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2003 Chevy Malibu transmission Check

This is a discussion on 2003 Chevy Malibu transmission Check within the Automotive Support forums, part of the Tech Support Forum category. I figured id post this up for anybody who may have a similar year Malibu who is wondering where there


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Old 03-14-2010, 02:49 PM   #1
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I figured id post this up for anybody who may have a similar year Malibu who is wondering where there dip stick is. A few months back I noticed mine was leaking fluid from the return lines to the transmission cool(built into the radiator). I'm in Mississippi now but the car comes from near Buffalo N.Y.,where we had some awesome winters! Needles to say the road salt eat its way through the lines where the clip to steady them is located on the lower Rad support cross member.
I figured no big deal, I'll buy a bender cut and replace them no problem. That went out the window as the town I'm in is so small there isn't even a hospital(we have to go to the next town over a one hour drive). So after realizing i wasn't going be able to peace the lines in, I tried Flee Bay and found a good set with no rust on them. That's when I realized there is no dipstick to check the fluid level with, so I googled it and it seem GM in trying to save a few bucks eliminated it all together LOL? So for anybody needing to know how here goes....
1. The car MUST BE LEVEL AND RUNNING IN PARK, the fill cap is RED under the exhaust cross member(close to the break res.) You have to put yer hand under the cross member to undo the cap(CAUTION) cross member gets HOT USE A SHOP RAG ON TOP OF YOUR HAND!!!.
2. To check the fluid level you must remove a (11MM) bolt from the front of the passenger side of the transmission housing(where the passenger half shaft goes in) in the front side of the housing. Car should be running also when doing this, not sure why but.
3. What I did was start the car on a jack after I located the fluid check bolt and jacked it up. After starting the car I removed the filler cap and bolt, my car had lost a lot of fluid so I knew none was coming out. I then got out from under the passenger front tire, let the jack down I proceeded to fill the transmission with what I felt had been lost. At this point it is wise to(while idling) running the tranny through the gears letting it fill in all the little spots with fluid.
4. if your just topping it off and checking it, I suggest a drain pain under the fluid check hole while installing a half a quart at a time till you see fluid coming out of the hole.

Mine needed more fliud but luckily I caught it before I had driven it to much, as the car had been sitting a lot. I had installed the new lines prior to filling it, the car had been sitting for about five months and the batter was dead, I jumped it figuring I'd be buying a new battery. But the next day it held a charge so.........(looks up and says "thank you"!).
I just wanted to post this up in hopes of saving some person a royal pain in the back side, thanks for humoring me!

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Old 03-14-2010, 05:51 PM   #2
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I see that goes back to the 03 models too huh? Mines an 05, wish you;d posted this a year ago LMAO, took me forever to find that info, but I have the dealer check procedure in pdf format on my computer. My question is since the fluid has to be installed until it runs out of the fill plug hole, then why can we just remove the plug, and add fluid through the vent cap until it drains out the fill hole?

Think I'll ask that question next time I'm up there getting an electric switch

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Old 03-15-2010, 09:10 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wolfen1086 View Post
I see that goes back to the 03 models too huh? Mines an 05, wish you;d posted this a year ago LMAO, took me forever to find that info, but I have the dealer check procedure in pdf format on my computer. My question is since the fluid has to be installed until it runs out of the fill plug hole, then why can we just remove the plug, and add fluid through the vent cap until it drains out the fill hole?

Think I'll ask that question next time I'm up there getting an electric switch
Sorry to not be more clear, you have to add fluid from the vent cap on top(fill cap). Like I said I just start the car while on the jack(also use jack stands!) then lowered the car with both plugs removed, and add fluid till she runs out the full hole by the passenger half shaft. Than I just jack the car back up in stall the plug for the full check and the fill cap too. I imagine you could add it through the full hole below but it is so small, doing would be tough.
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Old 03-15-2010, 09:39 PM   #4
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Thanks, in my oem copy from Chevy it says to hook it up to the machine and pump it in through eth transmission lines, since I only have a driveway and not a Chevy dealership shop, knowing about running it down the vent cap will save me a hellofa lot of money :)
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Old 03-16-2010, 06:54 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wolfen1086 View Post
Thanks, in my oem copy from Chevy it says to hook it up to the machine and pump it in through eth transmission lines, since I only have a driveway and not a Chevy dealership shop, knowing about running it down the vent cap will save me a hellofa lot of money :)

Yeah I used to work in a transmission shop as a R/R guy I have done the flush and fill with the machine, they are great if you have access to one. They use that solvent to run through the system and clean it out before doing a refill. I also recommend using a special funnel that has a turn off valve built into it, made it very easy to only add a half quart at a time plus it saves on messes.
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Old 03-16-2010, 10:05 PM   #6
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I use one of these
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Old 03-17-2010, 12:15 PM   #7
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That's exactly what I used, perfect for the good!
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Old 03-17-2010, 03:02 PM   #8
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Quote:
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I have one of those too.


jaggerwild, I never worked in a Trans shop, but I have worked under a big shade tree most of my life :) and anybody with a 5th grade education can make what we in the country call a poor mans transmission oil changer, it doesn't clean anything, but it will change the oil, simply take 2 CLEAN 5 gal buckets, attach fittings to the bottom of one, make that one the supply, take the other and hook the hose to the top of the bucket, make sure the supply bucket is full, start the engine and watch the oil go out of the supply bucket and run into the empty bucket, when the oil comes out clear shut off the engine. Keep a empty bucket or two for after this is done to put the used oil in.
I've been doing it this way since I was 15, I don;t recommend leaving the vehicle unattended at all, and watch the bucket levels, add to the supply if needed and change the return when necessary.
Saves me about $125 around here.
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Old 03-18-2010, 06:04 AM   #9
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Cool! I'm all about the do it your self! I never heard of using that method, I just make sure the oil is warm. My transmission has 110,000 miles on it, never changed the fluid till now. It has pull a trailer from Niagara Falls N.Y. to Lake Tahoe NV from there to Florida, from there back to N.Y. and finally to Mississippi. I was scared to as it had so many miles on it, they say it will shock the transmission or what ever if you do it after waiting so long. So i had planed to just leave it till now........
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Old 03-18-2010, 01:56 PM   #10
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I've always done it that way ever since I saw whats known as a "T Teck " machine, which is a transmission oil changer that operates the same way, but has everything in a nice little case, as far as I know they stopped using that method back in the early 80's cause transmission oil changing became a "specialized" thing, that way the dealer could charge WAY too much money for it to be done

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