GM Prizm/Nova 1985-1993 Repair Guide

Manual Transaxle

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FLUID RECOMMENDATIONS



The specified gear lubricant for all Nova and Prizm cars is SAE 75W-90 or SAE 80W-90 GL-5 gear lubricant.

FLUID LEVEL CHECK



See Figure 1

The oil in the manual transaxle should be checked at least every 15,000 miles and replaced every 25,000-30,000 miles.

  1. With the car parked on a level surface, remove the filler plug from the side of the transaxle housing.
  2.  



Click image to see an enlarged view

Fig. Fig. 1: Checking the oil level with your finger

  1. If the lubricant begins to trickle out of the hole, there is enough lubricant. Otherwise, carefully insert your fingers (watch out for sharp threads) and check to see if the oil is up to the edge of the hole.
  2.  


CAUTION
Used oil may cause skin cancer if repeatedly left in contact with the skin for prolonged periods. Although this is unlikely unless you handle oil on a daily basis, it is wise to thoroughly wash your hands with soap and water immediately after handling used oil.

  1. If not, add oil through the hole until the level is at the edge of the hole. Most gear lubricants come in a plastic squeeze bottle with a nozzle, making additions simple. Refer to the Recommended Lubricants chart for the proper oil.
  2.  
  3. Replace the filler plug, run the engine and check for leaks.
  4.  

DRAIN AND REFILL



See Figure 2

The manual transmission oil should be changed at least every 30,0000 miles. To change, proceed as follows:

  1. The manual transmission oil should be hot before it is drained. If the car is driven until the engine is at normal operating temperature, the oil should be hot enough.
  2.  
  3. Remove the cover under the left hand side of the engine. You may wish to jack and support the car to gain access and make the work easier. The car will need to be lowered onto level ground before refilling the transaxle with fresh oil.
  4.  
  5. Remove the filler plug to provide a vent. If the car is elevated, you may encounter spillage as the fill plug is removed.
  6.  



Click image to see an enlarged view

Fig. Fig. 2: Manual transaxle refill

  1. Locate the drain plug on the bottom of the transaxle. Place a large container underneath the transaxle and remove the plug.
  2.  


CAUTION
The oil will be hot. Protect your hands and arms.

  1. Allow the oil to drain completely. Clean off the plug and reinstall it.Tighten it until it is just snug. If the car is elevated, lower it to a level position.
  2.  
  3. Fill the transaxle with SAE 75W-90 or 80W-90 gear oil. This usually comes in a plastic squeeze bottle with a long nozzle; otherwise you can use an oil siphon gun available at most auto parts stores. Refer to the Capacities Chart for the proper amount of oil to put in.
  4.  
  5. Add new oil until it begins to run out of the filler hole.
  6.  
  7. Replace the filler plug, drive the car for a few minutes, stop, and check for leaks.
  8.  

Please dispose of used oil properly. Do not throw it in the trash or pour it on the ground. Take it to your dealer or local service station for recycling.

 
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