Question about 2003 Saturn L-Series

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Automatic Transmission fluid level

How does a person check the transmission fluid level? We can;t find a dipstick or any checking device other than a red cap on the top of the tranny. Is the fluid checked electronically?

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Here is the step by step on how to do it.

Be sure that transmission fluid temperature is at least 104° F (40° C). To access check/fill plug: In the engine compartment, remove clamp from air hose behind cooling fan. Separate air tube from the hose and push the tube back towards the transaxle. Remove the clip holding the two power steering lines together. All Models: From underneath vehicle remove the transaxle check/fill plug with engine running. Fluid level should be even with hole. Add fluid as needed until fluid flows from hole. Replace check/fill plug and torque to 9 ft. lbs. (12 Nm).

Posted on Feb 02, 2009

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General Motors has decided that it's important to drive their customers crazy.... To check the level on those you need to remove a small plug on the transmission generally on the transmission axle extension. Once the plug has been removed and the vehicle is on level flat ground, you fill through the red capped opening 'till it comes out of the open plug hole. (convenient, huh?). If you can't find the plug, most transmission shops can point it out to you.
Personally, I'd really love to hear the reasoning behind this silly way of doing this!!!!!

Jun 23, 2011 | 1997 Oldsmobile Cutlass

1 Answer

Transmission fluid leak ,most on top of tranny

This is how to service your transmission. Ensure to follow these steps to check the existing level to see in fact how much fluid your losing and if your at risk of a blown tranny with little to no fluid
  • Drive the car for several miles or until the engine has reached its normal temperature, as indicated by the temperature gauge. Position the vehicle on a flat surface, shift the transmission to the "Park" position and apply the parking brake.Raise the hood and allow the vehicle to idle.

  • Withdraw the transmission's dipstick. The dipstick features a T-shaped handle with the words "Trans. Fluid" stamped into the top of the handle.Wipe the dipstick clean of any transmission fluid with a clean shop rag. As the vehicle is driven, transmission fluid may splash onto the dipstick, resulting in a false fluid level reading.Insert the dipstick into its tube until the handle rests securely against the top of the tube, then withdraw the dipstick and note the fluid level. The fluid level should be at or just below the "Warm Full" mark stamped into the dipstick. If the level is low, fluid must be added.Add Mercon V transmission fluid in small increments to avoid overfilling the transmission. Insert a funnel into the top of the dipstick tube, then pour the transmission fluid into the funnel, periodically checking the fluid level on the dipstick.

  • Jan 12, 2011 | 2002 Ford Taurus

    1 Answer

    I have a 1999 Saturn sl model and NOWHERE can I find the dipstick to check the tranny. There is the yellow dipstick for the oil, but where the Chilton's guide tells me there should be a red dipstick for...

    The Transmission has a check plug and a fill cap. The check plug is located just under the passenger side axle and has a 11 mm head on it. The fill cap is on top of the transmission just underneath the air cleaner box. the transmission must be ideling in park and be warm to the touch , not hot or cold. Fluid should drip from check plug when full.

    Oct 28, 2010 | 1999 Saturn SL

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    Were do i put transmission fluid in the tranny 1997 cadi catera

    Your Catera has a sealed for life transmission so therefore on one of these models there is no dipstick and you cannot check the fluid level yourself. The dealer can check the level but that is only necessary if you have a leak. Use a premium grade oil and a quality filter such as AC/Delco, Wix, Purolator, or Bosch. The correct weight oil is listed in your owner's manual and possibly on the oil fill cap or dipstick.

    May 29, 2010 | 1997 Cadillac Catera

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    Wheres the dip stick for tranny

    If it's a four speed automatic it doesn't have a dipstick. You have to remove a plug by the passenger side cv shaft and fill the trans thru the fill cap till it runs from the plug when the engine is running.

    Apr 01, 2010 | 1999 Pontiac Sunfire

    1 Answer

    Where is the transmission fluid located

    Tranny fluid- there should be a dipstick with a handle on it under the hood somewhere. They usually say transmission on the handle. Check the fluid while the motor is running, there will be marks on the dipstick to tell you the correct level.
    Brake fluid- simply pull the cap off of the resivor and make sure the fluid is to the top.

    Dec 24, 2009 | 2002 Lincoln LS

    1 Answer

    Cant find dip stick for tranny fluid 2004 sunfire

    GM went to sealed transmissions. That car doesn't have a transmission dipstick.

    There's a fill bolt that needs to be removed from the transmission while the car is on a level surface. If transmission fluid comes out, then you're at the proper level. Otherwise fill until fluid starts to come out. (Similar to what would be done on a manual transmission)

    Look at the top of the transmission for a little red cap(like the oil fill cap) this is where you add fluid. If you want to check fluid condition, you need to remove cap and stick something in there and smear the fluid on a piece of paper to see color.

    Hope this helps you out


    Dec 03, 2009 | 2004 Pontiac Sunfire

    1 Answer

    How do you check the transmission fluid level. I don't see a dipstick, only a red fill cap?

    There is no dipstick so you can't check it.When you get an oil change have them check tranny fluid.It's the only solution I've heard.

    Nov 27, 2009 | 1999 Chevrolet Malibu

    2 Answers

    The 1997 Chevy Malibu does not have a dipstick for the transmissi

    Your gonna have to get under the car and find the bolt thats on the transmission on the driver side take it out while car is running and if any fluid comes out like a trickle its full. If not I believe to fill look under the hood and should have a red cap I believe the cap is somewhere under the brake master cylinder

    Sep 16, 2009 | 1997 Chevrolet Malibu

    2 Answers

    How can I check my transmission fluid on my 1999 chevorlet Malibu. It will not go in to drive but it will go in reverse

    To check the fluid level: It's a 4T40E. It is filled from a black or red plastic cap on top of the transmission

    You will find a plug about 1.5" from the bottom of the transmission. This is the level checking plug. With the engine running, the fluid should be level with the opening. If a small amount of fluid does not run out, add a little until it does. The transmission pan should be about 110F or so when you install the level checking plug, since transmission fluid expands when it's hot.

    Undocumented feature of the level-checking plug:

    With the engine off, removing this plug drains about 4 quarts of fluid. So don't remove it without the engine running unless you want to remove 4 quarts. (I think it might make removing the pan a little less messy if you did remove this plug first).

    this is not easy to do, I don't understand why GM ever came up with this type of tranny and many reason why I don't buy small GM vehicle. I recommend take it to the shop with a lift.

    Jul 25, 2009 | 1999 Chevrolet Malibu

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