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you don't have to check the level unless you change the fluid, which shouldn't need to be done for at least 100,000 miles. or, if you have a leak. this is not something that you should be doing yourself if you don't now how, because you need to have the car totally jacked up and perfectly level, and the car needs to be warmed up. with the car warmed up, you will take off the check plug which is next to the tranny. the level should be JUST below the hole. if it's overfilled, you're going to get a facefull of boiling hot tranny fluid.

again, not recommended to do yourself. also again, there's no need for this unless you have a leak, or have over 100,000 miles on the car.
 

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You always have to be careful with hot fluids...I have some horror stories from my job with tranny fluid...lol
 

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you don't have to check the level unless you change the fluid, which shouldn't need to be done for at least 100,000 miles.
Not true. The condition of the fluid completely depends on driving style and conditions. Because the 4t45 transaxle has no dipstick it’s recommended to have a trans service every 30,000 miles. The car may go 100,000 miles without it but I can virtually guarantee that you'll need a new trans just after the car goes out of warrantee. Remember GM wants you to buy new cars, that’s their business. Shops maintain and fix cars so you won’t have to buy new ones.
 

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All I can say is I have seen many transmissions destroyed by lack of maintenance and improper use. Believe me or not every machine in the world requires some form of maintenance. I gain nothing by saying things should be maintained on this site because I'm probably never going to work on your car. I'm just trying to help.
 

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LOL, do whatever you want, I'm just saying it won't hurt it, it's inexpensive, and it may save the tranny in the long run. Even if GM says 100k miles, they also say 7.5k for an oil change...do you wait that long also?
 

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LOL, do whatever you want, I'm just saying it won't hurt it, it's inexpensive, and it may save the tranny in the long run. Even if GM says 100k miles, they also say 7.5k for an oil change...do you wait that long also?
i check the oil, and if it's ok i'll leave it in for about 5-7k miles. 3k mile oil changes with synthetic oil is a waste of money.

of course it won't hurt. let's change our spark plugs every 5,000 miles, and change our fuel filters every 3,000 miles, and air filters every 2 months. that won't hurt either. get my point?
 

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i check the oil, and if it's ok i'll leave it in for about 5-7k miles. 3k mile oil changes with synthetic oil is a waste of money.

of course it won't hurt. let's change our spark plugs every 5,000 miles, and change our fuel filters every 3,000 miles, and air filters every 2 months. that won't hurt either. get my point?
Now you're being excessive, 30k mile tranny fluid swaps are a lot cheaper than new spark plugs every 5k miles and fuel filters every 3k miles, get my point?
 

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Now you're being excessive, 30k mile tranny fluid swaps are a lot cheaper than new spark plugs every 5k miles and fuel filters every 3k miles, get my point?
no, i don't get your point. spark plugs are 8 dollars/set lol. i'm saying that both are excessive. there's nothing wrong with being safe, but with a recommended schedule of 100,000, 30 isn't even half that. what you're doing is like changing your oil every 1,000 miles. no, it won't hurt anything, but it's excessive and not necessary. as long as there's no leaks or problems it's just a waste of money.

D4u2s0t added 1 Minutes and 52 Seconds later...

if you read any repari manuals, whether they're from the dealer, or even chilton or haynes they don't even mention anything about auto tranny fluid in any of the maintenance schedules. the auto tranny in the cobalts is what they call maintenance free. it's possible that you will NEVER have to change it. but, they're safe point is 100,000 miles.
 

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D4u2s0t, what do you do for a living?...You have a couple mechanics here that are trying to help..Transmission fluid is like any other lubricant, it will lose its properties over time. You could be driving around with 99,000 miles and your tranny fluid is performing at 10% of what it used to...that is bad for the tranny. And yes you prob could wait till 100k....but why? The tranny fluid will start to lose it lubrication properties long before then...Why not keep the fluid at its best..if anything its called Preventive Maintenance. Keep it good now so you don't need to fix anything later. I personally dont care what GM or Haynes says.....I change my oil every 3k, it doesn't take much for oil in an engine to lose its viscosity.
 

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D4u2s0t, what do you do for a living?...You have a couple mechanics here that are trying to help..Transmission fluid is like any other lubricant, it will lose its properties over time. You could be driving around with 99,000 miles and your tranny fluid is performing at 10% of what it used to...that is bad for the tranny. And yes you prob could wait till 100k....but why? The tranny fluid will start to lose it lubrication properties long before then...Why not keep the fluid at its best..if anything its called Preventive Maintenance. Keep it good now so you don't need to fix anything later. I personally dont care what GM or Haynes says.....I change my oil every 3k, it doesn't take much for oil in an engine to lose its viscosity.
why is everyone disagreeing and questioning me? I'm the ONLY one that actually answered this guys question. I told him exactly what he needed to do to check.

have you tested the fluid in these cars? do you know for a fact that they lose their effectiveness after x amount of miles? or is that just something that you read that someone else posted, so now you say it too?

I realize that's how forums work. Someone says something, people that don't know better read it, and now those people tell other people so it keeps getting spread. After a while, it becomes the "truth".

and as far as why wait, because that's the safe point to change it. the tranny fluid in this car may NEVER have to be changed. that's the way the system is.

i know 100k seems like a long time, and i think that's why people don't want to wait that long. but at the same time, it doesn't NEED to be changed before that. i'm not telling anyone not to do it, just that it's not needed, that's all.

i do plenty of preventative maintenance, so i'm not telling people not to do that. I guess as i got a little older I just started to realize that certain things didn't need to be done anymore. Like 3k oil changes. Nothing wrong with that, but when you check the oil and it's still very clean, what's the point of changing it? next time check it at 4k, and it's still very clean? when i gave the example of changing the spark plugs at a few thousand miles, and doing other things i was told that was extreme, and rediculous. this is the same thing, just with a different car part.

this is actually one area where gm excells. dexron vi anyone?
 

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Come on guys you are arguing over nothing. Think of it this way...GM warrants our trannies -- if it was all about money they certainly would have us taking our Cobalts in for tranny fluid changes if the fluid was that critical.

I rebuild automatics occasionally and can assure you it's not the fluid (or failure to change the fluid) that causes problems -- it's the lack of fluid. Just keep an eye out for fluid leaks.
In transmissions with high mileage it is usually the rubber piston seals that go. They get hard over time and crack.
 

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(paraphrased straight from the GM manual)

Start the engine and allow the engine to idle until the transmission fluid temperature has reached at least 105degF. Depress the brake pedal and move the shift lever through the gear ranges, pausing a few seconds in each range. Return the shift lever to the PARK range.

Remove the fluid vent cap. (red cap on drivers side top of trans)
Raise the vehicle on a hoist(or support on jackstands)
. The vehicle must be level, with the engine running and the shift lever in the PARK range.

Remove the transmission oil level control plug(its a small usually 10mm hex bolt on the right/passenger side of trans, below and in front of the right hand axle.)

Check the fluid level. The fluid level should be even with the bottom of the threaded plug hole.

Add DEXRON®III automatic transmission fluid in increments of 0.5 L (0.5 qt) until the fluid drains from the plug hole.


I highly recommend changin the fluid at 30k miles if youve got a car that has Dexron III or if you beat on the trans no matter what year it is, if youve got a newer(very late o6, 07 and on) 'Balt/G5(or any GM auto) youve got DexronVI and you can hold off till 50 or 75k miles, its much better fluid(and its expensive)
 

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(paraphrased straight from the GM manual)

Start the engine and allow the engine to idle until the transmission fluid temperature has reached at least 105degF. Depress the brake pedal and move the shift lever through the gear ranges, pausing a few seconds in each range. Return the shift lever to the PARK range.

Remove the fluid vent cap. (red cap on drivers side top of trans)
Raise the vehicle on a hoist(or support on jackstands)
. The vehicle must be level, with the engine running and the shift lever in the PARK range.

Remove the transmission oil level control plug(its a small usually 10mm hex bolt on the right/passenger side of trans, below and in front of the right hand axle.)

Check the fluid level. The fluid level should be even with the bottom of the threaded plug hole.

Add DEXRON®III automatic transmission fluid in increments of 0.5 L (0.5 qt) until the fluid drains from the plug hole.


I highly recommend changin the fluid at 30k miles if youve got a car that has Dexron III or if you beat on the trans no matter what year it is, if youve got a newer(very late o6, 07 and on) 'Balt/G5(or any GM auto) youve got DexronVI and you can hold off till 50 or 75k miles, its much better fluid(and its expensive)

Forgot the warning.....Do not stop the engine with the oil control plug removed. Stopping the engine while th plug is removed will allow hot transmission fluid to come gushing out and burn the heck out of you......
 

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Def. change that fluid every 30kmiles. It's always better to be safe than sorry. Downside to this is that all '07 Chevy's use Dexron VI and it's about $6/qt. But I'm planning on having my tranny fluid flushed out at 30k at the dealership. It pays to work at Advance Auto. Trust me I've seen many a people come into the store and either buy wrong fluid or come in and get new trannies cuz they didn't maintain their transmission.
 

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I was reading my manual again today and noticed that is says change the fluid every 50,000 miles...that is way more reasonable than 100k...

D4u2s0t said:
do you know for a fact that they lose their effectiveness after x amount of miles? or is that just something that you read that someone else posted, so now you say it too?
Yes I do know, I rebuild about 2 transmissions a month, I have seen what bad fluid can do. It gets watery and doesn't do its job. I'm not trying argue with you, just don't think I'm talking shit or reposting something...I do this for a living...I know what I'm talking about.
 
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