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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
The other day I dropped my pan and to replace my transmission fluid and everything went great until I tried to fill it back to the proper amount. Now I'm confused. Oh, I have a 2003 S10 LS, 2.2l with auto tranny.

Once everything was back together, I added ATF through the dipstick until it reached the full indicator cold. I drove it around for about 10-15 minutes and checked it hot, there was nothing on the dipstick! I let it set overnight and again, before starting it is showed correct level at cold (cold engine reading the cold level), but after I drove it a bit and let the tranny warm up, I checked it again and the dipstick was basicaly bone dry.

How can this happen? Doesn't ATF expand when hot? Shouldn't the level on the dipstick go up when it's warmed up?

Now I don't know if I'm at the right level like it says when cold, or if I'm extremely low as nothing is on the dipstick when warmed and idling. I don't want to overfill it either.
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Please help!
 

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Electrical Mod
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How are you checking the transmission fluid? I believe you are suppose to check it with the engine running. If you don't have the engine running then it'll show higher than it really is when running.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
I was checking it two ways.

1. cold transmission, car having set overnight. I would read the cold line and it showed fine.

2. warmed up form 10 mins of driving, left idling and reading the hot lines.

the level is supposed to drop when the car is idling? I thought it would go up because the fluid is hotter.
 

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Electrical Mod
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You need to check it with the engine on, because the transmission pump will be filling up cavities of the transmission that aren't filled when sitting. So check it when you first turn the car on (cold) and after you drive it (hot). Check your owners manual, but the transmission is designed to be checked when the engine is on.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
got it, thanks. I wasn't thinking about the cavities being filled. I thought the fluid would expand when got and should show higher. I better fill it up more then!

Thanks!
 

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goin broke but n style
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Death is right. To check tranny fluid in any automatic the engine my be at idle. If you check it off you will get wrong reading.

When you do a filter change the tranny roughly holds 5 qts.

Since you ahve to fill thru the dip stick hole,. when you check make sure you check several times and give the fluid long enough to run down. If you dont you will still get wrong reading. Overfilling a tranny is worse than running it low. Dont mean to scare you, just take your time.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
lesson learned. Always check when running. It hasn't been driven much since the change thankfully. Now I'm concerned I might have damaged it. Hopefully not.
 
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