Drain and Fill - ATF 2000 Chevy Cavalier 2.2L 4spd by NativeSon

By diyauto
( 3 )

7 minute read

Drain and Fill - ATF 2000 Chevy Cavalier 2.2L 4spd 

Compliments of NativeSon 

Drain and Fill - ATF

Description: Drain and Fill process allows you to remove some of the ATF from your transmission. (More of the used ATF can be removed if process is repeated.) This particular transmission has no dipstick to measure the proper level of ATF. However, there is a Hex screw bolt (Check Level Bolt) that can be used to check/drain for the proper level. Once ATF pan is lowered, drained, and removed, you can easily remove and replace the filter as well.

Note: The cars handbook states that the dealership should replace the ATF if it is needed. A flushing process is used by the professionals to get all the used ATF out at one time.

Estimate time to complete job: Around 3 hours. Do not rush, this is plenty of time and safety is key!

Skill level: If youve done some work on your car before then you should be fine with this job. However, this is not a job for the beginner. (ATF can be hot!)

Make: Chevy
Model: Cavalier
Year: 2000
Engine: 2.2L
Transmission: Automatic, 4 Speed

Tools Needed:

1) Ramp (recommended over jack stands,better for safety reasons.)
2) Jack (optional)
3) Tire Chocks ( or something else to block rear tires)
4) Newspapers and paper towels or old rags (..you will have spills)
5) Rubber gloves and protective goggles
6) Bucket of soapy water (quick clean of gloves and tools)
7) Bucket (3 Gallon/ 12Liter for ATF; not all of ATF will be drained maybe half?)
8) Ratchet (8mm socket for pan bolts; 10mm for Check Level Bolt)
9) Plastic long-neck funnel
10) Additional cleaners or scraper to remove old gasket material if needed.

Parts Needed:

1) Gasket ( NAPA OEM part # 1-7892 @ $25.00; best choice because of the metal
base and rubber combination)

2) ATF filter and ring gasket
Note: NAPA and AutoZone both sell a kit which includes both gasket and filter
however, the AutoZones gasket was too thin and flimsy while the NAPA kit did not
include the best choice gasket but a cork and rubber combination..?? So I bought
both NAPA OEM gasket and AutoZone kit and just used the filter.

3) ATF or Synthetic ATF (see owners manual for specific type)
Note: Amount needed depends on how much of the ATF has drained from your
vehicle. My car drained just 4 quarts. Total ATF in transmission is 9.3 quarts.

How-To Steps (pretty straight-forward process; refer to pics when available):

(Before you begin, you might want to take your car to a car wash and do an engine
cleaning and underneath. This will help remove the dirt from the work area of ATF

1) Warm car up to operating temperature. (But not too hot.)

2) Drive onto ramp, stop, secure Hand Brake, place in PARK and turn off motor; place
chocks behind rear tires.

3) Open up hood of car and remove ATF cap (see pic).
Note: There is no dipstick attached to cap.

4) Place a few layers of newspapers under ATF pan and clean pan gasket area. If a lot
of dirt debris falls, then roll up one layer of paper and discard. Keeping work area
clean as possible is important. Also, wash off or replace rubber gloves.

5) Place bucket under pan and remove initial screw bolts (see pic) and begin draining
fluid. Eventually, all bolts will be loosened and removed.
Note: There is no drain plug on the ATF pan.

6) Remove ATF pan. Some fluid will still be left in pan so be careful.(see pic)

7) Remove filter and small metal/rubber gasket ring (see pic). Some fluid will still be
left in filter so be careful.
Note: There are no clips holding the filter in place. Just pull the filter straight down
from where the neck is inserted into the transmission. The small gasket ring holds
the filter in place. Also, I could not get the old small gasket ring out so I just left it
in place. The new filter fit just fine snug and tight.

8) Clean all surfaces of any old gasket (..and possible sealer material).
Note: Use plastic scraper or plastic knife to scrape. Do not mar any surfaces of
pan or transmission. Clean all pan bolts as well.

9) Install new gasket ring (if you removed old one) and install new filter.

10) Place new NAPA gasket on pan using the alignment holes and plugs on gasket to
keep gasket in place while attaching both pan and gasket to transmission.(see pic)

11) Hand tighten all pan bolts in a cress-cross pattern at first. This will insure that the
threads of the bolts were not damaged. Then tighten again using a 8mm socket
ratchet. DO NOT OVER TIGHTEN! Just snug them tight.

12) Re-fill ATF using a long funnel into the hole where the ATF cap goes. Then replace
ATF cap.
Note: Only replace ATF amount with the same amount that was drained. Do not

13) Start car and let warn to operating temperature then stop. Check for any leaks.
Note: You might have to re-tighten the bolts if any sign of ATF has appeared. Just
snug them tight again. The heat of the warm up may loosened or relaxed the
rubber gasket a bit.

14) Done! (sort of recycle old ATF at local oil change shop)

Now, lets say youre not sure if the level of ATF is correct in your transmission. You can take your car to a local oil change shop and have them check it out or you can check it yourself. This may be harder for you to do?

How To Check Level of ATF: (see pic below)

1) Car warmed up to operating temperature and let idle in PARK, Hand Brake on.

2) Car must be level and not tilted.
Note: This would be the hard part. The professionals have a pit to check level.
You would have to find away to level your car? Another set of ramps..$$??

3) Remove Check Level Hex Bolt (10mm). Careful, hot ATF!

4) If ATF amount is too high then it will pour out of the hole when bolt is removed. Let
it drain until only a few drips or spits is coming out. Replace bolt.

5) If nothing is coming out of the hole (..not even a spit or two) then the fluid level
may be too low. Slowly add fluid (use fill cap hole not Check Level hole) until it
starts to exit Check Level hole. Let excess fluid drip then spit. Replace bolt.

6) ATF amount is correct.

7) Done!

Good luck! Hope this helps someone.

BTW- Big thanks to Dale, owner of ‘Shell Rapid Lube at 3601 Wyoming Blvd. NE Albuquerque, NM 87111. He and his crew help me by checking my ATF level and showing me where the Check Level Hex Bolt was located on my Chevy tranny. Free of Charge! Thanks again, Dale.