How to Change the Transmission Fluid in a 99 Toyota Corolla

Written by tonya cunningham
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How to Change the Transmission Fluid in a 99 Toyota Corolla
Change the transmission fluid in your 1997 Corolla every 30,000 to 50,000 miles. (panne image by Charly from Fotolia.com)

Transmission fluid is designed to cool and lubricate the various parts of a transmission. Your car relies on transmission fluid to perform at its intended capability. Part of responsible ownership of your 1999 Toyota Corolla includes changing the transmission fluid. Determining how often this should be done depends on the conditions of the roads your car frequents. If you typically drive inner-city streets in highly polluted areas, you should change your transmission fluid every 40,000 miles or more. However, if you normally drive in more suburban or highway conditions, you may be able to wait until the 60,000 mile point to change your transmission fluid.

Skill level:
Moderately Challenging

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Things you need

  • Safety glasses
  • Dripping pan
  • Funnel
  • Petroleum-resistant gloves
  • 10mm Allen wrench
  • Degreaser
  • Wet shop rag
  • Jack
  • 4 jack stands

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Instructions

  1. 1

    Heat the fluid in your Corolla's transmission by letting it run for at least 10 minutes.

  2. 2

    Prop your car horizontally off the ground using a car jack and four evenly placed jack stands.

  3. 3

    Put your petroleum-based gloves and safety goggles on before beginning any work near the fluid under your car.

  4. 4

    Go under the bonnet of your car and find the square pan with bolts. This is called the "transmission pan," and is located in the centre of the area under the front of your car.

  5. 5

    Find the transmission pan's drain plug, which is usually bolted at the side of the pan. This will be a slightly different bolt from the others, which are actually holding the pan in place.

  6. 6

    Position your dripping pan under the transmission pan so that when the fluid drains, it will fall directly into the pan and not onto the ground.

  7. 7

    Use your 10mm Allen wrench to unbolt the drain plug. Fluid will immediately start pouring out of the transmission pan, so be sure to keep your head and hands out of the way as your dripping pan catches the spill of fluid. This step could take 10 to 20 minutes before the fluid is completely drained.

  8. 8

    Unscrew the mounting bolts from the transmission pan after the drain plug is no longer releasing fluid. Keep in mind that there will still be a small amount of warm fluid in the drain pan as you are loosening it from the transmission, so use caution that the pan does not tip during this step.

  9. 9

    Pour the remaining old transmission fluid from the transmission pan into your dripping pan.

  10. 10

    Clean your transmission pan completely, using a little degreaser on your wet shop rag.

  11. 11

    Re-mount the transmission pan by lightly screwing each bolt in with your fingers, then using your Allen wrench to securely torque the bolts.

  12. 12

    Lift your Corolla's bonnet and find the transmission fill hole, which will be located at the top of the transmission, halfway between the driver's and passenger's sides of your car.

  13. 13

    Release the cap on the transmission fill hole, which usually unscrews easily with your fingers.

  14. 14

    Place your funnel straight into the fill hole and begin pouring in the new transmission fluid, a half-quart at a time.

  15. 15

    Check the transmission fluid with the dipstick that is attached to the fill hole cap. Even when the fluid appears to have reached capacity, it is likely to go down once the gears of the transmission have been shifted.

  16. 16

    Start your car and shift into each gear slowly and gently, with your foot on the brake. This step allows the transmission fluid to flow through your Corolla's transmission system and provides a more accurate dipstick reading.

  17. 17

    Continue pouring the transmission fluid into the fill hole while your engine is running, then shifting the gears of the car so that the fluid flows down into the system. When the dipstick shows that the fluid is at the fill-line level, the transmission fluid change is finished.

  18. 18

    Remove the four jack stands and car jack from under your car.

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