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Easiest/quickest Way To Siphon Transmission Fluid?

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16 replies to this topic

#1 yahmoncool

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Posted February 9, 2006 at 11:34 am

I overfilled my tranny by a quart or two. I know that can bad if driven in this state for too long. I'd like to siphon some of my tranny fluid out.

What is the best/quickest/easiest way to do this?

Car is a '90 Mustang LX 2.3L

Edited by yahmoncool, February 9, 2006 at 11:35 am.

#2 Bill55AZ

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Posted February 9, 2006 at 11:50 am

Disconnect one of the cooling lines at the radiator, and let it drip for awhile, if it will, and if not, start the engine and run it very briefly. Make sure you have a friend to do that while you hold a bucket under the car to catch it. You may have to put some back in.
Been there.....

#3 yahmoncool

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Posted February 9, 2006 at 11:52 am

The cooling lines have trans fluid running through them? Any old cooling line? How do I spot one?

#4 94Acclaim3.0

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Posted February 9, 2006 at 11:56 am

Check your local part store for a pump. My local Carquest has a tranny fluid siphon for like $7.99 it comes with a hose that goes down the dipstick and then you can pump fluid out. You can only hold about a quart in the reservoir on the cheap one but that will work fine in your situation.

#5 juma1998



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Posted February 9, 2006 at 01:41 pm

When I was younger I tried taking the dipstick out and wiping the fliud off a 100 times! :lol:

OH BOY! Thats good

#6 yahmoncool

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Posted February 9, 2006 at 01:43 pm

Please tell me you didn't really do that ;). I shouldn't say anything tho - I'm the one that has to do this cause I did something stupid in teh first place.

#7 chet42

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Posted February 9, 2006 at 04:48 pm

Go with the pump, its easy and much less messy, i have one i bought a few years back and it works great, it holds about a litre, or for our US friends 1.3 quarts.


#8 juma1998



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Posted February 9, 2006 at 06:14 pm

not a 100 times but a few to see if maybe just maybe i could change anything... lol i didnt know how far down the dipstick was in the pan.

#9 yahmoncool

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Posted February 9, 2006 at 06:27 pm

Okay well those cheapo pumps don't work. I tried two different ones from the store and neither worked. I might just bite the bullet and pay someone to flush it again.

#10 Bob Lincoln

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Posted February 9, 2006 at 08:53 pm

Or do what Bill55AZ suggested, for free. Disconnect a tranny cooler line from the radiator and let it drip, or start the car and run it 5 seconds in neutral, then shut off. And yes, in case you didn't know, there are two metal lines from the tranny to the radiator, often with rubber hose splicing them at the radiator. There is a separate tank inside the bottom tank of the radiator (or side tank, if they are side-mounted) through which tranny fluid flows and is cooled by the coolant (because the coolant is cooler than the tranny fluid).

#11 yahmoncool

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Posted February 9, 2006 at 10:12 pm

How do I know which ones are the cooler lines with the tranny fluid? Do I have to go underneath the car?

#12 Jaydon

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Posted February 9, 2006 at 10:23 pm

The cooling lines have trans fluid running through them? Any old cooling line? How do I spot one?

This is the million dollar question. Anyone know anything about these Ford engines? I think people are assuming it's a Mopar.

Anyway, I have successfully used a hose/pump from a one-gallon bottle of insect killer. But the pump has to be primed first with a thinner solvent because the ATF is too thick to get it started. So I prime it with mineral spirits aka paint thinner, then insert and start pumping. Takes a lot of pumping.

This worked on an a413, because I could insert it right in the tranny, no dipstick tube. If the dipstick tube is too long, it might not reach.

#13 yahmoncool

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Posted February 9, 2006 at 10:32 pm

A guy I know said I can remove a plate in the front of the tranny and access the torque converter from there. If I unplug a... plug the TC drains. But I couldnt' find it... I'm going to call him later on.

#14 HoleShot

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Posted February 10, 2006 at 12:27 am

If all else fails I would think dropping the pan into a clean container would be an option! Re-do the gasket/RTV if needed and re-add the drained fluid. I don't think draining just enough would work as your pan gasket/RTV seal would be compromised. If you have a tranny pan gasket, is it reusable?

#15 sewnauto

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Posted February 10, 2006 at 08:31 am

if you're looking for the cheap and easy, a turkey baster and a length of vac hose work well.

#16 yahmoncool

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Posted February 10, 2006 at 10:49 am

Stupid little WalMart pump worked. Thanks for all the help guys. The car is almost in good shape.

#17 Adam Hoier

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Posted November 10, 2011 at 08:49 am

Over the week end I just had success siphoning about 4 oz (for a used oil analysis) through the ENGINE oil dipstick tube.....using a combination of the "Mixmizer" 2-cycle oil ratio syringe jobby that walmart sells :P

I took the syringe thing, connected the 4" clear plastic hose to the end of the mixmizer (no that wasn't long enough, HA!) - and then I got refrigerator water tubing kit from the plumbing department at Walmart, cut about 2x the length of the engine oil dipstick, and then marked somewhere in the middle (by laying dipstick side by side with the length of tubing) just so I had a "guide" of when the tubing should "hit" oil :)

I then drew up on the syringe, and up came with dark oil....

I'm thinking/hoping a similar process will work for my a413 transmission......it may work for you too :)  I don't see why not...?

The ONLY thing I'm "unsure" of.....and kind of confused with, is we check the ATF level with the engine idling in park.....I'm assuming I should not siphon the ATF with the engine on, right? :P  Granted, there's no "load" on the engine, but surely could be moving parts in there ;)  Just a thought I had.....with the engine oil dipstick, you bet your behind the engine was off :)

I drove it home from work, shut the car off, came back 10 minutes later (let the oil drain back to the pan+ had a fear of melting the plastic tube in the dipstick tube LOL), and set up the little siphon action.  Took 2 syringe pumps to get the recommended 4 oz. for my oil analysis for Blackstone Labs.

Mmy first try for the engine oil was the "Pennzoil" branded Siphon Pump from walmart, for like $2.39 but I followed the same procedure....warmed up the car on the ride home to get the oil to operating temp and to burn off any possible fuel or water/coolant dilution from sitting overnight, marked the siphon pump/tube with sharpie where the dipstick ends, and it would only go maybe half way down the dipstick tube.....my thought was that perhaps the sipon hose was too "flimsy" - cause yea, it almost felt like it was hitting an obstruction.....BUT, the thicker/stronger PEERLESS Ice Maker/Humidifier Installation Kit Line (25 ft. of 1/4" in O.D. UPC 039166112876).  But yea, the only "prep" it took, was I measured out basically "two times" the length of my dipstick of line, snipped it off with pliers, at about a 45 degree angle (some article/site I read, either here, or BITOG.....likely) said it would be a "good idea" for some reason to have the less than 90 degree "snip" at the end....no idea why really, but eh, it did work; just do it.  OH, the hardest part was flattening/unraveling the tubing.  Since it comes rolled in a 5" "roll" within the bag, it took a bit of fanagling to get it "straightened up".

But yea, this was used for the ENGINE oil.....I'm thinking the similar method would work with the ATF :)

I don't think I'd suggest using aquarium tubing though!  Methinks the aquarium tubing may be waaaayyy too thin for the hot engine oil.....and way too flimsy....likely run into the same problem I had with the first attempt with the siphon pump, I "looked at" some aquarium tubing, and it just seemed too squishy and thin.  The ice maker kit line is a little more "thick"....


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