Q: How complicated should changing manual transmission oil be?

asked by on

Hi. As you would know the idea of a dipstick or level-checking utility is often not available for manual transmissions. I am hoping there is no problem and I don't want to bring in complications, but I am pretty sure my car did not get the transmission fluid changed since the original leasing owner and the 9 years we've had it. Mileage is not high. It just makes sense that contamination with gearbox components (metal shavings) could cause gradual wear. When I was under the car to do an oil change, I noticed that identifying the transmission was that much harder than in an automatic car. How would manual tranmission fluid be changed (hypoid gear oil 75W-90)? I am pretty sure it can't all be flushed out if you don't have the special equipment of a shop and a lift. But I am stuck wondering how maybe bolts from part of the bell housing have to be undone when under the car, and even then where is the fill-up port? I also have hard time getting into gear 1 when car is rolling fairly slowing in neutral. i never force the lever; i just keep redoing different shift patterns and when the car is eventually stationary it will go into place. Thank you

My car has 35000 miles.
My car has a manual transmission.

Hi there. On many of the older Toyotas, changing manual or automatic transmission fluid wasn’t very complicated. The autos had a dipstick and the manuals used a specification of when new gear oil starts flowing out of the fill port in a 3mm wide stream.

The drain plug is usually a pretty obvious one found on the bottom of the transmission and the fill plug was the trickier one that could be on either side of the assembly. Look for a plug on the side of the transmission that matches the drain plug. Usually a 22mm bolt with a washer. The drain plug will also have a magnet attached to it that will need to be cleaned; just drain the fluid, clean the magnet, install a new washer, and reinstall the plug.

To fill the transmission, have the vehicle level, remove the fill plug and fill until a 3mm wide stream of fluid starts to run out of the fill plug hole. Then install a new washer on the fill plug and reinstall. Clean the excess and there you have it, a finished manual transmission service. On a side note, the shifter concern you noted sounds like what is called a shifter seat bushing that is worn out. To replace this, the shifter needs to be removed from the transmission and should be done by an experienced technician. YourMechanic has several available technicians that can assist you with an inspection of the shifting issue to determine the root cause of the problem and perform a transmission fluid service if needed.

Was this answer helpful?

Need advice from certified mechanic? Get help now!

Over 1,000 mechanics are ready to answer your question.
The statements expressed above are only for informational purposes and should be independently verified. Please see our terms of service for more details
  1. Home
  2. Questions
  3. How complicated should changing manual transmission oil be?

Get an instant quote for your car

Our certified mechanics come to you ・Backed by 12-month, 12,000-mile guarantee・Fair and transparent pricing

Get a quote

What others are asking

Q: Brakes catch first thing

For an issue like this, a certified mechanic will need to inspect the vehicle and determine exactly where the problem is located. However, it sounds to me like you have a problem with a sticking caliper or a fluid leak....

Q: Q: Cv axles

Hello. This oil is actually transmission fluid and it is normal to be leaked out while changing them. Just be sure to check the transmission fluid after changing these to ensure not too much has leaked out and that you...

Q: Q: Key not turning

Hi there. This problem is caused by a lack of mobility in your ignition cylinder. The bumps on your key depress a series of channels in the cylinder in the correct combination in order for it to release its locking...

Related articles

What Causes Hoses to Leak?
While the largest part of your engine is mechanical, hydraulics plays a significant role. You’ll find fluids at work in a number of different areas. Your car's fluids include: Engine oil Transmission...
How to Avoid Back Pain in a Car
If you have back problems, sitting in a car for an extended period of time can be excruciating. Even without back problems, you could experience discomfort and soreness from...
P2428 OBD-II Trouble Code: Exhaust Gas Temperature Too High Bank 1
P2428 code definition A P2428 trouble code signifies that the PCM has detected a problem in the exhaust gas temperature sensor circuit in bank 1, which subsequently contains the number one...