How to Change the Transmission Fluid in an Isuzu Rodeo

Updated April 17, 2017

Changing fluids in your vehicle is a simple procedure that can help save you time and money. The Isuzu Rodeo features both manual and automatic transmission models. Each has different fluid requirements and a different method of refilling, but you can add transmission fluid to both with a minimal amount of time and effort--and it will help save money in the long run.

Drive your Rodeo about 15 to 20 miles on the highway, or the equivalent distance in city driving, to achieve normal engine operating temperature.

Park the vehicle on a level surface, with the engine idling and foot brake applied. Run the gear selector through each of the gear positions, including reverse.

Remove the transmission dipstick from the filler plug located at the rear of the engine compartment on the passenger side. Wipe it clean with a paper towel. Replace the dipstick, making sure it seats completely before removing it again. The fluid level should be between the "Add" and "Full" lines. If not, fill with transmission fluid as indicated in your owner's manual. If the fluid is brown, smells burnt or contains water, proceed to Step 4.

Drive your Rodeo again to achieve normal operating temperature.

Drive your Rodeo onto a car lift or jack, following all precautions and instructions for securing the vehicle safely.

Place a drain pan beneath the transmission pan to catch any drained lubricant. Loosen the pan mounting bolts with the socket wrench to allow the lubricant to run out of one corner of the pan. Measure the drained lubricant so you know roughly how much to add later.

Remove the remaining bolts from the transmission pan with the socket wrench, then remove the pan and pan gasket. Use the socket wrench to remove the filter retaining bolts then remove the filter.

Clean the bottom pan with a noncombustible solvent. You may need to scrape the remaining pieces of the old gasket off the pan with a razor blade. Also clean the gasket surface of the transmission.

Install a new filter into the transmission.

Place a new gasket in the pan. Install the pan and tighten the pan bolts gradually with the socket wrench.

Pour the appropriate amount of automatic transmission fluid (DEXRON II) down the filler tube, using your measurements from Step 6. Remember to add additional fluid if your earlier levels were low.

Start the engine with the transmission in park. Allow the vehicle to idle for a few minutes then run the gear selector through all the gears. Check the transmission levels and adjust as needed.

Drive your Rodeo onto a car lift or jack, following all precautions and instructions for securing the vehicle safely.

Locate the transmission fluid filler hole on the driver's side of the transmission. Remove the filler plug. If lubricant runs out, or you can feel lubricant inside the reservoir with your finger, the transmission fluid is at the proper level. Otherwise, proceed to Step 3.

Place a drain pan underneath the drain plug on the bottom of the transmission to catch any remaining lubricant that drains from the transmission.

Fill the transmission to the filler hole with the appropriate lubricant (DEXRON II). Replace the filler plug.


When emptying transmission fluid, make sure your work space is protected from spills. Cardboard underneath your work zone is lightweight and won't allow leaked fluid to seep through to the floor. When disposing of used transmission fluid, obey local ordinances concerning the disposal of hazardous materials.

Things You'll Need

  • Car lift or jack stand
  • Drain pan
  • Lubricant
  • Paper towels
  • Screwdriver
  • Socket wrench set
  • Razor blade (optional)
  • Pan gasket
  • Transmission filter
  • Noncombustible cleaning solvent
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About the Author

Joseph Cohen has over six years of experience in writing and editing business-to-business media summaries for numerous Fortune 500 companies. He is the author of The Future Soldier: Fast Movers, a role-playing supplement from Steampower Publishing. Cohen holds a Bachelor of Science in journalism from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.