The pan is most likely full of a sludge of fine metal shavings that will look like grey mud. It will be surrounding a magnet that is put on the pan for the purpose of holding on to the fine metal shavings. You must pull the magnet and clean it- then put it back on. You can only do this if you remove the pan.
Pumping the fluid out using the starter (don't start the engine) as described in one of our How-Tos is the easiest method. The old fashioned method is to remove the pan carefully and let the fluid drain out of one corner. You'll still have a little fluid in the pan using the pump out method, but not much. Definitely plan on having a kitty litter pan under it to protect your driveway, and allow it to tilt down in the lowest corner to drain before you remove all the bolts.
The filter just pulls off. It is held in place with a rubber O-ring. Do not mess with the wiring of the solenoids under the filter, but you should look at those and make sure that everything is connected. Sometimes those can pull out during filter removal.
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