Automatic Transmission Fluid (ATF) Guide
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What Transmission Fluid Do I Need?

Acura 1989-1995 SLF DEXRON®-II  
1996 and later AF2 HONDA ATF-Z1  
Audi 2003-2004 TT 6 Speed Transmission SLF Part number G-052-025-A2  
Multitronic CVT VTF Part number G-052-180-A2  
Others AE Part number G-052-162-A2, LT 71141  
Cabriolet 90 with 097 Transmission AF2 DEXRON®-II  
BMW 1995-2000: all with GM THMRI (A4S310R or A4S270R), 530i/iT w/ 5HP18(A5S310Z) AF3 DEXRON®-III  
1998-2004: 3-series with A5S360R or A5S (5L40-EGM5) Transmission and oil pan labeled with DEXRON®-II
1995-2000: M3 with ZF 5HP18(A5310Z) trans.; 740,750 and 850 with ZF HP30(AA5S560Z) Trans., 840 with ZF HP30(AA5S560Z) Trans. Manufactured from 12/95 AE BMW part number 83 22 9 407 807, LT 71141  
2001-2005: all with ZF 5HP-19, SF 5HP-24, or SF HP-30 Transmissions
1998-2004: 3-series with A5S360R or A5S (5L40-EGM5) Transmission and oil pan labeled with Texaco ETL-7045 SLF BMW part number 83 22 0 026 922, ETL-7045E  
1999-2000: all with AFS 360R (5L40-E/GM5) Transmissions
2000-2004: 5 series and X5 series with A5S 360R (GM5) transmission 2000-2002: aii with A5S 390R (GM5) Transmission SLF BMW part number 83 22 0 024 359, ETL-8072B  
2003: 745i, 2002-2005: 5-series, X-5 series, 6-series and 7-series with 6speed GA6HP19Z or GA6HP26Z Transmission SLF BMW part number 83 22 0 142 516, M-1375.4  
All vehicles except as noted below. AF4 ATF +4  
2001-2005: Sebring coupe, Stratus Coupe SLF DIAMOND SP- III  
2004-2006: Crossfire SLF Shell ATF 3403 M115  
2003-2006: Sprinter
all with NAG1 transmission
Daewoo Leganza manufactured from 11/01 (ZF Transmission) AE Type LT 71141  
1999-2002: LANOS, Nubria, Leganza (THM transmission) AF3 DEXRON®-III  
Prior to 1981 FA  Ford Type F    
1995-2006: All except as noted MA  MERCON®  
1997 Ranger, Mazda B2300, Mazda B3000, Mazda B4000 and Aerostar; Explorer and Mountaineer with V6 MA5 MERCON®-V   
1998: Thunderbird, Cougar, Mark VII
1998-2001: Explorer, Mountaineer
1998-2006: Mustang, FWD vans, Taurus, Sable, Ranger, Mazda B2300, Mazda B2500, Mazda B3000 and Mazda B4000 ; Econoline with 4R70W transmission; Ford F150, Expedition, Lightning, Navigator Blackwood, Mark LT and F250 LT with 4R70E or 4R70W Transmissions
1998-2002: Continental
1998-2003: Windstar
1997-2006: Focus
2001-2005: Explorer Sport/Sport Trac
2004-2006: Freestar, Monterey
2002-2005: Thunderbird
2002-2006: Mountaineer and 4-door Explorer with 5R55W Transmission
2003-2005: Lincoln Aviator with 5R55W Transmission
2000-2006: Lincoln LS
2005-2006: Ford 500 with CVT and Montego with CVT   Part # XT-7QCFT, WSS M2C933-A    
2005-2006: Ford 500 6-speed and Montego 6-Speed2006: Fusion, Milan and Zephyr with 6 speed Transmissions TIV  Toyota T-IV   
2006: Fusion, Milan and Zephyr with FNR5 Transmissions
 2006: Fusion, Milan and Zephyr with FNR5 Transmissions SLF  MazdaV, Part # XT-9-QMM5   
1996-2006: Econoline with 5R110W transmission; Ford F150, Expedition, Lightning, Navigator, Black - wood, Mark LT and F250 LT with 6HP26 Transmissions; any with 5R110 and 6RXX Transmissions MSP  MERCON®SP   
2002-2006: Mountaineer and 4-door Explorer with 6R60 Transmission
2003-2005: Lincoln Aviator with 6R60 Transmission
1998-2006: F250HD, F350, F450, F550 and Excursion with 5R110W Transmission
Prior to 1994  AF2  DEXRON®-I   
1994-2005: All except as noted  AF3  DEXRON®-III   
2006 and later: All except except as noted  AF6  DEXRON®-VI   
2003-2006: Vibe  TIV  Toyota T-IV    
All with Aisin (81-40LE) Transmission or AF35-3 transmission 
Honda  1989-1995: all vehicles  AF2   DEXRON®-II   
1996-2006: with CVTs  VTF  Honda Genuine CVT Fluid   
1996 and later all others  SLF  Honda ATF - Z1   
Hyundai  Prior to 1996  AF3  DEXRON®-III   
1996 and Late  SLF Hyundai SP II or SP-III   
Infiniti  All vehicles  SLF,
Nissan Matic-D, Matic J, Matic K, DEXRON®-III    
Isuzu  All vehicles    DEXRON®-III   
Jaguar  1995-1997: XJ6, XJS, XJ12,XJR-S AF3 DEXRON®-III  
1997-2002: XK series with 4.0L normally aspirated AE Type LT 71141, Part No. JLM 20238  
1998-2003.5: XJ with 4.0L normally aspirated  
2002-2003: XK8  
2002.5-2004: S-Type SLF Shell M1375.4  
2003 and later: XK series with 4.2L and 4.2L supercharged engine  
2003.5 and later: XJ series with 3.0L, 4.2L and 4.2L supercharged engine  
1998-2003 XK series with 4.0L supercharged engine SLF Shell ATF 3403 M115  
1998-2003.5: XJ with 4.0L supercharged  
2001.5-2004: X Type SLF IDEMITSU K17, JATCO 3100 PL085  
1999-2002.5: S-Type MA5 MERCON®V  
Jeep 1995-2001: AW4 transmission MA MERCON®  
1995-2006: all except as noted AP4 ATF+4  
2004: Jeep Grand Cherokee with NAG1 trans. SLF Shell ATF 3403 M115  
Kia 2003-2005: Sorento 4 speed AF2 DEXRON®-II  
1996-2002: Sportage AF3,
1996-2000: Sephia  
2000-2006: Spectra SLF KIA SP-II or SP- III  
2001: Sephia  
2005-2006: Sportage  
2003-2005: Sorento with 5 speed trans  
2004-2006: Amanti  
1999-2006 : Optima  
2002-2005: Sedona  
Land Rover Others AF3 DEXRON®III  
2003 and later Range Rover AE Esso LT 71141  
2002-2005 Freelander SLF Texaco N402  
2005 R3 SLF Shell M1375.4  
Lexus 1995-1999: ES300, SC300 AF3 DEXRON®-III  
1998-2002: LX470  
1995: GS300, LS400, SC400 TTA,
Toyota Type T, T-II ot T-IV  
2004-2006: LS430  
1998-2006: RX300, RX330  
2003: LX470  
2001-2003: LS430, GX470  
1996-2006: LS400, GS300, GS400, GS430, IS250/300/350, IS35C, SC400, SC430,  
1998-2006: SC300  
2000-2003: ES300  
2004-2006: ES330  
2004-2006: LS430 WS Toyota Type WS  
Mazda Others AF3,
2003-05 Mazda6 SLF ATF M-V  
2004-05 Mazda3  
2006: Mazda5 and MX5 with 4-speed transmissions  
2003-2006 Mazda 6 with 6 speed TIV Toyota Type T-IV  
Mercedes Benz 1995-2006: all 5 speed transmissions (with or without controlled torque converter lockup clutch) SLF Shell ATF 3403-4 115, MB 236.10  
1995-2006: all 4 or 5 speed without controlled torque converter lockup clutch AF3 DEXRON®-III (MB 236.9, MB 236.1),
DEXRON‚-II (MB 236.6, MB 236.7,
MB 236.8(arctic use only))
All models with CVT   Fuchs Titan ATF CVT, MB 236.20  
1995-2006: all models with 7 speed transmissions SLF Fuchs ATF 3353, MB 236.12  
Mini 2002-2006:all with CVT VTF Esso CVT EZL 799 Fluid  
2002-2006:all with 6-speed auto transmission TIV Toyota Type T-IV  
Mitsubishi 1997-1998: Pickup, Montero Sport, Outlander, Endeavour, AF2 DEXRON®-II  
1997-2000 Montero,”  
1999: Montero Sport with 4AT Trans  
1995-96 All AP3 ATF+3  
Nissan 1998 to 2004: Most except as noted AF3 DEXRON®-III or Nissan Matic D  
2005-2006: 4 cyl Altima, 4-speed Maxima, 4-speed Quest  
350Z all years SLF Nissan Matic J or K  
2004: Titan, 5-speed Maxima, 5-speed Quest  
2005 and later: Most except as noted  
Murano all years VTF Nissan CVT Fluid NS-2  
Porsche 1994 to 1998: 911 Series, 928, 968 AF3 DEXRON III  
1997-2008: Boxter/Boxter S AE Porsche #: 999 917 547 00 (A2) or 000 043 205 09  
1999-2005: 911  
2006-2007: Cayman  
2001-2006: 911 Turbo SLF Porsche #: 000 043 204 41, Shell ATF 3403-M115  
2002-2005: 911 GT2, GT3  
2006-2007: 911 SLF Porshe P/N 00004330400  
2003-2006: Cayenne TIV Porshe P/N 00004320528  
2011-2012: Cayenne SLF Porshe P/N 95830054000  
2010-2012: Panamera SLF Porshe P/N 00004320729  
Saab 1994-1998: All, 2002 9-3, 2005: 9-2X AF3 DEXRON III  
1999-2001: 9-5  
1999-2002: 9-3  
2005-2008: 9-7X, 2011: 9-4x AF6 DEXRON VI  
2002-2011: 9-5, 2003-2011: 9-3 5-speed TIV Toyota Type T-IV  
2006: 9-2X SLF Aporoil ATF HP  
2005-2012: All with 6-speed (except 2011 9-4x) SLF Saab 93 165 147  
Saturn 1994-2002: S Series AF3 DEXRON III  
2000-2005: L Series; 2005-2007: Relay; All Vue and Ion with 4T45- E, 4T40-E 6T70, or 2MT70 trans; All Sky, Aura, Outlook AF6 DEXRON VI  
2002-2009: Vue and Ion with VT25-E(M16/M75) no dipstick VTF, VTA DEX-CVT Fluid  
2002-2008: Vue and Ion with AF23-5, AF33 (M45) with dipstick TIV Toyota Type T-IV  
2008-2009: Astra  
2004-2007: Vue with 5-speed 5-AT SLF Honda ZF-1  
Scion 2004- 2006: All vehicles TIV Toyota Type T-IV  
2007-2011: All vehicles WS Toyota Type WS  
2012: Scion IQ VTF Toyota TC  
Subaru 2005-2012: Impreza, Legacy, Outback , Tribeca with 4 or 5-speed SLF Subaru ATF  
2006-2012: Forester  
2010-2012: Legacy, Outback, Impreza with CVT VTF Subaru CVT Oil for Linear Tronic  
All Others; 2005 Forester AF3 DEXRON III  
Suzuki 1995-2007: All vehicles except as noted, 2007-2009: SX4 AF3 DEXRON III  
All years: Tracker, 2009: XL-7 AF6 DEXRON VI  
2006-2012: Grand Vitara; 2007-2009: XL-7 TIV Toyota Type T-IV  
2004-2006: Verona; 2004-2008: Forenza; 2005-2008 Reno AE Esso LT 71141  
2009-2012: Equator SLF Nissan Matic S or J  
2010-2012: Kizashi, SX4 with CVT VTF Suzuki CVT Fluid Green  
Toyota 1995-2008: all except as noted AF3 DEXRON III  
1994-1997: Supra Turbo  
1996-2000: Rav 4 4WD with A540H  
1998: Supra (all)  
2000-2006: Camry  
2000-2007: Highlander (except Hybrid)  
2000-2005: Echo, Celica  
2001-2005: RAV 4 TIV Toyota Type T, T-II or T-IV  
2001-2003: Prius  
2002-2007: Solara 4-cyl; 2008 Solara 6 cyl  
2003: Land Cruiser  
2003-2008: Corolla, Matrix  
2003-2004: 4-runner with 4 speed, Sequoia, 2.7L and 3.4L Tacoma, Tundra  
2005-2007: Tacoma; 2008-2009: Tacoma 4-spd  
2004-2006: Sienna  
2004-2012: Prius WS Toyota Type WS  
2006-2011: Highlander Hybrid  
2004-2011: Land Cruiser  
2005-2012: Avalon, 4-Runner, Sequoia, Tundra  
2004: 4-Runner with 5 speed  
2006-2011: RAV4  
2007-2012: Camry, Sienna, FJ Cruiser  
All years: Yaris, Venza  
2008-2012: Solara- 4-cyl., Highlander, Tacoma 5-spd  
2009-2012: Corolla, Matrix  
Volkswagen 1996: all diesel models AE Esso LT 71141  
1995-1996: All Gasoline models  
1997-2009: All models except those noted below  
1997-2006: All diesel models (except 2006 Jetta) SLF VW TL52162 (Note: this fluid is yellow)  
2000-2012: 5-speed 09A trans SLF Part number G-052-990-A2  
2000-2012: gasoline: 02E SLF Part number G-052-182  
1997-2009: gasoline: 09D 6-speed, 09M SLF Part number G-052-025  
2004-2006: Phaeton with 09L SLF Part number G-055-005  
2006: Diesel Jetta with 02E, Beetle with 02E SLF P/N G-052-182-A2  
2009-2012: Diesel Golf, Jetta with 02E  
2011-2012: Gasoline Jetta with 09G Gen 2 trans, Touareg with 8-speed SLF P/N G-055-540-A2  
2009-2012: Routan AP4 P/N GUS-000-162  
2000-2012: Beetle, CC, Golf, GTI, Jetta, Rabbit with 09G Gen 1 trans, CC, Passat, Tiguan with 09M trans TIV Toyota Type T-IV  
2004-2010: Diesel Touareg  
Volvo All years: All models with 3 and 4-speed Transmissions (AW30, AW-34, AW40, AW43, AW42AWD, AW50-42) AF3 MA DEXRON III / MERCON  
1995-1997: 940 with AW70, AW71 Transmissions AF3 DEXRON III / MERCON  
1999-2005: S80, XC90 with 4T65 series Transmissions  
2011-2012: S60, S-80. XC-60, XC-70 SLF P/N 31 256 774 or 31 256 775  
All years: All models with 5-speed Transmissions (AW50-51SN, AW55-50 series, AW55-51 series) TIV Toyota Type T-IV  
2006-2010: All models with 6-speed Transmission TF-80SC  


Fair Remanufactured Transmission Cost
By Transmission Model

Don't know your transmission model yet? Scroll down to find your transmission model by vehicle

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When available, always refer to your Vehicle Owner's Manual for the recommended ATF to be used in your vehicle.  Use this Fluid Application Guide when no manual is available.

► How to Check Automatic Transmission Fluid Condition

► How to Properly Check Transmission Fluid Level

► DIY Fluid and Filter Change

► What Transmission Fluid Do I Need? Fluid Application Guide

How to Check Automatic Transmission Fluid "ATF" Condition

... How to check transmission fluid condition
... What the different conditions mean
... What action is needed

Checking the condition of your vehicle's automatic transmission fluid is crucial in your efforts to extend the life of your transmission and protect your investment.

If you want to drastically reduce (almost eliminate) serious transmission problems (including transmission failure) for the life of your vehicle - Here is how you can do it:

1. Check the transmission fluid level and condition once a month and correct any adverse fluid condition immediately.

2. Service the transmission (fluid and filter change) at the manufacturer's recommended mileage intervals.

Of the estimated 14 million automatic transmission failures each year in the US, roughly 90% (or 12.8 million) were caused by an adverse fluid condition.  This is why you need to check fluid level and condition regularly.

In this DIY article, we explain how to check the condition of the transmission fluid, what the different colors mean and what action, if any, you need to take to correct an adverse fluid condition.

Checking Transmission Fluid Condition - DIY Instructions Begin Here

Note: If you also plan to check the fluid level, the vehicle must be parked on level ground, engine warm and running with shifter lever in "P" Park


> Paper Towels or Clean "lint-free" Rag
> A Clean Sheet of White Paper

1) Pull Hood Release - Open Hood.

2) In Engine Compartment - Locate Transmission Dipstick:

Rear Wheel Drive Vehicle:

The transmission dipstick is normally located on the right "passenger" side of the engine compartment back near the firewall.

Front Wheel Drive Vehicle:

The transaxle dipstick is normally located on the left "driver's" side of the engine compartment on top of the transaxle.

3) Pull the dipstick out to check fluid condition.

Fluid Color: Look closely at the transmission fluid on the end of the dipstick.  Is it Red?  Dark Red?  Brown?  Dark Brown? Very Dark or Black?  The Chart below provides an explanation and suggested course of action for each color/condition.

Tip: Place a few drops of fluid on a clean sheet of white paper to get a more accurate color reading.  

Fluid Smell: Smell the transmission fluid - if it has a burnt odor, the transmission has overheated and the ATF is oxidized (or burnt). Oxidized transmission provide poor lubrication, which causes increased friction, excessive wear on internal parts and intense heat. A transmission with oxidized fluid will not last long.
Oxidized transmission fluid means some internal damage to the transmission has already occurred.  A fluid and filter change may extend the life of the transmission.  A fluid flush is not recommended.  
Blotter Test: Place a couple of drops of fluid on a paper towel and wait about 30-seconds or so.  If the fluid spreads out and is red or light brown in color, the fluid is good - no action is needed.  If fluid does not spread out and is dark in color, the fluid is oxidized.  In this case, a fluid and filter change or fluid flush in necessary.

Fluid Color: Light Brown - Semi Transparent
Good Condition
Continue checking fluid condition regularly and follow the manufacturer's recommended transmission service procedures and schedule.

Fluid Color: Red Transparent
New or Like New Condition
Continue checking fluid condition regularly and follow the manufacturer's recommended transmission service procedures and schedule.

Fluid Color: Dark Brown - Opaque
Old/Dirty Fluid
Does not provide adequate lubrication - will cause transmission to run hot.  Recommend flush or fluid and filter change.

Fluid Color: Very Dark/Black
Old/Dirty and Oxidized
Fluid has a burnt odor.  Some internal transmission damage has occurred.  Fluid and filter change may prolong transmission life.  A flush is not recommended.

Fluid Color: Light Pinkish
Water/Coolant Contamination
Internal transmission damage has occurred.  A fluid flush may prolong transmission life.  Repair transmission oil cooler/cooler line leak.

How to Properly Check Transmission Fluid Level

NOTHING IS MORE CRUCIAL to the continued operation of an automatic transmission than the fluid level and condition.  Checking fluid level and condition monthly is highly recommended.  Doing so could save you thousands of dollars in repair bills.

Note: These DIY procedures are for checking the automatic transmission fluid level and condition in transmissions and transaxles that have a dipstick.  If your transmission does not have a dipstick, you have a sealed transmission.


> Paper Towels or Clean "lint-free" Rag
> Funnel with Small Opening

> Automatic Transmission Fluid (ATF)

Rear Wheel Drive Vehicle:

The transmission dipstick is normally located on the right "passenger" side of the engine compartment back near the firewall.

Front Wheel Drive Vehicle:

The transaxle dipstick is normally located on the left "driver's" side of the engine compartment on top of the transaxle.

IMPORTANT: Always refer to your Vehicle Owner's Manual for the type of transmission fluid to use.  If you do not have your Owner's Manual, scroll down to our Transmission Fluid Application Guide.

Checking Transmission Fluid Level - DIY Instructions

1. Park vehicle on a level surface

2. Start the engine and allow to warm up to normal operating temperature.

If vehicle has recently been driven and the engine is
already warm, you can skip #3.

3. Once warm, depress the brake pedal and move the shifter through all the gears - pausing several seconds between each shift before returning the shifter to Park.

4. Set the parking brake and pull the hood release.

5. With the engine running and the transmission in Park, open the hood and locate the transmission dipstick.

7. ADD TRANSMISSION FLUID.  Refer to your Vehicle Owner's Manual for the type of ATF to use or refer to the Automatic Transmission Fluid Application Guide below. 

To ADD FLUID, insert a small tipped funnel into the fill tube and pour approximately 1/4 to 1/2 quart of fluid into the transmission.  Do not overfill.

8. REMOVE FUNNEL and RE-INSERT DIPSTICK back into the fill tube.  Be certain to push the dipstick fully into the tube.

9. CHECK FLUID LEVEL AGAIN: Pull dipstick and recheck fluid level. If fluid level still shows less than full, wipe the dipstick clean and set aside.  Add a small amount of ATF and then re-insert the dipstick.  Pull the dipstick and check the fluid level again.  Repeat these procedures until fluid level is at the "FULL" line or in the FULL RANGE".  Do not overfill.

6. Pull the transmission dipstick out of the fill tube and check the fluid level with the markings on the dipstick.  Wipe the fluid from the dipstick with a paper towel or clean rag.  Re-insert the dipstick fully into the fill tube and then pull out a second time - check the fluid level again

if fluid level is at "Full" or in the "Full Range" - No fluid is needed.  Replace the dipstick - close hood and shut engine off.

...  If fluid level shows Less Than Full - wipe the fluid off the dipstick using a paper towel or clean rag and set aside.  Go to next step.

Automatic transmission fluid is a specially formulated oil designed to meet the requirements of automatic transmissions and the rather harsh conditions under which they must perform.  The fluid is typically red in color and translucent.  The red color of ATF distinguishes it from other fluids used in your vehicle, which helps reduce the risk of adding a different fluid, such as engine oil, to the transmission.  The red dye in automatic transmission fluid also helps distinguish it from other fluids when a leak occurs.  automatic transmission fluids

All automatic transmission fluids contain a number of different chemical compounds designed to lubricate, cool and clean the internal parts of the transmission.  Other compounds that make up automatic transmission fluid include rust and corrosion inhibitors, detergents, anti-foam additives, anti-oxidation compounds.

But, while most automatic transmission fluids contain each of the above mentioned compounds and additives, they are not the same.  Each type of ATF is developed for a specific list of automatic transmissions and transaxles - they each have a specific viscosity and a specific friction coefficient that is best suited for the transmission they are designed for.  See the Condensed Automatic Transmission Fluid Application Chart below or our full Transmission Fluid Application Guide at the bottom of this page for the correct fluid to use in your vehicle.

Transmission and Transaxle
Heat Temperature Failure Chart

Inside the Transmission

Inside the transmission, in addition to providing lubrication to all the moving parts and gears, ATF also provides hydraulic pressure to the transmission's clutches and bands to engage and shift gears.  To keep the fluid and transmission from overheating, a transmission oil cooler located inside the vehicle's radiator continuously cools the transmission fluid when the vehicle is in operation.

When Transmission Fluid Overheats

Even with its built-in cooling properties and external oil cooler, transmission fluid can and does overheat more often than most vehicle owners realize.  Common causes for transmission overheating include:
  > Low fluid level, old, dirty and/or oxidized fluid
> Clogged or restricted transmission filter
> Engine Overheating
> Transmission slipping,
> A failing torque converter or faulty torque converter clutch solenoid
> Extended stop and go traffic, extended travel through desert or mountains
> Towing
> Spinning the wheels
> Racing

The Consequences of Excessive Transmission Heat and Fluid Oxidation
Under normal operating conditions and when operated within its designed temperature range (between 175 and 195 degrees Fahrenheit for most vehicles) a good quality transmission fluid will provide in the neighborhood of 100,000 miles of service before oxidation occurs.  But, as you can see in the chart below, when the temperature of ATF rises, things begin to deteriorate very rapidly.

At approximately 235°F, vital transmission fluid additives start to boil.  This results in varnish build up inside the transmission.

At approximately 255 to 260°F, the internal seals begin to harden, which causes both internal and external fluid leaks.  Internal leaks equates to pressure loss, which causes slipping and a variety of shift problems.

When the fluid temperature reaches 295°F, the fluid continues top breakdown at a rapid pace.  At this point the fluid no longer provides adequate lubrication and the clutch plates burn up and slip badly.

At the next 20° temperature increase, (approximately 315°F), the seals and clutches are completely fried and the transmission is doomed. Catastrophic transmission failure is eminent and will occur very soon if it has not already failed.

All Automatic Transmission Fluids are Not the Same

Automatic transmission fluid is designed to work with a specific list of transmissions.  Using the wrong type of ATF in your automatic transmission can adversely affect the performance of the transmission and, in some cases, actually damage the transmission.  Moreover, adding the wrong type of transmission fluid will void the vehicle manufacturer's warranty.  So, as long as your warranty is in effect, you'll want to follow the manufacturer's guidelines exactly when adding fluid or when servicing the transmission.  Check your Owners Manual for the type of transmission fluid for your vehicle.

Note: If you do not have the vehicle Owner's Manual, the transmission fluid type for your vehicle may be indicated on the transmission dipstick. Alternatively, check the ATF Application Guide below or see our full Transmission Fluid Application Guide at the bottom of this page.

ATF+4: Most Dodge, Jeep, and Chrysler vehicles
Mercon V: Most Ford, Mercury and Lincoln vehicles
Mercon LV: Some Ford and MAZDA vehicles
DEXRON: Most GM and pre-2004 Toyota Vehicles and some Ford vehicles
ATF DW-1: All Honda and Acura (not CVT transmissions)
SP-III: All Hyundai, Mitsubishi and Kia vehicles (not for CVT and dual clutch transmissions)
Matic S, Matic K, Matic D: Nissan and Subaru vehicles
Toyota ATF-WS: All 2004 and newer Toyota vehicles
Honda DW ( ZF ): All Honda vehicles (not for CVT)

Automatic Transmission Fluid and Filter Change


> Transmission Filter
> Transmission Oil Pan Gasket
> Automatic Transmission Fluid (ATF)
> Tube of Gasket Sealer

> Floor Jack or Ramps
> Jack Stands
> Ratchet and Socket Set
> Scraper
> Drain "Catch" Pan
> Funnel
> Brake Cleaner or Degreaser
> Shop Rags


Park vehicle on a solid level surface

Set the e-brake

Pull hood release

Place wheel chocks or wooden blocks in front of and behind one of the rear tires

Raise the hood

Using a floor jack, raise the front of the vehicle

Secure with jack stands

WARNING: When working underneath 2 tons of metal, you must be certain the vehicle is secure on the jack stands and that the jack stands are on a hard level surface.  NEVER work underneath a vehicle secured by a jack only.


From underneath the vehicle, position a catch "drain" pan underneath the transmission oil pan.  If your transmission has a drain plug, loosen/remove the plug to drain the fluid.  Many transmissions do not have a drain plug so you will need to remove the fluid pan to drain the fluid.  To do this, remove the bolts from the front and sides of the oil pan.  Then loosen the bolts at the rear of the pan.  (See image). 

This allows the pan to tilt downward on one end so the fluid can drain.  Once most of the fluid has drained, hold the pan level and remove the remaining bolts.  Lower the pan and empty the remaining fluid.

NOTE: The pan may require a light tap on the sides with a plastic or rubber mallet to separate it from the transmission.


Using a plastic scraper, scrape the old gasket from the pan.  Then use a wire brush, in needed, to remove any remaining gasket material.  DO NOT gouge the oil pan or transmission mating surfaces or you may end up with a leak.


Using brake cleaner or degreaser, clean inside the pan thoroughly.  Clean clutch debris and/or metal flakes from the magnet.  Fine metal flakes is normal but large metal flakes is indicative of excessive wear of internal parts.

NOTE: If the magnet is covered with metal - have a transmission technician check out the transmission at your next opportunity.    


If the pan bolts have ever been over-tightened, the area around the bolt holes will be bent inward.  This surface must be flat otherwise a leak may occur.  Follow the procedure shown below to flatten the flange surface of the pan, if needed.


Back underneath the vehicle, remove the screws holding the transmission fluid filter in place and then pull the filter down and out of the transmission.  The O-ring should be replaced with the new one that comes with the new filter.  If your filter uses a "cup" type seal instead of an O-ring, you can reuse the seal.  Install the new filter in reverse order.  Torque filter mounting bolts according to manufacturer's specifications or tighten snug using a ratchet and socket.


Inspect and clean the pan mating surface.  This is a "machined" surface, therefore if the surface needs to be scraped clean, use a plastic scraper to avoid gouging the surface.  Once clean, apply gasket sealer to the pan flange and press the gasket onto the pan.  Position the pan to the mating surface of the transmission and hand tighten all the transmission bolts.  Tighten transmission pan bolts in a crisscross pattern - tighten per the manufacturer's bolt torque specifications.

CAUTION: If you do not have the manufacturer's bolt torque specifications readily available, just tighten the pan bolts so they are good and snug.  Pan bolts are easily over-tightened and are easily stripped.  You must be very careful not to strip these bolts.      


The work underneath the vehicle is complete.  Remove catch pan and tools from underneath vehicle.  Using the floor jack, raise the vehicle slightly and remove the jack stands.  Lower vehicle.


In the engine compartment, locate the transmission dipstick.  Pull the dipstick out of the filler tube and set aside.  Insert a small tipped funnel into the filler tube and poor in 3 quarts of transmission fluid.

Start the engine and allow to warm up to normal operating temperature.  With the brake pedal depressed, move the shifter lever through all gears (pausing slightly between each shift) and then back to Park.  With the engine still at idle, check the fluid level and add more fluid as needed.

Avoid Overfilling: To avoid overfilling, add only a small amount of transmission fluid before rechecking the level.  Repeat until the dipstick shows "Full" or in the "Full Range".  If you overfill with fluid, you will need to drain some of the fluid out.  The easiest way to do this is to remove one of the transmission cooler lines where it enters the radiator.


Check underneath for leaks and then test drive vehicle.  Upon returning from the test drive, check for leaks and then check fluid level again.  Adjust fluid level as needed.  Mark the date and vehicle mileage in a vehicle maintenance log book for future reference.

A Library of "Do-it-Yourself" Service and Repair Guides 

Automatic Transmission Repair Cost
What is a fair price to pay for various transmission repairs? What kinds of repairs does a transmission need?

Transmission Rebuild Cost
Does your transmission need rebuilt? Fair price guide for the price range of a transmission rebuild.

Remanufactured Transmission Options and Cost
Considering a remanufactured transmission? Here are costs and options for how to purchase.

Get a Free Transmission Estimate by Email
Want an estimate for a remanufactured transmission? Fill out the form here to get an estimate via e-mail.

How to Replace a Transmission Torque Converter Clutch Solenoid
What is a transmission torque converter clutch solenoid and how to replace one if it goes bad.

How to Replace a Transmission Pressure Control Solenoid
What is a transmission pressure control solenoid and how to replace one if it goes bad.

How to Replace Transmission Solenoids
Guide to various automatic transmission solenoids, how they work, and DIY instructions.

How to Know Which Transmission Fluid to Use?
What fluid type do you need for your specific transmission? Use this guide to find out.

How to Remove and Install an Automatic Transmission - (RWD)
If you facing a transmission replacement, you can reduce the cost considerably by removing and re-installing the transmission yourself.  Here we provide step-by-step instructions for remove and replacing a transmission. 

How to Replace a Transmission Speed Sensor
For most vehicles, the speed sensor is plugged into the transmission (or transaxle).  When the speed sensor fails the speedometer stops working and shifts may become erratic.  Replacing a speed sensor is easy.

How to Locate and Fix an Automatic Transmission Fluid Leak
Vehicle owners become aware of a transmission fluid leak either when checking the fluid level and seeing that it is low or seeing a red colored fluid on their driveway or garage floor.

How to Release a Shifter Lever That is Stuck in Park
Nothing is more frustrating that getting into your car and the gear shifter lever being locked in Park.  Here we explain how to release the shifter, the causes, how to repair and the estimated cost.

How to Install an Automatic Transmission Oil Cooler
Installing an auxiliary transmission oil cooler can protect your transmission from overheating and failure. Excessive heat can ruin a perfectly good transmission very quickly. Coolers are inexpensive and easy to install.  

How to Change the Fluid and Filter in an Automatic Transmission
Keeping clean fresh fluid in your transmission is the number one thing you can do to protect the transmission from premature failure.  These DIY transmission fluid and filter change procedures are easy to follow.

How to Check the Condition of your Automatic Transmission Fluid
Learn how to check the condition of transmission fluid, what the different conditions mean and what, if anything, you need to do to keep your transmission running smooth.

How to Check Your Automatic Transmission Fluid Level
Learn the correct procedure for checking transmission fluid level.  Many people do it wrong, so here is the easy way.

How to Replace a Transmission Neutral Safety Switch
The neutral safety switch is a safety feature that prevents the engine from starting when the transmission or transaxle is in gear.  When the switch fails, the engine may not crank or it may start in gear.

How to Flush Your Automatic Transmission
A transmission fluid flush can be performed without a transmission flush machine - and it's safer for high mileage vehicles.

What Transmission Do I Have?
A guide to determining which transmission model you have based on the year, make, model and engine size.

What is Limp Mode?
When a transmission fault is detected by the OBD-II system, the transmission may go into fail-safe (or "limp" mode as it is also called) in order to protect the transmission from internal damage

Common Transmission Problems and Solutions
Most vehicle problems, including automatic transmission problems, reveal themselves in one way or another. Learning to recognize these warning signs can save you a great deal of money and vehicle down time.

Transmission Diagnostic Trouble Codes
Diagnostic Trouble Codes P0700 through P0799 are transmission related OBD-II codes.  Any code within this range point to a transmission related fault..

How to Inspect and Repair CV Axles and CV Joints
CV (constant-velocity) axles, (also known as half-shafts), are used in front-wheel drive vehicles to transfer the engine’s power from the transaxle to the two drive wheels. 

Auto Repair Safety
When working on or around any vehicle injuries can and do occur.  Please read these Safety Precautions before starting your next automotive service/repair project.

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