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Old 05-21-2009, 10:51 AM   #1
ucbedge
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Default Transmission Fluid - Just Hope?

Hi guys,
I'm aware that the G8 GT doesn't have an transmission fluid dipstick like virtually every other car out there. I'm also aware that the only true way to check the transmission fluid is to put the car on a lift.

My question is - and I'm assuming most people here do not have lifts - is everybody just hoping that their fluid level is correct? I dont like to go by just hope but I don't think there's anything we can really do about it apart from taking the car to the dealer. Draining and re-filling with fluid is not a DIY job, I assume?

Thanks!
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Old 05-21-2009, 11:55 AM   #2
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I've been to three dealers in So Cal area for various service and warranty work. While getting my oil changed at one dealer two months ago, I asked the service writer about tranny fluid level and procedure for checking fullness. He replied "no need to check because fluid level is full from factory, and the transmission is sealed". I asked service writer how it could be confirmed that fluid level is full, is there a procedure in place to check fluid level? Again he gave the same answer, "transmission is full from factory and sealed, no need to check level". I received pretty much the same response at two other dealerships.

There is a procedure for checking fluid’s level describe at Charlie's forum and it does require vehicle being lifted and engine running. The procedure may also be somewhere on this forum.

Short of performing the procedure, only other way to ensure fluid level is correct would be to have it changed I guess.

Why was the tranny dipstick omitted? In order to cut costs? It's really inconvenient not having one.
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Old 05-21-2009, 12:29 PM   #3
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It's not exactly a G8 thing, but more a modern vehicle thing...check most of everything out there now. A lot still do, but more and more most don't have one, going back at least a few years.

At least it isn't to the BMW and others way of doing things where there isn't even an oil dipstick, but rather another team of sensors that give you an electronic readout on an interior DIC with either the specific oil level percentage or just a flashing/chiming warning of it being too low:

http://blogs.edmunds.com/roadtests/2...l-oil-oil.html

It's one part cost savings, one bigger part so few people (rightfully or ignorantly) never even give 2 seconds thought to such things on their cars now anyway, other than taking it to their dealer for service, why bother. I'd like having a trans dipstick, of course, but I know about such things and would check it myself...but "we" are in the vast minority.

In all, it's just not uncommon now, and a lot more common than you'd think...the G8 is just for a lot of us one of the first new cars you're switching to vs. others before where you're finally seeing it. It's my 3rd without, now. Just how it's going to be now, for most everything from everyone.
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Old 05-21-2009, 12:30 PM   #4
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Ya gotta admire their faith in their seals.

If this tranny doesn't leak at least a little eventually, it'd be the first. This is still a sore subject with me.
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Old 05-21-2009, 02:38 PM   #5
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It's called a "customer satisfaction concern" and a good dealership will indeed write up a warranty/complimentary ticket to check the level. Especially if you bought your car at that dealership....

We have checked several, including mine, at no charge to the customer. FWIW, my 2009 was spot on on the ATF fluid level.
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Old 05-21-2009, 03:43 PM   #6
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It's easily checked if you have a lift. It's not "sealed". Bottom line- The manufacturers, not only GM, do not trust us to put the right kind of fluid in so they make it harder to do so.

The biggest surprise for me is that no aftermarket company has stepped up to the plate to provide us an add-on dipstick. The hole is there......
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Old 05-21-2009, 03:58 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wreckwriter View Post
It's easily checked if you have a lift. It's not "sealed". Bottom line- The manufacturers, not only GM, do not trust us to put the right kind of fluid in so they make it harder to do so.

The biggest surprise for me is that no aftermarket company has stepped up to the plate to provide us an add-on dipstick. The hole is there......
Which is really sad, because this way you won't even know if it's low unless it gets bad enough to exhibit a problem. By that point, you could've already done damage to it.

And before someone says it...yeah, not a problem for the first 100K miles because of the warranty (as long as they can't prove you modified it in some way). But, I plan on keeping this thing for well over 100K and it can take awhile for damage to show up.

Ah well, cross my fingers and hope until someone comes out with a dipstick kit like you talked about.
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Old 05-21-2009, 04:02 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wreckwriter View Post
The biggest surprise for me is that no aftermarket company has stepped up to the plate to provide us an add-on dipstick. The hole is there......
The Tranny has been around for awhile....if the hole is truly there then there should be a dipstick for it.

http://www.lokar.com/interior_pages/transdipstick.htm
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Old 05-21-2009, 04:25 PM   #9
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The hole is there. It's just got a plug in it.

Some of the truck applications have a dipstick, but they also have a deeper pan than our version so it would have to be modified.
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Old 05-22-2009, 12:13 AM   #10
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I checked mine a couple of weeks ago when getting the tires swapped out. It's sort of a dipstick, with a locking inner rod. My fluid level was at the lower edge when cold. My dealer said to check it when off too, I'd guess so that the engine isn't running up in the air. Pull the locking rod up to release and check, put back in, and push the locking rod back down.
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Old 05-22-2009, 01:46 AM   #11
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Good discussion. The reason that I ask is that one of my older cars had transmission failure that the dealer attributed to the previous owners' neglect to replace the fluid. I realize that the ATF used now runs up to 100,000 miles, but what really irks me is that if the tranny fluid is low, you would never know UNTIL your tranny is burned out. Honestly, if I didnt know better, I would think it's a conspiracy by transmission specialists to drum up business.
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Old 05-22-2009, 08:09 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GXPCatz View Post
The Tranny has been around for awhile....if the hole is truly there then there should be a dipstick for it.

http://www.lokar.com/interior_pages/transdipstick.htm
Lokar does not make a stick for 6L80, and don't plan to.
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Old 05-22-2009, 08:12 AM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by baabootoo View Post
I checked mine a couple of weeks ago when getting the tires swapped out. It's sort of a dipstick, with a locking inner rod. My fluid level was at the lower edge when cold. My dealer said to check it when off too, I'd guess so that the engine isn't running up in the air. Pull the locking rod up to release and check, put back in, and push the locking rod back down.
You're doing it wrong and your dealer is wrong. It must be checked the factory way.

Warm engine/trans
Raise car on lift
Run engine in park
Remove plug in trans pan
Pump fluid into fill hole (the thing you are using to check) until fluid just dribbles out of hole in pan
Replace plug and filler cap
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Old 05-22-2009, 08:13 AM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lonewolfz28 View Post
The hole is there. It's just got a plug in it.

Some of the truck applications have a dipstick, but they also have a deeper pan than our version so it would have to be modified.
Escalade tube has been tried, will not fit through engine compartment.
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Old 05-22-2009, 09:11 AM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wreckwriter View Post
Escalade tube has been tried, will not fit through engine compartment.
Thanks, saves me from spending money needlessly. Doesn't fit through the engine compartment? Odd.

I'll look and mess around the next time I'm under the hood and see what I can see. Seems that there ought to be a way to do something. Ah, well. Fingers still crossed.
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Old 05-22-2009, 09:20 AM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lonewolfz28 View Post
Thanks, saves me from spending money needlessly. Doesn't fit through the engine compartment? Odd.

I'll look and mess around the next time I'm under the hood and see what I can see. Seems that there ought to be a way to do something. Ah, well. Fingers still crossed.
Yea, 2 of us tried the Escalade stick, one with headers, one with stock exhaust manifolds. I think the only way to do this is going to be a flexible tube like the Lokar sticks use. Unfortunately they don't make one to fit our trans and none of the hole sizes are the same for other trans.

I did a lot of research on this. Came up to a brick wall with few openings. One company, Masta Performance Inc (google them), said he was sure he could make one but needed a G8 for fitting. Unfortunately he's in Milford Michigan, I'm in Florida.

If you come up with any ideas, please PM me. I can help with costs maybe as I REALLY want one....
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Old 05-22-2009, 10:21 AM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ucbedge View Post
Good discussion. The reason that I ask is that one of my older cars had transmission failure that the dealer attributed to the previous owners' neglect to replace the fluid. I realize that the ATF used now runs up to 100,000 miles, but what really irks me is that if the tranny fluid is low, you would never know UNTIL your tranny is burned out.
Did you ever fret about the rear axle not having a dipstick? I never did.
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Old 05-22-2009, 10:26 AM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rayvan View Post
Did you ever fret about the rear axle not having a dipstick? I never did.
Would you have a problem if the engine had no dipstick?
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Old 05-22-2009, 10:32 AM   #19
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A differential is a lot more simple than a transmission and to check replace is 100x easier and doesn't require any "special" procedures that can't be done at home. Would you prefer your engine doesn't have a dipstick either, after all it is "sealed" in theory as well.

Edit: Wreck beat me to it
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Old 05-22-2009, 02:25 PM   #20
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Quote:
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Would you have a problem if the engine had no dipstick?
Most engines consume oil, and as a result, have a need to be monitored. I don't worry about my transmission. Like a rear-axle, it's pretty evident if it's losing oil simply by looking at it's exterior.
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