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7.6 Automatic Transaxle Service

Smooth and efficient operation of the automatic transmission relies on the automatic transmission fluid (ATF). Many automatic transmission problems can be traced to an incorrect fluid level, a clogged ATF strainer, or contaminated fluid. With regular preventative maintenance, expensive and unnecessary automatic transmission repair may be avoided.

Before checking the ATF level, inspect for leaks. ATF leaks are most likely to occur around the ATF pan gasket and at the bottom of the bellhousing, where the transaxle joins the engine. Final drive lubricant leaks will most likely occur around the drive flanges. All leaks should be corrected. If necessary, replace a leaky ATF pan gasket as described below. For more information, see AUTOMATIC TRANSMISSION.


Extreme cleanliness is important when working on the automatic transmission. Use lint-free rags to check the level, and use a clean funnel when adding fluid.

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