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goodwrench9124
goodwrench9124, ASE Certified Technician
Category: Chevy
Satisfied Customers: 3420
Experience:  Ase Master Certified, GM Master Certified Tech. Awarded GM Top performer, Hybrid certified
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Check the automatic transmission fluid level on a 2003 chevy cavalier.

Customer Question

How do you check the automatic transmission fluid level on a 2003 chevy caviler.
Submitted: 6 years ago.
Category: Chevy
Expert:  goodwrench9124 replied 6 years ago.

Hello, there is no dipstick to check level, there is a special fill procedure which i have included!!

Transmission Fluid Check


Object Number: 727828  Size: SH
Click here for detailed picture of above imageidth=

The oil level control plug (65) is located on the torque converter side of the transmission.

Step

Action

Value(s)

Yes

No

1

  1. Start the engine and allow the engine to idle until the transmission fluid temperature has reached the value specified.
  2. Depress the brake pedal and move the shift lever through the gear ranges, pausing a few seconds in each range. Return the shift lever to the PARK range.
  3. Raise the vehicle on a hoist. The vehicle must be level, with the engine running and the shift lever in the PARK range. Refer to Lifting and Jacking the Vehicle in General Information.

    Caution: The engine must be running when the transmission fluid fill plug is removed, or excessive fluid loss will occur. Transmission fluid may be hot. Since the actual fluid level is unknown, stand clear when removing the fill plug. Have a container ready to capture any lost fluid. Do not turn the engine off with the fill plug removed, as you can be injured by hot transmission fluid being expelled out of the oil fill opening.

  4. Remove the transmission oil level control plug (65). See drawing above.

    Important: The transmission fluid may darken with normal use and does not always indicate contamination or oxidation.

  5. Check the fluid color. If necessary, use a small screwdriver as a dipstick.

Is the fluid color clear red or light brown with no burnt odor?

At least 40°C (104°F)

Go to Step 4

Go to Step 2

2

Does the fluid have a burnt odor or a dark brown color?

--

Go to Step 8

Go to Step 3

3

Does the fluid have a cloudy or milky appearance?

--

Go to Step 7

Go to Step 8

4

Check the fluid level. The fluid level should be even with the bottom of the threaded plug hole.

Is the fluid level low?

--

Go to Step 5

Go to Step 11

5

Add DEXRON®III automatic transmission fluid in increments of 0.5 L (0.5 qt) until the fluid drains from the plug hole.

Did you add more than 1.5 L (1.6 qt) to the transmission?

--

Go to Step 6

Go to Step 11

6

The transmission may have a leak. Refer to Fluid Leak Diagnosis .

Was a transmission fluid leak found?

--

Go to Step 9

Go to Step 11

7

The transmission fluid is contaminated with engine coolant. Repair or replace the transmission cooler in the radiator.

Is the transmission cooler repair complete?

--

Go to Step 9

--

8

  1. Drain the fluid by removing the bottom pan.

    Important: A very small amount of material in the bottom of the bottom pan is a normal condition.

  2. Check the bottom pan for any excessive debris.

Was excessive debris found?

--

Go to Step 9

Go to Step 10

9

  1. Repair the transmission if required. In some cases, overhaul may be required.
  2. Flush the transmission oil cooler and pipes and check flow. Refer to Transmission Fluid Cooler Flushing and Flow Test .
  3. Add enough DEXRON®III automatic transmission fluid to bring the fluid level to the bottom of the threaded plug hole.
  4. Start the engine and allow the engine to idle until the transmission fluid temperature has reached the value specified.
  5. Depress the brake pedal and move the shift lever through the gear ranges, pausing a few seconds in each range. Return the shift lever to the PARK range.
  6. Raise the vehicle on a hoist. The vehicle must be level, with the engine running and the shift lever in the PARK range. Refer to Lifting and Jacking the Vehicle in General Information.

    Caution: The engine must be running when the transmission fluid fill plug is removed, or excessive fluid loss will occur. Transmission fluid may be hot. Since the actual fluid level is unknown, stand clear when removing the fill plug. Have a container ready to capture any lost fluid. Do not turn the engine off with the fill plug removed, as you can be injured by hot transmission fluid being expelled out of the oil fill opening.

  7. Remove the transmission plug.
  8. If needed, add DEXRON®III automatic transmission fluid in increments of 0.5 L (0.5 qt) until the fluid drains from the threaded plug hole.

    Notice: Use the correct fastener in the correct location. Replacement fasteners must be the correct part number for that application. Fasteners requiring replacement or fasteners requiring the use of thread locking compound or sealant are identified in the service procedure. Do not use paints, lubricants, or corrosion inhibitors on fasteners or fastener joint surfaces unless specified. These coatings affect fastener torque and joint clamping force and may damage the fastener. Use the correct tightening sequence and specifications when installing fasteners in order to avoid damage to parts and systems.

    Important: Before installing the fill plug, apply GM P/N 12345382 (Canadian P/N 10953489) to the thread of the line pressure plug.

  9. Allow fluid to finish draining out of the plug hole. Install the plug and tighten to specified value.
  10. Wipe any excess fluid from the transmission with a rag or shop towel.

Is the repair complete?

At least 40°C (104°F)

12 N·m (9 lb ft)

System OK

--

10

  1. Change the fluid and the fluid filter. Refer to Automatic Transmission Fluid Filter and Seal Replacement .
  2. Start the engine and allow the engine to idle until the transmission fluid temperature has reached the value specified.
  3. Depress the brake pedal and move the shift lever through the gear ranges, pausing a few seconds in each range. Return the shift lever to the PARK range.
  4. Raise the vehicle on a hoist. The vehicle must be level with the engine running and the shift lever in the PARK range. Refer to Lifting and Jacking the Vehicle in General Information.

    Caution: The engine must be running when the transmission fluid fill plug is removed, or excessive fluid loss will occur. Transmission fluid may be hot. Since the actual fluid level is unknown, stand clear when removing the fill plug. Have a container ready to capture any lost fluid. Do not turn the engine off with the fill plug removed, as you can be injured by hot transmission fluid being expelled out of the oil fill opening.

  5. Remove the transmission plug.
  6. If needed, add DEXRON®III automatic transmission fluid in increments of 0.5 L (0.5 qt) until the fluid drains from the threaded plug hole.

    Notice: Use the correct fastener in the correct location. Replacement fasteners must be the correct part number for that application. Fasteners requiring replacement or fasteners requiring the use of thread locking compound or sealant are identified in the service procedure. Do not use paints, lubricants, or corrosion inhibitors on fasteners or fastener joint surfaces unless specified. These coatings affect fastener torque and joint clamping force and may damage the fastener. Use the correct tightening sequence and specifications when installing fasteners in order to avoid damage to parts and systems.

    Important: Before installing the fill plug, apply GM P/N 12345382 (Canadian P/N 10953489) to the thread of the line pressure plug.

  7. Allow fluid to finish draining out of the plug hole. Install the plug and tighten to specified value.
  8. Wipe any excess fluid from the transmission with a rag or shop towel.

Is the repair complete?

At least 40°C (104°F)

12 N·m (9 lb ft)

System OK

--

11

    Notice: Use the correct fastener in the correct location. Replacement fasteners must be the correct part number for that application. Fasteners requiring replacement or fasteners requiring the use of thread locking compound or sealant are identified in the service procedure. Do not use paints, lubricants, or corrosion inhibitors on fasteners or fastener joint surfaces unless specified. These coatings affect fastener torque and joint clamping force and may damage the fastener. Use the correct tightening sequence and specifications when installing fasteners in order to avoid damage to parts and systems.

    Important: Before installing the fill plug, apply GM P/N 12345382 (Canadian P/N 10953489) to the thread of the line pressure plug.

  1. Allow fluid to finish draining out of the plug hole. Install the plug and tighten to specified value.
  2. Wipe any excess fluid from the transmission with a rag or shop towel.

Is the repair complete?

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