Transmission service on a 1999 Pontiac Grand Am

I have been told by two different service stations that my transmission has to be serviced by Pontiac because the transmission is sealed and there is no dipstick. I was also told that there is some type of key or something to get into it. I recently read in my Haynes repair manual that it can be serviced by draining the transmission fluid from the pan directly. There is a filler hole to refill the transmission fluid. This hole has a place to unscrew a cap. Is there a way to do this without taking it to Pontiac?
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Friday, October 12th, 2007 AT 1:30 AM

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Both service stations are missing out on sales, I wouldn't have any works done at a shop that told you that. It is a real PITA to do but, do-able.

Make sure you understand what is happening and where the level plug and filler holes are and how accessible they are. Keep in mind that this will be hot and if something happens like you drop the LEvel plug while trying to put it in, you can't shut the motor off or it will puke oil all over.

After you change the pan gasket and filter, (the vehicle must be raised level, you can't just jack up the front end), Start filling the trans and watch for fluid to start to come out the oil check hole, when it does start it up and add a little more fluid, the level will drop on start up. Let it warm up for about 5 minutes, continue adding fluid until the fluid comes out the plug hole again. With your foot on the brakes, shift through the gears holding in easch gear for 3 secoonds, return to park. Add check to see if fluid is still running out if not add a little bit to see that its full unless you can get you finger in there. Then cap it off. Also remember that fluid expands when its hot, so don't waste time with this, The temperature should be 104 degrees when checking, the longer it runs the more likely you will underfill it.

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Friday, October 12th, 2007 AT 5:29 AM

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