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Old 04-09-2012, 03:11 PM   #1
Quicksilver Vert 01
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Default How To Check A4 Transmission Fluid Level

The question "How do you check the automatic transmission fluid level on a C5" seems to be asked quite often. I've answered specific questions about it many times in the past, so I thought a write-up of the fluid level check procedure might be helpful to new owners of A4 equipped C5's.

Since the transmission on a C5 is located rearward of the engine compartment, a traditional dip stick and fill tube does not exist. This makes checking or adding fluid a bit more difficult, and requires a specific procedure to be followed exactly for accurate fluid level checks.

1. Start the engine and allow the engine to idle until the transmission fluid temperature, as displayed on the DIC, is between 86 degrees F and 122 degrees F. (104 degrees F is EXACTLY in the middle of the recommended temperature range for checking the fluid level.)

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 position.

3. If necessary, raise the vehicle high enough to gain clearance to the transmission fill plug. The fill plug is located on the LEFT SIDE of the transmission pan. The vehicle must remain in a LEVEL position when raised.

Caution: The engine must be running when the transmission fill plug is removed, or excessive fluid loss will occur. Since the actual fluid level is unknown, stand clear when removing the fill plug. 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. If needed, add automatic transmission fluid until the fluid starts to drain from the threaded plug hole. Be sure to replace the fill plug BEFORE turning off the engine.
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Old 04-09-2012, 05:41 PM   #2
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thanks.....was never aware of this and the danger of getting scalded. Is this info in the service manual as well?
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Old 04-09-2012, 05:56 PM   #3
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thanks.....was never aware of this and the danger of getting scalded. Is this info in the service manual as well?
Transmission fluid temperatures can easily reach 200 degrees or higher,
so it's important to be aware of that possibility.

Yes, the same precaution is also listed in the shop manual procedure.
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Old 05-10-2012, 09:58 PM   #4
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Are the 'drain' and 'filler' plugs the same plug?
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Old 05-11-2012, 04:17 PM   #5
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I obviously don't understand the mechanics of this: If the transmission is (basically) attached to the rear diff, it can't turn without actually driving, why does the car have to be running?

Also, can you please explain how to replace my shift solenoid(s) on a 2000 LS1 Coupe, Automatic 3spd w/OD? Is it something that a person with moderate mechanic skills should attempt to tackle? If so, do you have procedure, schematics, diagrams, or whatever that I can reference? (pictures are more helpful than words on some projects...)
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Old 05-12-2012, 08:34 PM   #6
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Are the 'drain' and 'filler' plugs the same plug?
There is no actual drain plug on the pan. The plug on the side of the pan is only intended for checking the fluid level, and for adding fluid.
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Old 05-12-2012, 08:43 PM   #7
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Originally Posted by Randy101 View Post
I obviously don't understand the mechanics of this: If the transmission is (basically) attached to the rear diff, it can't turn without actually driving, why does the car have to be running?

Also, can you please explain how to replace my shift solenoid(s) on a 2000 LS1 Coupe, Automatic 3spd w/OD? Is it something that a person with moderate mechanic skills should attempt to tackle? If so, do you have procedure, schematics, diagrams, or whatever that I can reference? (pictures are more helpful than words on some projects...)
The car has to be running because the transmission torque converter, which drives the internal oil pump, will drain transmission fluid back into the pan when the engine is off.

The fluid that drained back will cause the fluid level in the pan to rise above the fill plug, if the engine is not running during the level check procedure.

As far as replacing the shift solenoids yourself, I strongly recommend following the procedures and diagrams, in the appropriate Corvette shop manual for your particular model year.
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Old 05-15-2012, 11:11 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Randy101 View Post
snip.....
Also, can you please explain how to replace my shift solenoid(s) on a 2000 LS1 Coupe, Automatic 3spd w/OD? Is it something that a person with moderate mechanic skills should attempt to tackle? If so, do you have procedure, schematics, diagrams, or whatever that I can reference? (pictures are more helpful than words on some projects...)
Here is a pdf on replacing shift solenoid.
Attached Images
File Type: pdf Shift Solenoid Replace.pdf (90.8 KB, 262 views)
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Old 05-16-2012, 08:24 PM   #9
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Here is a pdf on replacing shift solenoid.
That's getting a bit off-topic for this thread, but it's still good information however.
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Old 05-17-2012, 10:17 AM   #10
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That's getting a bit off-topic for this thread, but it's still good information however.
Sorry for that. I forgot that this was a sticky and should have just PM'd the Op
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Old 05-17-2012, 10:46 AM   #11
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Sorry for that. I forgot that this was a sticky and should have just PM'd the Op
Not a problem.
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Old 05-20-2012, 09:12 AM   #12
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How often do you change the transmission fluid!

I know read the manual, you know it's guy thing we don't ask for driving instructions or read manuals.
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Old 05-20-2012, 09:51 AM   #13
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How often do you change the transmission fluid!

I know read the manual, you know it's guy thing we don't ask for driving instructions or read manuals.
This could start a whole new discussion again!

My advice, being somewhat on the conservative side, is to change the fluid in the pan about every 30k miles.
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Old 05-20-2012, 08:52 PM   #14
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From what I understand, you would warm the fluid up like you were going to check it and then pull the plug and then turn the engine off to drain the fluid to change it. Then, fill the sump and then start the engine and continue to fill until no more fluid goes into the filler hole. I have not changed mine yet, but am about to do it.
Are there any other details that I need to know? Thanks
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Old 05-21-2012, 12:54 AM   #15
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Can I ask this question which might be related. I just bought a 97 auto and when I am coasting and I hit the gas, the car revs high and I do not go anywhere. When I accelerate slowly the car has plenty of power and speed. Could this be a result of low fluid? Where the torque converter cannot catch up basically. Any thoughts? Also, how do you change the filter? This car has sat for almost a year.
thanks
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It's possible that low fluid level has caused the clutch packs to slip.

The filter simply pulls straight down after the pan is removed.
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Old 05-21-2012, 01:08 AM   #16
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Originally Posted by ensteele View Post
From what I understand, you would warm the fluid up like you were going to check it and then pull the plug and then turn the engine off to drain the fluid to change it. Then, fill the sump and then start the engine and continue to fill until no more fluid goes into the filler hole. I have not changed mine yet, but am about to do it.
Are there any other details that I need to know? Thanks
You would only drain about half of the pan's fluid from the side mounted fill plug. Removing the pan will drain about 4.5 quarts of fluid.
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Old 05-26-2012, 08:46 AM   #17
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Well I had the filter and fluid changed today. The mechanic said there was about 1/4 of an inch of metal shavings in the bottom of the pan and he only drained about a quart of fluid. Its actually shifting fine but its hard to going into third, have to accelerate to get it to shif thoughts?t
You're getting way off-topic for this sticky. Start a new thread for some advice and opinions.
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Old 09-08-2012, 03:34 PM   #18
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Default can some one post a pic of the drain plug ??

I'm assuming it's the one that is very easily accessible looking ? And not hidden up on the side of the transmission somewhere ??? Don't understand how you can fill fluid into that with out it coming right back out ? it appears to be on the bottom of the pan, not the side....could some one post a pic of the A4 drain/fill plug location ?? TKX, they want almost $200 to do it at the shop, seems wayy high
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Old 09-08-2012, 04:06 PM   #19
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First you need to make sure the car is level when you take it up in the air, unless you have a lift, this is very difficult to because it is hard to get the car high enough without getting burned on the pipes. Then you have to get the trans warmed up and then pump the fluid in or use a really long funnel. I have changed mine on a lift, ok job, off of the ground, miserable job and paid a dealership to do it and when you compare the price to regular oil changes, its not bad...like someone said if you change it every 30,000 miles for 200 bucks when you consider the price of the filter, the 11 quarts of oil its about the same cost as getting your engine oil changed within the same amount of miles. Imo, I pay to have my fluids changed! Lol....just my two cents
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Old 09-09-2012, 09:26 AM   #20
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First you need to make sure the car is level when you take it up in the air, unless you have a lift, this is very difficult to because it is hard to get the car high enough without getting burned on the pipes.
I just drive the front of the car up on ramps, which raises it about 10 inches, then jack the rear up the same height, and use jack stands to support the rear.

Removing the LR wheel will also make it easier to work underneath the car.
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Old 09-09-2012, 09:26 AM
 
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