How to Change Transaxle Fluid


A transaxle is another name for a transmission, and most cars are equipped with either an automatic transmission or a manual one. The fluid in both needs to be changed at specific intervals, and where an automatic transmission uses regular transmission fluid, a manual transmission uses gear oil. In either case, oil or fluid will be found at your local automotive or department store, and used fluids should be recycled at full-service automotive repair shops.

Things You'll Need

  • Floor jack
  • Jack stands-2
  • Allen wrench--size to fit
  • Oil drain bucket
  • Quart of gear oil--90 weight is standard, but refer to manufacturers specifications
  • 3 quarts of automatic transmission fluid

Manual Transaxle

  • Jack up your car at the recommended jacking point.

  • Place two jack stands under your car to support the frame.

  • Locate the drain and fill plugs. They are generally on the left side of manual transmissions, with the drain plug near the bottom and the fill plug near the top.

  • Unscrew the fill plug with your Allen wrench, turning it counterclockwise.

  • Place your drain bucket beneath the transmission.

  • Unscrew the drain plug with your Allen wrench and allow the old oil to drain into the oil bucket.

  • Replace the drain plug when the oil has drained and tighten firmly.

  • Remove the cover on the gear oil container. It will have a flexible tapered head that will fit directly into the fill hole. Tip the container and squeeze out the gear oil.

  • Check the filling procedure with your finger by placing your fingertip inside to see if oil coats it. The manual transaxle will be filled when the gear oil reaches the bottom of the fill hole, so when the tip of your finger touches oil, it will be filled.

  • Replace the fill plug and tighten firmly. Pull out the jack stands and the jack, and take the old oil to a recycling center or a full service auto repair shop.

Automatic Transaxle

  • Open the hood of your car and remove the transmission filler cap. Set it to the side.

  • Jack up your car at the recommended jacking point.

  • Place two jack stands under your car to support the frame.

  • Locate the tranmission drain plug, and position your oil drain pan beneath it.

  • Insert your Allen wrench into the plug, remove it by turning it counterclockwise, and allow the fluid to drain into your drain pan.

  • Replace the drain plug when the fluid has drained.

  • Add approximately three quarts of transmission fluid through the filler under the hood. Consult your owners manual for the exact amount of fluid needed.

  • Remove the jack stands and lower the vehicle to the ground with the jack, replace the filler cap under the hood, and take your used transmission fluid to any full service auto repair center for recycling.

Tips & Warnings

  • Running your car for about 10 minutes before you replace transaxle fluids will allow the fluids to drain faster and easier.
  • Never do any work under a car with just a jack as a means of support. Always use jackstands to support your vehicle.

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  • Photo Credit Jupiterimages/ Images
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