When adding fluid or refilling the transaxle, use Dexron®IIE or Dexron®III automatic transmission fluid.
See Figures 1, 2 and 3
- Start the engine and drive the vehicle for a minimum of 15 miles (24 km).
The automatic transmission fluid level must be checked with the vehicle at normal operating temperature: 180-200ºF (82-93ºC) Temperature will greatly affect transaxle fluid level.
- Park the vehicle on a level surface.
- Place the transaxle gear selector in P .
- Apply the parking brake and block the drive wheels.
- With the brakes applied, move the shift lever through all the gear ranges, ending in P .
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.
- Pull the dipstick, located at the rear end of the engine, out and wipe with a clean, lint-free rag.
- Push the dipstick completely into the filler tube, then wait 3 seconds and pull the dipstick out again.
- Check both sides of the dipstick and read the lower level. The fluid level should be in the crosshatch area.
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.
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:
- In high ambient temperatures above 90ºF (32ºC).
- At sustained high speeds.
- In heavy city traffic during hot weather.
- As a towing vehicle.
- In commercial service (taxi or police use).
- If the vehicle has been operated under these conditions, shut the engine OFF and allow the vehicle to cool for 30 minutes. After the cooldown period, restart the vehicle and continue from Step 2.
- 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.
- 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.
DRAIN AND REFILL
See Figures 4 through 9
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.
- Raise and safely support the vehicle with jackstands.
- Place a suitable drainPan under the transaxle fluid pan.
- Remove the fluid pan bolts/screws from the front and sides of the pan.
- Loosen the rear bolts/screws about four turns.
- Lightly tap the pan with a rubber mallet or carefully pry the fluid pan loose and allow the fluid to drain.
If the transaxle fluid is dark or has a burnt smell, transaxle damage is indicated. Have the transaxle checked professionally.
- 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.
- Clean the pan with solvent and dry it thoroughly.
- Remove the filter and O-ring seal.
- 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!
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.
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:
- 440-T4 automatic transaxle: 10 ft. lbs. (13 Nm)
- THM-125C and 3T40 automatic transaxles: 97 inch lbs. (11 Nm)
- 4T60 and 4T60E automatic transaxles: 13 ft. lbs. (17 Nm)
- 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.
- Follow the fluid check procedure earlier in this section.
- Check the pan for leaks.