ATTENTION: You should implement draining of only hot fluid (not less than 60 °C or 140 °F) from automatic transmission (AT) to remove dirt existing in oil in suspension.
To change automatic transmission fluid you need a trestle, a car lift or a pit to remove a crankcase protection and to open a drain plug. You needn’t remove the protector on some Peugeot models because there are some special holes in it, but you will have to open the drain plug anyway.
- The main plug to check the oil level
- The oil drain plug
The volume of removed AT fluid is equal to approximately 3 litres.
To open the main plug of AT (picture 1) you need a tommy bar or a square section head as shown in pictures.
In the next phase of changing fluid you need open the main drain plug for 3 litres that is unscrewed with 8mm hexagon key.
NOTE: Changing fluid is partial as it is not possible to drain oil from the torque converter completely.
After oil running down, install:
- the oil drain plug for filling fluid (2); screw it with the torque of 0,9 ± 0,1 dNm.
- the main plug for changing the fluid level (1); screw it with the torque of 3,3 ± 0,5 dNm.
NOTE: The volume of removed working automatic transmission fluid must be equal to approximately 3 litres.
Do not rush to install the crankcase protection because after filling oil it’s necessary to control the AT fluid level.
How to Fill Fluid
ATTENTION: Only ESSO LT 71141 fluid can be used.
The oil volume of dry automatic transmission AL4 is equal to 5.85 litres.
The volume of working fluid to fill is equal to approximately 3 litres.
- Screw the drain plug on AT (3) (with new gasket preferably); screw it with the torque of 2,4 ± 0,3 dNm.
- Reset the working fluid counter (follow the procedure indicated in the diagnostic computer).
How to Check the Automatic AL4 Transmission Fluid Level
- The car must be on the horizontal plane
- There is no emergency mode
- Unscrew filling working fluid plug (picture 3)
- Fill in half a litre of oil
- Hit the brake pedal and switch the gear selector several times
- Move the gear selector in parking position
- When the motor is in operation, unscrew the plug under idling (1)
- Warm up your car and AT to 60 °C or 140 °F (+ 8 °C or 46 °F; – 2 °C or – 35 °F)
- Wait for working fluid running with air bubbles
NOTE: The oil level on AT is achieved by oil running with the engine running: first it runs as a jet, then – as a jet with air bubbles, and then – as drops. The plug is usually screwed when working fluid runs with air bubbles.
A higher fluid level can cause oil and automatic transmission overheating.
On the other hand, friction will wear out because of a lower level.
Don’t fill any washing liquid in automatic AL4 transmission!
A few words more about changing fluid in AT
For every vehicle owner the process of changing oil in gearbox is a necessary process. This act should be done regularly and by only professionals. If you try to solve this problem yourself and you are not a professional, you can damage automatic transmission’s functionality. Nowadays there are only two main types of changing fluid – partial and complete.
The Partial Changing Automatic Transmission Fluid
First of all, as the car reaches a repair shop, old fluid is drained from the transmission sump. Then the sump and the filter part are removed. These components are washed and cleaned thoroughly. After washing them they are installed back in their places. It should be noted that it’s necessary to update the sump gasket and the filter. Then new fluid is filled, and workers of a repair shop adjust its appropriate level. The car starts and oil is filled again to the lowest level. A small disadvantage of this way is that there is a mix of old and new fluid variants. All working fluid deposits remain within the gearbox. So that’s why you just can’t notice some special changes in automatic transmission work.
The Complete Changing Automatic Transmission Fluid
The process of complete changing fluid is considered to be a displacement of working oil off the transmission. But we can’t call it absolutely complete. The fact is that some part remains. It’s equal to approximately 0.5-1 % of the overall volume. Every transmission consists of the cooling system. But it is outside of the gearbox. There is the continuous liquid circulation if the car’s engine is in good working order. Only modern equipment can solve the problem of worn-out components removal from the system. And the same device participates in filling of new fluid.
It accepts old oil and immediately fills the chain up with new fluid. The control of equipment’s functionality is governed by a professional of a repair shop who cares about dashboard. The equipment must consist of two transparent pipes. They are used in order to pump oil and to appraise the general condition of moving fluid. And after the colour in both pipes becomes the same, the process can be considered completed. If you choose the complete changing but not the partial one, you’ll get:
- improvements in automatic transmission functionality
- financial savings (the partial changing should be done every 10-20 000 km)
- savings in time
- longer period of gearbox maintenance
The Process of Changing AT Oil Should Be Done by Only Professionals
Reasons for fluid leakages from automatic transmissions
Many years ago workers of a repair shop often joked about the fact that if oil doesn’t drop from the car, the vehicle gas run out of it. Now we can’t say the same as vehicles are being improved all the time. Which oil exactly you use is also important. Nobody jokes about its lack knowing what it can cause.
Of course, if in the morning you observe some strange oil stain in the place where you left your car, it’s still not a cause for calling on a wrecker and going to the service center. But it’s better to dilute your suspicions. To do that, in the evening leave you car in the garage and cover the floor under the automatic transmission with several sheets of paper on which you will definitely see oil drops. If you don’t have a garage, it’s not a problem. Just try to find a clean and dry place with a hard surface and without any spots or stains. In the morning you’ll observe the results. If there are fluid stains, something is wrong with your car’s gearbox. You mustn’t ignore it, moreover, you should take into account the fact that in non-operative condition oil viscosity is increased. If oil drops while the gearbox doesn’t work, during movement it starts heating, its fluidity and leakages are also increased.
What is easier?
First, remember whether you worked with your gearbox some time ago. Working fluid can leak even because of usual carelessness of those who did this work. The following things can become the reasons:
- the oil drain plug is not tightened or just unscrewed what is really rare occasion;
- reverse sensor after its changing isn’t screwed completely or, what is worse, it is screwed but not properly;
- the probe that measures the level in the gearbox is installed in a curved or loose way;
- trivial overfilling of automatic transmission fluid.
There is a mistaken belief that you can’t damage the gearbox with fluid. It’s not true. If it’s too much, it’ll be forced out. It can damage automatic transmission oil seals. You can fix this yourself with your tools. Place the car over the pit or on the trestle to have a free access to it. The main point is that you should act accurately and without fanaticism not to damage the dry plug thread.
If oil leaks through the gasket, it’s more serious. But you can remove this defect yourself too without visiting a repair shop. It’s only necessary to buy a new gasket. While changing it you must check the place where you should install it whether there’re some scratches or cracks. If you observe them, refurbish the surface with usual epoxy resin and install the gasket using special sealant.
The breather plug
When the car moves, oil heats; when the vehicle is stationary, fluid cools. To compensate the following pressure differences, install special pipes on the transmission hoods. Through these pipes expanding gas is freely transported into the atmosphere. If this pipe is сlogged, the pressure within the gearbox starts increasing and fluid begins forcing through the oil seals.
You can solve the problem with cleaning the breather plug. To do this, first of all buy a new gasket. It’s not recommended to use the old seal. Remove the hood and clean the breather plug with a wire or a steel cable of the corresponding diameter. Then to remove the remains of dirt, blow it out and wash it with gasoline. In some gearboxes the breather plug is an inturn plug. It’s not expensive so it’s better to change it.
The oil seal
For various reasons, e.g. if you don’t clean the oil seal or just because of wearing-out, fluid can leak through gaskets. If something wrong with the seal’s age, then just change it. But if it’s damaged but your car is almost new, you should identify the cause quickly. It’s possible that recently you used poor-quality oil.
It is better not to change oil seals yourself if you don’t have special skills. Otherwise you can damage them or install them with bias. Anyway, as a result of such work fluid can leak more and more powerful.
The Most Unpleasant Thing Concerning Automatic Transmission
If automatic transmission fluid leaks through the gasket on the actuator, you can eliminate the cause only by removing the gearbox. In such cases car owners usually try to change the clutch immediately, to undertake a complete diagnostic of all working components and, of course, to change the gasket.
If oil drops or leaks in between the engine and the gearbox and if it is a foreign-made car, it can mean the breakdown of the torque converter. Accordingly, you’ll spend much money to repair it. This defect is a common characteristic especially of Japanese cars.
Anyway, you mustn’t ignore oil leaving your car’s AT. It can cause not only costly repairs but also emergency cases, especially if the gearbox becomes wedged while the vehicle is in motion.