Cadillac Escalade, EXT and ESV Forum - 1999 - 2006 Discussion, Replaced the fluids on my EXT in Cadillac Escalade Forums; I just recently purchased a new to me 06 Excalade EXT. The previous owner had records of just motor oil ...
I just recently purchased a new to me 06 Excalade EXT. The previous owner had records of just motor oil changes. It has 75K miles on it. The most recent receipt from the previous owner was an oil / oil filter change (mobil1), power steering flush and coolant flush at 73K miles, so I did not do those. I replaced the factory fill oil and gasket of the rear diff with Valvoline 75W90 (syn), the old fluid was darker and in need of replacement. The magnet inside the cover did not have much with regards to metal shavings. I went with new felpro gasket $5. I replaced the transfer case oil with Valvoline Maxlife ATF (syn). The old fluid looked good, almost like new. Then I did the front diff, again with Valvoline 75w90 (syn). The old fluid in here was nasty dark grey and appeared to not have been replaced at all. The drain plug had tons of metal shavings on it. This is a fluid I am going to replace every 10K.
the users manual says replace tranny oil / filter every 50k severe or 100k normal. I don't know exactly what kind of driving the previous owner did, and I was almost certain the fluid was still factory fill, I decided to do it.
Here is a pic of how dark to old fluid was
Here are pic of the tranny with the old filter
I replaced the tranny filter with a WIX $16 and it fit perfect. The difference between the WIX and the factory filter is the WIX has a metal bottom.
I used a new Felpro gasket $6 for the pan as the rubber one that came with the WIX looked cheap. The WIX gasket is the black one that is all snaked.
It was a pain dropping the pan because of the bracket. After the reinstall, I refilled the fluid with Dexron VI through the dipstick tube and flushed the rest of the fluid using Patrick's method. Only the fluid came out of the male end of the tube, not the female fitting on the radiator. Yes, I did make a mess.
I decided to check the air filter since there was no record of it being replaced and I am glad I did. It was filthy.
I replaced it with a new WIX air filter $20
If anyone cares about air filters, I looked at the Fram, Purolator, WIX and microguard. The Fram and Wix appeared to be better made than the Microguard and Purolator. So for about the same price give or take a couple of bucks, I went with the WIX. I would have gone with ACdelco but the only place that had them was the dealer and it was overpriced. I did not want to wait for shipping buying it online. And no thanks when it come to K&N filters. FYI, the ACdelco had 80 folds on the filter, WIX had 72 folds.
Anyways, I also lube the chassis with Valvoline multipurpose auto grease (syn) that I had in the garage. The fittings were dry so I don't think the previous owner had them greased. I made sure all the fluids were refilled to the proper level, except the tranny fluid I overfilled by accident. I need to get a small siphon pump and get it back to normal. I did take it for a spin and everything worked like normal. Just wanted to share my experience.
You may want to consider a better lube in the front diff. As you saw, they like to eat themselves slowly. Ive had good experiences switching to a lube that uses a climbing molly. It seems to stick more to the gears in the case, helps quiet and elongate the life of the diff. I use Schaeffer #293 and recommend it for these drivetrains but their are other options. I service it every 15k.
Not sure about the valvoline atf in the tcase ?? I stick with gm autotrack II... I assume you had someone recommend that? I know this is a debatable topic so I am curious how you selected this product.
How much did the trans service cost in fluid and parts? I think I rather just replace the trans for $750 when it goes.
I am not to picky about diff fluid so I will look into Schaeffer and other brands for my next front diff fluid change. With regards to the transfer case, the Owners Manual calls for Dex III. I have used Valvoline Maxlife (full syn) in my 99 supercharged vette , my parents 03 s10, and 04 avalanche where Dex III was required and I had zero problems, so I am using Maxlife based on my experience with it, not because someone recommended. But I choose not to use it in Dex VI only applications, at least for now. Again, Im not inclined to only use Valvoline.
For the trans, it was approx. $5 per qt of Dex VI ($60 for 12 qts) $16 for the filter and the $5 for the gasket for a total of bout $80 tax included. I don't think $80 is too much. The trans on my EXT appears to be perfectly fine. I know the previous owner never towed anything and I don't have anything to tow so for my application, I think the trans will last. Good to know a rebuild is only $750.
I will have to go under again and count all eleven of the fittings, but I think I hit them all. Glad to know there are only 11.
I am by no means an expert here but the difference between the vehicles you listed and the Escalade is that the Escalade is all wheel drive and uses a different tcase and front differential. I was always told the rule of thumb is AWD gets blue and selectable 4wd gets red (dex III). Was the tcase fluid you removed blue or red?
The old fluid was red. The Cadillac escalade manual specifically states DEX III H specification for the tcase. If it said use ATrak, I absolutely would. I'm no expert either, but I believe GM recommends DEXIII H for AWD tcases, and ATrak for 4x4 with automatic tcases. I'm sure there are tons of AWD owners using ATrak with no problems , but I'm good with DEX III ATF (compatible).