How to Change the Transmission Fluid in an Automatic C5 Corvette

Updated February 28, 2017

The General Motors Corporation provided the automatic Chevrolet Corvette C5 with a unique, high-performance transmission. To keep this transmission running the way it was intended, the fluid has to be checked regularly and added when it is not at the optimum level. Every 50,000 miles the automatic transmission fluid, seal and filter should be changed. This procedure should only take you about half an hour but will help prolong the life of your transmission.

Run the engine for 10 minutes to warm the transmission fluid and circulate any sediment that may be present in the fluid.

Engage the parking brake on your Corvette and place tire blocks in front of the front tires to prevent it from shifting forward during this process. Use a jack to lift up the rear end of the car. Be careful not to raise it too far or it can crush the front end into the ground and contort the frame.

Crawl under the rear of the car and locate the transmission pan and the transmission plug. Place the fluid dripping pan under this plug and loosen the plug with a socket wrench. Allow the transmission fluid to drain into the pan. Allow the fluid to drain fully, about 10 minutes.

Unscrew the bolts that hold the transmission pan in place about halfway and then support the pan with one hand as you loosen the bolts completely. Slowly lower the transmission pan and drain the rest of the fluid into the dripping pan.

Remove the transmission filter with your hands or a filter wrench. Drain the filter into the dripping pan and remove the filter seal.

Place the new filter seal on the valve body. This seal should be included with the transmission fluid filter kit. Attach the new transmission filter and tighten until snug.

Release the bonnet, remove the transmission dipstick and use a funnel to pour four quarts of transmission fluid in through the dipstick hole. Turn the engine on and run it for 10 minutes to allow the fluid to heat and expand. Check the fluid levels with the dipstick and pour more transmission fluid in if needed.

Things You'll Need

  • Fluid dripping pan
  • Jack
  • Tire blocks
  • Socket wrench
  • Automatic transmission filter kit, ACDelco TF306
  • 4 quarts, automatic transmission fluid, Dextron III
  • Filter wrench, if needed
  • Funnel
  • Shop towels
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