GM Corsica/Beretta 1988-1996 Repair Guide

Automatic Transaxle

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FLUID RECOMMENDATIONS



When adding fluid or refilling the transaxle, use Dexron®IIE or Dexron® III automatic transmission fluid.

LEVEL CHECK



The automatic transaxle fluid should be checked every 7,500 miles or12 months, whichever comes first.

  1. Start the engine and drive the vehicle for a minimum of15 miles (24 km).
  2.  

The automatic transmission fluid level must be checked with the vehicle at normal operating temperature;180-200°F (82-93°C). Temperature will greatly affect transaxle fluid level.

  1. Park the vehicle on a level surface.
  2.  
  3. Place the transaxle gear selector in P .
  4.  
  5. Apply the parking brake and block the drive wheels.
  6.  
  7. With the brakes applied, move the shift lever through all the gear ranges, ending in P .
  8.  

The fluid level must be checked with the engine running at slow idle, with the car level, and the fluid at least at room temperature. The correct fluid level cannot be read if you have just driven the car for a long time at high speed, city traffic in hot weather or if the car has been pulling a trailer. In these cases, wait at least 30 minutes for the fluid to cool down.

  1. Pull the dipstick, located at the rear end of the engine, out and wipe with a clean, lint-free rag.
  2.  

See Figures 1, 2 and 3

Click image to see an enlarged view

Fig. Fig.1: Pull out the dipstick, wipe clean, then reinsert it in the filler tube

  1. Push the dipstick completely into the filler tube, then wait 3 seconds and pull the dipstick out again.
  2.  
  3. Check both sides of the dipstick and read the lower level. The fluid level should be in the crosshatch area.
  4.  

The fluid level is acceptable if it is anywhere within the crosshatch area. The fluid level does not have to be at the top of the crosshatch area. DO NOT add fluid unless the level is below the crosshatch area.

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Fig. Fig. 2: The fluid level should be in the crosshatched area (see arrows)

  1. Inaccurate fluid level readings may result if the fluid is checked immediately after the vehicle has been operated under any or all of the following conditions:
    1. In high ambient temperatures above 90°F (32°C).
    2.  
    3. At sustained high speeds.
    4.  
    5. In heavy city traffic during hot weather.
    6.  
    7. As a towing vehicle.
    8.  
    9. In commercial service (taxi or police use).
    10.  

  2.  
  3. If the vehicle has been operated under these conditions, shut the engine OFF and allow the vehicle to cool for 30 minutes. After the cool down period, restart the vehicle and continue from Step 2.
  4.  
  5. If it is determined that the fluid level is low, add only enough fluid to bring the level into the crosshatch area. It generally takes less than a pint. DO NOT overfill the transaxle! If the fluid level is within specifications, simply push the dipstick back into the filler tube completely.
  6.  



Click image to see an enlarged view

Fig. Fig.3: Use a funnel to aid in filling the transaxle

  1. After adding fluid, if necessary, recheck the level, making sure it is within the crosshatch area. Turn the engine OFF , then unblock the drive wheels.
  2.  

DRAIN AND REFILL



See Figures 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11 and 12

The car should be driven approximately15 miles (24 km) to warm the transaxle fluid before the pan is removed.

The fluid should be drained while the transaxle is warm.


WARNING
Use only fluid labeled Dexron®IIE or III. Use of other fluids could cause erratic shifting and transaxle damage.

  1. Raise and safely support the vehicle with jackstands.
  2.  
  3. Place a suitable drain pan under the transaxle fluid pan.
  4.  
  5. Remove the fluid pan bolts/screws from the front and sides of the pan.
  6.  



Click image to see an enlarged view

Fig. Fig.3: Remove the bolts from the front and sides on the fluid pan only

  1. Loosen the rear bolts/screws about four turns.
  2.  


WARNING
Be careful not to damage the mating surfaces of the oil pan and case. Any damage could result in fluid leaks.

  1. Lightly tap the pan with a rubber mallet or carefully pry the fluid pan loose and allow the fluid to drain.
  2.  



Click image to see an enlarged view

Fig. Fig.4: After carefully prying the pan loose, allow the fluid to drain completely

If the transaxle fluid is dark or has a burnt smell, transaxle damage is indicated. Have the transaxle checked professionally.

  1. Remove the remaining bolts, the pan, and the gasket or RTV sealant. Discard the old gasket. Use a suitable gasket scraper to clean the gasket mating surfaces. If equipped, remove the magnet, or metal chip collector from the transaxle pan.
  2.  



Click image to see an enlarged view

Fig. Fig.5: After the fluid has drained, remove the rear bolts, then remove the pan



Click image to see an enlarged view

Fig. Fig.6: Remove and discard the gasket. Thoroughly clean the gasket mating surfaces



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Fig. Fig.7: Some vehicles have a magnet in the transaxle pan to collect any loose metal chips or shavings

  1. Clean the pan with solvent and dry it thoroughly.
  2.  
  3. Remove the filter and O-ring seal.
  4.  



Click image to see an enlarged view

Fig. Fig.8: Remove the fluid filter and seal by pulling it straight down from its mounting



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Fig. Fig. 9: Exploded view of the fluid pan, gasket and filter assembly - 3T40 automatic transaxle shown



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Fig. Fig. 10: Exploded view of the pan, filter and magnet - 4T60E automatic transaxle shown

To install:
  1. Coat the new filter seal with a small amount of Transjel®, part no. J 36850 or equivalent.
  2.  
  3. Install a new transaxle filter and O-ring seal, locating the filter against the dipstick stop. Always replace the filter with a new one. Do not attempt to clean the old one!
  4.  

For the 3T40 transaxle, it is necessary to use GM Thread Locker part no.12345382 or equivalent sealant on the specified bolt in the accompanying figure to prevent leaks.

Click image to see an enlarged view

Fig. Fig. 11: On the 3T40 transaxle, apply a suitable thread locking compound to this pan-to-case bolt

  1. Install a new gasket or RTV sealant. Thoroughly clean and dry all bolts and bolt holes. Install the pan and tighten the bolts in a crisscross manner, starting from the middle and working outward. Tighten the bolts/screws to the following specifications:
    1. 440-T4 automatic transaxle:10 ft. lbs. (13 Nm)
    2.  
    3. THM-125C and 3T40 automatic transaxles: 97 inch lbs. (11 Nm)
    4.  
    5. 4T60 and 4T60E automatic transaxles:13 ft. lbs. (17 Nm)
    6.  

  2.  
  3. Carefully lower the vehicle, then add the correct amount of Dexron®III, IIE, or equivalent, transmission fluid. Refer to the Capacities chart for fluid specifications.
  4.  
  5. Follow the fluid check procedure earlier in this section.
  6.  
  7. Check the pan for leaks.
  8.  



Click image to see an enlarged view

Fig. Fig. 12: After filling the transaxle, check the fluid level

 
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