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2007-2013 Silverado: Transmission Fluid Flush/Exchange

Time: 30-45min

Difficulty: easy-moderate

Cost: $60-150 (fluid type and capacity)


An automatic transmission is a complex hydraulic pump with gears, clutches, bearings, valves, and actuators. The fluid in an automatic transmission is used to apply pressure, transfer torque, clean, cool, lubricate, and activate components. To perform its function, it needs to be in peak condition.


Replacing the fluid often can prevent one of the costliest repairs you can experience on a vehicle, the transmission. Heat, shearing forces, contaminates, and time cause automatic transmission fluid to lose its protective properties. As the fluid additives and properties break down, temperatures increase, clutches wear, flow restricts, and components fail.


GM recommends replacing the transmission fluid at 50,000 miles. Industry standard is anywhere from 30-60,000 miles, depending on driving conditions.  Heavy start/stop traffic, hills, towing, extreme temperatures, etc. warrant the earlier side of the range, while long-distance flat driving would warrant the latter.

What does on-condition mean? New fluid is pink/red and opaque. Spent fluid is brown to black and has a horrible burnt smell. You obviously want to replace it before it gets to that point.


To completely exchange the transmission fluid, you'll need to tap into the flow circuit at the appropriate place. The best place is where the fluid leaves the oil cooler and returns to the transmission.

Watch the video below to see the complete transmission fluid exchange/flush on a 2011 Chevy Silverado 1500 with the 6-speed.

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Automotive Pick Set

4-piece pick set

Cooler Line Retainer Clip

In case you lose it. GM cooler line retainer clip.


ACDelco Dexron VI - Automatic Transmission Fluid, 1 gal

Valvoline MAXLife ATF

Valvoline MAXLife Multi-vehicle Full Synthetic ATF

Cooler Line Clip Cover

GM cooler line clip cover

Cooler Line Fitting

Hayden 397 transmission cooler line fitting

3/8" Clear Tubing

3/8" I.D. clear vinyl tubing, 10'

Long Skinny Funnel

Multi-use long, skinny funnel

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