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Author Topic: Transmission Fluid Change.  (Read 56334 times, 147 Replies)
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« Reply #100 on: March 31, 2011, 10:46:47 PM »

Hi GeoHawk,

How does one enable the DIC to read the TFT? Is it even possible on the Acadia?

I too would like to know how this is possible


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« Reply #101 on: April 01, 2011, 02:41:10 AM »

Here's the method I used on my Mustang, but it could be used for the Lambdas as well.  You need a buddy to start and stop the car.

1) I bought a big clear tupperware pan and put measurements on it for quarts.  In other words, I filled the pan with a measured quart, then marked the pan and did so up to 2 gallons.  I did the same with a 5 gallon bucket I bought, but put marks up to 15 quarts or so.  Transparent or white will work as long as you can reasonable see through it if you put a light to it.  I also bought a clear tubing large enough to fit over the transmission cooler line (5/8" or so).

2) I drained the transmission oil from transmission pan into my tupperware pan.  I took out the filter and drained it as well.  Bottom line, I made sure to get as much oil into this big pan.  *** Note: We don't have the filter or removable pan so this step should be skipped; all you need to do is loosen the drain plug on the Lambdas.

3) Checking the pan for the approximate quarts that came out, I put a new filter on, then the transmission pan on, and filled my transmission with the approximate quarts taken out.  *** Note: We don't have a filter so for this step just tighten back the transmission drain plug on the Lambdas.  Also, the owner's manual tells you approximately how many quarts to put back in after a drain/refill so don't need to worry too much on what you took out.

4) I then took out the transmission cooler line at the radiator.  [The line you want to take out is the one where transmission oil is COMING FROM the transmission, into the transmission cooler on the radiator.]  I put the clear tubing over this, and routed the other end of the tubing into the measured 5 gallon bucket.

5) I took out the transmission oil dipstick, and put a funnel on it and had my transmission fluid ready to fill the transmission. 

6) I had my dad turn on the car, and watched the old transmission oil come out into the measured bucket.  It actually did not flow too fast.  As the old transmission oil was filling the bucket, I added new fluid through the transmission dip stick tube.  I had my dad turn off the car several times so I could catch up filling new fluid, and so that the transmission was not low on oil as well.

7) I kept continuing until I replaced the total amount of fluid for the transmission (thus, if 16 quarts was the total transmission fluid capacity, and I filled 4 quarts after draining the fluid from the transmission pan, I refilled 12 quarts by the drain-replace method).

Cool Once completed, I rechecked the transmission fluid and made sure it was filled to the appropriate amount on the dipstick.

It sounds like a lot of work, but actually I was surprised at how easy this was.  The drain-replace method gets all the old fluid out and replaces it with new fluid.  Note that my fluid was dirty with 37,000 miles on it, so I was glad I replaced all of it.
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« Reply #102 on: April 01, 2011, 09:45:47 AM »

I too would like to know how this is possible


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I think this is a general set of directions from a manual.  Some other GM vehicles have a trans fluid temp gauge.  Some of the full size silverado trucks have them.  We would have to use the scan tool.
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« Reply #103 on: April 01, 2011, 12:15:40 PM »

Hi GeoHawk - thanks for posting the procedure.  My fluid level must have read high because the engine was not running when I checked it.

When you did a drain & fill, how do you get the fluid level right?  Did you add some fluid, but not enough to fill it, then check & top up later when at operating temperature?  Or did you measure the amount you removed and match that?

I added fluid until it registered on the dipstick (before starting), started and drove the vehicle around to get it up to temp then checked the level again.  The drain and refill procedure states that you will get about 5 quarts out just from draining it, so I started checking the dipstick after about 4 quarts were added and kept adding small amounts until it showed up on the dipstick.  The first time I drained/refilled, I had the front end up on ramps.  Since the drain plug on the trans is toward the front of the vehicle I didn't get all 5 quarts out, only about 4.5.  The second time I did it I was able to squeeze under the car and do the procedure without the ramps and got pretty much 5 quarts out.  
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« Reply #104 on: April 01, 2011, 12:19:05 PM »

Hi GeoHawk,

How does one enable the DIC to read the TFT? Is it even possible on the Acadia?

Unfortunately it's not possible to read the trans temp on the Acadia DIC.  The DIC in my Silverado does show the temp, which is real nice.  For the Acadia you would need a scan tool as s2acadia mentioned.
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« Reply #105 on: April 02, 2011, 05:31:54 AM »

Why couldn't you just get a infrared thermometer and measure the temperature of the case on the outside.  Wouldn't this be approximate enough?
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« Reply #106 on: April 02, 2011, 08:14:42 AM »

Why couldn't you just get a infrared thermometer and measure the temperature of the case on the outside.  Wouldn't this be approximate enough?

Why would you need to worry about it that much if you just run the vehicle for about 15 minutes to get the temps up to normal operating temps? Huh?
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« Reply #107 on: April 04, 2011, 05:14:45 PM »

Why would you need to worry about it that much if you just run the vehicle for about 15 minutes to get the temps up to normal operating temps? Huh?
That's pretty much what I ended up doing.  Just got the vehicle up to normal operating temp by driving around and checked it.  I rechecked the fluid level a couple more times over the next week just to make sure it didn't change.
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« Reply #108 on: June 05, 2011, 09:47:21 PM »

Just drained and re-filled the transmission fluid in my '09 Outlook @ 41K miles, with almost 5 qts. of Castrol Dexron VI ATF. 

http://www.castrol.com/castrol/sectiongenericarticle.do?categoryId=9012227&contentId=7028225

Very simple to change!

Sent a UOA to Blackstone Labs.
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« Reply #109 on: June 05, 2011, 10:13:34 PM »

You drained 5 qts, didn't think you could get that much from the drain plug


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« Reply #110 on: June 05, 2011, 11:22:19 PM »

You drained 5 qts, didn't think you could get that much from the drain plug


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Actually you get more than 5 qts.

I got a little over 5.5 qts
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« Reply #111 on: June 05, 2011, 11:50:00 PM »

Just wanted to add - I didn't put the Outlook on ramps.  The fluid was @ operating temperature, and I allowed it to drain until it was a slow drip.

I think you'll see some variance on the amount drained, whether you use ramps, the fluid level in the transmission prior to draining, etc.

So expect between 4.5-5.5 qts. to be drained.  Regardless, I filled initially with 4.5 qts., and checked the level.  The service manual points out it doesn't have to be at MAX, just as long as the fluid level falls within the cross-hatched region on the dipstick. Cheers

And don't overfill!
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« Reply #112 on: June 05, 2011, 11:51:50 PM »

How dark was the fluid
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« Reply #113 on: June 05, 2011, 11:57:38 PM »

How dark was the fluid

The fluid wasn't dark at all.  No odd smell, either.  I'm curious to see what the UOA results turn out to be...
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« Reply #114 on: June 06, 2011, 09:50:17 AM »

Draining five quarts leaves several dirty quarts still in there.
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« Reply #115 on: June 10, 2011, 11:27:52 AM »

Blackstone UOA Report:



Since it's so easy to do, and as remarked, it doesn't get ALL the used fluid out, I'll drain and replace another 5 qts. @ 50k miles
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« Reply #116 on: June 10, 2011, 01:01:40 PM »

time to upload the jpg to photobucket or similar.

yeah- sounds like the easiest is to change 5 qts. drive vehicle for 5-10K- and then drain out some more-
by then youll have pretty good oil in there.
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« Reply #117 on: June 10, 2011, 01:03:33 PM »

Draining five quarts leaves several dirty quarts still in there.

Yeah, just doing the drain and refill gets about half the fluid out.  Doing it twice would get you 75%.  I've done that twice now - once around 25K miles and once just recently at 50-51K miles.

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« Reply #118 on: June 10, 2011, 01:25:02 PM »

From another website - it's generic, but still provides some further data.

AUTOMATIC TRANSMISSION EXPLANATIONS

Bearing/Gear = Chrome + Iron

When Chrome and Iron are found in automatic transmission fluid, one or more of the bearings has worn, causing wear to the gear that runs on that bearing.

Bearings = Chrome

When an elevated level of Chrome is detected, one or more of the many needle/ball bearings may be showing signs of wear.

Clutch Disc Pack = Lead + Copper (Iron)

Automatic transmissions work based on friction in the clutch packs. Much the same way the friction in your brakes stop your car/truck, friction in your transmission makes your vehicle move. Lead and Copper gather in your transmission’s fluid as you drive and needs to be serviced at regular intervals to be removed. The longer between services, the more contamination you will find in the fluid. When there is an abnormal amount of Iron present with Lead and Copper, it is a good idea to have your transmission specialist do additional diagnostics. On new (under 30,000 miles) or recently rebuilt transmissions, it is normal for break-in material to be found.

Clutch Pack Bearings/Thrust Washer = Copper + Lead + Tin

Rotating internal transmission parts have lubricated bearings and thrust washers. Lead and Tin make up the surface of these bearings, and when Lead plus Tin plus Copper are found together in transmission fluid, it indicates the beginning of bearing wear. Have your transmission specialist do further diagnostics to determine if or what services are suggested.

Torque Converter = Aluminum Only

The torque converter in your automatic transmission is what lets you sit stopped at a traffic light and allows your engine stay running. It is a steel housing with Aluminum fins inside that push the fluid that makes your vehicle move. High normal Aluminum indicates minor wear. Do a transmission service and monitor for any increases in Aluminum content. Abnormal Aluminum indicates moderate wear and may be accompanied by vibrations.

Dirt/Seal Material = Silicon

Silicon can come from Dirt getting into your transmission from vent areas or worn seals. It can also come from coolant mixing with your transmission fluid from a defective oil cooler in the radiator. Abrasive dirt, or Silicon with low levels of Aluminum, can cause serious damage if it is not removed with a transmission service. Silicon, by itself, can also come from recently replaced seals and gaskets.

Gear = Iron Only

There are many gears in an automatic transmission. Fluid pressure in the clutch packs select the gear you are in. When there is Iron only, one or more of the gears is showing signs of wear. If Iron only is found, have your transmission specialist do further diagnostics to determine if or what services are suggested.
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« Reply #119 on: June 10, 2011, 03:06:43 PM »

time to upload the jpg to photobucket or similar.

yeah- sounds like the easiest is to change 5 qts. drive vehicle for 5-10K- and then drain out some more-
by then youll have pretty good oil in there.
The only other benefit to having the dealer do it is they claim there is a solution they flush to clean the filter element.  I have no way of knowing if that really does anything.
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