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Pelican Technical Article:
Automatic Transmission Fluid Change

Jared Fenton
 

 
Time: 2 hours
Tab: $100
Talent:  
Tools:
Socket set, Hex key set, T55 Torx bit, pyrometer, hand operated fluid pump
Applicable Models:
R53 MINI Cooper S (2002-06)
R52 MINI Cooper S Convertible (2005-08)
Parts Required:
New Filter, 6 quarts of JWS 3099 equivalent fluid
Hot Tip:
Follow the directions exactly
Performance Gain:
Increased transmission longevity
Complementary Modification:
Change engine oil
 
   

  This article is one in a series that have been released in conjunction with Pelican Parts' new book, How to Maintain and Modify your new MINI  The book contains 240 pages of full color projects detailing everything from performance mods to changing your brake pads.   With more than 500+ full-color glossy photos accompanying extensive step-by-step procedures, this book is required reading in any MINI owner's collection. The book is expected to be released in 2015. 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!
   
     One of the less common maintenance tasks that is performed on a car is changing the automatic transmission fluid. Typically, you'll want to change the fluid every 50,000 miles or so along with the filter in the transmission. Nowadays, there are more than a few major automobile manufacturers stating that they have developed transmissions that require no fluid changes. The fluid inside is considered to be "lifetime" oil, meaning that it never needs to be changed. Over the years, it seems that this may have been an overly ambitious claim. Officially, MINI has specified that the Aisin GA6F21 transmission is “sealed for life.” This means that MINI has not specified a fluid/filter change interval.

     There seems to be a couple different schools of thought when it comes to "lifetime" oil. Some people have said that you don't want to change the oil in the transmission because the increased viscosity of the new fluid can dislodge particles of dirt inside the transmission, clogging the new filter in a matter of miles. Other people will say that there are friction modifiers in the new fluid that are not compatible with the transmission. This article is written with the Do-It-Yourselfer in mind, for those who have determined that the transmission fluid must be changed. Keep in mind that this article is specific for Cooper S models with the 6 speed Agitronic transmission. This is the transmission that has the shift paddles behind the steering wheel. The Cooper models use the GACVT16Z CVT transmission.

     In this article, we will go over the steps involved with draining out the old transmission fluid, changing the filter and adding new fluid. The first step is to jack the car up and secure it on jackstands. Please refer to our article on "jacking up your car" for more info. You should also lay a painting tarp under the car. I can almost guarantee you WILL get messy and fluid WILL spill out. A painting tarp costs $3 at your local Home Depot. Lay this out before hand and save yourself a lot of cleanup time.

     Next, slide underneath the car and locate the automatic transmission pan. This pan acts as a sump to hold the majority of the transmission fluid. Now before you drain the old fluid, you'll want to have a drain pan with a capacity of at least 7 to 9 quarts. 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 a mess on your garage floor. It also helps to have plenty of paper towels on hand. This can be a messy job and it helps to have towels around to soak up the occasional spill.

     Start the engine and let it idle until the transmission fluid is fully warmed up. This is important. If you don’t do this, all of the old fluid may not drain out of the transmission. An infrared pyrometer is an invaluable tool for checking the transmission temperature. You want to have the fluid temperature between 35*-45*C (95 to 113 degrees F). Keep running the engine in a well-ventilated area until you have it up to temperature. In our case, this took almost 25 minutes of letting the car idle until the fluid warmed up enough to drain. Do not put the car in gear, just let it idle. Letting the car idle allows you greater control of getting the fluid up to temp. If you drive the car, it will heat up too quickly and you’ll have to wait for it to cool down to within range.

     Once up to temp, shut the engine off and slide underneath the car. You’ll see a drain plug on the underside of the transmission. Use a 5mm hex key to remove the plug from the transmission. Make sure you have a drain pan directly underneath. In the factory parts diagrams, this drain plug is referred to as an inspection plug. The drain for the transmission consists of two pieces; the inspection plug and the overflow tube.

     It’s a bit difficult to explain how this works in text, but essentially, the fluid level of the transmission needs to sit right at the top of the overflow tube. When filling the transmission with fluid, you leave the inspection plug out and any extra fluid drains out, leaving the correct level in the transmission. Once the inspection plug has been removed, you’ll need to also remove the overflow tube from the bottom of the transmission using a 5mm hex key. Once removed, let the transmission drain completely. It’s important to remember that fluid temperature is key here. If the tranny is not between 95 and 113 deg. F, the fluid will not drain completely. If the fluid gets too cool, start the engine and let it idle until it gets back up within range.

     You may find that the fluid turns to sludge as all of it drains out. In this case, take note of the color of the fluid coming out. If it’s black, you may want to buy a few extra quarts of fluid, and repeat the whole procedure of filling and draining the transmission a few times as you likely wont get all of the old fluid out of the transmission in one go. In this case, follow the whole procedure below, and then drive the car for a day or so to mix the new fluid with all the old fluid. Then drain the fluid however many times you need until the color drained out is the same as the fluid added. The thing to remember here is that if the old fluid looks and smells burnt, it’s burnt.

     At this point, you will need to lower the front subframe approximately 10mm in order for the transmission pan to clear the filter and subframe. Please refer to our article on removing the front subframe for more info. The only difference in the procedure for this job is that you will only want to loosen the rear subframe bolts but NOT remove them. Once loosened, you will have enough room to lower the subframe using a hydraulic jack. Keep in mind that you want to lower the subframe AFTER you have drained all the fluid out. You will need to run the engine to get the fluid inside up to the correct temperature. Do NOT run the engine with the lower engine mount disconnected and the subframe lowered.

     Once the subframe is lowered, remove the eight bolts that hold the transmission pan to the underside of the automatic transmission. Six of the bolts around the perimeter of the pan are 10mm. The two closest to the subframe side rail are T25 Torx screws. You may need to move the subframe around a bit to get the tool up into place to remove these screws.

     At this point, the pan should just come off the underside of the transmission. If it doesn’t come off easily, carefully pry off the pan from the bottom. You’ll need to do a bit of maneuvering to get the pan to clear both the subframe and also the refrigerant lines going to the A/C compressor.

     Be careful when lowering the pan as there will probably still be some fluid inside. Drain the extra fluid into the collection pan.

     The old transmission filter will still be attached to the transmission. Remove the three 13mm bolts holding the filter to the bottom of the transmission. Take care when removing because it will probably still have a lot of old fluid inside. Once removed, wipe a bit of transmission fluid on the cork sealing surfaces of the new filter. This will help seal it to the transmission. Place the new filter on the underside of the tranny and bolt it in place.

     Now clean out the bottom of the pan. Keep in mind that all of the residues and accumulated junk that gets into the fluid will eventually deposit itself here. You might be surprised at what is sitting at the bottom. Pull the old sealing gasket off the top of the pan. Also remove the two magnets sitting in the bottom and clean them off as well. Once the pan is clean, put the magnets back in place next to the indentations on the pan.

     Now place the new pan gasket on top of the pan and thread the bolts through the pan and gasket back up onto the underside of the transmission. Use a criss-cross pattern when torquing each of the eight bolts to 9Nm (6ft/lbs.) You can also jack the subframe back into position at this point and reattach the front bumper cover. Now re-install the overflow tube into the drain port and snug it up. Be gentle as it is plastic and can break easily. Leave the inspection plug out at this point.

     To fill the transmission, you’ll need to locate and remove the fill plug on the top of the transmission housing. The fill plug is located near the mating surface of the transmission to the engine on top. You may find it easier to access the fill plug by removing the upper airbox cover. Please see our article on air filter replacement for more info.

     Use a T55 Torx bit to remove the fill plug on the transmission. Once removed, you’ll want to place a fill hose into the hole. Here’s where it can get messy. In our case, I used the hose from a fluid pump. The end of the fluid pump has a small black plastic nipple that needed to be trimmed down with a razor to fit inside the fill port. Additionally, I used a bit of electrical tape around the nipple to create a seal and prevent fluid from leaking out. At the top of the hose, I used a cap from an older bottle of transmission fluid with a fill tube built in. You can also use a funnel. Just remember that you need to gravity fill the transmission. Using a fluid pump will blow fluid out of the fill port, all over the transmission.

     The first step to fill the transmission is to heat up the fluid to between 35*-45*C (95 to 113 degrees F). Again, this is critical to getting the level right. The fluid level must be at the correct temperature to register correctly at the overflow pipe. What I did was put the bottles of new fluid into a large sink and turn the hot water on full blast. Eventually, the fluid will be at the right temp.

     MINI specifies the use of ESSO JWS-3309 ATF fluid or equivalent. Pelican Parts carries the Febi or Fuchs equivalent brand (part number 83-22-0-402-413). You’ll need around 6 quarts to fill the transmission completely.

     Now pour the fluid into the fill hole. It may take some time to get all of it inside the transmission. Just keep at it until fluid just starts to creep over the top of the overflow tube in the transmission pan. It’s a good idea to get a new, clean drain pan underneath to catch the new fluid draining out so you can re-use it if needed. Once you see the fluid draining out, stop filling the transmission and put the T55 plug back inside the fill hole. This is important. If you forget to put the plug during the next step, fluid will shoot out of the transmission like a geyser.

     With the plug in place, start the car, put your foot on the brake, and cycle the car through each gear, holding there for 5 seconds each. This will help to circulate the new fluid through out the transmission. Once you have cycled through all the gears, you’ll need to re-fill the transmission. Shut the engine off and make sure the fluid being added is up to operating temperature. Re-fill the transmission until fluid again starts to drip past the overflow tube. Once it stops dripping out, the transmission level is correct. Now re-fit the inspection plug to the bottom of the overflow tube with a new crush washer and torque it 27Nm (20 ft/lbs.). Now all that’s left is to lower the car down off the jackstands and you’re done.
Shown here is a new pan gasket, filter and crush washer for the Aisin Agitronic transmission used in the MINI Cooper S.
Figure 1
Shown here is a new pan gasket, filter and crush washer for the Aisin Agitronic transmission used in the MINI Cooper S.
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The transmission inspection plug is located on the bottom of the transmission pan as shown here (green arrow).
Figure 2
The transmission inspection plug is located on the bottom of the transmission pan as shown here (green arrow). Remove the plug using a 5mm hex socket.
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Once you have removed the inspection plug, carefully unscrew the overflow tube (green arrow) from up inside the pan using the 5mm hex socket.
Figure 3
Once you have removed the inspection plug, carefully unscrew the overflow tube (green arrow) from up inside the pan using the 5mm hex socket. Make sure that the temperature of the transmission fluid is between 35-45 deg. C (95-113 deg. F).
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Once the overflow tube is removed, allow the transmission to drain completely.
Figure 4
Once the overflow tube is removed, allow the transmission to drain completely. This may take a while. Keep watching the drain port until fluid stops pouring out.
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In order to remove the pan from the transmission, you’ll need to lower the subframe 10-15mm.
Figure 5
In order to remove the pan from the transmission, you’ll need to lower the subframe 10-15mm. This also allows easier access to the two T25 Torx screws holding the pan to the transmission above the subframe rail (green arrows).
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With the subframe lowered, remove the six 10mm bolts and the two T25 Torx screws holding the pan to the bottom of the transmission (needPicture of this.
Figure 6
With the subframe lowered, remove the six 10mm bolts and the two T25 Torx screws holding the pan to the bottom of the transmission (needPicture of this. Will get it next week.)
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Carefully maneuver the pan out from underneath the transmission.
Figure 7
Carefully maneuver the pan out from underneath the transmission. You may need to move the A/C refrigerant lines (green arrow) slightly for the pan to clear. Take care as the bottom of the pan will probably still have some fluid left in it .
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Once the pan is removed, you’ll see the transmission filter bolted to the underside of the transmission (purple arrow).
Figure 8
Once the pan is removed, you’ll see the transmission filter bolted to the underside of the transmission (purple arrow). Remove the three 10mm bolts holding the filter in place (green arrows) and remove the filter. Again, it is normal for more fluid to spill out of the filter.
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ThisPicture shows the inside of the transmission pan.
Figure 9
ThisPicture shows the inside of the transmission pan. You can see here that the fluid that was in the transmission is still relatively good, although it is starting to break down. Remove the two magnets (green arrows) and clean out the bottom of the pan using a rag or paper towels.
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Remove the old pan gasket from the pan.
Figure 10
Remove the old pan gasket from the pan. It just peels off as shown here. Clean the edge of the pan and lay the news gasket down into place.
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Here is a demonstration of how the overflow tube works.
Figure 11
Here is a demonstration of how the overflow tube works. When the tub is installed in place, it will allow the fluid level in the transmission to rise until it reaches the top of the overflow tube (green arrow). If the level is overfilled, it will drain over the top of the tube. When the tube is removed, the fluid will drain until it reaches the top of the drain boss (purple arrow).
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Shown here is the pan cleaned out along with the cleaned magnets placed in the indentations on the pan (green arrows).
Figure 12
Shown here is the pan cleaned out along with the cleaned magnets placed in the indentations on the pan (green arrows). Additionally, you can see the new pan gasket fitted to the pan (purple arrow). NOTE: do not try to refit the pan to the transmission with the overflow tube installed as shown here (yellow arrow). ThisPicture is for demonstrations purposes only. The tube is somewhat fragile and can break if it snags on the filter during installation.
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Wet down the cork gaskets on the top of the new filter with some transmission fluid and place the filter into position on the underside of the transmission.
Figure 13
Wet down the cork gaskets on the top of the new filter with some transmission fluid and place the filter into position on the underside of the transmission. Once in place, tighten the three 10mm bolts that hold it in place (green arrows).
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Now you’ll need to access the fill plug on the top of the transmission.
Figure 15
Now you’ll need to access the fill plug on the top of the transmission. It is located right behind the intercooler and right behind the mating line for the engine and transmission. It’s a bit difficult to see, so you may want to remove the upper airbox cover for a bit more access. In thisPicture, looking straight down, you can see the T55 Torx plug that seals the fill port (green arrow).
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In thisPicture, you can see the ratchet extension and also the universal joint you’ll need in order to remove the T55 Torx plug (green arrow).
Figure 16
In thisPicture, you can see the ratchet extension and also the universal joint you’ll need in order to remove the T55 Torx plug (green arrow). Note: The entire airbox assembly has been removed from the car for clarity.
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With the plug removed, attach a hose and suitable coupler into the fill port hole.
Figure 17
With the plug removed, attach a hose and suitable coupler into the fill port hole. In this case, we are using the fill hose from fluid pump (green arrow). The black plastic grommet at the bottom has been wrapped in electrical tape to seal it in the hole better and prevent leaks.
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Heat the new fluid up to 35-45 deg.
Figure 18
Heat the new fluid up to 35-45 deg. C (95-113 deg. F) using a heat gun or by submerging the fluid in hot water. Once up to temperature, you’ll want to gravity feed the new fluid into the transmission. Don’t use a fluid pump here as it will overflow and spill out all over your transmission. Now follow the rest of the procedure for filling the transmission as outlined in the text.
Large Image | Extra-Large Image
Need to buy parts for this project? Click here to order!
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Comments and Suggestions:
swac Comments: what kind of problem do you have when you have water in the tranny where can it come from and can it be fix or just replace the tranny
October 22, 2014
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: Water? What kind of vehicle? Could be a leaking transmission cooler. - Nick at Pelican Parts  
Jason Comments: I have a 05 Mini and trying to change the trans fluid. How do I lower the sub frame?
October 8, 2014
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: See this tech article: http://www.pelicanparts.com/techarticles/MINI/42-SUSPEN-Subframe_Removal/42-SUSPEN-Subframe_Removal.htm - Nick at Pelican Parts  
Jim Comments: I completed the fluid and filter change on my '05 R53...Cooper S last night; car was shifting hard both up and down shift especially when warm. The fluid change seems to have given me a new transmission ! Thank you all !
August 15, 2014
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: Thanks for the feedback. Glad we could help. - Nick at Pelican Parts  
Mike Comments: Hi Nick, Is there an aftermarket transmission oil cooler adapter available? I am thinking on something similar to the engine oil cooler adapter photo attached? Also, in other manufacturers vehicles the torque converter usually has oil in it that will not drain out from the transmission oil drain plug. How can the torque converter oil be drained? I would be happy to elaborate on both questions if they are not clear. Happy Independence Day, Mike
July 5, 2014
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: I am sure there is an aftermarket cooler you can use. There are many universal options use for towing, etc.

A lot of modern converters have no drain. So you are draining what will come and filling it back up. Replacing maybe 2/3s of the fluid. To replace all of the fluid, you would need a flush machine, to pump out the old while pumping in the new at the same rate. - Nick at Pelican Parts
 
Kim Comments: I have a mini Cooper automatic 2004 - 66K on the clock do
I need to be considering a gear box oil change?
June 30, 2014
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: I would say it is a good time to get it done. - Nick at Pelican Parts  
Fred Comments: Nick, I have a follow up question, Since I now have 85K miles on the transmission and original oil, "Some people have said that you don't want to change the oil in the transmission because the increased viscosity of the new fluid can dislodge particles of dirt inside the transmission, clogging the new filter in a matter of miles. Other people will say that there are friction modifiers in the new fluid that are not compatible with the transmission". Are the above risks negated by following your procedure exactly? The transmission should operate the same before and after the fluid change? Other mechanics warm me if it has gone 85k mile with no change, DO NOT change it now, your asking for trouble. Is it true once you change it, and now you have slippage, on going back, time for a rebuild? Thanks!
June 1, 2014
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: That is a loaded question. I don't know the actual condition or adaptation range of your transmission. I have heard all of those statements before about replacing high mileage fluid. if the fluid has a lot of friction material in it, you can assume it is on the way on either way. If it has been treated well and driven kindly, the fluid may seem cleaner, I would them assume the replacement is OK. - Nick at Pelican Parts  
Fred Comments: I have 06 Mini Cooper S Hatchback R53 with 83k miles on it. Owned it since new with scheduled maintenance performed at the Mini dealership. I do not believe the transmission has ever been changed. Shifts ok, no slippage, occasional hard down shift. Hoping to keep the car several more years or to 150k miles. Should risk a transmission fluid change at this time or leave it sealed until a serious problem arises?
May 30, 2014
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: There isn't much risk if the service is performed correctly. - Nick at Pelican Parts  
BAP Comments: PLEASE GIVE ME A DIRECT ANSWER ON WHAT TYPE OF GEAR BOX OIL CAN BE USED IN A MINI COOPER 2003 AUTOMATIC
May 14, 2014
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: Fluid:
http://www.pelicanparts.com/cgi-bin/smart/more_info.cgi ?pn=83-22-0-429-154-M857&catalog_description=&ATF%2520Auto%2520Transmission%2520Fluid%2520%2528%2531%2520liter%2529%2520Equivalent%2520to%253A%2520ESSO%2520EZL%2520%2537%2539%2539A%252C%2520Cooper%2520%2528%2532%2530%2530%2532%252D%2530%2536%2529%252C%2520Cooper%2520Conv%252E%2520%2528%2532%2530%2530%2535%252D%2530%2538%2529%2520

Also listed here:

http://www.pelicanparts.com/cgi-bin/smart/more_info.cgi - Nick at Pelican Parts
 
Theo Comments: Please can you let me know if I tune the overflow thube in will it lock at the top. I am not sure how deep the thube will go in to the drain boss.
April 22, 2014
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: It is either installed or not. Installed it helps to reach the correct level, removed it allows fluid to drain. - Nick at Pelican Parts  
JB Comments: Nice technical information. Thanks for putting all this online. I have a question on the lowering of the sub frame before I go through this in a couple weeks. To access the filter,if the rear sub frame bolts are just loosened enough to lower it "in place" do components such as the steering shaft have to be disconnected or can they be left alone?
Thanks
April 16, 2014
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: I would disconnect the steering shaft, to be safe. - Nick at Pelican Parts  
VeeBee Comments: Hi ,
I have a 2006 Mini cooper S with paddle shifters . I believe its a automatic and not a CVT . Does that sound right ?
If thats the case would the above steps hold true for my model. ? my mini has 31k miles on it and called in a dealer for the inspection1 service and they said it would need a tranny fluid flush as part of the inspection 1 service. Is that correct ? When should i be doing this transmission flush service ?
April 9, 2014
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: If you have an automatic transmission and not a CVT, this article will apply to your vehicle. This would be the service the dealer recommended. - Nick at Pelican Parts  
Rockwell 09 Comments: I have a 2007 R-56 Mini Cooper with 6 speed trans has shift paddles. Will Valvoline MAX life ATF work for the auto trans fluid?
March 24, 2014
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: Not sure. Give our parts specialists a call at 1-888-280-7799. They can help you find the right fluid.
- Nick at Pelican Parts
 
gary Comments: A very good document.
March 18, 2014
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: Thanks for the feedback. Glad we could help.
- Nick at Pelican Parts
 
leftlane Comments: Can you us Lucas trans fluid i have an 2005 that shifts poor and goes into what seams like neutral when warm will not shift into high gear is this a sift solenoid problem ?
March 4, 2014
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: I prefer to use MINI factory fluids. Give our parts specialists a call at 1-888-280-7799. They can help you find the right fluid.
- Nick at Pelican Parts
 
shrevemini Comments: When reading the last part of the fill process. You install the t55 plug in, but leave the plug out of the pan. Start the car. Then cycle thru the gears. Shut off and fill again till it comes out of the drain hole?
February 16, 2014
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: Yes, the plug for the inspection tube stays out until you are done filling it. - Nick at Pelican Parts  
shrevemini Comments: I did my transmission this weekend. I changed the filter. I started the fill process. At 2 quarts it started to come out the overflow. Is this right. I know im level. Any help would be great. John.
February 15, 2014
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: Sounds like not enough fluid to be full. Did you measure what came out of it? I find that helps when refilling, at least you can get the level close on the first try.- Nick at Pelican Parts  
Ricky Comments: How do I check the transmission fluid level,
dose it have a warning light when it is too low for 2005 cooper S Convertible
February 2, 2014
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: The article you commented on covers your vehicle:
http://www.pelicanparts.com/techarticles/MINI/28-TRANS-Automatic_Transmission_Fluid_Change/28-TRANS-Automatic_Transmission_Fluid_Change.htm

There is no low transmission fluid light. - Nick at Pelican Parts
 
Steve Comments: Where or how can I find a coupler like the one shown in image 17? Also, will this coupler work on R56's as well? I have an R52 and an R56.
January 8, 2014
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: Give out parts specialists a call. They can help you find the coupler.

888-280-7799 - Nick at Pelican Parts
 
Amish Comments: I have a 2008 Cooper S that needs an auto transmission fluid change. The fill port seems to be in a different location than this article leading up to the 2007 model. Can you help me out in locating it?
December 15, 2013
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: There is a special tool required to get the fill plug out, MINI # 24 4 240. The fill plug is located at the back of the transmission, above the steering rack and sway bar. - Nick at Pelican Parts  
808mini Comments: In figure 17, what is that long metal rod underneath the fill port hole? I'm asking cause part of it got damaged due to leaking coolant towards the firewall.
November 29, 2013
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: That is the shift cable. - Nick at Pelican Parts  
Wild West Comments: This write up is for 1st gen Mini's and how to change the automatic transmission fluid:
http://www.pelicanparts.com/techarticles/MINI/28-TRANS-Automatic_Transmission_Fluid_Change/28-TRANS-Automatic_Transmission_Fluid_Change.htm

I have a 2007 MCS R56 with automatic transmission. Does anyone know of a similar write up for my car?
Thanks Bob
November 6, 2013
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: We haven't had the chance to create that tech article yet.

The fill plug is located near the power steering rack. It is accessed using a special tool 24 4 240 (the tool is a T55 Torx socket with a shroud).

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
 
Otto Comments: Ok, I got the right level, determined as I was I made sure the temperature was within the range required. Shifts like a dream anyway I was wondering about the book "How to maintain and modify your new Mini" The book is due to be released in late 2012?
November 2, 2013
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: Good question. I think the book was being finalized recently. For the most part the information is on the Pelican website in the etch articles. Here is the list of books we have available right now: https://www.pelicanparts.com/catalog/ShopCart/MN01/POR_MN01_TOLbks_pg1.htm#item1 - Nick at Pelican Parts  
Otto Comments: Nick, thanks for the response. So many "pros" don't want to mess with the Mini transmission. I have the Bentley book and I understand that these procedure temperature dependant. So if I warm the car up and then turn it off, take the plug out and then fill with heated fluid from atop until it flows out of the overflow I should be good right? The first time I tried this I screwed up and left the fill port plug off when I started the engine.Since fluid went all over and not in my drip pan I was never able to get an exact amount of what was drained.
October 30, 2013
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: Filling is done with the engine running.

There is a fill and an inspection plug. With the vehicle level, you will fill the fluid while monitoring the level. Be sure the vehicle is level.
With vehicle off, fill until it flows out of inspection plug. Then start engine and idle, if fluid does not flow out of inspection plug, fill until it does. Move gear selector through gears, then check level again, with trans fluid at about 40°C, fill until fluid runs out of inspection hole.

- Nick at Pelican Parts
 
Otto Comments: If I check the trans fluid cold and let the overfilled fluid drain I then proceed to start the vehicle, run through the gears and then take the drain plug off car is still running I then wait for the fluid to dribble out so I can take a temp reading. Thing is there is no fluid coming out. I then add heated fluid 93-113 degrees go back and start the car, run through the gears once again then proceed to undo the drain plug not overflow and still no fluid, the pan is reading like 130 degrees, if I turn off the vehicle and take the drain plug off I get fluid but now it is at 122 degrees. I let the vehicle get COLD and then take the drain plug off and a get one quart of expensive fluid pissing out. So basically it is telling me it is over serviced, i checked the overflow tube to make sure it is not cracked not so I am now stumped. Love the car hate this process
October 29, 2013
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: When in doubt, I always measure how much fluid is drained, before I begin to refill. This way I have an approximate amount of what will go into it. The Agitronic transmission holds about 4.5 liters in the sump, this is about how much you should be refilling. If it leaks out cold and not warm, this tells me it is not yet full. If you are struggling getting the level correct, might be better to let a pro finish the job. Having the wrong fluid level could damage the transmission.- Nick at Pelican Parts  
walker4599 Comments: I am now totally confused I thought this procedure was for the CVT transmission? and now I see a question how is this different for the CVT transmission and reply is better left alone? how do I even know what I have? all I know is I have a 2002 auto trans mini?
October 6, 2013
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: CVTs are not best left alone, it depends on your skill level and your ability to perform an adaptation after replacing the fluid. I would grab a repair manual to review the procedure before beginning. This way you can see what is needed and what is involved with the adaptation.

Give our parts specialists a call at 1-888-280-7799. They can help you find the right manual.- Nick at Pelican Parts
 
geophrey Comments: thanks for the article its help me but i need the location of clatch selonaid switch for mini cooper cvt transmittion
September 22, 2013
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: I believe the clutch solenoid is in the valve body. - Nick at Pelican Parts  
Gallardo Comments: I change my fluid from my 03 mini cvt transmission and no make up shift ,only one gear maybe the speed sensor? help!,,,,
September 17, 2013
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: You may need to adapt the transmission. This can be quite tricky. My suggestion is to take it to a MINI repair shop to be sure it gets done correctly. Otherwise transmission damage can occur. - Nick at Pelican Parts  
Mini Cooper Hill Comments: 05 Mini Cooper S Car was sitting for a year and a half. Car would not move after new battery was installed. Would changing the transmission fluid solve this problem? Low energy light comes on inside the car.
September 6, 2013
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: The vehicle starts and run, but does not drive? Did it drive before it was left to sit?

I would start by checking the transmsiison fluid level. - Nick at Pelican Parts
 
gsmetz Comments: Hi mate where do I find the section on automatic transmission oil and filter change on a 2007 R56 mini cooper hatchback and what engine size and # do I have , is it a N12 and what does that mean ?

Hi Nick Where do I find the filler plug on my Automatic transmission ,my car is a mini cooper R56 year/ month 2007 , May , hatchback Chilli. Cheers Gary Metz
September 4, 2013
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: We haven't had the chance to create that tech article yet.

The fill plug is located near the power steering rack. It is accessed using a special tool 24 4 240 (the tool is a T55 Torx socket with a shroud).

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
 
Dom Comments: what type of transmission fluids can I obtained in auto parts store for a 2002 mini cooper for a drain and replace?
August 31, 2013
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: Give our parts specialists a call at 1-888-280-7799. They can help you find the right fluid. - Nick at Pelican Parts  
battmann Comments: Great information. '06 mini S,after the car heats up the trans does not shift 2nd to 3rd gear smoothly. Question. Will this procedure work on R53 you described?
August 26, 2013
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: Yes, this tech article does apply to your vehicle. - Nick at Pelican Parts  
Hardway Comments: I also have a 2012 mini S and was wondering what tools are required for filling the trans? Is a pump required?
August 17, 2013
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: The procedure differs from early models. You will need a pump and Torx sockets. I suggest grabbing a repair manual, you don't want to take any chances with this repair. Give our parts specialists a call at 1-888-280-7799. They can help you find the right repair manual.
- Nick at Pelican Parts
 
SAGOMEZB@MAIL.COM Comments: ocupo una trasmision
SBT
2400 7516682
SERIAL No. 70104980 Z
ARTIKEL-NR 482210
ZF GETRIEBE NV
ST - STRUIDEN

AUTOMATICA
ME URGE PORFAVOR COMUNICARSE AL 760-234-4531

July 13, 2013
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: Give our parts specialists a call at 1-888-280-7799 and they can help figure out which part or repair kit you need.
- Nick at Pelican Parts
 
Mike Comments: Do you have a similar article for a 2007 r56?
June 17, 2013
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: Not currently. If we get the chance to perform the service, we will document it. - Nick at Pelican Parts  
Peter Comments: How is this different from changing the fluid on a CVT transmission?
June 3, 2013
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: They are very different procedures. I would grab a repair manual to see what is involved with the CVT. It has to be adapted afterward, which sometimes requires a MINI scan tool. If the belt is worn, at times the CVT will not readapt after a service. These are sometimes best left alone. - Nick at Pelican Parts  
BA Comments: Jared or Wayne

I have a 2012 mini s, and enjoyed your article on auto transmission oil change. But your article seems to refer to minis up to 2010. It seems they have moved the trans fill plug to a new location on 2011 and up, would it be possible to explain as to where they moved it to.
April 17, 2013
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: R56 models are filled through the same hole the fluid is drained from. there is a drain plug and a siphon tube. The tube is in place when filling, you fill from below the vehicle. If you have not used this technique, I suggest checking with current repair information. - Nick at Pelican Parts  
motoman Comments: I agree why indeed. If the pan is cold it will quickly pull down the fluid temp. I just completed a PIA drain fill on a Mercedes and the procedure is as you describe it. I question whether this is voodoo BS anyway. By adding from the top dirt can still enter.
April 1, 2013
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: Heating the fluid makes it flow a bit easier and can help you get the fluid level closer to correct initially. You do not have to use this method, it is just a tip. Filling with cold fluid, you will have to warm and monitor transmission fluid before completing filling procedure.

- Nick at Pelican Parts
 
emmy Comments: Question: how do you measure the temp with an infrared thermometer? do you aim at the trans oil pan closest to the drain plug?

Also, why do you need to heat-up the new fluid before refill? why not do refill at room temp then run engine till temp is attained then observe drain from the stand pipe to verify full capacity?
March 11, 2013
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: Heating the fluid makes it flow a bit easier and can help you get the fluid level closer to correct initially. You do not have to use this method, it is just a tip. Filling with cold fluid, you will have to warm and monitor transmission fluid before completing filling procedure.

The infrared temp gun should be aimed at the trans pan. This is not the most accurate method, but it is the best method when you do not have access to a MINI scan tool. - Nick at Pelican Parts
 

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  Applies to: R50 MINI Cooper (2002-06) - R53 MINI Cooper S (2002-06) - R52 MINI Cooper Convertible (2005-08) - R52 MINI Cooper S Convertible (2005-08) - R52 MINI Cooper S Convertible (2005-08) - R56 MINI Cooper (2007-) - R57 MINI Cooper Convertible (2007-)
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