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1998 Cadillac Catera
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24 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
I bought a tranny treatment fluid and I can't find under the hood where the tranny fluid goes. Can somebody show me a visual or explain to me where the tranny fluid goes under the hood? All I see is where the motor oil goes.
 

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1997 Catera
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172 Posts
what you see is what you get....you won't find anything under the hood.

there is no dipstick or opening for the tranny. It is a sealed unit. The procedure to check and fill involves checking the level at the plug on the side of the tranny with the engine running in idle and level.
 

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1998 Cadillac Catera
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24 Posts
Discussion Starter #3
what you see is what you get....you won't find anything under the hood.

there is no dipstick or opening for the tranny. It is a sealed unit. The procedure to check and fill involves checking the level at the plug on the side of the tranny with the engine running in idle and level.
wow thanks for letting me know that. I'm having problems with the tranny. I recently got my catera back on the road after 2 years of sitting on my driveway. It seems to be slipping into first sometimes and has problems downshifting. When I slow down with the brake and then speed up I can't hit the gas right away or it will rev and shift into gear very hard. I have to wait a couple seconds before hitting the gas after slowing down. The tranny was rebuilt three years ago, I drove it without problems for a year and then I got into a front end accident and it sat for two years until now.
 

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Platinum 2001 Cadillac Catera Sport
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1,840 Posts
Let's clear up a few things. GM designed the gearbox to be a sealed unit, never to need fluid checked or refilled. At least not by the owners. Hence the missing dipstick. Secondly, there is no drain hole. The only plug is there to allow techs to check the level and top it off. Now that's really stupid, isn't it? The 4L30E is an electronic transmission so the shifts are controlled by its computer. Before replacing any electronic components start with the basics. The transmission fluid.

To check the fluid level and/or top it off (using DEXRON® III only) requires crawling under the car. With the transmission in PARK and the engine idling, remove the plug (passenger side, on the main pan). The transmission fluid should be level with the bottom of the plug hole. Use your finger to check. To drain the fluid you have to drop the transmission's 2 pans. Click on the pictures for additional instructions and photos courtesy of the Vauxhall Owners Network.

Transmission Rebuild Pictures


Pans, Filter, & Fill Plug


Removal Procedure
1. Raise and support the vehicle. Refer to Lifting and Jacking the Vehicle in General Information.
2. Place a drain pan under the transmission main case oil pan.
3. Remove the front and side transmission oil pan bolts only.
4. Loosen the rear transmission oil pan bolts approximately four turns.
5. Lightly tap the transmission oil pan with a rubber mallet or pry to drain the fluid from the main case oil pan.
6. Remove the transmission oil filter bolts.
7. Remove the transmission oil filter.
8. Remove the transmission oil filter gasket.
9. Place a drain pan under the transmission front oil pan.
10. Remove the rear bolts from the transmission front oil pan.
11. Remove the front bolts from the transmission front oil pan leaving one corner bolt in loosely.
12. Lightly tap oil pan with rubber mallet or pry to drain fluid.
13. Clean the following components:
  • The main transmission case.
  • The transmission front adapter case.
  • Both pans' gasket surfaces with solvent.
  • The filter gasket surfaces.
  • Remove all traces of old gasket material.
  • Let all parts air dry.
Installation Procedure
1. Install the transmission oil filter gasket. Install the transmission oil filter.
2. Install the transmission oil filter bolts. Tighten the transmission oil filter bolts to 20 N·m (15 lb ft).
3. Install the transmission front oil pan gasket.
4. Install the transmission front oil pan.
5. Install the front oil pan bolts. Tighten the front oil pan bolts to 11 N·m (96 lb in).
6. Install the transmission main case oil pan gasket.
7. Install the transmission main case oil pan.
8. Install the transmission main case oil pan bolts. Tighten the main case oil pan bolts to 11 N·m (96 lb in).
9. Refill the transmission with DEXRON® III. Fill the transmission (using and oil suction gun) to lower edge of oil pan fill plug opening.
10. Tighten Tighten the oil pan fill plug to 45 N·m (33 lb ft).
11. Lower the vehicle.
12. Inspect the transmission fluid level. Refer to Transmission Fluid Checking Procedure.

 

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1998 Cadillac Catera
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24 Posts
Discussion Starter #5
Very helpful, just what I was looking for. Thanks. Anyone know a rough figure of how much the dealer charges for a tranny flush?
 

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1998 Cadillac Catera
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Discussion Starter #10
Luckily I found a good used Catera tranny. Bought it for 600 CDN. My mechanic has been working on it. He discovered the rear differential was no good, it is locked up, he says this is the reason why the tranny was destroyed. So I have ordered a used differential from the same place, 400 more :banghead:. Hopefully its in by monday.
 

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1998 Cadillac Catera
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Discussion Starter #11
I had the old tranny rebuilt 3 or 4 years ago for 1700 CDN. My mechanic told me there was nothing wrong with the tranny and that it was in great shape. The rear differential caused the problem. Does that sound right? I'm not sure. I have an experienced mechanic who works at a shop and from home, he does everything except body work.
 

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1998 Cadillac Catera
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24 Posts
Discussion Starter #12
She's back on the road, everything seems good. Elvin thanks for the diagram, I forwarded it to my mechanic os he could get a better look.
 

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catera
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10 Posts
My '97 catera "jumps" when I press the gas (the rear tires screach and the car bounces like I'm going over a speed bump). Did the same thing last year and a transmission flush cleared it up for about 6 months..now its back...any way to solve it without going back to the mechanic?
 
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