Tranny oil change time. What does the home mechanic do to check fluid level? [Archive] - Forum


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sugar ray
05-18-2011, 02:53 AM
As the topic title says:

Tranny oil change time. What does the home mechanic do to check fluid level?

I have an 02 GA. up here in O'Canada. Original owner and it has never been winter driven. I did not appreciate this decision until about 2007 when the car was completely paid off and still ran,looked,and smelt brand new!! Although, I admit making payments on it during the winter months while it sat was rather painful.
I have been fairly lucky with it. I only had a cat converter croak and last spring was forced to change the LIM gasket but thanks to some fine folks on this board was able to change that myself and save a ton of money in the process.

Anyways.....time to change the filter and fluid in the tranny. No dip stick we know that much. In the Haynes Manual it says the ONLY way to check fluid level is by using the check plug and visually inspecting fluid in the hole. This would be fine and dandy if most home mechanics actually owned a vehicle power hoist so the car would stay level as it has to be while checking. However, checking this hole while the front end is jacked up is pointless!!

So what do most of you guys/gals do when changing your fluid? Keep track of what amount is drained and replace it with the same amount?

Lastly....the haynes manual suggests a thin film of RTV sealant around the pan bolt threads. Any comments??


05-19-2011, 09:22 AM
this is what I do:

I jack up the front end of the car as high as possible and put jack stands under the frame. I then jack up the rear end of the car slowly and every now and then using a level under the pan check to see when it is 'level'. I then put jack stands under the rear of the car as a precaution (the car is still being held by the jack but the stands are there just in case.

I then remove the little bolt to check the fluid level. The car has to be warmed up slightly and running when checking the level of the fluid.

To add fluid I have to remove the air filter box and ram air ducts to get to the red cap.

I did not put any sealant on the pan bolts and they appear to be fine. I change my fluid/filter once a year (for me it is about 35-40,000kms).

05-19-2011, 12:02 PM
^ That works!

Almost worth having a mechanic do it though, especially if you have some other things to do while it's up in the air (grease things, replace swaybar mounts, etc...)

sugar ray
05-19-2011, 05:24 PM
Thanks guys for the input!!

What a P.I.T.A. I guess installing a dip stick and tube would have been asking too much from GM? Then again, perhaps that is the point? force the customer to come back to the stealership often?

I refuse to dish out my hard earned money to the stealership. How could they have gone bankrupt anyways? They tried selling me that rubber inlet fuel line ring for $13. Went to the local parts store and they gave me a generic one for free. $13 for a 1/4 inch O' ring? All it takes is one sucker to buy just one of them and that one purchase pays for 100 of them to be made.

05-21-2011, 11:05 AM
I didnt check it at all I just got a new filter some of the tranny fluid. Merc 6 I beleive and did a filter change and fillup. then I took it to a shop and got them to check the lever for free.