HOW TO: ATF Drain and Refill - Nissan Forums : Nissan Forum
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post #1 of 157 Old 08-16-2009, 06:34 AM Thread Starter
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HOW TO: ATF Drain and Refill

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.


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post #2 of 157 Old 08-16-2009, 07:29 AM
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thanx alot for this....but how much did u drain out...it must have cost u a good bit drainin n fillin twice with it bein 10$ a quart....now i kno how to do this though...thanx...this sites really been a life saver

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post #3 of 157 Old 08-16-2009, 08:46 AM
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nice write up .

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post #4 of 157 Old 08-16-2009, 08:49 AM
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Quote:
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thanx alot for this....but how much did u drain out...it must have cost u a good bit drainin n fillin twice with it bein 10$ a quart....now i kno how to do this though...thanx...this sites really been a life saver
a tranny flush will cost between $125-$175 (mine cost $149) , so the $40-$50 for each drain and fill isn't that expensive .

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post #5 of 157 Old 08-16-2009, 01:36 PM
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Any reason, since you're spending $10/qt anyways, why you did not go with a synthetic like Amsoil ATF instead of the OEM fluid?
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post #6 of 157 Old 08-17-2009, 12:44 AM
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^ Amsoil ATF would be an acceptable fluid. However, I would be worried about mixing it with OEM ATF. You'd have to do a full flush to get it right, or drain it 3 times which can get spendy. Even though Nissan does not state it is compatible with the automatic, the JATCO units do great on Amsoil. I know this because it is the only fluid used by IPT (Import Performance Trans) on their race rebuilt trannies. They use the stock clutchpacks btw.

GREAT thread opie, I think this should be in the sticky section.

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post #7 of 157 Old 08-17-2009, 01:26 AM
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this is great! i bought my car used and am not sure how often this has been done. i'll be using this. thanks!
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post #8 of 157 Old 08-17-2009, 02:51 AM
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simple and people will understand!... i like it!!

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Originally Posted by altimatelyebony09 View Post
And damn those are some big rotor thingy magigies.
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post #9 of 157 Old 08-17-2009, 03:09 AM
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i've been reading more about this and i have a couple questions.

how necessary is it to change the filter?

how necessary is it to clean the transmission pan?
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post #10 of 157 Old 08-17-2009, 03:12 AM
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there is no filter

Quote:
Originally Posted by altimatelyebony09 View Post
And damn those are some big rotor thingy magigies.
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post #11 of 157 Old 08-17-2009, 03:15 AM
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there is no filter
is that just our cars? every guide i've seen online mentions changing the filter.
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post #12 of 157 Old 08-17-2009, 03:18 AM
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great write-up. I did drain/refill with amsoil a while back and noticed the same results. there is some guy on here that sell the amsoil stuff at a very good price, and he is very quick to reply to any messages


would like to thank birdturd for the nice chop
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So if you want it to look like an octopus is fu*king your engine then go for it and add 20 ground wires.
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post #13 of 157 Old 08-17-2009, 03:22 AM
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Originally Posted by m_turner_02 View Post
great write-up. I did drain/refill with amsoil a while back and noticed the same results. there is some guy on here that sell the amsoil stuff at a very good price, and he is very quick to reply to any messages
don't make me get into my photobucket full of smiles...


btw .. how big your tranny cooler? i am looking to get one soon

Quote:
Originally Posted by altimatelyebony09 View Post
And damn those are some big rotor thingy magigies.
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post #14 of 157 Old 08-17-2009, 03:24 AM
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it's the stillen one, and I am still dragging ass on the install/my order....it will happen soon though


would like to thank birdturd for the nice chop
Quote:
Originally Posted by 3rdgen2.5s View Post
So if you want it to look like an octopus is fu*king your engine then go for it and add 20 ground wires.
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post #15 of 157 Old 08-17-2009, 03:26 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BarackO'drama View Post
is that just our cars? every guide i've seen online mentions changing the filter.
alot of nissans do not have filters..





alot of american cars DO have filters.......

Quote:
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And damn those are some big rotor thingy magigies.
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