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View Full Version : Changing trans fluid...couple questions?


94Touring
10-04-2009, 11:31 AM
I can see the drain plug in the transmission pan, but is the plug in the picture the fill plug? I pulled that plug and a bunch of fluid poured out which leads me to believe that it is not the fill plug...why would fluid come out of it if it was?
Is there another method to get the fluid back in?

I drained it completely and about 2.5 liters came out, but i can only get just less than 2 liters back in through the plug mentioned above before fluid starts coming out.

Can anyone offer tips advise with pictures? I really don't want to mess this thing up!

BTW the car has 177K miles on it, and the trans fluid that came out was pure nastiness!

woodnthings8
10-04-2009, 12:13 PM
That is the fill plug. To fill the car correctly you need to have it running in neutral!!!!!!!! You can do this with the car on level ground if not lowered, If you have a hard time reaching underneath, drive it up on a few boards all the way around the car to keep it at ride height level. Use a 17mm wrench for the fill plug!

Here is how to do it properly.

Car must be on level ground!
Put as much fluid into the fill pan as possible with the engine off.
Temp install the fill plug.
Start the car and let idle.
Place in neutral
Pull fill plug out and pump more fluid in.
When fluid starts to drain out of the plug, temp install the plug again.
Get in car and with foot on brake, cycle though all the gears slowly.
After a minute or so of the above, put car in neutral again
Pull fill plug again.
If no fluid drains out, add more fluid.
Install fill plug when fluid runs out.
Drive the car a few miles to warm up the fluid. Manual says between 80-130 degrees IIRC. I do it until the pan is pretty warm to the touch.
Place car on level ground again
Running in neutral
Pull the fill plug, more than likely fluid will come out as the fluid has expanded a bit from the temp rise. I usually loose about a half a cup worth.
Install the fill plug permanently

woodnthings8
10-04-2009, 12:16 PM
I pulled that plug and a bunch of fluid poured out which leads me to believe that it is not the fill plug...why would fluid come out of it if it was?

When the engine is off and the transmission pump is not circulating fluid through the system the sump pan fills up beyond the plug. This is the same as a transmission with a measure stick. You must have the engine running and the car in neutral to get the correct level of fluid!

94Touring
10-04-2009, 03:31 PM
Thanks for the help guys! got her drained and filled twice. I just figured that GM would locate the fill plug higher than the shut down fluid level. Makes a lot more sense than having to run the car while under it pumping fluid in it...of course having a dipstick and fill tube would be down right silly...

Thanks again

woodnthings8
10-04-2009, 05:25 PM
They got rid of dipsticks because people overfilled them. A fill plug pretty much eliminates that from happening. And people who shouldn't add fluid probably wont in that case. BMW has a large sticker on mine that says "Lifetime Fluid" no service needed! Yeah right!!!!!

ross1
10-05-2009, 04:49 AM
The plug on the side is the fill plug. It is intended to be checked warm while the engine is running, the fluid should be to the level of the plug.
A funnel and long hose into th eengine compartment are the preferred method to fill it. As if it had a real filler tube.
Don't blame me I didn't design it. OOPs, sorry for the redundant reply

woodnthings8
10-05-2009, 05:39 AM
I use a 1 quart pump, with a 3 foot hose on it to top off when the car is on the ground at ride height. I also have a gallon pump for when the car is on jacks and doing the full drain and fill. Both are pretty inexpensive at the parts stores and should be available for under $10.

94Touring
10-05-2009, 07:18 AM
ok, so here is my other beef with this fill plug...it is behind the shift linkage so it is a bitch to get in there while it is spewing fluid at you! bad design and concept all the way around.

Thanks for the help and mutual grievance guys!

woodnthings8
10-05-2009, 04:04 PM
You can blame it on GM it is there transmission. Not sure which company decided to delete the stick though. But yeah not the best spot for a fill plug.

94Touring
10-11-2009, 09:01 PM
I'll blame GM, but I also know their trannys go FOREVER with proper service. My old Silverado went 250K before giving up the sun shield on it's 1st 4L60E...the second 4L60E is probably still spinning :)

mrodoc
10-24-2009, 12:40 PM
I think the key is to change filter/fluid regulary. I've had mine done twice, and I'm ready for #3. Lifelong fluid is a joke.:tsk: