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How to Change Transmission Fluid 96-04 Nissan Pathfinder

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  1. step : Draining the Transmission Fluid (0:23)
    • Check that the dipstick is not stuck in its tube
    • Have a drain pan ready
    • Loosen the 19mm drain bolt on the transmission pan
    • Allow the fluid to drain
    • Fasten the 19mm bolt into the drain pan
  2. step : Filling the Transmission (2:00)
    • Remove the transmission dipstick from the tube
    • Place a funnel in the dipstick tube
    • Add three quarts of transmission fluid with the funnel
    • If the fluid was dark or dirty, drain and refill the fluid again.
  3. step : Checking the Transmission Fluid (3:00)
    • Remove the funnel from the tube
    • Insert the dipstick into the tube
    • Start the engine
    • Apply the brake
    • Shift the transmission through all its gears
    • Remove the transmission dipstick from the tube
    • Wipe off the dipstick
    • Insert the dipstick into the tube
    • Remove the dipstick
    • Check the fluid level
    • Add fluid as needed
    • Check the fluid level again

Hi. I'm Mike from 1AAuto. We've been selling auto parts for over 30 years!

We're going to do a transmission service. We're not going to replace the filter. All we're going to do is a drain and fill on this system.

This is a 19 millimeter socket, and an extension, and a ratchet. We're going to take this drain plug out of the tranny pan. Make sure you have a drain bucket underneath here. And, we'll just drain that fluid out. This fluid actually doesn't look that bad. There is still a little bit of red color to it, but it's good to change it. It's probably been about 60,000 miles since it was changed last.

Now, that most of the fluid is drained out, there's just a little bit trickling down, that's enough, so I'm going to put the drain plug back in. One thing that's a good idea before you take this drain plug out, just check to make sure your dipstick indicator is not stuck in the dipstick tube, otherwise you won't be able to add fluid in it. On this vehicle, it's not, so we're good. I'm going to snug this drain plug back up, not too tight, just snug.

We're going to use a long skinny funnel. Put that in there. Then, we're going to add our transmission fluid. You're going to want to check your owner's manual for the appropriate fluid type for your vehicle. I put three quarts of fluid in this transmission, at this point. One way to determine how much fluid you should add is when you drained the fluid, if you could measure the amount you drained. Because we drained ours into an oil drain bucket, we don't have the ability to check how much was in there. If you do that, it would help when adding fluid. So, we're going to just check it at three quarts and we'll add accordingly.

We're going to pull the funnel out and put the dipstick back in. We're just going to start the car real quick. So once the engine is idling, what we're going to do is you're going to step your foot on the brake and we're going to go throughout all the gears, reverse, neutral, drive, and we'll go down into second, and first, then we'll go back to park. Then, we're going to go check our fluid.

All right. I'm going to check the transmission fluid now. Pull the dipstick out. First I'm going to wipe it with a rag, and we'll reinsert it into the dipstick tube. I'll pull it out again. It's hard to see it. It looks like we need to add a little bit. When checking this transmission fluid in the cold, the transmission fluid is between 86 degrees and 122 degrees, it should be in these hash marks. Now, if the fluid is hot, like you're out driving a little bit, you would flip the dipstick over and it would be in these marks, between 122 degrees and 176 degrees. If you we're checking it and you just got off the highway or you were towing something, you're going to have to let it cool down for about a half an hour before you check it because it has to be under 176 degrees Fahrenheit.

I'm going to put another half a quart in and check it. Do the same, start it up, go through the gears, and then let it idle, and recheck it while it's idling. Check it again. As you can see, the fluid is right there in those hash marks, so that's exactly where we want to be, a little under four quarts of fluid.

Now, if you did this service where you drained the fluid and then you filled it up just like we did, that's only getting part of the fluid out. It's about 50% of the fluid, maybe a little less than that. If your fluid was still pretty dark, what you'd want to do is drain it again and fill it again. You could do that a number of times to get all the bad fluid out, but, our fluid looks pretty good, so we're going to leave it at that.

Thanks for watching. Visit us at 1AAuto.com for quality auto parts, fast and free shipping, and the best customer service in the industry.

Tools needed for replacement:

    General Tools

  • Funnel
  • Drain Pan

  • Materials, Fluids, and Supplies

  • Transmission Fluid
  • Cloth Rags

  • Ratchets & Related

  • Socket Extensions
  • Ratchet

  • Sockets - Metric

  • 19mm Socket


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