: Getting the transmission fill plug off is just about impossible



mckellyb
06-09-13, 02:01 PM
Sure, it's a Torx T40 bit, and you can turn one of those with a 1/4" boxed-end wrench, with an extension of choice on the end of it, but after the bit popped out the third time, after me putting at least 80 lbs. of torque on it...and bending said small wrench...I give up.

The placement of the fill port could not be in a worse place, yet still be considered "accessible".

Grrrrr!

For grins, I backed off the drain plug, 'broke' it, in somewhat dated terms, and it too MUCH more force than it should have, IMO.

Looks like I'll take it down the street to the lube place, which does some surprisingly in-depth work...the owner is a gearhead...and see if they have a machine to swap fluid...fluid I bring in, and if they can put the filter I have in, too.

I hate it when I am effectively not allowed to do stuff to my own vehicle.

"Lifetime" fluid BS. Yeah, if you never change it, the lifetime will likely be remarkably short.

orange57
06-09-13, 02:28 PM
With the fill port, the car is suppose to be running and fluid level just to the bottom of the port. Super fun to work around with a scorching hot exhaust pipe right in the way.

1BadCadSTS
06-09-13, 03:18 PM
Fill plug in the same spot between the 5 and 6 speed?

mckellyb
07-05-13, 02:54 PM
If you want to do this, yourself, I found the trick.

A short T40 bit, like what goes into a drill. You may even need to shorten the chuck end of it a little to get it between the transmission and the tunnel.

The longest 1/4"-5/16" box end wrench Sears (Craftsman) sells.

A bit of duct tape, though I like gaffer's tape. Wrap the bit a couple of times with a very narrow piece.

Put the bit in the wrench, 1/4" end, with the wrench's angle toward you. It'll take some patient finagling, but eventually, you'll get it to seat. Make certain it's square in the fill cap, then pull on that sucker.

Caution. I had two quarts come out of the fill port, and a total of about 4.75 after draining. Still trying to figure out how best to get the additional 1 qt back in, even with the driver's side tires a solid foot off the ground with the passenger's side sitting on the wheels/tires.

Don't do this without a seriously beefy floor jack and similarly well-built stands. It'd be a bad, though quick, way to die, should it fall.

I see you can't remove the cooler lines at the radiator. Thanks, GM, I appreciate that. They look relatively easy to access on the transmission, but I'm a bit paranoid about going that route.

EChas3
07-05-13, 09:31 PM
Was the engine/trans at operating temperature and running? If so, your desciption suggests it was overfilled.

mckellyb
07-05-13, 10:13 PM
Nope, it was cold and off, so this was expected...kind of. I knew it was a possibility, hence the four gallon bucket to catch anything, but it still surprised me a bit. I expected maybe a stream, not a gusher.

EChas3
07-05-13, 11:44 PM
I'd pay a shop to do a job right before I'd knowingly do it wrong.

Good luck.

dkozloski
07-06-13, 11:10 AM
A while back, after having my poor old Ford Ranger serviced I noticed a sizable trans fluid spot in the driveway. A quick check of the trans dipsick showed it way over full. I had to pump about a quart and a half of fluid out of the dip stick tube to get the level down to the correct mark hot and running. GM removed the dipstick and sealed the transmission on the CTS after many years experience showed that the major source of transmission trouble was maladroits either overfilling, introducing dirt and abrasives, or both in misguided attempts at DIY service.

mckellyb
07-07-13, 10:06 AM
How am I doing it "wrong", EChas3?

This used to be a quite simple procedure, which GM has intentionally made difficult. So difficult, almost nobody will attempt it, yet "lifetime" fluid is a horribly misleading claim.

Life of the transmission, maybe...so it's a self-fulfilling prophecy.

You merely measure how much drained out, put back the same amount, done. I'm going a step further, adding a fitting to the transmission's pan, which I've done on several other vehicles, none of which ever required transmission work, so I can do this more easily in the future.

EChas3
07-07-13, 03:36 PM
By changing the fluid in a cold tranmission, you're leaving the vast majority of contaminents in your transmission. Service manual procedures exist for a reason. By not following published procedures, you're not really completing scheduled service.

Hey, do what you want. It's your car. But you posted a 'trick' that I consider bad advice. Opinions vary.

mckellyb
07-07-13, 11:11 PM
True, however, I'm also changing it multiple times, and in a couple of weeks, I'm going to add a proper drain/refill plug on the rear of the pan, so I can drain it hot.

I don't think the 'change it hot' mantra is as strong for transmissions as it is engines. This said, I've had more than one engine be effectively as new at 200K miles, changing (Mobil 1) at room temperature. Some vehicles make it effectively impossible to do, hot, based on filter location.

Charles Warren
07-08-13, 08:16 AM
how much is this service at dealer??? i want to do my own but might let them do this

mckellyb
07-08-13, 11:28 AM
Local dealer, who is about as trustworthy as a kleptomaniac, wanted $375, but I just called, again, and they've lowered it to $160. This is for a flush, including fluid, though they would not confirm it is Dexron VI.

I'd still rather do it myself, so I can see what comes out and the like.

Ludacrisvp
07-08-13, 11:30 AM
Service manual says _not_ to do a 'flush'

mckellyb
07-08-13, 12:51 PM
Yeah, I know, but that's the only way they'll do it. IIRC, this was the other reason I didn't want them to touch it.

"You need to get all the fluid out..."

Um, if you change it every 30K, that's about 1/3 of the fluid every time, should be fine, and this leaves sleeping particles where they found a nice, comfy home.

Carvone
07-08-13, 01:00 PM
I do all my own wrenching and hate GM for making the transmission like it is on these cars. I paid the dealer about $150 for a drain and fill with Dex VI and new filter while it was in for warranty work. I cringe at paying for a fluid service of all things but this one time seemed worth it not to mess with it.

dkozloski
07-08-13, 04:51 PM
Heat is the primary enemy of trans fluid. As long as you're not doing desert driving or towing you're wise to leave it alone.

EChas3
07-08-13, 11:48 PM
I understand your point but in 100,000 miles most of put a lot of heat cycles on the transmission. Very small amounts of wear and breakdown/recombination of hydrocarbon chains must produce impurities. I conclude 'the book' makes a lot of sense.

Maybe you can go 150,000 miles with no trouble at all.

Let us know how you fare.

mckellyb
07-09-13, 10:12 AM
Maybe you can go 150,000 miles with no trouble at all.

^^^^^ Key word.

I'm not risking a $2500 trans. Shocks me they're only this expensive, actually.

orange57
07-09-13, 10:25 AM
Maybe you can go 150,000 miles with no trouble at all.

^^^^^ Key word.

I'm not risking a $2500 trans. Shocks me they're only this expensive, actually.

I had to replace mine. Brand new from the dealer was $1900ish.

mckellyb
07-09-13, 11:01 AM
Not bad. Was that installed?!

If so, I'm shocked. Might have been a rebuild. Did they tell you what failed in yours, and how many miles were on it?

Ludacrisvp
07-09-13, 12:08 PM
Not bad. Was that installed?!

If so, I'm shocked. Might have been a rebuild. Did they tell you what failed in yours, and how many miles were on it?

Using GM Parts Direct for MSRP and Online prices (not including shipping nor installation).

2007+ 6spd V8 2008+ V8/V6
AUTOMATIC TRANSMISSION / AUTOMATIC TRANSMISSION / AUTOMATIC TRANSMISSION / TRANSMISSION
TRANSMISSION STS; 4.6L; 2WD / AWD

MSRP Online Price
$2,340.00 $1,946.88


2005-2006 5spd V8
AUTOMATIC TRANSMISSION / AUTOMATIC TRANSMISSION / AUTOMATIC TRANSMISSION / TRANSMISSION
TRANSMISSION STS; 4.6L; Code 5GDZ / 5GFZ

MSRP Online Price
$2,998.75 $2,494.96

2005-2007 5spd V6
AUTOMATIC TRANSMISSION / AUTOMATIC TRANSMISSION / AUTOMATIC TRANSMISSION / TRANSMISSION
TRANSMISSION STS; 3.6L; Code 5GLG / 5GRG

MSRP Online Price
$2,998.75 $2,494.96

STS-V 6spd
AUTOMATIC TRANSMISSION / AUTOMATIC TRANSMISSION / AUTOMATIC TRANSMISSION / TRANSMISSION
TRANSMISSION STS-V; 4.4L; Code 8CDA

MSRP Online Price
$2,340.00 $1,946.88

mckellyb
07-09-13, 12:23 PM
That's what threw me...the 2005-2006 is more 'spensive.

Hmph. Go figure.