This isn't an easy job if you don't have the car on a hoist or at least raised up and supported solidly on jack stands.
You'll need a real large drain pan. Remove the pan bolts except for two on one side to form a hinge. Tap on a corner to break the seal. If the pan drops down, be prepared for a deluge. About four quarts of fluid will fall out all at once. The filter is held on with retaining clips. Note the location of the magnet in the pan. Clean it and put it back in the same spot. After replacing the filter, the pan and mating surfaces must be cleaned of all the old gasket sealer. To reseal the pan, use gasket sealant from a tube. I'm familiar with only the two from the Chrysler dealer because that's all I ever used. They have black stuff and gray stuff. After cleaning the surface on the transmission, look for signs of fluid running down and getting on that surface. The black sealant stays more rubbery or flexible but it absolutely will not bond and seal if there is any oil residue. That will cause a leak. Both surfaces must be perfectly dry. On the transmissions that have oil running down for hours if you wait that long, I put a bead of sealant on the pan, then wash the transmission with brake parts cleaner and a rag, then I stuff the rag into wherever the transmission fluid is running from. Pull the rag out just as you hoist the pan up to install it. It's okay when the oil runs onto the sealant as long as that sealant is stuck to both surfaces, but from then on don't pull the pan down again as that will let that fluid run into the sealant.
The gray sealant bonds much better if there is some oil residue but you still want both surfaces to be clean and dry. This stuff gets a little harder too and is harder to remove next time. Tighten the pan bolts to 165 inch-pounds. That's about hand tight with one hand and a 1/4" drive ratchet. My preference is to let the sealant set up for about an hour to skin over but that is not necessary. You can start filling the new fluid right away. Add four quarts, then warm the engine up in neutral or park. You'll see a crosshatch pattern on the end of the dipstick. The fluid level should be within that range when it is hot. When it is cold, the level should be about 1/4" above the small hole closer to the end of the dipstick. Add some more fluid if necessary but don't overfill it. Low fluid level can allow the oil pump to suck up air which can lead to all kinds of problems. Fluid that's too high can get air whipped into it as it gets flung around by rotating parts. That air that's whipped into it is just as harmful as not filling it enough.
Saturday, February 2nd, 2013 AT 1:35 AM