GM Grand Am/Achieva/Calais/Skylark/Somerset 1985-98

Automatic Transaxle

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FLUID RECOMMENDATIONS



When adding fluid or refilling the transaxle, use DexronIIE or DexronIII automatic transmission fluid.

LEVEL CHECK



See Figures 1, 2 and 3

  1. Start the engine and drive the vehicle for a minimum of 15 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 Park.
  4.  
  5. Apply the parking brake and block the drive wheels.
  6.  
  7. Let the vehicle idle for 3-5 minutes with the accessories OFF.
  8.  
  9. Pull the dipstick out and wipe with a clean, lint-free rag.
  10.  



Click image to see an enlarged view

Fig. Fig. 1: Pull up the dipstick marked for the transaxle

  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 "hot" 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

  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 & REFILL



See Figures 4 through 8

The car should be driven approximately 15 miles (24 km) to warm the transaxle fluid before the pan is removed.

The fluid should be drained while the transaxle is warm.

  1. Raise and safely support the vehicle.
  2.  
  3. Place a drain pan under the transaxle fluid pan.
  4.  
  5. Remove the fluid pan bolts from the front and sides only.
  6.  



Click image to see an enlarged view

Fig. Fig. 4: Remove the fluid pan bolts from the front and sides only

  1. Loosen, but do not remove, the bolts at the rear of the fluid pan.
  2.  
  3. Lightly tap the fluid pan with a rubber mallet or pry to allow the fluid to partially drain from the pan.
  4.  

Do not damage the transaxle case or fluid pan sealing surfaces.

  1. Remove the remaining fluid pan bolts, then lower the fluid pan from the transaxle.
  2.  
  3. Remove and discard the gasket.
  4.  



Click image to see an enlarged view

Fig. Fig. 5: After removing the remaining fluid pan bolts, lower the pan from the transaxle ...



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Fig. Fig. 6: ... then remove and discard the fluid pan gasket

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

  1. Empty the transaxle pan of the remaining fluid, then remove the gasket material and clean with a suitable solvent. Using a suitable scraping tool, carefully clean the gasket mounting surfaces.
  2.  

To install:
  1. Place a new gasket on the fluid pan.
  2.  
  3. Install the fluid pan to the transaxle.
  4.  



Click image to see an enlarged view

Fig. Fig. 7: Apply a suitable thread lock compound to this pan-to-case bolt

Apply a suitable sealant compound to the bolt shown in the illustration to prevent fluid leaks.

  1. Install the pan retaining bolts. Tighten to 133 inch lbs. (11 Nm) for vehicles 1985-93. For 1994-98 vehicles, tighten the bolts to 124 inch lbs. (14 Nm).
  2.  



Click image to see an enlarged view

Fig. Fig. 8: Only place the washer on the bolt in this direction

  1. Lower the vehicle.
  2.  
  3. Fill the transaxle to the proper level with DexronIIE or DexronIII fluid. Check cold level reading for the initial fill. Do not overfill.
  4.  
  5. Follow the fluid check procedure earlier in this section.
  6.  
  7. Check the pan for leaks.
  8.  

FILTER SERVICE



See Figures 9, 10 and 11

  1. With the pan removed from the vehicle and the fluid completely drained, thoroughly clean the inside of the pan to remove all old fluid and residue.
  2.  
  3. Inspect the gasket sealing surface on the fluid pan and remove any remaining gasket fragments with a suitable scraper.
  4.  
  5. Remove the fluid filter, O-ring and/or seal from the case.
  6.  



Click image to see an enlarged view

Fig. Fig. 9: After removing the pan and gasket, remove the fluid filter



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Fig. Fig. 10: Exploded view of the pan, filter/strainer and related components-3T40 automatic transaxle



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Fig. Fig. 11: Exploded view of the pan. filter and related components-4T60E automatic transaxle

To install:
  1. Apply a small amount of Transjelto the new seal, then install the seal.
  2.  
  3. Install a new filter O-ring and filter.
  4.  
  5. Position a new gasket to the pan, then install the pan.
  6.  

 
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