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qdemn7
Smurf in My Loop
Premium
join:2003-09-16
Fort Worth, TX

Why No More Transmission Dipstick?

What's the story on late model cars eliminating the dipstick on the automatic transmission? I know a transmission in good running order does not consume any fluid. But at least you could check the fluid to see it was getting burned or whatever. Now the only way to know your transmission might be going out is when it starts slipping or just starts leaking. Dumb.
--
I think prostitution and drugs should be legal and regulated, just like alcohol. Too many people want to ban thing based on their “feelings” that certain things are Sins, and all Sins should be banned. Sin Laws should be prohibited.



Doctor Olds
I Need A Remedy For What's Ailing Me.
Premium,VIP
join:2001-04-19
1970 442 W30
kudos:18

On what late model cars?



Warzau
Premium
join:2000-10-26
Naperville, IL
kudos:1
reply to qdemn7

Really I have 2002 and Have a dipstick for the Tranny.



santy
Don't Follow Me, I'M Lost Too
Premium,MVM
join:2001-06-10
Wilmington, IL
kudos:1
reply to qdemn7

Some of the Daewoo's did not have a tranny dipstick. You had to check them similar to how you do a manual trans, thru a removeable plug..

The Suzuki Forenza's and Suzuki Verona are that way. Takes a special tool to remove both the drain plugs and the plugs to check the levels..

I also know that some of the small/midsize GM's (cavalier,GrandAm's etc.) also don't have tranny dipsticks but I'm not familiar with any checking procedure with them..
--
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qdemn7
Smurf in My Loop
Premium
join:2003-09-16
Fort Worth, TX
reply to Doctor Olds

said by Doctor Olds:

On what late model cars?
'99 Chevy Malibu 2.4L DOHC 4 cylinder.

MikeKolo
Premium
join:2002-03-03

2 edits
reply to qdemn7

I had a 2005 300m that came to us from the body shop across the street recently and they couldn't figure out how to refill it. It was hit hard in the front lost fluid as well as the lines to the trans. They sent it over to us to complete the repair. It has a filler tube but there's no dipstick. I did some research and found you have to hook a scanner to it and put it in fluid check mode to actually check the level via the computer. The problem is Chyrsler hasn't released enough software to the scanner manufacuters for me to be able to check it the way they recommend.

What I did was to fill the trans. with what I felt might have been lost in the collision and then do what Chrysler recommends for fluid capacity when doing a filter/fluid change. If you think about it even if it was overfilled after the fluid being added it shouldn't matter because at least all air would be removed from the system and any overfill would come out with the trans. pan being removed. In Alldata they do give a capacity spec. for filter/fluid change.

This worked fine except for the fact that the body shop hadn't done their job completely and they didn't secure the cooler lines they'd installed. The customer pick the vehicle up and was driving over the Altamont pass the next day and the unsecured cooler lines rubbed against the serpentine belt cutting them both in half. Back to square one.



Glenn
I'D Rather Be Skiing
Premium
join:2000-10-05
Wallingford, CT
reply to qdemn7

Some Audis and VWs are like that. I think it's highly annoying. To check the fluid, you have to hook the car up to a computer, make sure it's under a certain temp. To fill the fluid, you need to pump the fluid into the "pan" on the bottom of the tranny. Why can't they just have a drain and dipstick like 99% of the other automatics out there?

Don't even get me started on this alleged "lifetime" fluid they use.
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SanFrancisco
Premium
join:2002-05-04
San Francisco, CA

1 edit
reply to qdemn7

said by qdemn7:

What's the story on late model cars eliminating the dipstick on the automatic transmission? I know a transmission in good running order does not consume any fluid. But at least you could check the fluid to see it was getting burned or whatever. Now the only way to know your transmission might be going out is when it starts slipping or just starts leaking. Dumb.
Its not just new cars. My 94 Mercedes doesn't have it either. I went and asked my local repair shop to if I was missing it and they said it didn't have one. Really annoying considering I usually check under the hood every 2 or 3 days.


dirtyjeffer
Anons on ignore, but not due to fear.
Premium
join:2002-02-21
London, ON
reply to qdemn7

just get a car with a manual transmission, and you don't have to worry about it.:p:)



Cho Baka
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reply to qdemn7

For a non-technical, semi-cynical take,
One could say it is because the manufacturers want to advertise lower maintenance costs than each other.

Also, it is one way to prevent the local quick change from using their "universal" transmission fluid. (note sarcasm...)

For me, I would prefer to change my fluid (using the proper type), as a few fluid changes are worth the peace of mind to me.
--
Everything in this post is pure BS!



GlenQuagmire
Giggidy Giggidy Giggidy Goo
Premium
join:2004-02-16
Grand Rapids, MI
reply to santy

I have a 2004 Grand AM with a 3400 V6 and it has a tranny dip stick.



GlenQuagmire
Giggidy Giggidy Giggidy Goo
Premium
join:2004-02-16
Grand Rapids, MI
reply to Cho Baka

How else do you know there is problem with your transmission if you don't drop the pan and check for metal shavings. Also, the only way to change this filter is to do it the right way.



Cho Baka
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said by GlenQuagmire:

How else do you know there is problem with your transmission if you don't drop the pan and check for metal shavings.
A few things may happen.

1. The MIL (Malfunction Indicator Lamp) may come on,
2. Shifting may become erratic,
3. The transmission may procuce noise while operating,
4. The vehicle may not move.

It is still possible to drop the pan, the only thing to change is the refill procedure.

--
Everything in this post is pure BS!


stltech

join:2002-01-27
Florissant, MO
reply to qdemn7

My 2002 Explorer (4.6L 5sp auto) doesn't have a dipstick for the tranny.
--
are we having fun yet?



livininarizona
Premium
join:2001-08-05
Merced, CA
reply to qdemn7

just a note:

manual transmissions do not use automatic transmission fluid, they use regular motor oil, or some people like to use their dealer specific manual tranmission oil which is just the same, but with some nice additives. GM's syncromesh is awesome.
--
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santy
Don't Follow Me, I'M Lost Too
Premium,MVM
join:2001-06-10
Wilmington, IL
kudos:1

There are still some manual transmission that still take 75W-90 or 80W-90 gear oil, the same as what is in RWD differentials..
--
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Irun Man
Spartan up
Premium
join:2002-10-18
Walden, NY
reply to qdemn7

I don't miss it

Our 2002 Saturn L-series also has no dipstick; it's supposed to last the life of the car and won't need to be changed UNLESS it's driven under severe conditions (i.e. towing a trailer, extended idling, taxi use).
--
Life is a journey; death is a given.



gillespie
Premium
join:2001-11-28
USA
reply to Doctor Olds

Re: Why No More Transmission Dipstick?

2003 Pontiac GrandAm GT Ram Air 3.4L
--
res ipsa loquitor!


a_boy1275

join:2004-01-02
Maumee, OH
reply to qdemn7

2005 Chevy Cobalt doesn't have one either. Owner's manual says under normal usage should neve need replacing...we'll see!



Hiker
Zeus
Premium
join:2002-10-27
Lebanon, NJ
kudos:1
reply to qdemn7

2006 Saturn ION 3 here says change automatic trans-axle fluid at 100,000 miles No stick to check level. Maintenance schedule is pretty sparse before 100,000 miles.



jose3030
Premium
join:1999-08-17
Manassas, VA

I'd rather have a car have all those things, in case something goes wrong.

I hate when a manufacturer tells me "oh, this should be ok".

what if it isnt?



Tony
Premium
join:2002-01-12
Pittsburgh, PA
reply to qdemn7

My 95 BMW doesn't have a tranny dipstick.



Hiker
Zeus
Premium
join:2002-10-27
Lebanon, NJ
kudos:1
reply to jose3030

I agree but it's my wife's car. Seems to be the trend though. But her 99 Saturn SL2 went to 116,000 miles with only the oil changed and one tune up; still had the original breaks at 116,000.



KrK
Heavy Artillery For The Little Guy
Premium
join:2000-01-17
Tulsa, OK
reply to qdemn7

There's a way to stop this kind of crap cold.

Simply pass stricter consumer protection laws.

Imagine a law that basically states that all transmissions that cannot be checked or serviced by the owner without specialized tools or a visit to auto shop shall come with a permanent lifetime warranty on the transmission which never expires and is good for the length of time the car exists in the world. Said warranty will guarantee a brand new transmission and reimbursement to the owner for any expenses incurred because of the inconvenience, to be payable immediately by the auto manufacturer or future company that buys said automaker.

If such a law was in place, every car would have a dipstick again, and but quick.
--
"Regulatory capitalism is when companies invest in lawyers, lobbyists, and politicians, instead of plant, people, and customer service." - former FCC Chairman William Kennard (A real FCC Chairman, unlike the current Corporate Spokesperson in the job!)



KrK
Heavy Artillery For The Little Guy
Premium
join:2000-01-17
Tulsa, OK
reply to Irun Man

Re: I don't miss it

said by Irun Man:

Our 2002 Saturn L-series also has no dipstick; it's supposed to last the life of the car and won't need to be changed UNLESS it's driven under severe conditions (i.e. towing a trailer, extended idling, taxi use).
The problem I have with such wording such as "normal" useage and so on is simple:

If your transmission does fail, and you have been using it correctly, they can "inform" you that you must have been responsible for damaging it by driving it under "extreme" conditions and it becomes your nightmare to try and get your warranty honored. IE Guilty unless you can prove yourself innocent.
--
"Regulatory capitalism is when companies invest in lawyers, lobbyists, and politicians, instead of plant, people, and customer service." - former FCC Chairman William Kennard (A real FCC Chairman, unlike the current Corporate Spokesperson in the job!)


Contents
Contents

join:2003-04-10
Circle Pines, MN
Reviews:
·Comcast
reply to qdemn7

Re: Why No More Transmission Dipstick?

The '99 Chevy Malibu will have a 11 mil check plug right above the tranny pan on the passenger side. Check it while its running. There is also a large red fill plug located under your air intake. (have fun getting to it)

Some newer Fords (explorer,ect) have a sealed tranny.

And my 98 escort has ATF in the manual tranny.

I had a new Mercedes come in for its first oil change a while back. While procedure is to get a pre-check on the oil first thing, I didn't. After changing the oil and filter, I added the oil and started it. Then went to check the oil level. I pulled out the dipstick to find out it was only a cap. (wish I got that pre-check)

Long story short - The Mercedes oil level had to be checked by the dash's computer after a series of questions and letting it sit for 5 minutes to receive the final result. Something I did not care for at all.



Cho Baka
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join:2000-11-23
there
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reply to qdemn7

Typically (my experience) the dipstickless transmissions require a very specific internal fluid temperature before the fluid level is checked.

The fluid level varies with temperature, so, to ensure correct setting of the fluid level, a set of instructions/conditions need to be adhered to.

In the Toyota example, there is a drain plug, a fill plug, and an overflow plug.

No tester is necessary, just adhere to the instructions, and the vehicle can let you know when the trans temperature is appropriate.
--
Everything in this post is pure BS!



qdemn7
Smurf in My Loop
Premium
join:2003-09-16
Fort Worth, TX
reply to Contents

said by Contents:

The '99 Chevy Malibu will have a 11 mil check plug right above the tranny pan on the passenger side. Check it while its running. There is also a large red fill plug located under your air intake. (have fun getting to it)
I've got the L4, and the fill port is easily accessible on the passenger side of the engine. As far as the check plug, thanks for the information.
--
I think prostitution and drugs should be legal and regulated, just like alcohol. Too many people want to ban thing based on their “feelings” that certain things are Sins, and all Sins should be banned. Sin Laws should be prohibited.


91439306
15,000 Watts of Bass Power

join:2002-10-16
New Milford, CT

1 recommendation

reply to dirtyjeffer

said by dirtyjeffer:

just get a car with a manual transmission, and you don't have to worry about it.:p:)
Nah, just get a '59 DeSoto. Never a problem to maintain yourself.

XknightHawkX

join:2003-02-13
East Peoria, IL
reply to qdemn7

Ok I am taking a guess at this. One of the reason they don't have a tranny dipstick is because there are a lot of people that don't know a damn thing about cars. I have had a few people ask me which dipstick is for the oil. It is still stupid to get rid of the dipstick. Now seeing I was an idiot and dropped out of 8th grade I have a question. Don't they teach anything basic about a car in drivers ed? Their should be some basics added to the driving test. Checking fluids and some way to see if they have enough common sence on how to change a tire. I know this stuff has nothing to do with driving but come on. To many people don't know a thing about a car except how to start it and drive. I know what I said was a little off topic. Ok I'll stop ranting.