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Change Transmission Fluid 2001 Camry

Old 06-25-2011, 06:56 PM
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Join Date: May 2011
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Default Change Transmission Fluid 2001 Camry

The process I used to change my transmission fluid and filter on my 2001 Camry with an automatic transmission:

Tools needed: 3/8 drive ratchet, 3" extension, 10 mm socket, 10 mm allen head, pliars, and a small screwdriver.

1. Warmed up the car and placed it up on ramps with the e-brake on and blocked the rear tires.

2. Using the 10 mm allen head I removed the drain plug and drained the fluid from the transmission to a drain pan. Once that was done, I put on the 10 mm socket and slightly loosened up each of the 15 pan bolts of the transmission pan until the remaining fluid drained from the low side of it, trying to contain the mess as best as possible. Removed drain pain completely keeping track of all the bolts.

3. Next the filter was removed by taking out the three bolts holding it in place with the 10 mm socket. Noted a small plastic tube at the passenger end of filter.

4. Since I wanted to let the transmission drip drain a while, I went to Wal-Mart and picked up 2 gallons of Dexron III and a Snickers bar.

5. I cleaned the transmission pan and 2 magnets using some old towels and some brake cleaner. I also cleaned the bolts with brake cleaner. I dabbed a spot of blue Loctite on each of them once they were clean. The gasket surface of the transmission was also cleaned. I did see a few metal flakes -

6. Installed the new filter. One of the bolts is slightly longer than the other 2 - it's the single one on the passenger end of the filter. I used a screwdriver to bend out the tab on the filter that holds the tiny plastic tube on this end in place so that it would contain the tube but not squish it. Looking closely, I noticed the dipstick could contact and damage this tube if it is not positioned properly.

7. Positioned the pan in place and snugged up all of the bolts. I then tightened them up by 1/8 turn increments in a manner to try to tighten all sides equally at once until they were all tight (don't over tighten!). Installed the plug.

8. The work under the car was completed now, so I pushed the car off the ramps to get it level. Replaced the lost fluid to the pan (~3 qts) through the transmission dipstick tube.

9. I removed the return line to the transmission pan by releasing a small hose clamp and directed it into a drain pan. I started the car for 20-30 second intervals I think 4 different times: each time I did this about a qt of old fluid came out this line, which I then replaced with a fresh qt each time I did this into the transmission by adding more through the dipstick tube. Once it looked like clean fluid was coming out, I stopped and replaced the transmission line to the pan. It was midnight so I closed the hood not too worried about much since I was replacing all the fluid I took out of it.

That's how it happened. Then, next day I let my wife take it 2 miles to the grocery store before I checked it, who said it revved a little once at a stop sign, so I ran out there and added a qt, then ultimately another half qt to get it up to the right level. That was my mistake. I doubt any harm was done. You decide for yourself if this procedure is for you. Most just drain the pan.

In the future, I think I'll be draining the pan and adding some fresh fluid every 3 oil changes or so. Easier.
Old 08-11-2011, 04:14 PM
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Join Date: May 2011
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Just getting back to the post to let everyone know that the car is doing great and all is well. It's ready for another oil change though, which I'll do tomorrow. I pulled the dipstick and it used about 1/2 qt over the past 2700 miles. It could use some new struts for sure (120K). I just inspected the front pads and they show 1/4" or better of pad remaining. That's about it. I like quality.
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