add the transmission fluid and make sure it is at an acceptable level. Do not overfill.

  14. Test drive the vehicle
  15. After adding as much fluid as was taken out, drive the car for a few minutes. Use all of the gears and then park the car.

  16. Check the fluid level
  17. Use the dipstick to check the level of transmission fluid, and add fluid as necessary.