Impala 2003 Auto Transmission Oil Change

It's about time to change the transmission fluid in my 2003 Impala 3.8. I thought I would order a Haynes manual (Chilton evidently does not make one
for that car) and do it myself. I'm a do-it-yourself maintenance type of guy and have done this on a number of other cars over the years but never on a transverse mounted engine. Is this a fairly simple job, or should I take it to a mechanic? Thanks.
-John Banister
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Ive never done it on exactly that car, but have done it on tons of other GM products. On every one of them I have done, it is easy to do and well within the abilities of most hobbyist mechanics.
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On Mon, 19 Feb 2007 20:53:27 GMT, "John Banister"

fluid you'll have to drain - my old oil pan wasn't big enough, had to do it in 2 stages, emptying the pan inbetween. As the gentleman said, very straightforward.
- Larry A.
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Get one of those large plastic Rubbermaid storage containers to drain the oil into. The one I got is about 24 x 17. It seems the oil drain pans are not as wide as the trans pan and a mess on the floor will occur.
The gasket on your trans pan may be the re-usable type.
Good Luck
harryface 05 Park Avenue 54,010 91 Bonneville 308, 892
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Thanks to all for the good info. I'll give it a try.
-John

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On those GM transmissions I am familiar with of this type, there is a bushing which the filter neck fits into.
Some people dont replace these, although they usually come with the filter kit. I do replace them.
You can use a small sharp flat blade screwdriver to pry the old one out or, if need be, you can collapse the old one with a screwdriver and hammer and pry it out. It is easy enough to do, but go easy and dont use a BFH where a tackhammer will work.
Then I use a socket to tap the new one up into the bore.
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most people probably don't have laying around but works well if used carefully. On reinstallation, you must put the new bushing in first, then the filter - trying to put it on the filter, then installing both at the same time won't work.
Also (and I am NOT a transmission guy!) - my 2001 Impala has about a 2" X 1/4" flat spring thingie in there, basically just laying between two posts (it is notched on both ends, with a bend in the middle). This WILL fly off if you bump it, then you will have a period of stress wondering just HTH it goes back on. Do yourself a favor and look around a bit, after you get the cover off.
- Larry A.
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That springy thing is a thermo element and very important. It's so when the fluid expands, the level doesn't get too high. That bushing, leave it alone. Remove at rebuild only. They send one with the filter in case the old one comes out.

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Thanks, Kevin! Figured it was important. I now have a digital cam photo of it in case it flies out on me again.

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John Banister wrote:

It is an easy drop the pan, clean the pan, change the filter, reinstall job. There isn't a drain plug in the pan, so you need to be careful about the order and pace of removing the bolts in order to let the fluid out in a controlled manner. Also, be careful when putting the bolts back in as you are going into aluminum and they can be easily stripped if done ham fisted style.
My recollection is that the original pan gasket is a reinforced reusable metal and steel type. If so, clean and reuse it. Even if the new filter comes with a cork gasket, still use the original type.
John
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