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Thread: Transmission Fluid Change

  1. #1
    olddavid is offline Cadillac Owners Member
    Automobile(s): 93 Eldorado(sold)99 SLS(sold) 98Catera
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    Transmission Fluid Change

    I just went through FAQ and was surprised to see nothing regarding what you folks have done when the "lifetime" trans fluid needs changing. I've been through this with an old VW Passat that was also dipstickless and supposedly unserviceable. What shortcuts and/or techniques have you used successfully? Is it possible to do like a trans. flush by careful measurement and using the cooler lines? Should I run from this car instead? What does it take, Mercon IV? Thanks in advance.


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  3. #2
    olddavid is offline Cadillac Owners Member
    Automobile(s): 93 Eldorado(sold)99 SLS(sold) 98Catera
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    Re: Transmission Fluid Change

    Thanks anyway. My son showed me how to use google to access info. Great pics from Elvin. Thanks again for the fine pics.

  4. #3
    olddavid is offline Cadillac Owners Member
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    Re: Transmission Fluid Change

    I'm an idiot. My Dad always said if you don't know what you're talking about Shut the F#*k up. I neglected to take his advice. I don't know where I got the idea this was lifetime fluid. This morning I found the truth the hard way. But, now all I need to worry about is the next challenge from this car. You have to admit that for the price ($2900), when everything is right, the car is an excellent road warrior. My last project was a Lincoln Mk.VIII, and I have learned more than I'd like about pneumatic suspension. So you pay your money and take your chances.....

  5. #4
    investor74 is offline Cadillac Owners Enthusiast
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    Re: Transmission Fluid Change

    Quote Originally Posted by olddavid View Post
    I'm an idiot. My Dad always said if you don't know what you're talking about Shut the F#*k up. I neglected to take his advice. I don't know where I got the idea this was lifetime fluid. This morning I found the truth the hard way. But, now all I need to worry about is the next challenge from this car. You have to admit that for the price ($2900), when everything is right, the car is an excellent road warrior. My last project was a Lincoln Mk.VIII, and I have learned more than I'd like about pneumatic suspension. So you pay your money and take your chances.....
    How did you know you had to change the transmission fluid? We've had our Catera since September 1996 and never checked or changed the fluid. The owner's manual says you don't even have to check it unless you use it in heavy city traffic when the outside temperature exceeds 90 deg F, in hilly or mountainous terrain, frequent trailer towing, or use as a taxi, police or delivery vehicle. If you do not use your vehicle under any of these conditions, the fluid and filter do not require changing

  6. #5
    creeker is offline Cadillac Owners Connoisseur
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    Re: Transmission Fluid Change

    This has nothing to do with your question, my late wife and I spent a lot of time in the Yahats area years ago, Depoe bay is a very nice little town, is
    the cafe still there ( the one with the model train running around) that has the best clam chowder in the world?.

  7. #6
    hemic05 is offline Cadillac Owners Fanatic
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    Re: Transmission Fluid Change

    Life time means 100,000 after that use common sence it needs changed do the filter drain the trans at the pan and refill it pull the plug on the side of the trans and fill it there okdoke

  8. #7
    olddavid is offline Cadillac Owners Member
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    Re: Transmission Fluid Change

    That makes me smile. My next door neighbor when I first moved here probably cooked your chowder. His name is Gregory Danna, the cafe is called, appropriately, the Chowder Bowl. He is one of my best friends as well as a fantastic intuitive cook. Your comment will please him from stem to stern. Thank you on his behalf.
    Last edited by olddavid; 04-21-12 at 10:00 AM. Reason: I didn't want to possibly reveal ca shared confidence with described friend.

  9. #8
    creeker is offline Cadillac Owners Connoisseur
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    Re: Transmission Fluid Change

    Thanks for your reply, you live in a beautiful part of the world.

  10. #9
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    Re: Transmission Fluid Change

    Thanks anyway. My son showed me how to use google to access info.

  11. #10
    IvoryWhiteCatera's Avatar
    IvoryWhiteCatera is offline Cadillac Owners Fanatic
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    Re: Transmission Fluid Change

    What is all this talk about lifetime transmission fluid? I think it's time to change mine. It's at 161,000 miles and I've noticed a little grind between 2nd and 3rd gear. Does anyone have any idea how much a job like this costs?

  12. #11
    MoistCabbage's Avatar
    MoistCabbage is offline Cadillac Owners 10000+ Posts
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    1 hours labor plus fluid.

    What do you mean by a "grind" between shifts? Any actual grinding in a transmission is terminal.

  13. #12
    libbysman is offline Cadillac Owners Fanatic
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    Re: Transmission Fluid Change

    Hello Folks: The trans in my 97 went south last year (posted here). Had 2 put in in the span of 3 months. Not the best shop in town. Anyhow, this morning when driving to work (about 20 miles), I pulled up to my first traffic light, stopped. When I tried to drive on the trans was still in high gear. I shifted to 1st and it pulled away just fine. Then the " check trans " light came on. Due to my type of work I had to procede on to my destination. I drove it like it was a standard, and shifted at about 2M rpm. It seems to shift up and down just fine, but not when the selector is in the "d" position. Please tell me this is a minor fix!!! Regards, Brian

  14. #13
    investor74 is offline Cadillac Owners Enthusiast
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    Re: Transmission Fluid Change

    Are you getting diagnostic codes or a check engine or trasmission light? Also, check the battery voltage on the dash when the car is running. I like to see 13.5 volts. I found that the Catera trans is hyper sensitive to low voltage from a weak battery or alternator.
    Last edited by investor74; 04-24-12 at 08:04 PM.

  15. #14
    libbysman is offline Cadillac Owners Fanatic
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    Re: Transmission Fluid Change

    investor74, Yeah, there were codes. The battery (GM) is only a few months old, and the volage showing on the meter is between 13.0 and 14.5, so that seems okay. The tech got a code for a failed "hight pressure" valve or switch. He's putting it in as I type. Well, I just got a call and the part worked, but he's not totally please with the smell of the fluid. He suggested I drive it for a couple of weeks then he'll change the fluid again. Does that make sense to anyone? Regards, Brian

  16. #15
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    hgqguy is offline Cadillac Owners Fanatic
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    Re: Transmission Fluid Change

    I changed mine at 123K and the mech said it looked as if it had been opened before. I never had any problems with it.
    I dont belive a 2000 required synthetic either.

    i think a tranny fluid change is good maintanance. and i would not recomend 100K intervals. I think 50-60K is much wiser.

    i know to many ppl that never changed it till 100K and 1500 miles later tranny shot.. a lot of shops will refuse a change if you dont have proof it has already been done due to the failure of so many trannies after a 100K change only.

    the fill untill trannies are a pain in the ass. not like the old dipstick ones.

    i belive mine took 10 qts ... OH and there are 2 differant pans on the catera!! 2 differant gaskets.. be sure to have the correct one, or permatex!

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