GM Lumina/Silhouette/Transport APVs 1990-1999 Repair Guide

Transaxle

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FLUID LEVEL CHECK



Check the automatic transaxle fluid level at least every 15,000 miles or 12 months. The dipstick can be found on the left (driver) side of the engine compartment. The fluid level should be checked only when the transaxle is hot (normal operating temperature). The transaxle is considered hot after about 20 miles of highway driving.

  1. Park the van on a level surface with the engine idling. Shift the transaxle into Neutral and set the parking brake.
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  3. 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.
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  5. If the fluid level is below the second notch (engine hot) or the first notch (engine cold), add DEXRON®III automatic transaxle fluid through the dipstick tube. This is easily done with the aid of a funnel. Check the level often as you are filling the transaxle. Be extremely careful not to overfill it. Overfilling will cause slippage, seal damage and overheating. Approximately 1 pint of ATF will raise the fluid level from one notch/line to the other.
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Use only DEXRON®III ATF. The use of any other fluid will cause severe damage to the transaxle.

The fluid on the dipstick should always be a bright red color. If it is discolored (brown or black), or smells burnt, serious transaxle troubles, probably due to overheating, should be suspected. A qualified technician to locate the cause of the burnt fluid should inspect the transaxle.

See Figures 1 and 2

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Fig. Fig. 1: After wiping the transaxle dipstick clean, reinsert it fully into the tube



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Fig. Fig. 2: Do NOT add fluid if the level is anywhere within the crosshatched area on the dipstick

DRAIN & REFILL



  1. Raise and support the vehicle on jack stands. Place an oil catch pan under the transaxle.
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  3. Remove the oil pan bolts from the front and side only.
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  5. Loosen the rear oil pan bolts approximately 4 turns.
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  7. Using a rubber mallet, lightly tap the oil pan and allow the fluid to drain.
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  9. Remove the remaining oil pan bolts and remove the pan and gasket. Remove the filter and the O-ring.
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  11. Clean the old gasket from the oil pan and transaxle surfaces with a scraper. Wash the mating surfaces with solvent to remove the oil film.
  12.  

See Figures 3, 4 and 5

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Fig. Fig. 3: Allow the fluid to drain ...



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Fig. Fig. 4: ... then remove the pan from the transaxle



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Fig. Fig. 5: Removing the gasket from the transaxle oil pan

To install:
  1. Install the new filter and O-ring (coat the O-ring with petroleum jelly).
  2.  
  3. Raise the oil pan into position with the new gasket and install the bolts. Torque the bolts to 15 ft. lbs. (20.3 Nm) and lower the vehicle.
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  5. Add new transaxle fluid through the dipstick tube. Approximate fluid replacement after pan removal is 6 qts. (5.7 liters). Operate the engine and transaxle and check for leaks.
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