: Anybody change AT fluid ?



porkfarm
09-30-07, 08:57 PM
At 30K, I would like to change the fluid on my 05 STS RWD with AT. I looked under the car this afternoon and found what looked like a drain plug on the pan and maybe a ruber plug that might be to drain the converter ? But I could not find a fill hole. Has anybody changed the fluid ? I am thinking about going with the DEX VI and would like to do myself.

Curious George
10-01-07, 12:37 PM
Don't. The transmission is a factory-sealed system. There is no way to check fluid level. Follow the recommendation in your Owner's Manual: have a dealership technician change it at 100,000 miles (50,000 under severe driving conditions).

(Transmission is a French word for "leave it alone".)

porkfarm
10-01-07, 12:49 PM
Not gonna do it... Lifetime fluid ? Who's lifetime ? 100K and then you get to put in a new tranny ? No thanks.. The new DexVI fluid specs look to be a big improvement. Do a search on lifetime transmission fluid and see what others think. Oh sure, you might see me a few of them. :bouncy: This car needs to see 200K miles.

z06bigbird
10-01-07, 08:19 PM
Have dealer do it, or buy a hand pump at place like Harbor Freight. Under $10. Measure exactly how much you took out. Install same amount.

Use same pump for rear; remember the GM additive for rear.

I have changed my tranny fluid and filter at 25k miles for the past 40 years.

dkozloski
10-01-07, 10:47 PM
Waste your money if you want to. http://www.cadillacforums.com/cadillac-tech.html#transfluid

porkfarm
10-01-07, 11:17 PM
Where to pump it back in ? Same place it came out ? The drain plug on the bottom? I already did the rear and used the limited slip fluid also. Waste money ? I don't see it that way. The ride is getting better and better with every little bit of work I do .. Mileage is going up and up and it's just a better drive. But, I tell you what, I will post my ATF fluid test from blackstone and see exactly if was a waste or not. I swear I feal a slight shudder in 3-4 shift, and DEX VI has much better flow in the cold .. ( um .. Is the money spent on the ATF test a waste also ? :rolleyes:)

dkozloski
10-02-07, 11:57 AM
Where to pump it back in ? Same place it came out ? The drain plug on the bottom? I already did the rear and used the limited slip fluid also. Waste money ? I don't see it that way. The ride is getting better and better with every little bit of work I do .. Mileage is going up and up and it's just a better drive. But, I tell you what, I will post my ATF fluid test from blackstone and see exactly if was a waste or not. I swear I feal a slight shudder in 3-4 shift, and DEX VI has much better flow in the cold .. ( um .. Is the money spent on the ATF test a waste also ? :rolleyes:)
The imaginative car owner can easily experience vast improvements that the rest of us can barely detect with precise measurement.

porkfarm
10-02-07, 12:26 PM
well plus the fact that the car is in bumper to bumper Boston/New York traffic or doing 100MPH with the rest of the heard, as not to be run over and all this before 6AM. Temps can get over 100 or -35 in the mountains. That is listed as extreme duty and I think 50K is recommended for that.. How's the traffic in Fairbanks ?

dkozloski
10-02-07, 12:42 PM
well plus the fact that the car is in bumper to bumper Boston/New York traffic or doing 100MPH with the rest of the heard, as not to be run over and all this before 6AM. Temps can get over 100 or -35 in the mountains. That is listed as extreme duty and I think 50K is recommended for that.. How's the traffic in Fairbanks ?
Temps in Fairbanks go from +99F to -68F. The transmission OLM barely budges.

porkfarm
10-02-07, 02:03 PM
Your 2006 should already have it.. Not sure if my 2005 does. Maybe that that is why your OLM barely budges.



GM claims that Dexron-VI delivers more than twice the durability and stability in friction tests than do existing fluids. Although the company is still gathering data, it expects this to lead to a drain interval extension of roughly the same order.

“The result [of the effort] is a new fluid that significantly outperforms existing fluids in every aspect,” said Roy Fewkes, driveline fluids group leader for GM Powertrain. “In fact, we have had to significantly extend the length of our durability tests to fully test the fluid’s capability.”

Skibanker
10-03-07, 12:49 PM
After paying for three GM cars to have a new transmission over the years, all at around 125,000 miles, I'm a firm believer in the "severe conditions" schedule for transmission maintenance. As for mechanic reliability, I fix that by watching the work as it's being done. These new machines allow you to see the quality/condition of the new fluid and the color/condition of the old fluid as it's being exchanged. I consider the expense to be insurance. Better to pay $139 a few times than over $2500 once.

Skibanker
10-03-07, 12:56 PM
After paying for three transmissions in GM cars over the years, all at around 125,000 miles, I'm a firm believer in transmission maintenance according to the "severe" schedule, which is 50,000 miles. These new machines allow you to see the quality/condition of the new fluid and the color/condition of the old fluid as it's being exchanged. And I know the work has been done because I watch them. For my money, I'd rather pay what I consider to be insurance of $139 a few times over the life of the car rather than $2500 for a rebuilt tranny.

porkfarm
10-03-07, 07:31 PM
Same boat here Skibanker, but if I could find out how to fill this dang thing, I would do it myself and it would cost a heck of a lot less. Plus I know it's done correctly and with the correct fluid. I figure if I drain and fill with fresh fluid every 15K with a filter change at some point, It should be able to do 200K easy. That's what I did with one of my last cars. At 180K the tranny was flawless, but it had a dipstick so extracting and putting in new fluid was super easy. Last I heard was that it was still running great with over 210K.

z06bigbird
10-03-07, 09:47 PM
Waste your money if you want to. http://www.cadillacforums.com/cadillac-tech.html#transfluid

What else am I going to do with all my money. Have you ever seen a luggage rack on the back of a hearse??? Might as well spend your money now.

z06bigbird
10-03-07, 09:50 PM
The imaginative car owner can easily experience vast improvements that the rest of us can barely detect with precise measurement.

Looks like you found that thesaurus again!! Some of us need pics, man!!

z06bigbird
10-03-07, 09:52 PM
Where to pump it back in ? Same place it came out ? The drain plug on the bottom? I already did the rear and used the limited slip fluid also. Waste money ? I don't see it that way. The ride is getting better and better with every little bit of work I do .. Mileage is going up and up and it's just a better drive. But, I tell you what, I will post my ATF fluid test from blackstone and see exactly if was a waste or not. I swear I feal a slight shudder in 3-4 shift, and DEX VI has much better flow in the cold .. ( um .. Is the money spent on the ATF test a waste also ? :rolleyes:)

Pump new fluid back in drain plug hole. Remember to measure old fluid and new fluid.

porkfarm
10-04-07, 04:14 AM
Nice ! will do . Thank you

porkfarm
10-04-07, 07:37 AM
One more question. I know about putting in what came out, but is the drian plug a 2 part plug ? Kind of like a Jatco unit . When the first plug is removed, it should only trickle out , but once you take the second plug out it drains ? It must be a pain in the butt to pump that new fluid in without having it come back at you without some kind of angle on the end of it. There is no fill hole above the fluid line ? I did see a nice procedure for the V's that has a fill hole above the fluid line, but my tranny looks nothing like that one from what I can tell.

dkozloski
10-04-07, 10:14 AM
One more question. I know about putting in what came out, but is the drian plug a 2 part plug ? Kind of like a Jatco unit . When the first plug is removed, it should only trickle out , but once you take the second plug out it drains ? It must be a pain in the butt to pump that new fluid in without having it come back at you without some kind of angle on the end of it. There is no fill hole above the fluid line ? I did see a nice procedure for the V's that has a fill hole above the fluid line, but my tranny looks nothing like that one from what I can tell.
There is a fill port higher up. Go to www.helminc.com (http://www.helminc.com) and get a factory service manual before you do some damage.

porkfarm
10-04-07, 11:54 AM
Thanks for the link ski, good looking set of manuals for 135 bucks, I might use 3 or 4 pages out of it once then have it sit next to my others, but I was looking for online help.. Maybe somebody that has done this before to a 2005 STS RWD Auto. I figured this was a good place to check. A website that friendly folks can share info about 2005 and up Caddy STS's .. You know like other car forums.. Thanks again for your input and concern.

dkozloski
10-04-07, 01:33 PM
Thanks for the link ski, good looking set of manuals for 135 bucks, I might use 3 or 4 pages out of it once then have it sit next to my others, but I was looking for online help.. Maybe somebody that has done this before to a 2005 STS RWD Auto. I figured this was a good place to check. A website that friendly folks can share info about 2005 and up Caddy STS's .. You know like other car forums.. Thanks again for your input and concern.
Here is a link for the terminally stingy. www.alldatadiy.com (http://www.alldatadiy.com)

porkfarm
10-04-07, 08:16 PM
"Waste your money if you want to." Was one of your first replys now. "Here is a link for the terminally stingy." :cookoo:

dkozloski
10-04-07, 08:47 PM
"Waste your money if you want to." Was one of your first replys now. "Here is a link for the terminally stingy." :cookoo:
If you're going to throw your money away I can at least help you do it in a thrifty manner.

Onalaska
10-05-07, 10:02 AM
I agree, you need the FSM before attempting this, but here are excerpts of the procedure from the FSM to give you some idea. It looks like they really don't want you servicing the transmission in this car. Also I have found nothing about actually adding fluid, just checking the level and since the level is above the fluid level hole plug when the engine is not running they must expect you to meter the fluid in and then put the plug back in the hole quickly to avoid spillage. Only spec is dry fill is 9 qts. which would be too much for just a drain and fill. I guess the best way would be to measure the amount drained and pump the exact same amount back in. As with most GM transmissions I don't think you can drain the converter.

1. Raise and support the vehicle.
2. Place a suitable drain pan under the transmission fluid drain plug.
3. Remove and discard the transmission fluid drain plug.
4. Allow the transmission fluid to drain.
5. Inspect the transmission fluid for discoloration and contamination while draining.
6. After the transmission fluid has finished draining, install a NEW transmission fluid drain plug.

Transmission Fluid Checking Procedure (Don't do this until you have added fluid!)
1. Install a scan tool and observe the transmission fluid temperature.
2. Start the vehicle, and with the engine idling, 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.
3. Raise the vehicle on a hoist. The vehicle must be level with the engine running and the shift lever in the PARK range.
4. Support the transmission with a suitable jack.
5. Remove the bolts securing the transmission crossmember to the vehicle and the transmission.
Caution: The engine must be running when the transmission fluid fill plug is removed, or excessive fluid loss will occur. Transmission fluid may be hot. Since the actual fluid level is unknown, stand clear when removing the fill plug. Have a container ready to capture any lost fluid. Do not turn the engine off with the fill plug removed, as you can be injured by hot transmission fluid being expelled out of the oil fill opening.
6. Remove the transmission fluid level hole plug. (located on the left rear, driver's side, of the transmission case just above the pan. Opposite side of the drain plug)
7. Let the fluid temperature rise until it has reached the specified value. Inspect the fluid level. The level should be even with the bottom of the threaded plug hole.

How much more could a dipstick for the transmission have cost???

porkfarm
10-05-07, 12:12 PM
Thankyou Onalaska.. I found that writeup also. I did find a picture of the tranny with it and it looks like the fill hole is on the back side of the case. Looks like driver side. This is just about the same process that my Jaguar has. The fill plug is located just under the battery. Seeing as I would like to get as much out as I can so the new DEX VI is not swimming with the old DEXIIIh, It looks like the dealer might get the job if the do it via the cooler lines. Correct me if I am wrong, but doesn't the clutches in an AT give some slip when shifting as not to bang into gear ? Would this not create nasty stuff in the fluid ? So the fluid would be fine, but the junk in it, is not. Must be why they put a filter in it. Jag does not even have that. Thanks again for taking the time to post the write-up.

Onalaska
10-05-07, 12:50 PM
I was reading about Dex XI and bought some to put back in when I change the fluid in one of my trucks. It's still kind of hard to find. It sounds like good stuff and I imagine the trans in the STS would benefit from it. Yes you do loose friction material from the clutches, that is what the filter is for. The actual lubrication properties of the fluid probably will last a long time as long as there is no overheating. I don't plan on towing anything with the car so that shouldn' t be a problem. I have less than 20,000 miles on my STS so will not be doing anything for a while.

porkfarm
11-16-07, 08:54 PM
Did the change over. 4 Gallons of GM DEX VI shipped to my door. Old fluid with 32K on it was black as night. Nice and cherry red now. Mileage is back up and shudder is gone. Tip for anybody else doing it. 3.5 - 4 qts. comes out the drain hot. Put in a clean catch pan and measure exactly how much comes out. Jack up the car a bit higher on the driver/fill side and pump exact amount back in. This way you do not need to have the engine's hot exhaust burn your hands checking fluid level. You can do it cooled off. I did 4 drain and fills with 100 -200 miles between each. Made my own torx T40 bit in an offset 1/4 inch box ratchet wrench. I'm glad I did it, but it was a PIA. Would have been much better if somebody gave me a tip like the one I just did. Anybody else gonna try ? ( pre 2006 )

WillySTS
11-19-07, 01:11 PM
I had mine done at the dealer, where I work, and had them use my fluid, Amsoil Universal ATF. I'm glad I did it as well.

BMBSALES
11-20-07, 05:14 AM
Old fluid with 32K on it was black as night. Nice and cherry red now.

Glad you had good luck, and i agree with the changing of trans fluid, but this is just a dye that starts to go away after a few good heat cycles.

M.A.C
09-03-10, 05:17 PM
There is a fill port higher up. Go to www.helminc.com (http://www.helminc.com) and get a factory service manual before you do some damage.
There are two plugs. The first is the drain plug on the bottom of the pan and the second plug is about half way up the transmission on the side at the rear. The side plug is used to refile the transmission. Fluid should reach right up to the plug if you're on a flat surface or lift. If jacked up on the left then make sure fluid is not overfilled since the angle will throw off fluid measurement. If there is a drip of fluid coming out of the side plug if vehicle is level, then it should be good.

Greg00coupe
09-03-10, 06:47 PM
Is there a filter to change? Do we drop the pan like the old days?

M.A.C
09-03-10, 07:24 PM
Is there a filter to change? Do we drop the pan like the old days?

Yes. There is a filter and of course the pan must be dropped to replace it. I also believe Dex III fluid can be replaced with the latest Dex VI (6), which gives longer service life. However, if your car is a Dex VI car, you cannot revert back to Dex III, etc., rather, you must only use at least Dex VI.

TobyJohnson11
09-04-10, 02:00 AM
I did a trans flush at 50k and will do another at 100k. Trans flush is the way to go, they never drop the pan and all the fluid gets pulled out of the torque converter. With just simply dropping the pan you are only getting about 1/2 of the fluid out because of what is left in the converter. Doing a flush gets it all the fluid out and all new back in, Also cleans the filter pretty well also. I only do flushes now in all my vehicles, the old way doesn’t seem the best to me anymore. JMO.

BaTu
09-04-10, 09:54 AM
A flush is an, absolutely, terrible idea and here's why...

Typically, someone who's having trans trouble (because their old cars frictions & seals are badly worn and it's not worth the cost of a new trans), take it for the "Flush Cure" (which, of course, doesn't work - just makes $ for the "flusher" ;) )

So what you have is all these crud filled flush machines and hoses - just waiting to infect your, perfectly good, transmission :(

Yea, I know, there are screens & filters in them to protect cross contamination, but, that depends on the vigilance of the operator and his willingness to buy new filters. It's a crap-shoot.... And whoever sells the concept that it does a pretty good job of cleaning the filter is TOTALLY full of BS!

BIG Mistake to Ever allow one of these clowns to connect your, expensive, tranny to his overused "miracle cure" flush machine.

The REAL way to flush (and I only WISH I could do this to my STS) is to NOT recirculate any fluid at all. Simply let the disconnected cooling line discharge the old fluid as you are pouring brand-new back in. I've always done this on all my cars but, with the "sealed" (no dipstick tube) in my current car I'll just have to trust the long-life fluid for the 100K (it's only got 35K on it now, so I'm good for awhile...)

M.A.C
09-04-10, 11:23 AM
I previously owned a '94 Eldorado and would disconnect the upper trans cooler line from the radiator and connect an adapter and vinyl tub to it, then start the engine and watch it pump out into a bucket. I could drain about 2 gallons by this method. As long as the transaxle was in park it would not be damaged or overheat due to lack of fluid. Once the fluid was drained I would reconnect the fluid cooler line and refill.

I'm not aware if this method can be done with the 2005 STS transmission--I haven't come across anyone who has change fluid this way. I believe there is a trans cooler which is separate from the radiator? The problem is refilling. There is a refill plug on the transmission and it may be possible to use a manual pump to insert a tube into and refill right up to the plug.

EChas3
09-04-10, 11:22 PM
I'm with BaTu. I might be persuaded if I knew and trusted the shop owner & mechanic.

farmerfox
09-05-10, 10:58 AM
For what it's worth, my STS4 was just out of warranty and I got a transmission over heating error code on the DIC (don't remember what the exact wording was). The code came up just as we were pulling into a restaurant after about a 45 minute highway drive. Error code was gone and did not come back after we'd eaten.

However, not being too keen on finding out how much it cost to replace a transmission in a STS4, I went to my trusty Cadillac dealer to have them check the tranny fluid/filter. They told me the transmission is sealed and you "never" need to check/replace the fluid.

But, being a farmer and realizing you can learn a lot from the condition of the fluids you take out of something, I wanted them to serivice the transmission and have a good look at the fluid they took out.

Note: I have had a lot more experience with this dealer since this time, and it would be difficult for my current opinion of them to get much lower, but at the time, I thought they were competent. The next closest dealer is over an hour drive away

So, after $200 or so, don't recall, I went to pick up the car and asked the service rep what they found with the fluid. This is the same guy I talked to for half an hour about wanting to check the fluid just a couple days before, and who I reminded the morning I dropped the car off. After the question, an even blanker look than normal crossed his face, before responding "nothing." I could tell he had no idea what was in the fluid, for all he knew they could've drained pink play-doh from my transmission, so I asked him if I could see the fluid myself. "Oh, it's gone."

So, I spent a bunch of money, broke open a sealed transmission to diagnose the fluid only to have it dumped out without so much as a second glance. This was the second in a string of inept work done by this dealer (the first I passed off as a bad day, but each proceeding instance further tempered my optomistic assessment of their abilities).

Now, having said all that, I have not had another problem with the tranny (about 10-15K on it since), and I still think it wasn't a terrible idea to service the tranny early, considering the over heating code.

My suggestion (for what it's worth): If you have some concerns about your tranny, go nuts, service it early. But if you have a moron for a service advisor and a bunch of Oompah Loompas in the shop, don't expect to learn much from the experience.

porkfarm
09-09-10, 09:11 PM
Well I am still dropping about 5qts and pumping back about 5 qts every other oil change. At 70K and running better than ever. Fluid looks a heck of a lot better than the first dump. That was nasty.

AllGoNShow
09-10-10, 01:53 PM
Wow, got to love how people recommend not touching "lifetime" transmission fluid from a 2 paragraph, non-technical internet FAQ! I can't believe you would base your opinions on that!

Search BMW lifetime fluid, MB lifetime fluid, Cadillac lifetime fluid, see what the rest of the automotive world thinks about lifetime fluid, do some research before you recommend not touching anything because it is a HIGHLY recommend fluid change at the 75k+ mark in most of these vehicles.

If you owned a BMW M3/M5, would you follow the 25,000mile oil change interval because BMW recommended it? Sure you would! And you would also have to be replaicng your top end due to sludge build up and ruining your VANOS as soon as your car came off warranty, exactly what they want so they get the money from the parts you had to buy to build you a new M3 2 years down the road when the rest of your motor lets loose. Yet the enthusiasts who changed their oil at the smart, researched, proven 5k-8k intervals will never have that issue, MHMHMMHMHMHM I wonder why???????????????????????????????/

KRSTS
09-10-10, 02:38 PM
Do the same thing with my brake fluid every few months. Suck out the old from the reservoir with a turkey baster and fill back up with fresh fluid. Exchanges about a pint each time. I figure over time it keeps the fluid fresh.

EChas3
09-10-10, 08:33 PM
Do the same thing with my brake fluid every few months. Suck out the old from the reservoir with a turkey baster and fill back up with fresh fluid. Exchanges about a pint each time. I figure over time it keeps the fluid fresh.

The problem with that is that your enemy is moisture and is more likely to cause trouble at the calipers.

As far as 25,000 miles on an oil change, is this on cars where oil changes are considered warranty service? I like the STS OLM. It works out to roughly 15,000 or once a year, barring extreme use.

KRSTS
09-10-10, 10:11 PM
Are you saying that I am introducing moisture into my braking system?

C&C
09-11-10, 08:42 AM
Are you saying that I am introducing moisture into my braking system?

No, what he's probably saying is that you aren't doing the actual working brake parts any good; you need to actually bleed the system to get that fresh brake fluid through the lines and out to the calipers.

KRSTS
09-11-10, 01:12 PM
Every time you apply the brakes there will be some minimal fluid exchange throughout the system. May not help much, but can't hurt either.

EChas3
09-11-10, 09:49 PM
No, what he's probably saying is that you aren't doing the actual working brake parts any good; you need to actually bleed the system to get that fresh brake fluid through the lines and out to the calipers.

Yes, this is my point. You're not doing any harm but likely aren't doing any good, either. If you're adding from an already open container of brake fluid, chances swing back. Brake fluid is incredibly hygroscopic.

AllGoNShow
09-13-10, 10:44 AM
Would agree with all points above for brake fluid. Much easier to flush out than transmission so I would just grab a few bottles and a bubby and get the whole system flushed once and leave it. Every time the cap is opened you are exposing it to the risk of moisture, do it once the right way (only like 20 minutes tops) and leave it.

Gale Hawkins
10-23-10, 12:19 AM
Same boat here Skibanker, but if I could find out how to fill this dang thing, I would do it myself and it would cost a heck of a lot less. Plus I know it's done correctly and with the correct fluid. I figure if I drain and fill with fresh fluid every 15K with a filter change at some point, It should be able to do 200K easy. That's what I did with one of my last cars. At 180K the tranny was flawless, but it had a dipstick so extracting and putting in new fluid was super easy. Last I heard was that it was still running great with over 210K.

This is about as good as it get to make the transmission last as long as possible. Doing Patrick's bucket flush (write up under Escalade forum) for a total change out of fluid every 30K miles be just as good too.

Even with Dexron VI I think after buying one 4L60-e it is best to do a total change out every 30K miles or pan drain every 15K miles. We just did the bucket flush using 16 quarts on both of our 4L60's because the ATF was already brown at 60K miles with NO towing.

http://www.cadillacforums.com/forums/cadillac-escalade-ext-esv-forum-1999/154002-transmission-fluid-change.html

6sts
02-28-12, 11:40 PM
that link is nice, but unlike the escalade, we do not have a transmission dipstick, could you simply just pour the new fluid into the hose that is off?

cadillacmike68
02-28-12, 11:58 PM
After paying for three transmissions in GM cars over the years, all at around 125,000 miles, I'm a firm believer in transmission maintenance according to the "severe" schedule, which is 50,000 miles. These new machines allow you to see the quality/condition of the new fluid and the color/condition of the old fluid as it's being exchanged. And I know the work has been done because I watch them. For my money, I'd rather pay what I consider to be insurance of $139 a few times over the life of the car rather than $2500 for a rebuilt tranny.

Well, you're doing something wrong, I have run several cars to 200,000, and many into the 120,000 range and beyond with no transmission issues, including 3 FWD Gms from 1992- 2000 and RWD Fleetwoods & DeVilles & CTS from 1968-2005. The 2005 CTS Trans OLM was still over 40% when we traded it in.

As long as you don't overheat it or ignore a leak that drains it too low, they are not the same transmissions from the mid-late 80s. These newer cars all have aux transmission oil coolers so overheating is much less of a problem unless you're in the desert.

As Binky said, waste your money if you want to.

Now i did flush both Fleetwoods' (& the DVC)transmissions as well as the rear diff, the Fleetwoods, because i tow my boat, and the DVC, well, it's over 40 years old and i had no idea how long the fluid was in that car when i bought it. I might re-flush it with Dex IV - when did that fluid come out, because maybe my flush in 1999 was already done with Dex IV.

Midnight
02-29-12, 12:23 PM
Hmm, does the 05 STS have a trans OLM? I know about the engine OLM but never saw anything about a trans one, maybe it requires a scan tool or something?

malatu
02-29-12, 04:21 PM
Yea..... I'd like to know too. If there is a Transmission OLM, I'm unaware of it's existence in our model.

MacMuse
02-29-12, 05:01 PM
No OLM for transmission. Just change it at 100K & get thee to a service bay if gear changes start to get funky.