Originally Posted by quadraria10
Just realized today that I have been running my transmission with low fluid. I have been mistakenly measuring it on the cold side of the dipstick first thing in the morning as I do for oil. I did not realize that when checking it with the motor running, and the trans in park as you are supposed to do, the level actually goes down. In my case I was at the bottom of the cold temp maker. Added half a quart and it appears I am still only a bit over halfway on the cold indicator. Find the dipstick a bit tricky to get a clear read on. Based upon my experience I can see how lots of people who do a drain and fill themselves might underfill it as I did.
I guess I should take out the obd reader when I do my drain and fill, so that I can read the fluid temp and fill to the appropriate level. Probably good practice in case my future includes a cvt transmission. I suspect my 4AT is a bit more tolerant when it comes to fill level. Was not experiencing any issues I was aware of.
Good job Quadraria.
Don't forget to go thru all the gear's prior to putting it in Park. Also when I check mine in the Cold Range, I'm usually doing an oil change as well, so I crank up the engine let the idle speed go down to Normal Operateing idle speed, and pull out of the Garage, kill the engine and sweep out the garage floor so that I won't be slideing around in bug's and dirt. Doing it this way allow's the engine, coolant/ATF to get warmed up more which equal's expansion. I recrank the engine and back into the Garage, Remove the ATF holding Bolt, and watch the Coolant Gauge to let it get to operateing temperature which also is warming up the ATF by the Coolant. Then with the engine still running I move the gear shifter through all the gear's and leave it in the Park position. With the engine still running I pull the ATF dipstick out and wipe it off and reinsert it to get an accurate Cold Range Reading. I try to get an ATF Level at 3/4 Full as a Safety to Not Overfill.
Another thing to remember on Mine (With V6) is that there is only about 8 oz between the Low and Full Mark's in the Cold Range.
One day I hope to get a Scangauge II so that I can check the ATF at 149F useing the Hot Range, but doing it the way that I've been doing it for the Cold Range, I feel ok, as I'm letting the ATF warm up good (Again For Fluid Expansion), and Keeping the Level a 3/4 Full so that I don't OverFill.
Personally I think that the Service Department's should make a better effort to ensure that the ATF is at the Proper Level. They are most likely constrained by the amount of time that it take's to check the level at the Hot Range. Also IMO, the Service Manual should Specify in Bold Letter's that the Level has to be rechecked after a Drain and Fill to account for the amount of ATF that is lost in Spillage during Draining. I was amazed at how much I lost during the Drainage Process.