Manual Transmission Oil Change

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Introduction: Manual Transmission Oil Change

Most people ignore transmission fluids. Even worse most people only talk about the importance of flushing an automatic transmission. If you have a manual transmission automobile, don't neglect that gearbox. Old oil can have metal shavings in it as well as sludge build up. Just as with motor oil, and oil change is cheap insurance. This instructable I'll show you just how simple this process is.

Step 1: Gather Your Tools.

Gather the tools and materials you will need for this job.

You will need:

- Jack and Axle stands or tire ramps to get your car off the ground
- Set of wrenches and ratchet set (depending on your vehicle.)
- Torque wrench
- oil drain bucket of some type
- Fluid pump
- rags
- WD - 40 or a penetrating oil
- Gear oil (most likely 75-90 or 80-90, check your owners manual)

Step 2: Locate and Remove the "filler Bolt"

First Jack your vehicle up by the jack points and secure the vehicle with the axle/jack stands. NEVER GO UNDER A VEHICLE SUPPORTED ONLY BY THE JACK!

Next we will locate and remove the filler bolt. In some cases the filler bolt will become completely siezed that heating it won't even work. Or the filler bolt may become stripped. If this happens to you, you don't want to this to happen with an empty transmission.

In the first image we see the bottom of the transmission looking up. The recessed bolt on the bottom is the drain. The square head on the side is the filler.

Loosen the filler by selecting the proper wrench (not an adjustable one!) and turn the wrench counter clockwise. If the bolt doesn't let go; spray the wd-40 on the bolt and let sit for 1 hour. Still stuck. Don't force it too much as it may break. You can use a propane, or MPS gas torch to heat the housing around the bolt and then gently apply pressure to loosen it. In the picture you can see I used the wd-40

If the bolt still won't budge. Stop. Lower the car and visit a shop for service in rare cases the transmission must be removed and taken to a machine shop.

If you get the bolt loose. Unscrew it, but don't remove it completely.

Step 3: Remove the Drain Bolt.

Use the same process you used to remove the filler bolt to remove the drain bolt. On my vehicles, the drain bolt is a perfect fit for a 3/4 inch drive ratchet.

Loosen the drain, place the drain pan under the transmission and then remove the drain bolt allowing the oil to drain.

Step 4: Clean the Magnet and Remove the Filler Bolt.

The drain bolt usually has a magnet on it that catches the metal shavings. Clean them off really well. you can see how filthy it was on this vehicle. I'm betting it's been over 50,000 Kms for this vehicle.

Now remove the filler bolt. (you waited until now to keep the oil from draining too quickly and splashing all over.

Step 5: Replace the Drain Bolt.

Replace the drain bolt, thread it on by hand first for at least 3 complete revolutions to make sure you haven't cross threaded it. Then tighten it with the ratchet. Lastly tighten it with a torque wrench to the manufacturers specifications. If you are unaware of the settings call your dealer and they will tell you.

Step 6: Fill the Oil. Close the Filler Bolt.

Add your gear oil back into the gearbox using the oil pump. Fill the oil into the filler until the oil reaches the level of the filler (It will ooze back out.)

replace the filler bolt once again turning it by hand for a few revolutions. then tighten it and torque it using a torque wrench.

Step 7: Drive

Clean up and take the car for a test drive.

Please take your used oil to a recycling depot. It's free in many areas. Old oil can be processed into Diesel fuel or plastics among other things.

Canadian Tire accepts old oil at their Auto service bays.

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    user

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    44 Comments

    How much quarts of gear oil does it usually take to fill up the transmission?

    Thanks for a common sense and clear instruction.

    am going to do my 100.888mls Skoda Fabia tomorrow.

    If my manual gearbox has less oil in it what happens with the gear changing?
    Thanks.

    If my manual gearbox has less oil in it what happens with the gear changing?
    Thanks.

    what is the capacity of gear box oil for BMW 630i 2 doors , thank you , how many liters does the gear box needs ???

    My BMW's transmission is having some problems and I didn't know if there was a way I could try to fix it on my own instead of taking it to the shop. Thank you for the great instructions. I think my husband and I will try this tomorrow since he loves messing with car stuff.
    <a href='http://www.rigsbysautosalvage.com' >
    http://www.rigsbysautosalvage.com/</a>

    I have a few problems with this instructable.
    1/ Oil draining and filling must be done on the level so ramps aren't enough and must have jacks at the other end.
    2/ Modern oils are vehicle specific and the wrong oil can cause expensive damage to a gearbox. (If you put EP oil into the illustrated Nissan you will not get 2nd gear on a cold morning)
    3/ On some front wheel drive gearboxes the bung that looks like a filler bung is only a level bung. If you get it wrong you're putting no oil into some of the gearbox.

    Having said that changing gearbox oil is a great idea. I owned a transmission shop foe 40 years, most of my work came from poor maintenance.

    user

    These are pretty good instructions I just think you left out a few details that may help. Make sure you have the correct fluid for your trans. the owners manual is not the best place to find out pull the fill plug and stick your finger in there to be sure. Some manual trans. take 10w30 motor oil some take dextron auto trans fluid some take hypoid oil. It can be different in the same year, what is in there is correct regardless what the store/manual says. The fluid should be changed while hot or at very least warm It's not very safe or fun but it is the best way to get all of the grit out. It also makes the plugs easer to remove. If you have a plug that wont come out wire brush all around the plug before you use the penetrating oil or torch helps the oil wick in the threads and reduces the risk of setting the trans on fire. I also change the fluid in the rear end at the same time because nobody ever thinks about the rear fluid until it fails or starts making noise.

    what do you mean by rear fluid? I am new to the car repair thing.

    He's referring to the drive axle(s) in rear-wheel drive and four-wheel drive vehicles. The drive axle(s) have differentials in them and the fluid in these assemblies must also be changed periodically - typically at the same time as the transmission oil. In 4WD vehicles there is also a transfer case bolted to the rear of the transmission, and it, too, requires period oil changes.

    If your vehicle has front-wheel drive, your drive axle and transmission are built as a single assembly known as a transaxle.