700R4 Transmission Fluid Capacity, Type, and Change Interval

Fuel efficiency is an objective most vehicle owners have. When you need to save on fuel, look for a vehicle that comes with the 700R4 transmission. If you keep it full of transmission fluid, you should see a fuel savings every time you use it.

Depending on the model of this transmission, you should be able to fit between 10 and 14 quarts of transmission fluid inside this transmission. If you are just doing a filter and quick fluid change, then you should only need 5 quarts.

To learn more about this transmission and its fluid capacity, just continue to read our article. It has the information you want to know about so you can maintain your 700R4 correctly. Take a few minutes to see how this information helps you.

How Many Quarts Of Transmission Fluid do I Need For a 700R4?


This is always a valid question. That is because there are 3 different answers to it. Not everyone is aware of the model type in their vehicle and different 700R4 transmissions have slightly different capacities.

In the general sense, you are looking at using 5 quarts when you are only doing a filter change. But that is with the standard fluid pan. If your vehicle happens to have a deeper pan, then that amount will increase by one or two quarts.

The third answer will be given in the next section. No sense in jumping ahead of ourselves. Most owners only do the filter and quick change and rarely do they drain the torque converter.

The reason for that is time. Not many owners have the time to wait for the torque converter to drain completely. It is just easier, faster, and cheaper to do the quick change.

There is nothing wrong with that. You shouldn’t be putting your transmission in harm’s way if that is the only change you make.

700R4 Transmission Fluid Capacity

The total fluid capacity depends on two factors. Both factors are basically the same as in the previous section. One, if you have a deep pan, you may be putting in a little more fluid than the 10 to 14 quarts needed to reach capacity under a normal pan.

The other factor will be the model type of the 700R4 transmission. The model type will influence how much you will need if you are doing a complete fluid change.

The best thing to do is talk to a transmission expert and find out what model type you have. Or if you still have the owner's manual, then check that to see what type of transmission you have.

Knowing the type will help guide you when you are buying the transmission fluid you need. It only takes a few minutes to find out so take the time so you do not over buy or under buy the number of ATF cans.

Don’t forget to buy the right filter at the same time. This can happen even to the most experienced transmission people.

700R4 Transmission Fluid Capacity With Torque Converter

The total capacity that we spoke about in the previous section is the answer to this question. You will need between 10 and 14 quarts when you are doing a complete transmission fluid change.

The trick to emptying the torque converter is to set your car up a little higher and put a large enough container underneath it. Then when you pull the transmission plug, you walk away and wait.

Draining the torque converter should take all night, so make sure you have something else to do around the house while you wait. Having other engine maintenance tasks to do at the same time will help pass the time.

Again, we would suggest that you learn which model type you have so you get the right amount of transmission fluid as well as the right filter. If in doubt, you can talk to the auto parts outlets and get the right information.

They should have the parts books on the counter where they can look up anything they need to know about transmissions and other parts.

What Transmission Fluid Does a 700R4 take?


This transmission was first introduced in 1982. It was the upgrade of the TH350 and it added a 4th gear that was overdrive. This device is built by GM and is designed to work with Dexron III transmission fluid.

This fluid was developed to work with GM transmissions and it should be your go-to option. However, if you cannot find this fluid in your local stores and you own a Ford, you should be using Type F.

In other cases, Macron ATF will work as a good replacement. Not to be done, the backward-compatible Dexron VI is also an option. Some people do recommend that you use this fluid over the older ones.

In case you can’t find any of those transmission fluid options, you can also go with the much older Dexron II. But that is more of a last-ditch effort than anything else. Just do not mix the fluids.

While compatible, they do not always work together well. You have a few choices and most likely, you won’t need to mix any of them together.

700R4 Transmission Fluid Type

Because technology keeps changing products, you will find that some of the more modern transmission fluids will work in older transmissions. The fluid making companies have found a way to make them backward compatible so that as technology changes the product, you do not have to change your transmission.

The best type of transmission fluid to use would be Dexron III or VI. This is the fluid that has been designed to work in GM transmissions. You can use other types of fluid but they are not the best options to use. Unless you own a Ford with a 700R4 transmission.

There are some of those vehicles around and those vehicles need to have the Type F fluid put into that transmission. Type F fluid is supposed to be a high-viscosity synthetic transmission fluid.

The synthetic option may be more expensive but it is also supposed to last longer and keep your transmission at peak performance for a very long time. But as we have said, this fluid is for Fords that use the GM transmission and not for GM or Chevrolet cars with the same model.

700R4 Transmission Fluid Change Interval

The consensus of mechanics says that changing the transmission fluid should be done about every 30,000 to 50,000 miles depending on the type of transmission you have and other factors.

This is more frequent than what automakers will say. They advertise changing the fluid roughly every 60,000 to 100,000 miles. You can talk to your mechanic to see what they say.

There is no harm done if you change the fluid frequently and there should be no harm done if you follow the automaker’s recommendations. The synthetic transmission fluid may not need to be changed so often.

You may and can wait till you reach somewhere between that 60,000 to 100,000-mile mark when you use this type of fluid. Synthetic fluids are designed to last longer than mineral-based fluids which are the Dexron & Macron transmission fluid types.

Then many owners simply use their own judgment on this task. Some change it more frequently but others say that is more of a waste of time and money. Your frequency will be up to your preference and judgment.

If you still have doubts, check your owner’s manual to see what it says and follow it. The owner’s manual does provide accurate information despite what some people may say.

How To Check 700R4 Transmission Fluid


When you go to check your transmission fluid, make sure you are parked on level ground. That is the only way you will get an accurate reading on the dipstick.

Then, unlike oil, you need to have the engine running before you pull the transmission dipstick. For front-wheel drive, the dipstick for your transmission the dipstick should be on the driver’s side. For rear-wheel drive, it should be on the passenger side of the engine.

With the engine running, pull the dipstick and wipe it off with a cloth. Then reinsert it and pull it out again. Once it is out the second time, look at the lower end and you will see a small gauge.

That gauge will tell you if your transmission is full of fluid and fine or if you need to add a quart or more. If you are low, then use a funnel to add more fluid. More details on that later.

You need an accurate reading to make sure you add just enough fluid. You do not want to overfill it as that can be harmful to your transmission.

How To Drain Transmission Fluid 700R4

The original drain pan for the 700R4 transmission did not come with a drain plug. You would have to lower the whole pan to remove the transmission fluid. This meant that you would have to buy a new gasket at the same time you were buying the fluid and the filter.

However, there were, and possibly are, some aftermarket 700R4 transmission pans made. These came with a drain plug making changing the fluid a little easier and less messy. You also did not have to buy a new gasket as the pan stayed in place.

Of course, the drain time may take a while if you are waiting for the torque converter to drain fully. It is a good idea to have something else to do when you are doing this task.

How To Add Transmission Fluid 700R4

People will have different methods they use to add fluid. Here is just one method that you can try to see if it works for you.

1. After draining the fluid and putting the gasket, filter, and pan in place, add the initial 5 quarts.

2. Start the engine and then add 5 more quarts.

3. While the engine is running, run the gears a few times. Then go back out and add a little more fluid until it gets to the lower of the two lines.

4. Drive the car for a little while and then when you return, add to the full line. You do not want to add to the full line right away as you run the risk of over-filling the transmission. Transmission fluid can expand when it heats up.

Which 700R4 Transmission Was The Best


As we have said, there have been several of these transmissions made over the years. Unfortunately, the early model years were having a lot of problems, and owners had to have their transmissions rebuilt.

This went on for about 5 years as GM tried to solve all the problems. The best 700R4 transmissions to buy would be the ones made in 1987 and up. The more recent the model the better the transmission.

As GM solved the problems they upgraded the following devices- valve bodies and stronger gear trains, better servos, and clutches. They also developed better shifting points getting them to be smooth and not harsh.

To identify these later and better models, look for the CZ stamped on the transmission. Those letters should be in the code somewhere on the body of the transmission or the ID tag that was placed on them at production.

Some Final Words

When you buy a GM transmission, you are getting one of the best transmissions that could be made. At least that is what a large number of owners and experts are saying.

Why wouldn’t they be the best, the company owned Allison for almost 100 years. But like any transmission, even the best has to have the right components installed and receive regular maintenance throughout its lifetime.

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