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2002 SLS
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Discussion Starter #1
I'm a new guy to your forums today and have not owned a Cadillac before. My wife and I are looking at a low milage (40K) 2002 Cadillac Seville STS. Are all the Cadilliac transmissions a sealed unit, i mean, is there any way that I can monitor the transmission fluid level at home? What are the things i need to look for when checking out this paticular Cadillac? What parts of this car wear faster than others, or are prone to high maintenance or need frequent replacement? What would you guys say are the high points and the low points for this car? Are there any paticular threads I should be reading before making any purchase of this year Cadillac? Any and all information will be greatly appreciated. Thanks,
Mike
 

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Super Moderator
2010 DTS
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87,573 Posts
Just like any transmission, there is a "dipstick". Actually more like the P/S fluid stick on the cap.

Pre 2000 engines where prone to head gasket failures. GM made improvements so it is much less a problem now. Coolant should have been changed once already and if it hasn't, do it immediately. See the sticky at the top of the page and pull the DTC's. Also go to the Technical Archives at the top left of this page and read up.
 

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2002.5 F55 CORSA STS, 2014 Explorer XLT FWD
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71,101 Posts
The transmission is a dry sump unit so there will be NO fluid on the dipstick with the engine off. The engine must be running in P, warm, and then the fluid should be about halfway up the dipstick hashmark.

You have to remove the intake duct resonator to get to the transmission dipstick, but the engine will not run with the resonator removed, so you need a temporary plug for the duct hole, made from a spray paint can lid.

Michael_e, You have a LOT of homework to do here, in Cadillac Technical, Northstar Performance, and as Ranger posted, read the entire Cadillac Technical Archive up in the black bar ^^^.

Carry the engine oil at halfway up that dipstick hashmark - at the top of the mark is overfilled. SAE 5W-30 in whatever is your preferred brand of oil, either dino or synthetic. Don't get creative with additives: the engine does NOT need anything but good oil. The 2000+ engines use 4 roller cams, chain driven.

Welcome Aboard and C'mon Back !!! :welcome:

(Copy all the 3-character codes from the sticker on the underside of the spare tire cover and enter them into www.cadillacfaq.com/rpo/index.php. That will give you a list of what's built into that car. Look at the driver's door stickers for the build date and tire speed ratings: that determines the PCM speed limiter set in the engine control system. S = 112 mph, H = 130, and W/Z = unlimited (154+)
 

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2005 White Diamond STS N* 1SF RWD ACC/HUD
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Just like any transmission, there is a "dipstick"
Not quite true, Larry. The 2002 Ford Explorer than my wife used to own was not equipped with a dipstick...dumbest thing I had ever seen, especially on a vehicle that is very likely to be used as a towing vehicle. Supposedly "sealed for the life of the transmission", which can be a little short. Had to have the tranny rebuilt at 120K miles. I decided the dipstick was sitting behind a desk in Dearborn MI designing transmissions for Ford. :nono:
 
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