How to change the automatic transmission oil filter
Toyota Camry 1997-2011: How to change the automatic transmission oil
This article applies to the Toyota Camry (1997-2011).
The automatic transmission oil in your Camry is one of the most overlooked maintenance parts because there is no large cap and no opening to remove and fill. Many people do not even think about changing it until they start having problems with the transmission. That is far too late, and this old burnt fluid does more harm than good. Changing the fluid may not be as easy as changing the engine oil. However, it is still a very simple process. Do not be fooled into thinking that you have to pay a high fee for a professional to do it for you. You can do this simple task yourself and save a bundle of money. It does not even take an hour so you can do this job in the morning and not be late for work. If you do not have an oil dipstick in your model, you will need a liquid pump kit that is pretty inexpensive, in which case you should contact this gear specialist. Don’t know how to change Oil Toyota Camry 2002-2011? So read our new article about it!
- Collection tray for the old liquid
- Shop rags
- 10 mm hex wrench
- Transmission oil transfer pump for vehicles without dipstick
Check (and change) the transmission oil when it is warm. The fluid expands under heat, so in order to obtain an accurate measurement; the fluid must be at operating temperature and checked when the vehicle is parked in the car park. When replacing, it is recommended to do this when the car is warm as it allows the fluid to flush out more easily.
Step 1 – Lifting the front end
Use a hydraulic floor jack on a level surface and lift the front end of the vehicle. Place the vehicle on two jack stands in the correct and safest position as described in your Owner’s Manual.
Step 2 – Remove filling plug / drain plug
Under the vehicle, on the driver’s side, is the ATF drain plug. The filler neck is located just above the drain plug. It is difficult to see at first. You should first remove the filler plug with a 10 mm hex wrench. This will create the vacuum you need when you empty it. If you do not pull the filling plug first, the liquid will escape in random patterns and be distributed everywhere. After removing the filler plug, remove the drain plug. If you have an oil dipstick, remove it first and then remove the drain plug. Allow the liquid to drain completely until it stops flowing.
Step 3 – Replace drain plug
Once all the liquid has been drained, fill it with fresh liquid.
- On dipstick models, you can use a small diameter funnel and fill through the dipstick tube with the appropriate ATF fluid from the manual.
- For models without dipstick, use a liquid transfer pump and fill through the filling port.
- Fill the feed pump with the correct amount of fluid.
- Insert the transfer tube into the fill port and pump all new fluid into your gear housing.
Check your old fluid thoroughly. Look specifically for metal chips or large pieces of debris. This indicates a transfer problem that you should have had checked by a specialist. Otherwise, the liquid may have a dark color and smell a little burnt. This is probably normal and indicates that you were ready to change the fluid.
Step 4 – Bring vehicle to operating temperature
Start your car, apply the emergency brake, depress the brake pedal and shift through the gears, then bring it back to parking. Allow the car to warm up completely and check your fluid level (if you have a dipstick). It is difficult to know the correct level of these sealed systems, so it is important that you can measure the amount of ATF that has been drained and replace it with the same amount or just a little more. If the level is correct, drop the car and test drive for 10 minutes, then check again. Add more fluid if necessary.