: So, I took it to Cottman........

02-18-06, 09:12 PM
My '99 Eldo is at 52K and really closer to 8 years old than seven. So, I figure it's "time" to change out the trans fluid and not wait for the 100K as recommended. Hell, I'll be dead before that.
So, I go to Cottman Transmision. It's a large chain, should be able to change out the fluid, filters, and generally do standard service. I should have had a clue when the manager gave me a quizzing look when I mentioned the inner drain plug.
Sure enough, the tech drains the pan, wipes it off, removes and replaces the two filters, and starts to replace the pan. Of course I stop him and get the manager, as well as his "builder" and ask why the side pan drain plug was not removed. "Side pan ?", what does that mean? And what drain plug do you mean? "We never have done that before", and so on.
I didn't have my FSM with me but I assured the manager of it's importance and he responded quite well actually. The manger did not charge me for anything, apologized and said he was quite embarassed and would I bring it back during the week after they figure it out. All at no charge.
Yes, I will. They only drained what was in the pan, which is the dry sump collector and didn't understand that the side cover is the wet sump and contains most of the fluid.
So, be aware and WATCH them to assure it is done properly. It's a shame we have to do it, but that's the way it is I guess.
Then later that same day, I go to the car wash. The car comes out of the wash machine with the antenna at full mast, only leaning 30 degrees to the rear. So, I talk to the manager.........................................

02-19-06, 01:19 AM
That's the worst place you can go to for any transmission related work. Dont ever get a trans rebuilt there. My buddy did and 14k into the build its already slipping badly and the TCC isnt engaging/disengaging properly. They suck.

I take it to GM former Olds dealer (the same guy worked on the auroras 10 years aog is still there over here). However, they did not drain the side pan for me. My theory is that it is better to replace half the fluid instead of all the fluid, because it was at 80k miles on original fluid when they dropped the pan and refilled 7 quarts and the 2 filters. :) In older transmissions the dirt can be holding the trans together...

02-20-06, 08:34 PM
wheres this drain plug at?

02-20-06, 08:49 PM
It beneath the side cover, between the screens I believe. You have to drop the pan to get at it.

02-20-06, 09:38 PM
Ranger, correctomundo

02-20-06, 09:41 PM
anyone have a pic?
Ive got my valve body out right now

02-20-06, 10:03 PM
Oh boy, I just saw a pic posted. Can't remember where. I'll try to find it.

Here ya go. Post #4

02-21-06, 12:32 AM
wow thats gonna suck when i do mine its got 75000miles on it and its a 96.

02-21-06, 02:18 AM
... In older transmissions the dirt can be holding the trans together...


BS. What is this? 1965? This isn't an old Powerglide or something where you ran twice as long on fluid as you should have and the particles of clutch material in the fluid are the only reason your clutches aren't slipping. A full fluid change at 100K miles should cause absolutely no problem, unless something is very seriously wrong with your transmission.

02-21-06, 08:14 PM
OK got it thanks
not much fluid came out when I removed plug.
Maybe most had already drained out of pan.
I sure didnt get another 8 qts as someone suggested.
Bad news is that I had this utt oh feeling when removing plug.
I felt what seemed to be too much resistance in backing it out so
I slowly worked it back and forth until it became easy and sure enough
I got threads left on the plug.
Does anyone know what size (metric Im guessing) pipe thread or what
this is?
I want to clean threads out and put a little longer plug in to make sure it doesnt do this again.

02-21-06, 08:37 PM
Can't help on the thread size, but FWIW my Deville was the same way. I got very little fluid out of the side cover drain.

02-21-06, 08:50 PM
Not sure why you guys didn't get fluid from the plug. When I dropped my pan, probably 2 or 3 quarts at the most drained out. It took me at least an hour to figure out where the drain plug was at, so it had that amount of time to drain. Once i removerd the plug, I got another 5 to 6 quarts out of there. It appears that my side cover is sealed better than yours maybe.


02-21-06, 10:14 PM
Zorb I bet your the one that "flushes" your transmissions too ::)

02-22-06, 12:02 PM
Flush? Might as well flush it down the toilet if you're going to do that.

02-25-06, 09:04 AM
So, I finally called the Cottman shop that told me to come back and get it done correctly. Turns out that the owner of the shop, not the manager, will not stand behind his manager's decision to do the right thing.
He said, after much prodding, that "they" do not remove the side pan drain plug because it strips out too easily.
To me, that sounds like a justafiable reason, yet one that the entire crew and the acclaimed "experts" should have been informed of. Oh, well. I guess I'll have to sit down and compose an Email/letter of some sort to get this straightened out.
This, with other situations that have arrisen in very recent history, is becoming systemic with the service world. Seems as though a person can't get honest service and that a person needs to be fully informed prior to getting service. What a shame. The dollar has in fact become more important than customer relations and good, solid, and honest service.
My problem here was reading the manual before getting the service and that being a member of this forum site was just too much information for the "experts".
So shame on all of us Caddy owners that take just a bit too much interest in our cars and wanting to know how to best keep them serviced.
I looked around in my tool box and sure enough I found pipe taps so that in the event that when I have to change this fluid and the plug strips out, I'll be ready to repair it. I guess that's too much to ask of service and repair shops anymore. You know, being prepared and all.

02-25-06, 10:14 AM
If you take that much interest in your car, take it back to GM for service like that. At least they'll most likely know what they are doing or find someone there that does. These 3rd party shops shouldnt be allowed to work on sophisticated engines/transmissions. Let them work on Ford Tauruses like they are used to.

02-25-06, 12:50 PM
Take it to a decent dealer though... Lots of them are crooked or mess things up.

For Michigan Drivers around Oakland, Wayne, or Macomb county...

BEWARE of Crestview Cadillac in Rochester, MI and Audette Cadillac in West Bloomfield, MI. I recommend Suburban Oldsmobile Cadillac in Troy, MI or Don Massey Cadillac in Plymouth, MI. I've heard from reliable sources that Rinke Cadillac in Warren, MI is very good too, but have never been there.

02-25-06, 03:16 PM
I havent found a GM dealer in our area that will do it right given as many trys as they want(or need).
As for the stripping out thing,thats true I just pulled mine out and a few threads came with it,even being careful.
Ive invested tens of thousands of dollars in equipment and thousands of hours of time on research so I can do it right myself.

02-25-06, 09:18 PM
parts68, what was your fix? Did you notice if it was a straight or tapered pipe tap, if a pipe thread at all? In my experience, re-tapping or tapping to the next size up has never been a problem. It's the old heavy grease trick to control the shavings. And upside down is even better.
In my case, I'll get under there and do it if I have to. My days of doing that are closing fast as I really just don't have the freaking desire anymore. My Hot Rods have been built and sold, my race cars also and some of those are still racing, just not with me. It's time for me and people like me to be able to look someone in the eye and just get the truth. That's pretty much what I was saying in the first place.
It's a plug, tapped into aluminum, and any transmission repair shop worth their weight is going to know how to do this, not lie to their customers knowing full well that their service is going to be incomplete at the onset.
And as for taking it to a dealer, I was thinking someone that advertises to do transmissions and only transmissions should be able to service all transmissions. And if not, steer the customer to the people that can do it.
I was wrong, but don't shoot the messenger.

02-26-06, 09:44 AM
Im going to investigate the size of plug and try and clean up the threads.
Its a 11 MM head so have a fear of it being metric thread.
I do have alot of metric taps and pipe taps from 1/8- 1.
yea grease works good as well as a small plug shoved in ahead so brake kleen can be squirted in hole to clean out.
Dont forget to remove the small plastic plug when done.
Now back to my problem trying to figure out why I get code 94.

02-26-06, 04:44 PM
Thx parts68. If truly a pipe thread no need to worry about metric. It can also be tapped to a straight pipe plug, US/English. What is the major OD of the plug thread? I have the Machinists Handbook on CD so capturing a page is easy because it's PDF format. We can figure this out together and get the correct sizing. Do you have, or access to a metric thread comparison gage? if you have metric taps that will work as a thread comparison gage also.
11 mm is just .004 samller than 7/16, so the head of the plug is definitely metric so the thread is also. There again, the OD is important, from there we can figure the pitch length if you don't have a tap that matches the thread pitch. The FMS lists the torque value at 8-14 N.m or 6-10 lb ft. I use .03937 instead of 2.4 for conversion from thousandths of inch to mm size.