How to Change the Transmission Fluid on an Astro Van

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The Astro Van is manufactured by General Motors and produced under the Chevrolet name. GM recommends that the fluid on the Astro Van be changed every 30,000 miles or two years (whichever comes first). If the van is being used for towing, the frequency of the transmission fluid change increases to every 15,000 miles. Changing the fluid keeps the gears shifting smoothly and prevents the engine from overheating. This regularly scheduled maintenance requires only a few tools and about an hour of time.

Things You'll Need

  • Front jacks
  • 1/2-inch socket wrench
  • Drain pan
  • Funnel
  • 11 quarts Dexron III transmission fluid
  • Park the van on level ground and make sure the engine is cool. Lift the front of the car up on a pair of jacks to more easily access the underside of the engine.

  • Slide underneath the car and locate the round metal gear box in the center of the car. In front of the gear box is a pipe with a drain bolt on it. Place a large drain pan (at least 11 quarts) underneath the gear box. Remove the drain bolt with the 1/2-inch socket wrench.

  • Wait 15 to 20 minutes for the transmission fluid to finish draining from the drain bolt into the drain pan below. Wash the bolt while waiting for it to finish draining. Replace the bolt with the socket wrench. Lower the car from the jacks.

  • Pop the hood with the release lever located below the steering column. Keep the hood raised with the tension bar. Find the transmission dipstick above the drain pan and remove it from the tube. Place a funnel into the transmission tube. Pour in 11 quarts of Dexron III transmission fluid. Replace the dipstick and close the hood.

References

  • "Haynes Repair Manual: Chevrolet Astro & GMC Safari Mini Van 1985-2003"; John Haynes; 2005
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