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How to Replace an FWD Automatic Transmission?

Did you know that aptly maintained front-wheel drive (FWD) automatic transmission lasts longer than the vehicle itself? But if it is not maintenance properly it can cost you a handful of bucks. If you are investing money and efforts in its maintenance, chances are it will last almost a few more years than your car. So, the question is how to replace an FWD automatic transmission when it has gone bad.

If you are considering the professionals for replacing the FWD automatic transmission, then all you need to do is pay. But, in case you are trying to DIY, then it would be better to read the repair manual and learn maintenance tips too for replacing or repairing the FWD automatic transmission.

How to Replace an FWD Automatic Transmission?

There are a few steps following which you can replace an FWD automatic transmission. Of course, you can take it to the professionals to treat your vehicle. But, being a vehicle owner, you, too need to know the exact process of replacing an FWD automatic transmission.

Here’s how to replace an FWD automatic transmission:

1. Loosen Front Axle Nuts

The process starts with loosening both the front axle nuts. You can use a spindle nut & breaker bar to do so. Don’t remove the axle nuts, just loosen it up. Besides this, also loosen the front wheel lug nuts. You might even have to place a drain pan beneath the transmission. The purpose is to drain the fluid as per what’s mentioned for your car.

How to replace FWD automatic transmission
Don’t remove the axle nuts, just loosen it up

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2. Remove the Battery

The battery and the air intake system might block your access, remove it. Disconnect the battery, no matter if you still have the space around it. So, the second step is to remove the battery of your vehicle.

3. Lift the Vehicle

The next step is to block the rear wheel and lift the vehicle using the jack. Now, put the jack stands beneath the frame behind the front wheels—lower the car on the stands. Now remove the wheels and axle nuts. Position the jack under the transmission for support before getting the tie-down strap ready to work.

4. Remove Starter Bolts

Support both transmission and engine, remove starter bolts, and even transmission-to-engine bolts. Use a universal joint socket for reaching these bolts.

5. Disconnect the Transmission

Now, you will need to disconnect the transmission cooler lines. Let them drain into a container before you remove the dipstick, shifter cable, and other electrical wires that are connected to the transmission.

How to replace FWD automatic transmission
This step includes removing front axles, lower bell housing cover plate, torque converter bolts using a screwdriver

6. Remove the Axles

This step includes removing front axles, lower bell housing cover plate, torque converter bolts using a screwdriver. It is better to measure the depth of the torque converter residing inside the transmission housing. You might need this later to put things back.

7. Secure the Tie-Down Strap

Now, the step is to secure the tie-down strap around the transmission. Now, remove transmission and engine mounts besides mounting bolts. Disconnect the transmission from the engine.

8. Focus on New Transmission

Now, you will need to shift your focus to the new transmission. Place the new torque converter aptly. Keep it turning while pushing to fit into the place. Now check the depth measurements you took earlier and set the transmission in the first go. Make sure you seat it properly, once you have done it, compare the old and the new transmissions.

9. Raise the Replacement Transmission

The next step is to raise the replacement transmission into its place aptly. While aligning the transmission to the engine, make sure to have an alignment pin that helps in providing the first point of contact before installing the transmission-to-engine bolts. Refer your repair manual to torque all bolts.

10. Reinstall the Torque Converter Bolts

Now follow the converse steps from disassembly. All bolts and nuts will be and torqued aptly. There should be no loose nuts and bolts. This is another step to follow when you want to know how to replace an FWD automatic transmission.

11. Install the Axle Nuts

This step will involve installing the axle nuts. Hang the tires and run the lug nuts down. Remember, there should be a stable contact with the wheels. Now, elevate the vehicle back off the jack stands. Torque the axle and lower down the jack to remove it off altogether.

12. Fill the Transmission with Fluid

When you want to know how to replace FWD automatic transmission, it is best to pick the high quality fluid for your vehicle. Choose the best quality of transmission fluid to fill the transmission. To know which fluid is best for your vehicle, you will have to refer to your vehicle’s manual. So, when you fill the transmission, begin by starting the engine and letting the transmission warms up. Shift the gears and let it shift into every gear to check things are working normally. Verify the fluid level and avoid overfilling the transmission. The leaked fluid can cause damage.

How to replace FWD automatic transmission
Refer to the fluid that is mentioned in the vehicle’s manual.

What Have We Learnt?

So, with this guide, we have learned how to replace FWD automatic transmission. Either you can follow these steps and DIY replacing FWD automatic transmission at home or ask a professional to do so.