How to Flush your transmission at home

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Printable Instructions (with Filter Change)

Here's the easiest and cleanest way to change ALL the fluid and filter.

  1. You may still spill some fluid when dropping the pan. Best just spread out the oil dry before starting.
  2. Jack up the car and place on jack stands.
  3. Next disconnect the line on the drivers side of the aux ATX cooler. Put the tranny side line in a five gallon bucket. Attach a piece of 3/8" hose to the cooler where you just disconnected the line and place it on the bucket.
  4. Start the engine and wait until the fluid almost stops. There will be a definite difference in the amount flowing out.
  5. Stop the engine.
  6. Start loosening the bolts on the pan. There is still 3-4 quarts in the pan. Position a drain pan under the tranny pan and on the drivers side. Loosen and remove all the bolts but two on the passenger side. This will let the drivers side tip down as you then slowly loosen the remaining two. After the pan is mostly down and the fluid is in the drain pan remove the pan completely and replace the filter. Be sure to remove the rubber ring that will stick up in the tranny filter mount. Just bend it in with a screwdriver and pull it out with a needle nose. Do not scratch the aluminum tranny filter holding housing. Here's what one looks like partially removed:


  1. Reusing the OEM gasket and in a three pass sequence progressively tighten every other bolt until all are tightened. Do not over tighten as they really just need to be snug. Use a 1/4" ratchet drive socket.
  2. Then add 10 quarts. Start the motor and wait until it almost stops pumping fluid out or until you see new fluid coming out. Better to waste a quart or two of new fluid to insure all the old stuff is out.
  3. When the flow has almost stopped, shut off the engine and reconnect the hoses.
  4. Add 5 quarts, idle motor and check level keeping it on the low side on the dipstick.
  5. Then drive the car for a while to heat up the tranny fluid and recheck and top off the fluid.

The pan gasket is reusable if it is the OEM rubber one. Total system capacity is around 14-15 quarts. Buy a couple of extra quarts to get all the old stuff out.

Discussion of the topic can be found here

Gen 4 with AXOD (Vulcan engine)

Supplemental info to the general procedure for Gen 4 with AXOD transmission.

Step 3: The easiest place to connect a discharge hose to drain the torque converter is the end of the lower cooling hose to the transmission.

Remove the lower shield from beneath the bumper. Remove the clips that hold the two metal lines together. Remove the retaining clip on the lower hose connector at the transmission and loosen the nut. Squeeze the plastic tabs that extend from the connection and pull the metal hose end off. There should be little to no leakage of fluid.

Plug the opening on the transmission with a rubber plug and use a 3 foot length piece of 5/16" inside diameter clear vinyl hose to connect to the cooling line. Place the hose in the large bucket that you will be collecting the old fluid.

Step 8: When you get to the 9th quart or so of the 10 quarts, watch to see that you don't have over flow from the fill tube or the disconnected transmission fitting.

Step 10: Start with 3 quarts after the final flush is completed. Adjust final fill accordingly.

From my experience with 96 Sable this description needs some picture / diagram to comfirm locatio of cooling line to Radiator.

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