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Old 4 Weeks Ago
Sam Pato Sam Pato is offline
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Join Date: Jan 2011
Location: Brisbane
Posts: 315
Default Gearbox - AFT Top up

I'm heading to Straddie for the weekend and just done some checks on the car and discovered that the AFT is a bit low. Which might explain why there seems to a bit of a warm up period for the gearbox when I take off these days.

I had the gearbox service done some time ago by Ron at Motorcare in Albion (Brisbane) but they've closed shop. I'm fairly certain they used a branded semi-synthetic (I remember being slightly disappointed they hadn't used fully synthetic) but I can't remember what it was (I keep thinking Valvoline but I'm not sure why).

I don't have time for a full oil change before we go so I want to top it up.

Can anyone advise on anything I need to watch out for in topping it up and if possible recommend / advise on the oil I should use. I'm assuming I shouldn't mix full and semi-synthetic?

As always any advice would be very gratefully received.


Pajero NS GLX 3.2DID 2008, SPVIII, DPF Delete, Inlet Clean, ARB bullbar, Pioneer Platform
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Old 4 Weeks Ago
old Jack's Avatar
old Jack old Jack is online now
Join Date: Jun 2011
Location: Adelaide, South Australia.
Posts: 7,910

Hi Sam,

There is a set procedure for checking the ATF level correctly on the Jatco V5A5A transmission, it is in the vehicle owners manual. Normally it is the ATF must be warm, engine running and then a series of cycling through the gear selector positions.

From the Service Workshop Manual;
1. Drive the vehicle until the A/T fluid temperature reaches the normal temperature (70 - 80C)
note Measure A/T fluid temperature using M.U.T.III.
note Check the fluid level referring to the characteristics chart shown at left if it takes some time to reach the normal operation temperature of A/T fluid (70 - 80C).
2. Park the vehicle on a level surface.
3. Move the selector lever to all positions to fully charge the torque converter and the fluid lines with A/T fluid, and then move the selector lever to the P position.
4. After wiping away any dirt from around the oil level gauge, pull out the oil level gauge and check the level of A/T fluid.
note If the A/T fluid has a burnt smell, or if it has become very contaminated or dirty, it means that the A/T fluid has become contaminated by minute particles form bushings (metal) or worn parts. In such a case, the transmission needs to be overhauled and the A/T fluid cooler line needs to be flushed out.

5. Check that the A/T fluid level is between the HOT marks on the oil level gauge. If the A/T fluid level is too low, add more A/T fluid until the level reaches between the HOT marks.
Automatic transmission fluid: DIA QUEEN ATF SP III
note If the A/T fluid level is too low, the oil pump draws air into the system along with the A/T fluid, and air bubbles will thus from in the fluid circuit. This will cause a drop in fluid pressure and cause the shift points to change and the clutches and brakes to slip.
If the A/T fluid level is too high, the gear will churn the A/T fluid and cause bubbles to develop, which can then cause the same problems as when the A/T fluid is too low.
In either case, the air bubbles can cause overheating and oxidation of the A/T fluid, and also prevent the valves, clutches and brakes from operating normally. In addition, if bubbles develop in the A/T fluid, the A/T fluid can overflow from the transmission vent holes and be mistaken for leaks.
6. Securely re-insert the oil level gauge.

2011 PB Base White Auto, Smartbar, Cooper STMaxx LT235/85R-16,TPMS, HR TB, 3 x Bushskinz, front +40mm Dobinson , rear +50mm EHDVR Lovells, Dobinson MT struts and shockers, Peddars 5899 cone springs, Windcheater rack, GME UHF, Custom alloy drawer system inc. 30lt Engel & 2 x 30 AH LiFePo batteries + elec controls, Tailgate hi-lift/long struts, Phillips +100 LB & HB, Lightforce 20" single row driving beam LED lightbar, Scanguage II.
MM4x4 Auto Mate, Serial No 1 .
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Old 4 Weeks Ago
Kingmarz's Avatar
Kingmarz Kingmarz is online now
Join Date: Dec 2016
Location: South Island New Zealand
Posts: 199

Mixing synthetic, semi synthetic oils/fluids is fine as well as brands.
02 NM Pajero 3.2 DID Auto with Snorkel, Turbosmart Dual Stage Boost Controller, Kinugawa 15T Hybrid turbo with 56mm Billet compressor wheel and extended tips, Cat Delete, EGR Removal, ECU Piggyback Chip, Raw Nitro shockies, 22 Black Rhino wheels with Black Bear A/T tyres, EGT, boost and engine temp gauges, catch can, Synergy 4b Ronbox, K&N air filter, 3 dump pipe, 320x300 Front mount intercooler with 3 polished inlet piping, plus other mods

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