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Discussion Starter #1
Couple things went right.
1-Dexron VI on sale.... so I bought 11 quarts.
2-I recently passed 50,000.

Since I do alot of severe driving (stop and go LA traffic) I decided to drain the transmission.
Note ....this is a PARTIAL drain... as more fluid remains in the trans cooler, lines, torque converter.
My plan--
drain 5 qts-
refill-
drive for a few hundred miles to circulate the fluid and repeat.

Manual says 5.3 qts of fluid on a drain.
I MARKED the full line on the bottles... for reference later.
with a hot engine/trans- I checked the trans dipstick several times to see the current fluid level. On mine it reached the HOT mark.

You will need
plastic sheating (paint supply section of Home Depot).
Cardboard (I use it to absorb any splash drops- and to help me slide in/out easier.
7/16 socket or wrench.
a container to catch used fluid. (I Used a square 28 qt container from Wal Mart).
5-6 qts of Dexron
a long funnel to reach the trans- for refilling fluid.

THe Drain plug is very easy to get to--- MUCH easier than the engine drain bolt... Im thin-- I didnt even need to raise the vehicle and slid in from the front of the vehicle.



I personally marked the drain plug and trans- with a Sharpie- so I have reference when I put it back on. note the little black line....



Remove the drain plug- and allow it to drain. (I also opened the trans dipstick).







The bolt is in good condition. It has that thread sealer stuff on it.




Once its done draining put the bolt back in. The reason for the mark--- once the marks lined up as in the 2nd pic above- I turned it about another 45 degrees so that the thread stuff would get into the threads.

I then refilled the trans with 5 qts.




To double check- I refilled the empty bottles with the used fluid-- up to the line I had marked way back at step one.

I ended up with 4.8 qts in the bottles. (I refilled with 5 qts).

Here is what the bottom of the container looks like--- no debris.
For color reference-- I wiped used fluid and new fluid on white paper towel....
(Disregard the German Shepherd hair--- theyre always keeping me company)...

interesting that the used fluid looked a little more red when I wiped it on---
in the camera pic- it shows no tint of red... looks more like motor oil...
but there was a tint of red in there.
No smell of burnt fluid






Clean up- and check all dipsticks. put away tools.
This was about 1:30 of work- mostly due to pics and refilling containers with the turkey baster.
Next time I do this- It will probably be 30-40 min.

I will drive and recheck fluid level.
 

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Thanks for the step by step. Great info.
Am I to assume the filter is non serviceable?
Tim C.
 

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Just to clarify, to get a proper fluid level check - park on a level surface, the engine is running, the transmission fluid is at operating temperature, and the transmission is in Park (set the parking brake).
 

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Thanks!!
Tim C.
XRDreamliner said:
Correct. The filter is lifetime.
 

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Finally got around to changing my transmission fluid yesterday. I had the same discoloration of the fluid. Fluid did not smell burned. Very easy service and no where near the cost the dealer would charge.
Tim C.
 

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Did the first round of the "75% fluid change" today. Went ok for a first time. Thank you rbarrios and others for the handy information.

The old fluid didn't look too bad but suspect the dealer had to replace most of it when my transmission was rebuilt for the waveplate defect...didn't see any debris in the drain pan.

Surprisingly I found filling the transmission back up with fluid be the most challenging. Even using what seemed to be really long funnel identical to the one in the photos I found it sat too low in the engine bay to pour without spilling. Also the opening for the dipstick is really small and the funnel won't just sit in it - you need to hold on to it. I'm going to have to think on a better approach for the 2nd half of the fluid change.
 

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Outlook Guy 007 said:
Did the first round of the "75% fluid change" today. Went ok for a first time. Thank you rbarrios and others for the handy information.

The old fluid didn't look too bad but suspect the dealer had to replace most of it when my transmission was rebuilt for the waveplate defect...didn't see any debris in the drain pan.

Surprisingly I found filling the transmission back up with fluid be the most challenging. Even using what seemed to be really long funnel identical to the one in the photos I found it sat too low in the engine bay to pour without spilling. Also the opening for the dipstick is really small and the funnel won't just sit in it - you need to hold on to it. I'm going to have to think on a better approach for the 2nd half of the fluid change.
Why are you filling it up thru the dipstick. Lol
 

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Richychabo said:
Why are you filling it up thru the dipstick. Lol
Show me where else...don't see any other fill point.
 

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Ok, today I went a head and drained the transmission fluid. I used the Transmission Seaform. Ran it for about 5 miles, got back and the fluid was a dark brown. So I cracked the transmission drain plug, drained it out and refilled it with Dex6... It feels a little bit better, but the only problem is (this was happening before in changed the fluid) when I put it in to drive, it thats about 3-5 seconds for it to kick into drive, but if you put it into reverse, no wait time. The powertrain has 140xxx miles and I've really haven't had any problems. Sometime when it's cold outside, if I don't let the Engine and Transmission warm up, it won't go into gear, but thats only happen about 3 times.

Only thing left to really fix is the passager side motor mount, front and rear shocks, still trying to find out the best setup for the H&R Springs.

Do you really have to spilt the transmission to get to the transmission filter, or is it something I don't need to worry about? Going to change the transmission fluid again next week maybe to try to get the rest or more out of the Torque Converter...

Didn't see you ppost on the Transmission Drain, Delete mine, Thanks for the little write. Very easy job to do
 

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Transmission filter is a non-serviceable / lifetime component.
 

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First of all, I'd just like to say that this is an excellent post with great photos. I'm a 2009 Outlook owner. Mine has about 95,000 miles on it. It's beginning to show signs of high revving (on occasion) between shifts. It only occurs while I'm accelerating on an incline and hesitate for traffic and same thing when I'm decelerating on a decline in traffic. It's not really noticeable, just to me. Most times it doesn't do it. I know about the defective wave plates causing over revving like this, but that seemed to be prolonged revving, where mine only lasts a couple of seconds.

So, I was just wondering if a complete transmission system flush, maybe using BG conditioner, replacing 100% (or as close as possible) of fluid with Dex VI full synthetic, and "replacing the filter" as well. I know, that a couple of you have said that it is a lifetime filter, but that just doesn't seem right to me (filters and plugs always fail over time). Not that I don't believe that GM intended it to be that way. The Chilton's repair manual I have seems to agree as it does not mention filter change at all. However, it would seem to me, that over time, with tons of use, the heat and becoming dirty that it only make sense to change it at least at 100,000 miles. Similar to the way the big rigs or anyone else who is on a synthetic oil change program, where they run the same oil and periodically change the filters (I know that engines are under more excruciating extremes). But if it only requires me to remove 16 bolts and wiggle it loose, and slide the new one up in there; a brand new WIX filter with gasket is only about $25.00 while the AC Delco is $40.00.

I guess what I'd like to know, is there any good reason, besides the work involved or that it's supposed to be a lifetime part, that would prevent someone from changing it out? I'm trying to go this route before thinking of going in for a wave plate repair. Is there anyone out there who has actually changed filter and fluid and has seen a noticeable difference in tranny performance? Any sound advice appreciated.
 

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I'm not certain, but I think you would have to remove the transmission from the vehicle to access the filter. The "pan" is most likely on the side of the transmission and not accessible.
Tim C
 

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Discussion Starter #15
the transmission has to be split open to access the filter.
Such as when a major repair is being done.
If you look at it-- theres no pan- like the older units, its 2 halves bolted toghether.


Thats why I have drained/refilled- to keep the filter clean..... vs waiting to 100-150,000 to swap it.
Its very easy to do and cheap if you buy the oil on sale.

Mileage Ive done drains/refills

50,464
50,883

79,147
79,657
80,441

100,000

The 1st- 2 drain-refills- replaced 75% of the old fluid. Leaving 25% of the old.
At 80,XXX- I then repeated the procedure 3 times. This replaces 87.5% of 30,000 mile old fluid...leaving only 12.5% of the fluid- 75% of which was replaced 30,000 miles ago.

Overall at 80,000 the trans fluid is in very good condition- with very little old fluid left.
Filter should be relatively clean- since fluid has been drained 'often' before it plugs it up.
 
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