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Don 'Mo Lurch'
Don 'Mo Lurch', Auto Mech / Electronics
Category: Chevy
Satisfied Customers: 20427
Experience:  Chevrolet Cert., Heavy Line Mech, Race Shop Owner, Mobile Electronics.
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How can you check the transmission fluid on a 1998 chevy cavalier 2.

Customer Question

How can you check the transmission fluid on a 1998 chevy cavalier 2.2 automatic
Submitted: 9 years ago.
Category: Chevy
Expert:  Don 'Mo Lurch' replied 9 years ago.

3T40 Automatic Transaxle :

Click image to see an enlarged view


4T40E Automatic Transaxle :

The 4T40E is a Sealed Unit & Should be checked by a qualified Trans or Lube Technician:

The fluid level screw is intended to be used for diagnosing a transaxle fluid leak or resetting the transaxle fluid level after service that involves a lose of fluid.

  1. The fluid level should be checked when the transaxle is near room temperature or at 104°F (40°C). To acquire this, left the car idle for 3-5 minutes with all of the accessories off.

Click image to see an enlarged view
Fig. 5: Location of the fluid level screw and the fill/vent cap needed to check the fluid for the 4T40E automatic transaxle


  1. Apply the brake, then move the gear shift selector through all gear ranges, pausing three seconds in each range. Shift the lever into P.

  2. Raise and safely support the vehicle.

  3. Place a suitable drain pan under the check plug to catch any fluid that may drip out.

  4. Remove the oil check plug. The oil level should be at the bottom of the oil check hole. Because the transaxle operates correctly over a range of fluid levels, fluid may or may not drain out of the screw hole when the screw is removed.

  5. If fluid drains through the screw hole, the transaxle may have been overfilled. When fluid stops draining, then fluid level is correct and the check plug may be installed. If fluid does not drain through the screw hole, the transaxle fluid may have been low. Add fluid at the vent cap location in 1 pint increments until the oil level is at the bottom of the oil check hole.

  6. Install the oil check plug/fluid level screw and tighten to 10 ft. lbs. (14 Nm).

  7. Carefully lower the vehicle.