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Pelican Technical Article:
Changing Automatic Transmission Fluid
 

 
Time: 3 hours
Tab: $150
Talent:  
Tools:
Transmission fluid pump, 17mm hex tool, 8mm hex tool, T-30 male Torx driver, Infrared Thermometer
Applicable Models:
986 Boxster (1997-04)
987 Boxster (2005-08)
Parts Required:
Automatic transmission filter & gasket kit
Hot Tip:
Don't neglect this maintenance – transmissions are expensive to replace
Performance Gain:
Long-life transmission
Complementary Modification:
Oil change
 
   

  This article is one in a series that have been released in conjunction with Wayne's new book, 101 Performance Projects for Your Porsche Boxster.  The book contains 312 pages of full color projects detailing everything from performance mods to changing your brake pads.   With more than 950+ full-color glossy photos accompanying extensive step-by-step procedures, this book is required reading in any Boxster owner's collection. The book is currently available and in stock now. See The Official Book Website for more details.
 

Check out some other sample projects from the book: 

Need to buy parts for this project? Click here to order!
   
    
Replacing your oil is easy - Porsche knows that this needs to be performed once about every 30,000-50,000 miles, and designed the car that way. On the other hand, changing the tranny fluid is not an easy task, and you can probably bet that the previous owner of your car did not perform this task when they owned it.

     What are the symptoms of low automatic transmission fluid? I experienced this with a car I purchased with a known transmission problem: when the car was stopped suddenly via the brakes and then the accelerator was immediately pressed, the transmission would slip, and then slam into gear, lurching the car forward. Not really a good sign, but I had a strong suspicion that the transmission was low on fluid. Why did I suspect this? A thorough inspection of the car showed the remnants of significant leakage of transmission fluid.

     What causes this symptom with the transmission? Well, when you slam on the brakes, all of the fluid in the transmission flows to the front of the car and away from the fluid pickup, which is located towards the rear of the transmission. With the fluid at the front of the car, the transmission loses fluid for a very short while. Automatic transmissions use the fluid both as a hydraulic fluid and a coolant - they won't work if there isn't any fluid running through them. After the car has stopped, and the fluid has moved back towards the pickup, the transmission began to work normally. If the transmission has the proper levels of fluid, then this condition would not occur. Needless to say, after I replaced the transmission fluid and checked the levels, the problem disappeared. The previous owner had let it run down about 2 quarts low (the Boxster transmission takes about 9 quarts). Driving for any more time with the transmission in this state would have led to substantial damage, and could have resulted in a wrecked tranny (replacement cost $2500 or so).

     Okay, enough background on the automatic transmission. The first step in replacing your fluid is to jack up your car so that you can reach the underside of the transmission. It is very important that the car be level - don't jack up just the front or rear of the car, make sure that it is as level in the air as it is on the ground. The reason for this is that you will be checking the transmission fluid by removing a drain plug and checking the fluid level. If the car is not level, then you will not achieve an accurate reading. Also elevate the car with the rear tailpipe sticking way outside the entrance of your garage: you will be running the car while it's on the jack stands in order to top off the fluid.

     With the car elevated in the air, you should be able to see the rear transmission pan cover. You need to remove this cover, and the two aluminum support bars on either side of the car. You may have to also remove the plastic cover towards the front of the car in order to remove the two aluminum support bars. Wear safety glasses when you're under the car as you never know what small piece of dirt may fall into your eye.

     The next step is to remove all of the existing fluid from the main transmission sump. There is a drain plug on the bottom of the sump that can be used to empty most of the fluid contained inside. Remove the drain plug and let the fluid flow out into a container. Your container should be able to hold at least three gallons (about 12 liters) of fluid. Once the fluid is empty, replace the drain plug. This plug should be tightened to 40 Nm (29 ft-lb).

     Now you will proceed to remove the sump from the bottom of the transmission. You need to remove the sump so that you can replace the transmission filter, clean the sump magnet, and also remove all of the extra fluid that may be trapped inside. You remove the sump by removing each of the small torx bolts that attach it to the bottom of the transmission. Once those are out, you should simply be able to pull on the sump cover and it should fall off. Be aware that there will still be some transmission fluid in the sump that can spill out if you're not careful.

     Plastic cat litter boxes make excellent containers for catching fluid in these types of situations. They are wide and large enough to prevent you from making quite a mess on your garage floor. Turn your attention now to the sumps and clean them out. Then, remove the transmission filter from the bottom of the transmission.

     What type of fluid do you use in your automatic transmission? The Boxster requires a special type of fluid that you cannot easily find in most auto parts stores. The Porsche part number for the transmission fluid is 999-917-545-00, but is almost $35 a liter. The Boxster also can use off-the-shelf Esso LT 71141, or Pentosin ATF-1, both available along with gasket/filter kits from PelicanParts.com. I would avoid using any other type of fluid in your transmission. Also, use the same fluid for the entire replacement process - mixing and matching different types of transmission fluid can cause your transmission to fail.

     With the new filter in place, you will now reinstall the lower sump. No need to fill it with fluid - simply bolt it up into place. Torque each bolt to 11 Nm (8 ft-lb), and use a criss-cross pattern as shown in. Now it's time to fill the sump with fluid. Using a hand pump attached to the bottle of transmission fluid, thread the hose up into the filler hole and through one of the access holes in the side of the filler baffle. Fill up the transmission sump until fluid starts to significantly run out of the filler hole. A few drips can be expected when the fluid runs down the side of the hose: when the fluid level is at the top of the filler, it will start to exit the filler hole rapidly. Replace the filler plug and tighten it hand-tight.

     At this point, you are ready to start the car. Keep in mind that the transmission fluid can only be checked when the transmission temperature is within a semi-narrow range. This temperature range is 85°-100° F (30°-40° C). You will need to start the car and let it warm up before you can check the levels. Depending upon the outside temperature, it may take up to 45 minutes for it to reach this temperature. Check the temperature of the fluid by using one of those handy infrared laser thermometers. Years ago, these used to cost thousands of dollars, but nowadays, you can pick one up for about $50.

     You will be running the car while it is up and on jack stands. This can be dangerous if the car is not secure on the jack stands - check them again before you continue. You will also be running the car for an extended length of time while it warms up and you will need to make sure that you perform this outside (on level ground), or funnel the exhaust gases out of the tail pipe and out of your garage. I used a long, flexible aluminum tube that I purchased from the hardware store that is typically used for venting gas dryers out to the atmosphere. If you clamp this tightly to the end of your tailpipe, and run the other end out of your garage with the garage door open, you should be able to safely have the car idle inside the garage. Also make sure that you use an electronic carbon monoxide monitor inside your garage (also available from most hardware stores) as an added measure for safety.

     Climb into the car, place your foot on the brake and start it. If you hear anything amiss, or encounter any unusual problems, then shut off the car immediately. It should start and idle normally. You will need to let the transmission warm up until it is in the operating range indicated above. Note that this will make the bottom of the sump feel warm to the touch - not hot. Use your infrared thermometer to periodically check the temperature. Again, it should take between 10-45 minutes depending upon the outside temperature to heat the transmission to this level, if the car is simply idling.

     With the car at the proper temperature, remove the filler plug and begin filling the transmission again. It's okay to use your finger to gently stick the hose attached to your pump up inside the transmission. At this time, the fluid should be warm to the touch. Be careful not to burn yourself on the catalytic converters, headers, or the muffler that is merely inches away. When the fluid begins to empty out of the filler hole, replace the filler plug again, and tighten it hand-tight.

     Now, sit inside the car, apply the brake pedal, and slowly shift the transmission through reverse, and first and second gear, using the manual shift lever. Leave the car in each gear for about 10 seconds. Repeat this twice, move underneath the car again, and remove the fill plug from the bottom side of the transmission. With the engine still running, top off the transmission once more until fluid comes out of the fill hole. Replace the fill plug, using a new sealing o-ring. This plug should be torqued to 80 Nm (59 ft-lb)

     That's about all there is to it. When you've topped off the fluid, lower the car down off of the jack stands and take it for a short drive. If all is well, you shouldn't notice any difference in performance or operation. If you were having problems with the transmission slamming into gear, then these issues should be gone by now. One last thing to note, the automatic transmission also has a built-in differential which requires standard gear oil.
In order to gain access to the bottom transmission sump, you will need to remove the rear transmission pan cover and the aluminum support bars on either side.
Figure 1
In order to gain access to the bottom transmission sump, you will need to remove the rear transmission pan cover and the aluminum support bars on either side. The pan cover is held on with two screws in the rear (green arrows), two more up front (yellow arrow), and also shares some screws with the aluminum support bars (red arrows). Once the cover and bars are removed, then you will need to drop down the rear sway bar. Simply remove the bolts that fasten the sway bar and bushing to the chassis (blue arrows in inset photo).
Large Image | Extra-Large Image
I recommend that you start the draining process only when the car is cold.
Figure 2
I recommend that you start the draining process only when the car is cold. When the car is warm, a lot of the transmission fluid will be trapped within the transmission itself. When the car is cold, almost all of the transmission fluid has seeped out, and is trapped in the lower sump. Note that this is opposite from the procedure for changing the oil - where you should empty it when the engine is hot. That is because the engine oil is thinnest and flows best when it's hot. The transmission fluid has a totally different viscosity. Working on the car when it's cold also assures that you will not be burned by hot exhaust, transmission or engine parts. The green arrow shows the transmission filler plug, and the inset photo shows the 17mm hex socket required to remove the transmission drain plug.
Large Image | Extra-Large Image
Using a lint-free cloth, carefully wipe down the inside of the sump (I used KimWipes, available from PelicanParts.
Figure 3
Using a lint-free cloth, carefully wipe down the inside of the sump (I used KimWipes, available from PelicanParts.com). You want to use a lint-free cloth, because tiny cloth fibers left in your transmission sump can clog the transmission and filter. The sump needs to be clean, spotless, and look brand new, as shown on the right. Make sure that you remove any remaining gasket material from the edge of the sump cover. A new transmission sump gasket has been lined up with the holes, and the assembly is ready for installation back onto the transmission. In the upper left, the new transmission filter is displayed. You should always use a new o-ring on the transmission filler plug, as shown in the middle left photo. Pay close attention to the magnet in the bottom of the sump (shown on the lower left). You should be able to simply pluck this magnet from the bottom of the sump and clean it.
Large Image | Extra-Large Image
The transmission fluid filter is a large canister that is attached to the bottom of the transmission, and needs to be removed and replaced.
Figure 4
The transmission fluid filter is a large canister that is attached to the bottom of the transmission, and needs to be removed and replaced. Remove the bolts that attach it to the bottom of the transmission and carefully pull off the filter. Discard it in the trash. Check the mounting surfaces where the sumps attach to the transmission, and remove any excess gasket material that may have been left there. When you reinstall the filter into the transmission, use the same bolts that you just removed. These bolts should be torqued to a very light 6 Nm (4.5 ft-lb). The inset photo shows the new filter installed in place.
Large Image | Extra-Large Image
Getting the hose into the sump area so that you can fill the transmission can be a bit tricky if you're not aware of where the hose is supposed to go.
Figure 5
Getting the hose into the sump area so that you can fill the transmission can be a bit tricky if you're not aware of where the hose is supposed to go. This photo shows the hose threaded up the bottom of the filler hole, and sticking out into the transmission sump. When the sump is installed back onto the transmission, you will need to feed the hose up the filler hole and through the openings in this baffle attachment.
Large Image | Extra-Large Image
With the sump installed, tighten the bolts according to the following pattern.
Figure 6
With the sump installed, tighten the bolts according to the following pattern. These bolts require very little torque: only 11 Nm (8 ft-lbs). Be sure to clean off any dirt or debris that may be on the screws prior to reinstalling them.
Large Image | Extra-Large Image
You will need to use a transmission fluid pump which you can find at almost any local auto parts store in order to fill the sump.
Figure 7
You will need to use a transmission fluid pump which you can find at almost any local auto parts store in order to fill the sump. The pump works just like one of those pumps in your bathroom that pumps out liquid soap. The transmission fluid should be pumped into the bottom of the sump through the transmission fill hole. Remove the plug, place one end of the pump into a bottle of transmission fluid, and start pumping. Pump fluid into the filler hole until fluid begins to run out rapidly. Clean up the small spill (be sure to use a large oil drip tray during this process), then replace the fill plug, only slightly tighter than hand-tight (you will be removing it again shortly when you recheck the levels).
Large Image | Extra-Large Image
Carbon monoxide is dangerous, and although today's modern cars don't emit too much of it, you can still kill off some brain cells by breathing it in.
Figure 8
Carbon monoxide is dangerous, and although today's modern cars don't emit too much of it, you can still kill off some brain cells by breathing it in. Play it safe and route the exhaust from your tailpipe out of your garage area. Use a standard dryer vent hose and plug the sides of the tailpipe if you happen to feel exhaust escaping.
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The infrared thermometer is one of those whiz-bang devices that never ceases to amaze me.
Figure 9
The infrared thermometer is one of those whiz-bang devices that never ceases to amaze me. Years ago, these used to cost thousands of dollars, but nowadays, you can pick one up for a mere $50. Monitor the temperature of the transmission sump by pointing the thermometer at the bottom of the metal sump in the center. Don't take the measurements from the sides, as the catalytic converter is nearby and will tend to heat the sump a bit more in that area, leading to false readings.
Large Image | Extra-Large Image
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Comments and Suggestions:
JohnnyUK Comments: To clarify, I have had the car 5mths and added 2000 miles. There is no record of a previous fluid change.
September 1, 2016
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: OK, got it. - Nick at Pelican Parts  
JohnnyUK Comments: Hi, I am looking to do a fluid change on my 125k miles 2001 Boxster S Tiptronic, a number of forum comments have suggested that at this mileage new fluids may cause slipping because i might be draining away micro deposits that are adding "viscosity" to the fluid. While this makes some sense to me, Is there a "thicker" higher mileage fluid available? If not, what are your thoughts on a change?

I am generally happy with the transmission but have only put 2000 miles on the car over the last 5mths and don't know it should feel. Suggestions please!
September 1, 2016
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: Nothing available that will fix it if that is your issue, if you had one after a fluid replacement.

You can check the fluid condition, if bad, you may want to leave it. If it looks cleaner and fairly Ok, replacing it should be OK. - Nick at Pelican Parts
 
Scott Comments: Thanks for a great article. When you replace the transmission cover & support bars do you need to replace the 14 flanged nuts? Thanks.
August 20, 2016
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: I'm pretty sure Porsche suggests you replace them each time they are removed. I know many people that reuse them without issue. Up to you to decide hat is right for you. Give The Pelican Parts parts specialists a call at 1-888-280-7799. They can figure out what part or repair kit you need.
- Nick at Pelican Parts
 
andilein Comments: will a 2000 tiptronic work in a 2001?
August 11, 2016
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: It should. - Nick at Pelican Parts  
Peter Comments: Hi Wayne,
I have just replaced an IMS bearing in my 97 Boxter Tiptronic. I have changed the rear crank seal and noticedsome oil leakage from behind the torque converter which I have removed. My question is how difficult is it to extract the TC seal and replace. Do I need any special tools? Also, is it standard practice to empty the TC of its oil and when replacing the ATF it presumably fills to the required level?
June 29, 2016
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: The only way to drain or replace the fluid in the converter is to use a fill and flush machine, as there is no drain.

I think the seal you are talking referring to is on the transmission pump. There are special tools required to install it. - Nick at Pelican Parts
 
mrfixit76 Comments: Do you sell the bolts for the ATF sump pan? Or failing that. Do you have the part number of the bolts ? Thanx!
May 16, 2016
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: I’m not the best with part numbers.

Give The Pelican Parts parts specialists a call at 1-888-280-7799. They can figure out what part or repair kit you need.
- Nick at Pelican Parts
 
Rdean Comments: After filling the automatic trans with atf do you need to start the engine while putting the atf????
May 3, 2016
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: That is the procedure as described by the factory., To circulate and fill the system to confirm the level. - Nick at Pelican Parts  
Ken Comments: Hi - Love Pelican Parts - has saved me on a couple of occasions now. I recently purchased the fluids/tools from Pelican that I'll need to replace the transaxle oil in my 2007 Cayman 5 spd, which refers to this article for gaining access to the transaxle drain plug.

Forgive me if I've missed it, but I wondered if you could provide the torque spec for the bolts holding the aluminum support arms red arrows in figure one so that I can properly torque them when reinstalling.

Thanks!
April 24, 2016
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: I don’t have that info.


I would grab a repair manual. It will have the procedure, special tools and torque specs.

Give our parts specialists a call at 1-888-280-7799.- Nick at Pelican Parts
 
Rodwil Comments: Will a 6S standard transmission work In Boxster with a 2.7 engine five speed?
February 26, 2016
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: If you check the VIN from both vehicles, yours and the donor vehicle, then compare engine numbers from each vehicle, you can figure out if it fits. If they have the same engine, it should work. You will need to swp mounts, clutch, flywheel, etc. - Nick at Pelican Parts  
matt Comments: what size tool is needed to remove the fill plug?
February 1, 2016
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: For what year and model vehicle? - Nick at Pelican Parts  
sadeghr Comments: i have a 98 porsche boxster, and i want to do a transmission fluid change, hence why im here. how many liters should i buy if i want to do a complete change and how much of it do i pump into the transmission fluid container. Thank you!
December 7, 2015
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: Should hold around 10 liters.

What type of fluid do you use in your automatic transmission? The Boxster requires a special type of fluid that you cannot easily find in most auto parts stores. The Porsche part number for the transmission fluid is 999-917-545-00, but is almost $35 a liter. The Boxster also can use off-the-shelf Esso LT 71141, or Pentosin ATF-1, both available along with gasket/filter kits from PelicanParts.com. I would avoid using any other type of fluid in your transmission. Also, use the same fluid for the entire replacement process - mixing and matching different types of transmission fluid can cause your transmission to fail. - Nick at Pelican Parts
 
mrfixit76 Comments: My 2005 tiptronic boxster shifts late/ rough for the first few minutes of cold start. Manual shifts seem unaffected and are as expected smooth. I live in Florida, so never any freezing conditions, however, does seem more noticeable during the colder months. The car runs perfectly otherwise and the fluid and filter have been replaced DIY with no change in behavior using Pentosin ATF. Are there software updates for the transmission? TSB's? I would love to remedy this to make a great car perfect! This is not the way a top tier luxury sports car should shift.

I've owned the car for just over a year and have put 14,000 happy miles on her. She is now just shy of 103k.
August 5, 2015
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: No TSBs. Did you use Porsche fluid for the fluid change? - Nick at Pelican Parts  
Kunichan Comments: 2001 986@Boxster@tiptronic automatic.

Please tell me the tightening torque of the valve body.
June 5, 2015
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: Hydraulic Control Unit to Transmission Housing:
8 Nm = 6 ftlb. = 72 inlb. - Casey at Pelican Parts
 
TrainerTom Comments: Hi there can anyone advise me on what is going on with my car. I have a Boxster 2002. Whilst driving back from work i noticed a large amount of blue smoke coming from the exhaust. Checked engine oil all fine there but there is a lot of all leaking from seems to be the middle of the transmission sump and whilst car is running there is smoke coming from what seems like a valve see centre of pic . is the car safe to drive to a local garage ?
May 6, 2015
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: I can't see what you are referring to in the image. You could have an engine gasket leaking, down onto the trans. I would follow the leak up to the source. Look for fresh oil and a clean area, indicating the leak. - Nick at Pelican Parts  
rsf Comments: Hi everyone...I'm hoping someone can shed some light on how much fluid a 2003 Boxster tip takes. I've read through this thread, and it looks like if you drain once and fill it takes anywhere from 4L- 6L and if your drain and fill twice you'll use all 9L the article mentions. Here is all the steps I've done, and wonder if I'm missing something or, the 9L recommended by Pelican Parts service department was to change the fluid twice...Please help -

I did the transmission fluid change this weekend and for some some reason it only took about 6L, not the 9L that the specs say. Here’s what I did -

1. Put car up on jack stands and let sit for 3 days and verified it was/is level
2. Drained fluid from drain plug
3. Removed pan and cleaned
4. Removed filter
5. Installed new filter
6. Cleaned area for gasket
7. Installed gasket and pan following bolt pattern sequence on your website
8. Filled pan with ATF through filler hole until ATF started to come back out
9. Ran car for a few moments
10. Checked and added more ATF until it started to come out again
11. Ran car until ATF pan reached 35C
12. With car running, added more ATF through fill hole until ATF started to come out
13. Replaced filler plug and put car in gear and walked through all gears as your website mentions

All went will up to this point with the exception of it only taking about 6L.

When I removed the fill plug again with the engine running to top up the ATF, a lot of ATF came out…The temp of the ATF pan was about 65C I think at this point. Did I try and do all this with the ATF too hot?…or have I done something wrong?

I haven’t take the car out for a drive yet as I want to make sure the ATF is at the correct level, however when I was walking it through the gears, everything sounded fine.

March 9, 2015
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: My gut tells me if you put in the amount that came out, you will be ok.

My info says a fluid change will be about 4 - 5 liters and the complete transmission capacity (when empty) is 9.5 liters. - Nick at Pelican Parts
 
Ryan Comments: Hello after changing the transmission fluid on my 02 boxster s tiptronic measured same 6.5 quarts replaced and filled, I notice some noise coming from the transmission, so worried did'nt drive it for a while. Please if you can give me some advice what to do regarding this matter will be much appreciated.
December 28, 2014
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: If you put in the same amount of fluid that came out, you should be OK. However, I would pinpoint the area of the noise before driving the vehicle. - Nick at Pelican Parts  
billy192 Comments: Hi its a 2000 3.2s boxster 55K miles
thanks
Niel
December 26, 2014
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: 30 - 50k is fine for the fluid service. That was a typo in the article. - Nick at Pelican Parts  
billy192 Comments: Me again,
you say the auto tranny oil needs changing 3k - 5k yet in all other books it says 30k confused?
Niel
December 22, 2014
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: 30k is right. That may be a typo. i will have someone look into it. - Nick at Pelican Parts  
billy192 Comments: hi, Niel from the UKwhen the tranny is up to temp do you turn off the engine or leave it running whilst topping up?
December 21, 2014
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: What vehicle are you working on? - Nick at Pelican Parts  
trouble? Comments: Follow-up to last comment.
The darn thing took about 6.5 liters but seems fine. I won't know until i get it on the road.
I'd still like to hear the Pelican staff's thoughts though.
November 16, 2014
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: Thanks for the follow up. We appreciate it.
- Nick at Pelican Parts
 
trouble? Comments: I am in the process of performing this swap using Pentosin ATF1. I got about 5 quarts out during the drain process however I have 3 problems.
1. Axles do not spin when engaging gears as indicated above.

2. when putting the transmission back into park I get a loud clicking noise from the car presumably the transmission.
Lastly,
3. when shifting between neutral and drive the engine falters like it is going to shut-off.

Help is greatly appreciated.
Thanks!
November 15, 2014
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: Might still be low on fluid. The noise putting it in park, that is likely the parking pawl. Without the axles turning, there is now way to brake the transmission. - Nick at Pelican Parts  
97-986 Comments: Ignore last post re: coolant temp.
Comment on the TORX was correct though.
November 11, 2014
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: Ok, got it. Thanks for the follow up. - Nick at Pelican Parts  
97-986 Comments: Nick - is there any reason I couldn't take the coolant temp from the hvac diagnostics display?
Also, as an FYI, my Torx was a 27, not 30 for my '97 986.
Thanks!
November 11, 2014
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: It's ATF temp that matters, not engine coolant tmep. - Nick at Pelican Parts  
97-986 Comments: Do I need to re-install the cover, stabilizer / sway bars before I start the car to warm the trans fluid?
November 1, 2014
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: No. As long as you don't drive it. - Nick at Pelican Parts  
Cinefilm Comments: Re my none moving automatic transmission, it does not work move the car in any auto gear. No drive from wither the auto mode or the manual Tiptronic mode. Engine runs, shift into either mode and the car does not move, even when reved??? The car only has 77k miles and has full service history.
August 26, 2014
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: Sounds like an internal failure. - Nick at Pelican Parts  
Cinefilm Comments: Hello from England. I bought a spares or repair 2000 Boxster 2.5S. It has 77k miles with full service history and current government tax and safety test certificates. BUT, you put it into Drive and nothing happens, will not move. Could this be low transmission fluid. Im no mechanic so your advice greatly appreciated.
August 16, 2014
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: It could be. Or a bad shift linkage, or a faulty transmission. Does reverse or low 1 engage? - Nick at Pelican Parts  
louis Comments: Changing the automatic transmission fluid on a 98 boxster filter & gasket how much will it take
July 16, 2014
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: Give our parts specialists a call at 1-888-280-7799. They can help you find the right amount of fluid. - Nick at Pelican Parts  
Dave Comments: Follow up to April 12. Transmission fluid leaked in large amount after stalling, restarted drove home. Diagnosed as torque converter seal, mechanic pulled transmission removed TC,bushing on TC was seized to shaft. Took trans to be rebuilt replacing pump and TC from Pelican. Hope to have back on road this week. Replacing coolant valve for trans cooler also while it is accessible, just in case it was part of the problem. Car will be for sale when done!! Thanks Pelican for tech support and fast shipping of parts.
June 7, 2014
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: Thanks for the follow up. We appreciate it.
- Nick at Pelican Parts
 
Clint Comments: What should pay / quart for Transmision Fluid
for 2000 Boxster Tiptronic
Brand recommended other than Porsche product?

May 15, 2014
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: Fluid choices are listed here:

http://www.pelicanparts.com/catalog/shopcart/101P/POR_101P_BOX035_pg1.htm - Nick at Pelican Parts
 
Clint Comments: What should I pay for transmission fluid in
2000 Porsche Boxster
Brand Fluid? Kind?
May 15, 2014
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: Fluid choices are listed here:

http://www.pelicanparts.com/catalog/shopcart/101P/POR_101P_BOX035_pg1.htm - Nick at Pelican Parts
 
NEV Comments: I have a 2004 boxster trip. 4th gear light flashing. What does this mean and how can this be fixed?

also When manual mode is selected nothing will happen, it will stay in automatic mode.
Can this be because of low transmission fluid?
May 15, 2014
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: This is indicating a fault in the transmission system. I would start by checking the vehicle for fault codes. If the system is not working properly, a fault code will be set. This will be your best bet when diagnosing.
- Nick at Pelican Parts
 
Dave Comments: Hi Wayne, I have an 02 2.7 automatic. Today it was acting up at lower rpm kinda like a faltering below 2000 rpm, if I drop it down a gear it smooths out. Doesn't seem to be missing, feels like it could be transmission. I put some Lucas injector cleaner in but too soon to tell. Last year it was acting up I replaced mass air flow sensor fixed problem. Have K&N air filter in it. Any suggestions? Thanks
April 12, 2014
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: This could be an engine misfire. I would check spark, fuel and compression. I would start by checking the DME for fault codes. If the system is not working properly, a fault code will be set. This will be your best bet when diagnosing.
- Nick at Pelican Parts
 
Mike Comments: are ALL the bolts holding the pan the same length? Are all the bolts holding the filter in place the same? Is there a need to keep track of which ones go where? I have been wanting to do this but concerned about snapping bolts off. Anyone have experience with this? I have a 99 US spec base.
April 10, 2014
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: If I remember correctly they are all the same length. If you are worried, use a piece of cardboard, stick the fasteners into the cardboard as you remove them. Labeling the location of each fastener. - Nick at Pelican Parts  
Paul999 Comments: I have a 2003 Boxster S 6speed manual. Is it easy to change
the gearbox and diff oil? Thx.
Regards
Paul
April 5, 2014
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: See this tech article:

http://www.pelicanparts.com/techarticles/Boxster_Tech/38-TRANS-Manual_Fluid/38-TRANS-Manual_Fluid.htm - Nick at Pelican Parts
 
Charles Rice Comments: 2002 Boxster S with 79,800 miles and unknown service history
Notes on Transmission fluid change:

As noted in one comment above, the Torx are T-27. About 8 of them were frozen so tight that they stripped before they loosened, and I had to drill them out and use a screw removal bit to get them out. I did not have an impact driver the right size for my Torx bit, but I'd probably go buy one if I were to do this on another car. I replaced all of the the Torx with 6mm Allen heads with washers.

I had a little trouble wrestling the aluminum suspension stiffeners back on, as the attach bolts seem to have wandered a bit the week the car was on stands.

I've left the aluminum transmission cover off for now, to make sure nothing is dripping onto the pan where I could not see it.

Transmission feels exactly the same now as it did before. I had planned to dump and replace another 3.5 liters in a few weeks, but after reading comments from Wayne, perhaps I'll skip that. If it ain't broke...
January 26, 2014
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: Thanks for the additional info. We appreciate it.
- Nick at Pelican Parts
 
bobatious Comments: Followup to message of November 26, 2013:
Yes I had done all that except fully dropping the rear sway bar. My mistake missing that detail in tech article; this is actually missing from the instructions given in the Bentley manual. Only a cm or so is lacking for the pan to clear with the sway bar in place.
November 27, 2013
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: Thanks for the follow up. We appreciate it.
- Nick at Pelican Parts
 
bobatious Comments: Say, after having great fun removing a pan bolt whose torx head stripped due to being stuck, the pan is loose but will not clear the frames on either end due to the stabilizer interfering. Does this indicate the stabilizer was mis-installed rotation off or is this normal? Neither the Bentley nor the tech article mention having to remove this.
November 26, 2013
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: Did you remove all of these parts?

In order to gain access to the bottom transmission sump, you will need to remove the rear transmission pan cover and the aluminum support bars on either side. The pan cover is held on with two screws in the rear (green arrows), two more up front (yellow arrow), and also shares some screws with the aluminum support bars (red arrows). Once the cover and bars are removed, then you will need to drop down the rear sway bar. Simply remove the bolts that fasten the sway bar and bushing to the chassis (blue arrows in inset photo).


This sounds normal. You have to swing it down out of the way. - Nick at Pelican Parts
bobatious Comments: Fastener details not represented elsewhere re '97 boxster:
Drain plug is 8mm hex.

Pan fasteners are T27 torx round head, M6x20 with washer, quantity 27. These are not very common, and searches on pelican parts for this came up empty. Suggest linking to article if they are available.

November 25, 2013
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: Thanks for the additional info. We appreciate it. - Nick at Pelican Parts  
Hoss Comments: the stuff coming out of the drain plug is a dark green olive drab color. Pelican parts shows that Fuchs brand ATF 5005 is a fluid that can be used but it is red like american transmission fluid. Should I not mix these when I am only doing a service and not complete flush?
November 11, 2013
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: If both fluids are approved by Porsche it should be OK. Personally, I do not like to mix fluids. If I cannot remove all of the old fluid, I will not add a different type. - Nick at Pelican Parts  
turboflyer Comments: I have done the fluid change, filter also at 60K now setting at 91K. What I want to do is totally pump out the old fluid. I think the math is a bit off on just doing it twice. That won't get her done as they say. you will be changing a 55/50 mix and still have old fluid. Would be more like 4 or 5 times but you know what I mean. So is there a way to purge it all?
I though of maybe a making an adaptor to go inlace of the filter and and then connecting it to a source of 10L of ATF. Not sure if I would damage something or not.
Also considered the trans cooler lines but I don't think it carries all the ATF. Most likely a bypass cooler, not sure.
Some one said Mobile One ATF was fine. I spoke to Mobil tech and they said they did not have a fluid that fit the requirements.
Has any one done a complete fluid change? If so what worked? Thanks in advance.
November 5, 2013
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: The best way to purge it all is to use a transmission flush machine. The machine will hook up to the cooler hoses and pump in new fluid as the oil fluid is pumped out.

I would stick to the Porsche fluid or a fluid that is approved by Porsche. - Nick at Pelican Parts
 
Dipesh42lfc Comments: 2005 tiptronic Boxster S 55K miles ...I bought it ,drove and loved it for 2 day ...on the 3rd day I took off at the traffic light at a moderate clip but all I got was revving ,no power to the wheels and then it suddenly lunged forward you mentioned that in the first paragraph,it did that 3 more times on the way home ..I put it in the garage to check for any transmission fluid leaking and rolled it out to to check ...on idling it back in and engaging drive,I got "gear selector not engaged".... I have to assume its low on tranny fluid,a faulty switch or both ...now I'm scared to drive it and has put a serious dent In my experience ....I'm gonna pretty much idle it back to the dealer not a Porsche dealer to assess ... : ...Any thought are GREATLY appreciated
September 28, 2013
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: Sorry to hear that. Let us know how it works out. - Nick at Pelican Parts  
brian Comments: I purchased the 101 boxster projects book. I replaced the transmission filter this past weekend after ordering the filter, plug oil ring and 9 liters of ATF from Pelican parts. I followed the instructions to replace the filter and ATF. Things got confusing, it appears that the transmission does require 9 Lites of ATF when its first put into service but you can only drain 3.5 liters out of the pan. I thought I had a problem since the instructions seem to indicate in two places that 9 liters is required. After looking into the factory repair manual I discovered that it will only take 3.5 liters. In the instructions you also mention that incorrect ATF could harm the transmission but in a response back to another comment you state that "it's standard transmission fluid that you can get at any auto parts store". Why do the instructions state a specific fluid?
Note:
I purchased an inferred temperature gun from home depot for only $29.95. worked great and took the guess work out of knowing when the transmission was at the correct temp to do do the final fill.
I also learned that if the temp is too cold you will overfill it and if too hot under fill it.
August 5, 2013
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: Thanks for the feedback. We will look into the fluid differences you mentioned.

It is true, dropping the pan will only drain part of the fluid capacity of the transmission. - Nick at Pelican Parts
 
Audi Junkie Comments: For a slipping trans, you want a non-friction modified fluid, like Dexron VI. Good Dex 3 like Mobil 1 ATF is fine too. imo, Hi-Miles ATFs are the best. I'm going to look at the results from www.pqiamerica.com/, but MaxLife or Castrol HM will likely be my choice. Many otc ATFs carry LT-71141 too...
April 19, 2013
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: If your transmission is slipping a fluid change is probably not going to help. Slipping is usually caused by a breakdown of the internal friction discs and or cluth bands. When I deal with a slipping transmission the first item I check is the transmission filter. If it is contaminated with friction material a transmission rebuild or replacement is needed. - Denny at Pelican Parts  
Jealoussea Comments: I seem to have the exact symptoms of what you are describing and just had the fluid changed. The mechanic told me there were absolutely no particles or signs of damage. They seemed to think replacing the trans was the issue,but I feel this matches exactly what you are describing. If I use the same fluid, can I continue the process to make sure the fluid is topped off properly or do I need to start the entire process again?
April 17, 2013
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: You can check your fluid level and top it up, use the recommended Porsche fluid. - Nick at Pelican Parts  
Mike Comments: The transmission in my 2000 Boxster was working fine until I did this fluid change and then it started slipping 400 miles after the change. It works fine manually up to 3 gear and slips going into 4th. I checked the fluid level and it was less than 1/2 quarts low. I used ZF Safeguard 5 and the kit I purchase from Pelican. I did a double flush on the fluid. Should I try changing to another fluid?
February 10, 2013
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: Unfortunately on some older transmissions you can get problems like these. Sometimes changing the fluid to a more slippery fluid and/or a new fluid will reduce the viscosity of the fluid which is actually helping to extend the life of a troubled transmission. Actually changine and fluid can disturb the transmission and make it fail slightly sooner. I would indeed try a different brand/viscosity of fluid, maybe something a little bit thicker. The catch–22 on changing your transmission fluid is that you don't want to let your transmission goes for miles without new fluid, however, changing the fluid can sometimes, in rare circumstances, disturb and upset and already worn out transmission. The fluid change is not what has hurt your transmission is that it has been wearing over the years and now changing the fluid has just taken that problem and made it quite a bit more noticeable. I would try using a high mileage transmission fluid at this point, although I have personally used that type of fluid in any of my personal cars. At this point, however, there isn't much to lose in trying. - Wayne at Pelican Parts  
Steve Comments: Are Esso LT 71141 and Pentosin ATF-1 the same rebranded fluid, or are there differences between them? Your "don't mix" warning had me a bit concerned, as mixing is inherent to this process; even flushing 3.5L 3 times will still leave about 20% of the original fluid in. However, a Porsche TSB states that both of these ATFs are approved for 986 tips and can be mixed... so does it matter what the original fill was, can either be used for the 3.5L "flush"?
December 24, 2012
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: If Porsche is telling you it is Ok to mix, then I would be Ok with that. You make a good point about remaining fluid in the transmission.
Always check the latest parts information regarding fluid specifications, as they are updated periodically. - Nick at Pelican Parts
 
TF Comments: Well written article. Here are my comments which might help others in the future.
1.The car I worked on had T-25 male torx pan bolts. Not T-30 as listed. It's possible there is more than one size used from the factory so double check this on your car.
2. I raised the front one side, then the other. At the rear, with 2 jacks, I alternated from side to side, raising the car about 1 inch 25mm at a time and put stands under it also.
3. I loosened the large 17mm allen fill plug before removing the pan. This way I wouldn't be stressing the new gasket.
4. I used blue loctite on the nuts and bolts that hold the diagonal struts on. The do have threadlocker on them from the factory.
September 28, 2012
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: Thanks for the feedback and additional information. - Nick at Pelican Parts  
Bill Comments: Hello, the problem i am having is so strange. Each time i use reverse on my tip tronic, in my 97 Boxster, it will work fine at lower speeds, at around 8 to 10 mph it will act like you have just applied the brakes. No strange noise, just stops the car. Other than that it performs perfect. THANKS SO MUCH.
May 18, 2012
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: If the transmission works normally after your symptom and will drive in reverse again, this could be an issue with your parking brake. I would inspect the parking brake system, it is possible the parking brake shoes have failed. - Nick at Pelican Parts  
rey Comments: Hi Wayne...I wanna know if i will be using a 17 hex socket to unscrew the atf filler screw of my boxster 99 tranny..i want to top it up. can i do it without even remving the tranny cover?
April 13, 2012
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: This tech article lists the tools and steps for filling your fluid.

http://www.pelicanparts.com/techarticles/Boxster_Tech/35-TRANS-Auto_Fluid_Change/35-TRANS-Auto_Fluid_Change.htm - Nick at Pelican Parts
 
ST Comments: Hello Wayne:

I finally completed this project and I now have a whine coming on when I am in the fifth gear. Also the ABS indicator came on and it appears that the rear right wheel does not rotate under acceleration it seems like its stuck, but will rotate when I give it a push. I used a Mechanics stethoscope and cant hear any noise coming from inside the transmission...

Any ideas what could be wrong?

Also, I must add the following. i rear right CV boot is torn ii Rear Left CV joint is probably bad as I can hear a clunk. iii I also hear loud clicking noise when going from reverse to Park.

Car is a boxster S 2001
December 14, 2011
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: Yes, I think you have answered your own question here - it sounds like the CV joints may be bad. They tend to wear out very quickly when the boot tears. Either that, or the differential carrier bearings in the transmission, but those are more unlikely to be the problem. - Wayne at Pelican Parts  
ST Comments: Thanks for your reply Wayne. After reading several forums, it appears that it is best not to get the entire fluid changed because the existing fluid contains particles of clutch, gear, etc... So changing it in its entirety will lead to slippage.... Especially so because my car is an 01 with 82K miles and has never had the atf fluid replaced...... Do you think this assessment is correct? Thanks a million!
February 23, 2011
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: Interesting question. I've heard both schools of thought. Some people claim that changing the fluid makes it too "slippery" and then causes problems with the automatic transmission. I have heard anecdotal stories about this happening on some of the BMW transmissions (which are finicky), but not the Boxster transmissions. Porsche (and BMW) don't even like the transmissions to be serviced, claiming "lifetime fluid" has been installed. In my opinion, the problems that people have seen with their transmissions after changing the fluid (which are rare), may be coincidence and/or their transmissions were on their way out anyways. I think changing the fluid as described in the article is a good way to go, and a complete flush of the unit (two or more changes) is probably not necessary. - Wayne at Pelican Parts  
ST Comments: Hello Wayne: I am not sure how many quarts litres of ATF fluid to order. The order page says order 3.5 litres, however the capacity of the tiptronic tranny seems to be 9 quarts. In your reply below, you seem to refer to BMW... I am referring to a 2001 Boxster S 986.
February 22, 2011
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: Sorry, I got confused! :) The first comment below is correct - I would get 5 quarts to be safe, but if you want to flush the whole thing out, you would have to do it twice, which would be about 10 quarts (but only if you did the change twice). - Wayne at Pelican Parts  
Dinh Comments: Wayne - Just want to be clear before ordering. I am still confused about how many liters of transmission needed. Your article said 9 quarts and the comment below to Jeffrey you said 3.5 liters about 3.5 quarts. All I want to do is replacing transmission filter and gasket etc. just like your article described. So buying 4 quarts is enough? Thank your for your time.
December 13, 2010
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: BMW used several different models of transmissions on this car, so it really depends upon which one you have in your car. The fluid used is typically printed on a tab on the side of the transmission - it's standard transmission fluid that you can get at any auto parts store. I would probably buy five quarts and then use the wife's car to run out and get some more if it's not enough! :) - Wayne at Pelican Parts  
Jeffrey Comments: Wayne the article doesn't state how much fluid you need to do the change I have read at different sites on the net I need 7 liters also another site claims 9 and another said 6. Since I have to order this fluid ti would be nice to know how much is needed for the change. How much actually drains out and needs to be replaced. Thanks
June 29, 2010
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: The manual I have says that the filling capacity for a fluid change is 3.5 liters. However, the manual also says total fluid capacity for the transmission and the torque converter is 9 liters. So, if you want to be completely thorough and try to get all of the fluid changed, then it would seem that you would need to change the fluid, drive the car 10 miles, and then repeat this twice (change the fluid a total of 3 times). The factory doesn't state to do this however. - Wayne at Pelican Parts  

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