2008+ and up CTS Transmission Fluid Change
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  • 3 Post By ATLANTA_CTS4
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2008-2013 Cadillac CTS General Discussion Discussion, 2008+ and up CTS Transmission Fluid Change in Cadillac CTS Second Generation Forum - 2008-2013; This is a quick write up for Transmission Fluid Drain and Fill procedure on 2nd GEN CTS. For you weekend ...
  1. #1
    ATLANTA_CTS4's Avatar
    ATLANTA_CTS4 is offline Cadillac Owners Member
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    2008+ and up CTS Transmission Fluid Change

    This is a quick write up for Transmission Fluid Drain and Fill procedure on 2nd GEN CTS. For you weekend DYI folks that want to give your CTS a quick thank you, this is for you. Keep in mind this particular procedure is not a flush, there will still be about 1/3 of the old fluid left in the Tranny. There are some procedures to supplement this where you can add a hose to the Transmission cooler supply line, that will flush the old fluid into a bucket. I opted not to do this as my car is only at about 60,000 miles. I would recommend doing this, along with dropping the pan and a thorough cleaning with a new gasket at around 100,000 miles.

    Materials Tools used:

    ~Oil/Fluid Hand Pump
    ~4.5 Quarts of Royal Purple Max ATF (Dexron VI)
    ~Oil Drain pan
    ~1/2 Socket Wrench
    ~7/8s wrench 3/8s ratchet
    ~2 Rhino Ramps
    ~Angled Panel Remover Tool/Flat Head screwdriver
    ~Telescopic Mirror

    Here we Go:

    Once you have the vehicle up on the ramps with your parking brake engaged, slide under the vehicle and locate the transmission, between the two exhaust lines. Fine the drain plug and ready your socket wrench to remove the drain plug, make sure you have your drain pain positioned directly under the tranny pan. I would advice wearing latex gloved and have a few shop towels nearby in case it gets messy. Loosen the drain plug with your wrench and then unscrew by hand. Allow all of the fluid to drain completely out, this make take a few minutes. Use this time to clean the drain plug with a paper towel.

    The Next step is to use a flat head screw driver or in my case I used an angled panel tool to remove the top fill-plug from the side of the transmission. (It's a little challenging to get to to, as it is above one of the shafts leading into the transfer case)Pop the Plug up and remove. Clean the area around the fill hole with a shop towel to make sure no contaminates can fall into the hole when you go back to fill with your pump. Use your telescopic mirror to look around the opening of the hole.

    Prepare your 5 quarts of ATF Transmission Fluid, and affix your pump nozzle and hose to the quart. Position your tube into the fill hole and begin pumping the fluid (remember, we have not put the drain plug back in at this point) Pump about half the quart into the fill hole, allowing it to drain through the pan. At this point put the drain plug back in and tighten all the way. Do not over-tighten.

    No pump all off the quarts and 4 more. When you get to the half way point of your 4th quart, being pumping slowly. You do-not want to over fill the transmission, this can cause problems. You want to fill it to the point where the fluid begins to seep out of the opening. At this point remove the fill tube and insert the fill-plug back in to the top of the transmission fill hole.

    Clean up your tools and work space. Start the vehicle and shift from park into all of the gears.

    That's it! A quick transmission drain and fill keeping your CTS running smooth!












    Nivek, Merge and dngarner like this.

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  3. #2
    Bandit1's Avatar
    Bandit1 is offline Cadillac Owners Fanatic
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    Re: 2008+ and up CTS Transmission Fluid Change

    Great write-up, Atlanta. Thanks for doing that. I noticed you also had a couple bottles of 75W90 gear lube on the work bench too. Did you change the diff gear lube also? What size and type of wrench socket did you use for the drain and fill plugs?

  4. #3
    ATLANTA_CTS4's Avatar
    ATLANTA_CTS4 is offline Cadillac Owners Member
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    Thread Starter

    Re: 2008+ and up CTS Transmission Fluid Change

    Hey Bandit, I'm doing a 2nd write up on my Diff fluid change...I should have that along with all the tools over the weekend posted. Def recommend doing this at the same time as your Transmission fluid change along with the transfer case fluid change.

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    Bandit1's Avatar
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    Re: 2008+ and up CTS Transmission Fluid Change

    Thanks Atlanta. Looking forward to it. Agree with you on the fluid(s) change out. I usually do the oil, transmission, diff, radiator, brake & power steering fluids every 30K miles. Cheap insurance and good PM.

  7. #5
    sfv41901's Avatar
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    Thanks for the write up.

    On a side note:
    It's almost March.......why can we see ur Christmas lawn decorations???

  8. #6
    tinman's Avatar
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    Re: 2008+ and up CTS Transmission Fluid Change

    Appreciate this good writeup. I have put in in my Knowledgebase.
    ATLANTA_CTS4 and ATLANTA_CTS4 like this.

  9. #7
    ATLANTA_CTS4's Avatar
    ATLANTA_CTS4 is offline Cadillac Owners Member
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    Re: 2008+ and up CTS Transmission Fluid Change

    Ha Ha...good eye "sfv41901" I celebrate year round, Griswold style.

    FYI your CTS-V bumper (s) swap has inspired me to do the same, I am going for the OEM stuff instead of the integreated easy kit. I am scoping for used (already painted black) bumpers on ebay and other places. Great write up on yours, I have it saved on my favorites...I might PM you if I run into any snags.

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    Re: 2008+ and up CTS Transmission Fluid Change

    Quote Originally Posted by sfv41901 View Post
    Thanks for the write up.

    On a side note:
    It's almost March.......why can we see ur Christmas lawn decorations???
    I had to go back and look again, LOL.

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    sfv41901's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ATLANTA_CTS4
    Ha Ha...good eye "sfv41901" I celebrate year round, Griswold style.

    FYI your CTS-V bumper (s) swap has inspired me to do the same, I am going for the OEM stuff instead of the integreated easy kit. I am scoping for used (already painted black) bumpers on ebay and other places. Great write up on yours, I have it saved on my favorites...I might PM you if I run into any snags.
    Thx. I'll help anyway I can :

  12. #10
    gte959s is offline Cadillac Owners Member
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    Re: 2008+ and up CTS Transmission Fluid Change

    Guys please read the owners manual that requires our cars to use Dexron VI fluids in the transmission. If you research the Royal Purple that you are using you will find that it is not recommended for the CTS required application.

    http://royalpurpleconsumer.com/produ...smission-fluid
    hit the read more button to read the specs. I would suggest using the Mobil1 fluids instead for this application. The Differential fluid by Royal Purple is fine for the CTS.

    PLEASE NOTE:

    Max ATF is NOT recommended for the following applications: Allison TES-389, DEXRON® VI, Ford Type F and MERCON® SP & LV, Honda DW-1, Hyundai SP-IV and NWS-9638, Kia SP-IV, JWS 3324, MAN 339 Z3, Mercedes Benz 236.8, 236.12, 236.14 & 236.15, Mitsubishi SP-IV and ATF J2, Nissan Matic-S, Saab 93-165-147, Shell M-1375.4 (ZF 6-Speed AT), Toyota WS (JWS 3324) and ZF TE-ML 14C. Max ATF is not recommended for use in any CVT or DCT applications.

    Dexron® is a registered trademark of General Motors Corporation.
    Mercon® is a registered trademark of Ford Motor Company.

    Please consult Royal Purple’s Technical Department at rpautotech@royalpurple.com to determine which product is right for you.

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    t5mika is offline Cadillac Owners Member
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    Re: 2008+ and up CTS Transmission Fluid Change

    The engine should be running and transmission at park when adding the fluid. The fluid temperature must be at the correct range.
    The procedure in this thread will leave the transmission under filled.

    The correct procedure is similar to that of Camaro and Corvette, for which there are accurate (and not so accurate) DYI threads around.

  14. #12
    tinman's Avatar
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    Re: 2008+ and up CTS Transmission Fluid Change

    Quote Originally Posted by t5mika View Post
    The engine should be running and transmission at park when adding the fluid. The fluid temperature must be at the correct range.
    The procedure in this thread will leave the transmission under filled.

    The correct procedure is similar to that of Camaro and Corvette, for which there are accurate (and not so accurate) DYI threads around.
    Please let me add the obvious... do this on level ground.

  15. #13
    dngarner is offline Cadillac Owners Member
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    Re: 2008+ and up CTS Transmission Fluid Change

    wheres your garage in the ATL?

  16. #14
    Ramm83 is offline Cadillac Owners Member
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    Re: 2008+ and up CTS Transmission Fluid Change

    Does synthetic make that much of a difference or is it preference?

  17. #15
    CTSM is offline Cadillac Owners Enthusiast
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    Re: 2008+ and up CTS Transmission Fluid Change



    Quote Originally Posted by ATLANTA_CTS4 View Post
    [I]....
    I opted not to do this as my car is only at about 60,000 miles. I would recommend doing this, along with dropping the pan and a thorough cleaning with a new gasket at around 100,000 miles.
    There isn't really a practical way to do a transmission fluid change on the 6L50 & 6L45 without dropping the pan.
    Since there isn't really a drain plug then it necessitates the removal of the pan and changing the filter (while you're there) to really remove all ATF in the pan.

    Materials Tools used:

    ~Oil/Fluid Hand Pump
    ~4.5 Quarts of Royal Purple Max ATF (Dexron VI)
    I'm sorry but that number is not correct either. This transmission pan holds 6.7 quarts of ATF and not 4.5 Quarts!
    The reason why you observed 4.5 Quarts is because:

    A) You used the fluid check level plug as a drain plug
    B) The conditions for doing a fluid change on this car were not met.


    Fluid check and fill conditions are as follows:

    1- Engine must be running
    2- ATF temperature must be in between 30c and 50c
    3- Shifter should be cycled P through D and back to P (Must leave at P)
    4- Vehicle must be level when checking the fluid level (through the fluid check plug) and when filling
    5- The fluid check plug can NOT be used as a drain plug however it can be used as an alternative fill plug with proper hose adapters which most people won't have that's why there is a fill plug.
    6- Once the engine is turned off the pan should be removed, both pan and mating surface on trans need to be cleaned. Gasket needs to be changed, filter changed, pan replaced and bolted to torque spec.
    7- Then the fluid check level plug is removed, then the fluid fill plug is removed, fluid is then added till it starts to bleed from the fluid check level plug hole then the engine can be started
    8- Shifter is then cycled P through D and back to P while holding the brake pedal and engine is running
    9- Fluid is added again through the fill plug till it bleeds from the fluid check level plug hole again
    10- Once the ATF is filled to the proper level, while the engine is running, the shifter is in P and the car is level only then is the filling process complete. That's the only way to tell for sure, there will be slight variance from car to car. Just like filling a car with oil, the dipstick is the only %100 way to tell the level is right. And just like checking your engine oil level, the car must be level too.
    11- Once the fluid level check plug and fill plug are fastened the engine can be turned off and the job is finished.


    Caution turning the engine off before fastening both the fill and the fluid check plugs will result in loss and spillage of ATF to the outside of the transmission.


    OP I understand you were trying to help, but when assisting other members on the forum with critical maintenance it's best to be sure of one's information otherwise a member could damage their CTS by under-filling or over filling their trans with ATF.
    t5mika, Tom's Caddy, nogo and 1 others like this.

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