We are a team of ASE certified mechanics that have created this guide to help you save money while doing the job yourself, or at least see what you are paying for when having the job done at a shop. A manual transmission is easy to service which most people can do in the driveway or garage. You will need to raise the car and use jack stands, also gloves and eye protection is needed.
A manual transmission contains gears which mesh together during its operation, which produces tiny metal shavings that end up in the transmission oil. This oil must be changed out between 50,000 and 70,000 miles to prolong the life of the transmission.
Having a transmission service done at a shop will cost between .8 and 1.5 hours of labor and depending on the type of fluid used, synthetic or conventional, will run between $25.00 and $90.00 US. If exact times, fluids or procedures are needed you can ask our experts to supply you with the information (free), or consult an online resource such as AllData DIY (pay) but this guide and video will be sufficient in most cases.
First, we must locate the fill and drain plug which are on the side and near
the bottom of the transmission. Most of the time you can locate them by doing a
simple inspection, but sometimes car manufacturers can get creative so if you have
trouble finding the plugs please ask our experts to
help, it's free.
It is a good idea to break loose both the fill plug and drain plug before you
begin to make sure you can refill the transmission without an issue. In this example
we use a 8mm Allen wrench, have a fluid catch basin ready.
Remove the drain plug completely, transmission fluid will start to flow into
the catch basin, allowing it to do so until all the fluid has drained out. Also,
it helps to remove the fill plug to improve drainage, inspect the fluid for large
metal flakes which can be an indication of the transmission having a problem.
Use a shop towel to clean the drain plug and the mating surface where the drain
plug meets the transmission to help ensure a proper seal.
Some drain plugs will have a magnet which also needs to be cleaned. Insert the
drain plug and tighten to spec, in this case it is 19 foot pounds of torque.
Please watch this video of the manual transmission service being done, then continue down the guide to glean additional helpful information.
Have the new transmission fluid ready, in this case it is three quarts of Ford
Synthetic Fluid for manual transmissions, make sure you have the correct fluid for
your car, it matters!
You will need a transmission fluid pump to transfer the fluid from the container
into the transmission, these are inexpensive and available on Amazon or the auto
Remove the fill port plug, this is where the fluid will be added to refill the
transmission with fluid.
Insert the plastic tube into the fill port, which is attached to the transmission
fluid bottle, and begin pumping the fluid into the transmission.
Continue pumping fluid until it starts to overflow from the fill port, this means
the transmission is full, remove the fill tube.
Wipe clean the mating surfaces on the transmission and fill plug and reinstall,
tighten to factory spec, again 19 foot pounds of torque and you are all set. It's
best to recheck the fill and drain plugs for leakage in a few days.
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