Join Date: Apr 2009
Location: San Bernardino, Ca.
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To change the filter, you're going to have to remove the pan so, yes, it has to be drained. I've done this before on other vehicles (my GTO is a 6 speed). Not really a difficult job and I wouldn't refer to it as 'delicate'. It can be messy, however, since there's no drain plug.
2005 Pontaic GTO - CGM 6 Speed (My car)
2017 Chevrolet Colorado 2WT (My daily driver)
2010 Mercedes Benz C300 Sedan (Wife's car)
2014 Kia Rio LX (Wife's daily driver)