FLUID LEVEL CHECK
See Figures 1, 2, 3 and 4
A dipstick is provided in the engine compartment to check the level of the automatic transaxle.
It is very important to maintain the proper fluid level in an automatic transaxle. If the level is either too high or too low, poor shifting operation and internal damage are likely to occur. For this reason, a regular check of the fluid level is essential.
It is best to check fluid at normal operating temperature.
- Drive the vehicle for 15-20 minutes or idle it at a fast idle speed (about 1200 rpm), allowing the transaxle to reach operating temperature. When the fluid is warm allow the engine to idle normally.
- Park the car on a level surface, apply the parking brake and leave the engine idling. Make sure the parking brake is FIRMLY ENGAGED.
- Depress the brake pedal and shift the transaxle engaging each gear, then place the selector in P (PARK) position.
- Keep the engine running and open the hood. Locate the transaxle dipstick. Wipe away any dirt in the area of the dipstick to prevent it from falling into the filler tube. Withdraw the dipstick, wipe it with a clean, lint-free rag and reinsert it until it fully seats.
- Withdraw the dipstick and hold it horizontally while noting the fluid level. It should be between the L and the F marks when the temperature of the fluid is at or above 65°-77°C (149°-170°F).
- If the level is below the lower mark, use a funnel and add fluid in small quantities through the dipstick filler neck. Keep the engine running while adding fluid and check the level after each small amount. DO NOT overfill, as this could lead to foaming and transaxle damage or seal leaks.
Since the transaxle fluid is added through the dipstick tube, if you check the fluid too soon after adding fluid, an incorrect reading may occur. After adding fluid, wait a few minutes to allow it to fully drain into the transaxle.
PAN & FILTER SERVICE
See Figures 5 and 6
Although not a required service, transaxle fluid changing can help assure a trouble-free transaxle. Likewise, changing the transaxle filter at this time is also added insurance.
- Raise the car and support it securely on jackstands.
- Place a large drain pan under the transaxle.
- Loosen all the pan bolts except the bolts on the four corners.
- Loosen the front two bolts about three turns and the rear two bolts about six turns.
- Use a prytool to gently separate the pan from the transaxle.
- As the fluid drains from the pan, keep loosening the bolts in the same two-to-one ratio allowing all the fluid to completely drain.
- When fluid has drained, remove the pan bolts and the pan, doing your best to drain the rest of the fluid into the drain pan.
- Loosen the transaxle fluid filter mounting bolts.
- Remove the filter by pulling it down and off of the valve body. Make sure any gaskets or seals are removed with the old filter.
- Install the new oil filter screen, making sure all gaskets or seals are in place, then tighten the retaining bolts to 7-9 ft lbs. (9-12 Nm).
- Place a new gasket on the fluid pan, then install the pan to the transaxle. Tighten the attaching bolts to 15-19 ft lbs. (20-26 Nm).
- Remove the jackstands and lower the vehicle.
- Add the proper type and quantity of fluid through the dipstick tube.
- The level should always just be below the F mark.
- Start the engine and move the gear selector through all gears in the shift pattern. Allow the engine to reach normal operating temperature.
- Check the transaxle fluid level. Add fluid, as necessary, to obtain the correct level.