Use only a high quality Dexron®II automatic transmission fluid. The use of other types of fluid may cause severe damage to the transmission.
FLUID LEVEL CHECK
See Figures 1, 2, 3 and 4
Check the automatic transmission fluid level at least every 7,500 miles. The dipstick can be found in the rear of the engine compartment. The fluid level should be checked only when the transmission is hot (normal operating temperature). The transmission is considered hot after about 20 miles of highway driving.
- Park the car on a level surface with the engine idling. Shift the transmission into Neutral and set the parking brake.
On models using the 440-T4 transaxle (1986 Eldorado and Seville), the transmission must be in Park.
- Remove the dipstick, wipe it clean and then reinsert it firmly. Be sure that it has been pushed all the way in. Remove the dipstick again and check the fluid level while holding it horizontally. With the engine running, the fluid level should be between the second notch and the FULL HOT line. If the fluid must be checked when it is cool, the level should be between the first and second notches.
- If the fluid level is below the second notch (engine hot) or the first notch (engine cold), add automatic transmission fluid through the dipstick tube. This is easily done with the aid of a funnel. Check the level often as you are filling the transmission. Be extremely careful not to overfill it. Overfilling will cause slippage, seal damage and overheating. Approximately one pint of ATF will raise the fluid level from one notch/line to the other.
Always use DEXRON®II ATF. The use of any other fluid will cause severe damage to the transmission.
The fluid on the dipstick should always be a bright red color. If it is discolored (brown or black), or smells burnt, serious transmission troubles, probably due to overheating, should be suspected. The transmission should be inspected by a qualified technician to locate the cause of the burnt fluid.
FLUID DRAIN/REFILL (AND PAN/FILTER SERVICE)
See Figures 5, 6, 7, 8 and 9
The six types of pan gaskets on the automatic transmissions/transaxles covered here are pictured in this section for ready identification. The fluid should be changed with the transmission warm. A 20 minute drive at highway speeds should accomplish this.
- Raise and support the vehicle, preferably in a level position.
- If the crossmember prevents removal of the pan, support the transmission and remove the support crossmember.
- Place a large drain pan under the transmission. Remove all the front and side pan bolts. Loosen the rear bolts about four turns.
- Pry the pan loose and let it drain.
- Remove the pan and gasket. Clean the pan thoroughly with solvent and air dry it. Be very careful not to get any lint from rags in the pan.
It is normal to find a SMALL amount of metal shavings in the pan. An excessive amount of metal shavings indicates transmission damage which must be handled by a professional automatic transmission mechanic.
- Remove the strainer-to-valve body screws, the strainer, and the gasket. Most 350 transmissions will have a throw-away filter instead of a strainer. On the 325, 400 and 425 transmissions, remove the filter retaining bolt, filter, and intake pipe O-ring.
- If there is a strainer, clean it in solvent and air dry.
- Install the new filter or cleaned strainer with a new gasket. Tighten the screws to 12 ft. lbs. (16 Nm). On the 325, 400 and 425, install a new intake pipe O-ring and a new filter, tightening the retaining bolt to 10 ft. lbs. (14 Nm).
- Install the pan with a new gasket. Tighten the bolts evenly to 12 ft. lbs. (16 Nm) for all transmissions except the 440-T4 which should be tightened to 10 ft. lbs. (14 Nm).
- Lower the car and add the proper amount of DEXRON®II automatic transmission fluid through the dipstick tube.
- Start the engine in Park and let it idle. Do not race the engine. Shift into each shift lever position, shift back into Park, and check the fluid level on the dipstick. The level should be 1 / 4 in. (6mm) below ADD. Be very careful not to overfill. Recheck the level after the car has been driven long enough to thoroughly warm up the transmission. Add fluid as necessary. The level should then be at FULL.