Buick Enclave Transmission Fluid Change

Our Buick Enclave has just turned 50K miles and now it is due for a transmission fluid change.  This is a pretty easy job; there is a drain plug underneath which takes most of the mess out of doing this job.  Unlike the Envoy, you don’t take a bath in ATF when doing this.

You will need some Dexron VI transmission fluid, a jack, jack stands, and a small socket set.  A wide mouth funnel will also come in handy, oh and something to drain the fluid into would also be helpful, an oil catch can maybe….

Take off the transmission fill cap and check the fluid.  The cap has the dipstick attached to it, just check and make sure the fluid is in between the lines.  You will want to get the new fluid to read the same when you are done.

That’s how it looked on the dipstick

Leave the transmission cap off the fill tube, fluid will drain faster when the cap is removed.  This is not really a tube, but for lack of something else to call it, tube it is….

Now it is time to jack up the vehicle.  I use the body mount point to lift the vehicle with my hydraulic jack.

Put a jack stand underneath the car using a solid point for its location.

Find the transmission drain plug.  It is a small 11mm bolt that needs to be removed.

Take your oil drain pan and place it underneath the drain plug.

Remove the plug and let the fluid drain out completely.  The fluid was completely black when draining from the Enclave.  This was almost the exact opposite of taking it out of the Envoy where the fluid was still red.  The fact that there is no transmission fluid filter might have something to do with this.  Either way, this either means that the fluid is burning, there is a lot of clutch material in the fluid, or the fluid needs to be changed more frequently.  I will probably go with changing the fluid more frequently since there is no transmission filter.

That is some black fluid…

Once the fluid is completely drained, you can replace the transmission drain plug.  Be careful to not over tighten and strip out the plug.  I usually just tighten it until I cannot easily pull on the end of the socket wrench. 

Take your wide mouth funnel and place it in the fill tube. 

Fill the transmission with Dexron VI transmission fluid.  I chose to use Valvoline full synthetic ATF which meets the GM Requirements. 

I purchased two 1 Gallon jugs of this, if you did the same, go ahead and empty the first one into the transmission.  It will not be full after filling.  I believe that the transmission change requires 5 quarts of fluid.

The next jug will be emptied slowly.  I actually overfilled the fluid and needed to drain some out.  If you do this, just undo the drain plug again and let some fluid out.

Once you have the fluid between the lines, start the car and let it run a few.  Check the fluid again and if you need to add some more do so.  I had to add more after starting the vehicle. 

I then took it for a ride and made sure everything worked as it should.

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