Having just changed the automatic gearbox oil on my Laguna II V6 today, i thought i would do a handy "How to".
Car: Laguna II, V6 24v auto.
The above car has a gearbox with the designation Su1-002. This is actually a Aisin Warner 55-50sn gearbox. The same gearbox as fitted to all automatic Volvo S60 models, and some Toyota models.
Renault specify the gearbox is sealed for life and does not need a oil change. Volvo also say the same. However, Aisin Warner specify a 50,000 mile oil change interval, using the correct "Toyota T-IV" specification oil.
My particular car, with 73,000 miles, was suffering from a "Shunt" when putting it into Drive. And also if accelerating hard when changing from 2nd to 3rd gear the Revs would "Flare up" for 2 seconds before dropping down. This is a classic sign the oil is well past its sell-by date.
The Toyota T-IV spec oil is very exspensive typically. However i found a company called North Sea Oils who make their own performance automatic gearbox oil which meets and exceeds the T-IV spec for Aisin Warner gearboxes.
I purchased 10L of this oil via their eBay shop for 55 UK Pounds. This should be enough for 3 Sump changes.
A 1L Gearbox oil bottle (used). The one with a built in tube.
About 4" of 10mm copper pipe.
2ft Of 10mm Inside diameter rubber pipe.
A 5L Washer fluid container, or other clear 5L can.
About 2 old 5L Oil cans to put the old oil into.
* Get a old 5L Washer fluid container. Typically these are clear. Using a measuring Jug from the kitchen, pour in 500ml of water at a time. And mark on the container these 500ml levels.
Continue until you have put in 4L total. So now you have a container which has accurate fluid markings on it. Empty the water out.
* Fill your kitchen sink with hot water from the tap. And put in your two 5L containers of new Gearbox oil. Leave in for 30mins before you start working on the car. This will warm up the oil slightly and make filling a bit quicker and easier.
* Take the car out for a drive. About 20mins to ensure the gearbox is fully hot.
* Jack up the car at the front using a trolley jack, and put a Stand on each side. So now the car is safely raised at the front.
* Put your Oil pan / tray under the gearbox, ready.
* The Aisin Warner 55-50sn Gearbox, does not have a drain plug. So, undo the 10mm bolts holding the Dipstick tube into the gearbox. Carefully remove the bolts without moving the dipstick.
* Now raise the Oil tray up to the gearbox, and pull out the Dip Stick tube. Hot oil will come rushing out. So watch your hands / arms. As the oil flow slows down, gently lower your oil tray onto the drive. And Let it drain fully.
* Put a Funnel (Cut up an old 2L Coke bottle) onto the clear 5L container with the markings you made earlier. Now carefully pour your Oil tray contents into the clear container.
You should have about 2.8L of old oil. As this is what came out of mine.
* Now re-fit the Dip Stick tube and put the bolts back in.
* Using the 10mm ID rubber tube. Insert the 10mm copper pipe into one end. Remove the yellow Dip Stick from the gearbox tube, and insert the 10mm copper pipe into the dip stick tube.
This will now act as your filling pipe.
* From your new Gearbox oil containers (Warmed), fill the empty 1L gearbox oil bottle.
* Connect the 1L gearbox oil bottle to the rubber pipe and hold it up. Gently squeeze the bottle until it is empty.
When the bottle is empty, refill it with new oil again. Continue doing this until you have put 2.8L back into the gearbox.
* Now put the yellow dip stick back into the gear box.
* Start the engine and let it run for 15mins. Revving to 2000rpm every now and again for a few seconds at a time. Just to pump the fresh oil through the gearbox and torque converter.
Put the car into Drive and let the wheels spin at idle. (Note. You may get a ABS or Traction control error light come on. Dont worry about this.) Move the gearbox through D, N, and R several times and put it back into P again. In total let the engine run for 15mins. Shut off engine.
* Now Drain the oil again, by removing the Dip stick tube. Watch out for the hot oil.
* Refill again with 2.8L of fresh oil as per the procedure above.
* Run engine again for 15mins, as per the procedure above.
* With 10L of fresh T-IV gearbox oil, you can do 3 Gearbox oil changes. So continue this sump flushing until you have done it 3 times. (9L of oil approx).
* After your final Gearbox fill, check the oil level once the oil is fully hot. With the engine running. The oil should be at the max mark.
* After you have lowered the car back onto the ground and removed the stands / jack. Take the car out for a drive and check it changes gear ok.
Try a few stops and moving from D, to N, and R.
Once you get back home and the car is on the level. Leave the engine running and finally check the gearbox oil level again. It should be on Max. If it is under, then fill with a little more oil.
Note the Min to Max marking is only 0.3L of oil. So only add a small amount at a time if topping up.
* Any error lights that were thrown because of letting the wheels spin in the air should have cleared once you took the car for a drive. My ABS and Traction control lights all went out.
Thats it, youve now changed your gearbox oil.
For me, it resolved the shunting. The "Rev flare" from 2nd to 3rd gear disapeared. And the changes are now silky smooth and seamless.
For 55 pounds its definately worth while doing to protect and prolong the life of your gearbox.
Not only that, but it will give a better driving experiance, and might even improve MPG slightly.