Decided to take pictures as I changed the ATF in my 2005 Nissan Altima SE-R since I couldn't really find any how to's prior to attempting my first ATF change using the Drain and Refill method. Usually people do 3 drain and refills with a short drive inbetween each making sure to engage in every gear. Some signs that an ATF Drain and refill is needed: harsh shifts, black ATF on dipstick, ATF smells burnt, metal shavings on drain plug, 30k miles.
First off, Nissan recommends Matic K automatic transmission fluid from Nissan. Cost me $10.82 a quart. Ranged up to $20.xx around my area. Anyone worried about attempting this themselves, with little or no mechanical experience, if you can change your own engine oil, you'll be fine. I actually think its easier then changing engine oil. I would rate it at a 2/10 with 10 being the hardest. Lets begin.
Tools I used: 10mm Hex, Funnel (the one I used has open/close option) and ATF Matic K for 5AT:
Drain plug is located right next to the front electric motor mount. Drivers side, facing the front of the car:
Jack up the car safely and locate the drain plug:
Take off the drain plug and let the fluid drain until it stops. Anything from 2-5 quarts can come out at one time. The rest stays in the torque converter (My old ATF wasn't that black, it was actually still pretty red, I had left over engine oil in the tub):
Put the drain plug back on and locate the dipstick. Take dipstick out and put funnel in the opening. This is where the ATF will be poured in:
Pour new Matic K ATF fluid into funnel (Looks almost like syrup for Italian Icees but smells nothing like it ):
Pour the same amount of ATF in as you took out. I poured the old ATF into empty quart size bottles to make sure its correct.
Now you're done with your first ATF Drain and Refill. Go for a short drive making sure to engage in every gear
. I noticed smoother and crisp shifts. My brother said he couldn't even feel 1st-2nd which was the worst before.
It is common practice to drain and refill 3 times to get majority of the old fluid out. I only did it 2 times as my old fluid didn't seem that bad, and I didn't find any metal shavings on the drain plug.
Enjoy smooth shifts from now on...
I want to add that this is my FIRST time doing ATF drain and refill. The above may not be the best or fastest way, but it was the way that I did it. If there are any tips or advance that can be added to this, please feel free.