Nissan/Datsun 200SX/510/610/710/810/Maxima 1973-1984 Repair Guide

Automatic Transmission

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FLUID RECOMMENDATIONS



All automatic transmissions use Dexron®II ATF (automatic transmission fluid).

LEVEL CHECK





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Fig. Fig. 1 Check the automatic transmission dipstick with the vehicle level, while the engine is warm and idling in Park



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Fig. Fig. 2 Checking the rear solid axle fluid level

The fluid level in the automatic transmission (or transaxle on late model Maximas) should be checked every 6 months or 7,500 miles (12 months or 15,000 miles, 1980 and later), whichever comes first. The transmission has a dipstick for fluid level checks.

  1. Drive the car until it is at normal operating temperature. The level should not be checked immediately after the car has been driven for a long time at high speed, or in city traffic in hot weather. In those cases, the transmission should be given a half hour to cool down.
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  3. Stop the car, apply the parking brake, then shift slowly through all gear positions, ending in Park. Let the engine idle for about five minutes with the transmission or transaxle in Park. The car should be on a level surface.
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  5. With the engine still running, remove the dipstick, wipe it clean, then reinsert it, pushing it fully home.
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  7. Pull the dipstick again and, holding it horizontally, read the fluid level.
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  9. Cautiously feel the end of the dipstick to determine the temperature. Note that on Datsuns/Nissans there is a scale on each side, HOT on one, COLD on the other. If the fluid level is not in the correct area, more will have to be added.
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  11. Fluid is added through the dipstick tube. You will probably need the aid of a spout or a long necked funnel. Be sure that whatever you pour through is perfectly clean and dry. Use an automatic transmission fluid marked DEXRON®II. Add fluid slowly, and in small amounts, checking the level frequently between additions. Do not overfill, which will cause foaming, fluid loss, slippage, and possible transmission damage. It takes only one pint to raise the level from L to H when the transaxle is hot.
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DRAIN & REFILL



It is recommended that the automatic transmission fluid be changed every 30,000 miles if the vehicle is used in severe service. You may also want to change it if you have bought your car used or if it has been driven in water deep enough to reach the transmission case.

Transmission


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Fig. Fig. 3 Check the automatic transmission dipstick with the vehicle level, while the engine is warm and idling in Park

  1. There is no drain plug. The fluid pan must be removed. Partially remove the pan screws until the pan can be pulled down at one corner. Place a container under the transmission, lower a rear corner of the pan, and allow the fluid to drain.
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  3. After draining, remove the pan screws completely, and remove the pan and gasket.
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  5. Clean the pan thoroughly and allow it to air dry. If you wipe it out with a rag you risk leaving bits of lint in the pan which will clog the tiny hydraulic passages in the transmission.
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It is very important to clean the old gasket from the oil pan, to prevent leaks upon installation, a razor blade does a excellent job at this.

  1. Install the pan using a new gasket. If you decide to use sealer on the gasket apply it only in a very thin bead running to the outside of the pan screw holes. Tighten the pan screws evenly in rotation from the center outwards, to 36-60 inch lbs.
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  3. It is a good idea to measure the amount of fluid drained to determine how much fresh fluid to add. This is because some part of the transmission, such as the torque converter, will not drain completely, and using the dry refill amount specified in the Capacities chart may lead to overfilling. Fluid is added through the dipstick tube. Make sure that the funnel, hose, or whatever you are using is completely clean and dry before pouring transmission fluid through it. Use DEXRON®II automatic transmission fluid.
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  5. Replace the dipstick after filling. Start the engine and allow it to idle. Do NOT race the engine. Check the installation of the new pan gasket for leaks.
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  7. After the engine has idled for a few minutes, shift the transmission slowly through the gears, then return the lever to Park. With the engine idling, check the fluid level on the dipstick. It should be between the H and L marks. If below L, add sufficient fluid to raise the level to between the marks.
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  9. Drive the car until it is at operating temperature. The fluid should be at the H mark. If not, add sufficient fluid until this is the case. Be careful not to overfill. Overfilling causes slippage, overheating, and seal damage.
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If the drained fluid is discolored (brown or black), thick, or smells burnt, serious transmission problems due to overheating should be suspected. Your car's transmission should be inspected by a transmission specialist to determine the cause.

 
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