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john -aka eauto
john -aka eauto, The Car Guy
Category: Saturn
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Experience:  ase tech 15 + years foreign domestic & european
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How do I check the transmission fluid in a 2005 saturn ion?

Resolved Question:

how do I check the transmission fluid in a 2005 saturn ion?
Submitted: 6 years ago.
Category: Saturn
Expert:  john -aka eauto replied 6 years ago.

Hi . Thank you for asking your question on JustAnswer. its a pain to do


NOTE: It is not necessary to check the transmission fluid level. A transmission fluid leak is the only reason for fluid loss. If a leak occurs have it repaired as soon as possible.

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 loss of fluid.

The fluid level should be checked when the transaxle is near Room temperature or at 40°C (104°F) .

CAUTION: Removal of the fluid level screw when the transaxle fluid is hot may cause injury. Use care to avoid contact of transaxle fluid to exhaust pipe.

The engine must be running when the transaxle fluid level screw is removed, or excessive fluid loss will occur. Since the actual fluid level is unknown, stand clear when removing the fluid level screw. Have a container ready to capture any lost fluid.

WARNING: Do not turn the engine off with the fluid level screw removed as you can be injured by hot transaxle fluid being expelled out of the fluid check hole.

  1. Let vehicle idle for three to five minutes with accessories off.
  2. Apply brake
  3. Move shift lever through all gear ranges, pausing three seconds in each range.
  4. Place shift lever in Park.

Important: Vehicle must be kept level on the hoist.

  1. Raise vehicle on hoist.
  2. Place oil container under fluid level screw.
  3. Remove the fluid level screw with the engine running at idle.
  4. Fluid level should be at the bottom of the fluid check hole. Because the transaxle operates correctly over a range of fluid levels, fluid may or may not drain out of the fluid check hole when the fluid level screw is removed. If fluid drains through the fluid check hole, this transaxle may have been overfilled. When fluid stops draining, the fluid level is correct and the fluid level screw may be installed. If fluid does not drain through the fluid check hole, the transaxle fluid level may be low. Proceed to ADDING TRANSAXLE FLUID.
  5. Install fluid level screw.

Tighten 12 Nm (106 lb. in.)

  1. Lower vehicle.
  2. Shut off engine.

Adding Transaxle Fluid:

With the engine running, add fluid at the vent cap location in half liter (1 pint) increments until fluid drains through the fluid check hole. Allow the fluid to finish draining through the fluid check hole.

  1. Install fluid level screw.

Tighten 12 Nm (106 lb. in.)

  1. Lower vehicle.



Thank you again for trusting us with your problem. John aka eauto

Customer: replied 6 years ago.
Can you tell me why the engine is idling hard after the battery was recharged? My daughter who is away at school is having this problem and she also stated that the car will not go above 20 miles per hour.
Expert:  john -aka eauto replied 6 years ago.
is the engine light on?
Customer: replied 6 years ago.
yes, she has checked the oil and the level is good
Expert:  john -aka eauto replied 6 years ago.
Thanks for visiting Just Answer.

The check engine light comes on when the on-board computer detects a fault in engine driveability or performance, transmission control system or transmission, or the emissions system, and a fault code is set and stored in the computer. Faults that can set the check engine light can range from a vaccuum leak, engine mis-fire, low engine compression, faulty sensor such as O2 sensor or other engine sensor, hydraulic pressure loss in transmission, transmission shift solenoid, open/short in wiring harness, emission evaporative system leak, or one of over a hundred different reasons.

The only way to know what set a fault code and turned the check engine light on is to have a diagnostic scanner hooked up to the on-board computer and read it for stored diagnostic fault codes. Many auto parts stores will do this service for free- (like auto zone)check with you local parts stores. If none in your area do, then you will have to take it to a shop and pay to have the computer read for stored fault codes.


Without knowing the fault codes numbers, it would be irresponsible to guess as to the cause as there are hundreds of possible causes."

Customer: replied 6 years ago.
Is it safe for her to drive the vehicle to have it checked at this point? I don't want the engine to seize up.
Expert:  john -aka eauto replied 6 years ago.
as long as the lights not flashing its safe
Customer: replied 6 years ago.
What lights? on the dash,the check engine light or the head lights?
Expert:  john -aka eauto replied 6 years ago.
As long as the engine light I's not flashing it should be safe to drive
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