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Friend drained Trans fluid instead of oil!!!

10-17-2008, 12:16 AM
I was very busy and a friend offerred to change my oil for me, so that I could attend to other things.

Long story short, guy ended up opening up the tranny drainage instead of the oil. Sigh. So much for saving time. He drained most of it, stupidly. Car was not running, as it is supposed to be when draining the transmission fluid. We bought a hand pump and pumped it back into the transmission, plus a little extra new stuff for the spillage, while the car was running and in neutral.

Now, the check engine light is on. Everything seems to run ok, but I've not had a chance to run to autozone and get the error from their computer yet.

Am I screwed? The transmission was replaced about 2 years ago.

Thanks for your help.


10-17-2008, 09:37 AM
Should be no problem at all. Make sure you have the proper type and amount of fluid. Go to your local parts place and have them clear the code.

Ramblin Fever
10-17-2008, 02:22 PM
Did you put at least 2-3qts of fluid back in BEFORE restarting the truck; if not, yes, the tranny pump probably didn't have enough to keep things lubricated.

The pump on this particular tranny starts pumping the minute the key is turned, you never want to drain the tranny with the engine running, and you never want to restart the engine until you have replenished a good deal of fluid back into the pan.

What condition was the fluid in that came out, why didn't you just put all new fluid back in rather then the old ATF that came out?

Just curious cause these trannies actually need VERY frequent ATF intervals, in which case, you could've just put all new atf in.

10-18-2008, 02:43 AM
eh, no, I don't believe we did. Everything I could find about changing the fluid said to make sure it was running.......

I have noticed it today that it seems to shift roughly from into drive, infrequently. Usually after stopping at a stop sign completley, and then taking off again, it will shake and rumble a bit.

Does this mean something got screwed up when it wasn't lubricated?

Crap. I can't drop another 3k on a new tranny.

Ramblin Fever
10-18-2008, 06:04 PM
eh, no, I don't believe we did. Everything I could find about changing the fluid said to make sure it was running.......

Ouch....If you didn't refill some before restarting the truck your pump may not have had enough to keep lubrication flowing.

I'm not sure what to advise, except drain what's in the pan back out and refill with new, and make sure the level's good. Sounds like it might still be low.

Keep us informed so we can help you.

01-24-2009, 04:03 PM
I did this too, stupid me. I had the truck towed to a mechanic and they refilled it with new fluid. No warning lights came on but now it just doesn't feel like its got the same "oomph" as it did before. In the mean time, I've bought a new filter and gasket kit and hope to change that out sometime this summer or spring.

I'll let you know how it ends up.

02-21-2009, 12:48 PM
I'm not sure what year you have, but I have a 93, and I believe mine calls for oil and not tranmission fluid.

Ramblin Fever
02-28-2009, 01:24 AM
The automatic tranny definitely calls for transmission fluid, not oil.

02-28-2009, 02:20 AM
I have never had a stalled car because I ran out of gas, but my very first vehicle, a '78 Dodge Diplomat, had a trans. fluid leak, one day I was driving down the road and it came to a complete stop and wouldn't move.

My friend figured out I had ran out of trans fluid, we put some in and it started again. I ended up needing a new transmission within about a year of getting that vehicle. could it be because of running out of fluid?

(every major part of that car, even the engine, had to be replaced within the 2-3 years I had it.)

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