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I've got my 08 Optima and am needing the transmission fluid changed. I called the shop to inquire the cost of it and they said it's just a drain and fill in my car, looking at around $150 to do it. I'm all up for learning new things, so here I am. I haven't been under the car to look at the transmission, but I'm 99% sure it has a drain plug.

Heres where I am confused.. I've searched around here on the forums and some people seem to not have a dip stick and instead have a fill hole to fill the transmission up. I have a dip stick. Should I also have a fill hole? I haven't been able to locate it looking around under the hood down by the dipstick. Should I fill it up through the dipstick?

One more thing. I was looking for a replacement filter and have come across the standard one that goes inside the pan, and also a spin on filter. Somewhere in the forums I seen someone mention that around 2004 they stopped using them? Would it be on top of the transmission or on the bottom? I can see a round spot where I think it may go, but is sealed up.

Thanks in advanced everyone!
 

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Since you have a dipstick, that is also the fill tube.
It is recommended that you let the dealership or trusted local mechanic perform the fluid change.
Pulling the pan can make a big mess, and you don't want to disturb any grey sludge on any components.
Normally the filter in the pan is a screen, not a filter like the engine. As you stated some have spin on filters.
Overfilling the trans is as dangerous as underfilling it so if you do do it yourself please be careful.
You won't be able to get all the old fluid out of the trans. The converter holds quite a bit of ATF and it only drains down 1/2,
if it does not have a anti-drain back valve.....
 

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HI....Hoping you have already changed your transmission fluid, but since I have done it myself many times over the years as a regular service, it is really not that difficult. I also have always changed my own engine oil every 5 K miles regularly as well, now having moved up to the $16 five-quart bottles of High-Mileage Full Synthetic 5W-20 Supertech Oil at WalMart. First, find some heavy-duty Rhino Ramps, as well as at least 5 or 6 quarts of much-Iess expensive but exact H/K OEM Idemitsu Genuine SPIII Transmission Fluid. I usually buy it it cheaply online by the case for around $6 a quart. Always warm up your engine to circulate all the transmission fluid before draining. Then remove all the 10 mm bolts from the hard plastic shield underneath the car first. The transmission drain plug for your ratchet will be 24 mm. Since you can't really access and service the inside filter (it is actually vertically-mounted straight- up deep inside) just simply remove the drain plug and then drain out what you can (a little over 4 quarts) into your drain pan, and replace the plug. Be sure to also buy the narrowest and longest funnel with a very small lower opening, and place it carefully right into the hole where your transmission dipstick goes, then very, very slowly refill with at least 4 quarts of bright red new SPIII fluid, watching closely for likely burbling and splashing. The old fluid will probably be a deep creamy disgusting brown color, and you might even want to change it once more again, after driving around for a few days, as only about half of the fluid is actually removed. Top off your fluid level only after checking when warmed up and in idle. You can also watch several YouTube videos online to view other methods of disconnecting and hooking up one of your outflow lines from the system to a messy bucket, just like changing out your power steering fluid, but be advised that if you use an expensive garage machine performing a complete full fluid replacement and/or back- flush, it can actually dislodge old worn transmission particles, which can then clog up critical narrow internal passageways. So I instead choose to do this simpler, easier, service regularly, at least every 25K miles, and my 2.4 engine still runs smoothly, and my transmission still shifts smoothly and has now lasted over 150K mi.
 
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lrvanallen
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