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2004 CTS 3.6L
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61 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
Hello all,

I want to start by saying I've done a lot of research on this site so I'm pretty sure I know what I need for materials but I just wanted to verify. Below is a picture of the fluids I purchased today at cut rate auto parts to do a transmission filter change and differential fluid change. My car is an 3.6L 04 and it has 98k miles on it.



Starting from left to right:

First as you can see I have Mobil 1 synthetic gear lubricant, I have 2 quarts.

Next I have Super ATF transmission fluid. I purchased 7 quarts because I was told the reservoir holds 6.2.

Next is some KW knock'er loose penetrant. I just sprayed this on the nuts for the transmission pan.

Next is GM limited slip. Now I was unsure if i needed this but I was wondering that if I don't will it hurt anything? My diff makes a good amount of noise on acceleration but from what I'm told, all of our cars do.

Finally a T45 drive bit.

Also I have a fluid transfer pump so I can easily fill the reservoirs.


Now I Just wanted to know before I continue do i have all the correct fluids? I was told to get the differential plugs i need a 10mm allen wrench, which i have.

Lastly do i need to spray the caps for both the transmission and differential with the knock'er loose? I believe my transmission has never been serviced so I don't want to strip any bolts.

Please let me know what you think. I am following the diagrams linked below:

Transmission
http://www.cadillacforums.com/forums/cadillac-cts-first-generation-forum-2003/199032-transmission-fluid-change-2.html#post2240103

Diff
http://www.cadillacfaq.com/faq/answers/difflube/index.html

Thank you in advance guys.
 

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2001 Seville STS, 1990 Seville (RIP), 1972 Sedan Deville
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26,323 Posts
Dexron VI wasn't introduced until '06.

III was factory fill for your car. VI is superior to, and fully backwards compatible with III. Use whichever you'd like.
 

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03 Cts Sport Luxury
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117 Posts
jackfreeman09 said:
So should I return the 7 quarts of fluid that I got?
Yup. The only reason I say to get 6 is because GM no longer licences 3 and it might not be exactly what they say it is. Also, 6 is a full synthetic
 

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2004 CTS 3.6L
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61 Posts
Discussion Starter #7
Also what about the limited slip fluid? I checked the spare tire cover and there is no writing or anything on it. Thank you for the replies.
 

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Super Moderator
'05 CTS-V
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8,296 Posts
Yup. The only reason I say to get 6 is because GM no longer licences 3 and it might not be exactly what they say it is.
Is there any reason to suspect ATF manufacturers (in this case, Conoco) have changed their DEXRON III?

It can't hurt to swap the Super ATF for some DEXRON-VI, but I wouldn't worry about what you've got.
 

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2004 CTS 3.6L
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61 Posts
Discussion Starter #9
The bottle says "recommended for use in all domestic and import vehicles no longer under warranty where the OEM previously specified a GM DEXRON III or earlier generation DEXRON fluid"

It later says "do not use in automatic transmissions that require a GM DEXRON VI" and a couple other of fluids by ford. So what does this mean?

Is it worth it to spend the extra money and go buy some DEXRON VI?
 

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2004 CTS 3.6L
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61 Posts
Discussion Starter #11
What about the limited slip? Should I use it?

I am really sketched out about using this fluid. I wish there was just a concrete yes or no answer because the more I look the more I keep seeing both sides of the argument.
 

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2004 CTS 3.6L
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61 Posts
Discussion Starter #13
Sorry, to clarify I am sketched out about the ATF fluid. I'm going to have this car for a long time and I don't wanna wreck my tranny.
 

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2006 3.6L CTS, Hotchkis Sway Bars, FE2
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526 Posts
Sorry, to clarify I am sketched out about the ATF fluid. I'm going to have this car for a long time and I don't wanna wreck my tranny.
If you are really worried about it, take the fluid back and purchase DEXTRON VI ATF. Problem solved. You will get yes and no answers on this forum all the time because everyone here has their own opinion. It's like that with any forum that's devoted to a specific product (cars, electronics, guns, etc).
 

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Super Moderator
'05 CTS-V
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8,296 Posts
I don't understand where the confusion / "sketched out"-ness comes from.

The bottle says "recommended for use in all domestic and import vehicles no longer under warranty where the OEM previously specified a GM DEXRON III or earlier generation DEXRON fluid"
This is true of your car. DEXRON-III was the factory fill for your car, and if you read the Owner's Manual, I'm sure that's what it tells you to use.

It later says "do not use in automatic transmissions that require a GM DEXRON VI" and a couple other of fluids by ford. So what does this mean?
For you, it means nothing. DEXRON-VI didn't exist until 2005, so your 2004 could not possibly have required it.

Is it worth it to spend the extra money and go buy some DEXRON VI?
There may be some mileage benefits (that was one of the purposes of GM changing from DEXRON-III to DEXRON-VI). Whether that benefit will actually be measurable, I have no idea. There's absolutely nothing wrong with using either DEXRON-III or DEXRON-VI in your transmission; whether the VI is "worth it" is up to you.
 

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2004 CTS 3.6L
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61 Posts
Discussion Starter #16
One last question, do I need to use the knock'er loose on the plugs for the transmission and the diff? The new transmission filter did not come with new plugs so I don't want to strip the bolt. Thank you for all the feedback.
 

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2006 3.6L CTS, Hotchkis Sway Bars, FE2
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526 Posts
If they seem tighter than normal or if it's your first time doing this it wont hurt. Just don't over do it.
 
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