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Discussion Starter #1
The manual says there's no need to check the transmission fluid and there is no dipstick in the engine area that I can see, but then it says to always check the fluid before a towing trip and that it has to be at operating temperature when checking. I found the fill cap, but does anyone know if there is a dipstick somewhere or how to check the fluid level?
 

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the 1st gens have the dipstick attached to the fill cap.
2nd gen.. dont know.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
No dipstick attached. Odd that the manual would say you don't need to check the ATF, then tell you to check it when towing but not explain how when there's no dipstick.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Mine has that too, but an owner shouldn't have to go to a dealer to check a fluid level. If the dealer can check it, there must be a dipstick somewhere.
 

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There is no dipstick. My 2018 Avenir lost 8-12oz of coolant since its last oil change. There are no visible external coolant leaks, no milkiness in the engine oil, and no condensation on the back of the oil cap. I'm very concerned that the coolant is leaking into the transmission through the radiator, so I wanted to dab the end of the transmission dipstick with an Acustrip (glycol test strip for ATF). Alas, that's when I found out the 2018+ with the 9-speed auto do not have a trans dipstick. You can find videos on Youtube on the procedure for GM 9-speeds. Get the vehicle up to operating temp and leave it running. Access the plug on the driver's side. Add fluid until it starts to weep out of hole. The whole process is designed to not be readily done by the at-home maintenance enthusiast. I'm still well within the powertrain warranty, so my next stop will be the dealer.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Which plug on the driver's side are you talking about? The fill hole on the top of the transmission with the black plastic screw cap, or is there another one somewhere?

Not having a dipstick and just filling until fluid leaks out is an intentionally stupid design failure.
 

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Mine has that too, but an owner shouldn't have to go to a dealer to check a fluid level. If the dealer can check it, there must be a dipstick somewhere.
They have a special dipstick in the service department that is for the dealers use. Most manufacturers have gone to a non owner serviceable transmission
 

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The black screw cap is just the fill port. The nine speed and previous six speed are similar in packaging. The photo below (snagged off Google) shows it on the six speed. If you are still covered under the powertrain warranty, I recommend taking it to them to check the level if you are concerned. In my experience, the two dealers that I use (one by home, the other by work) will do anything that they can to get out of a warranty claim if there is any chance (reasonable or not) that customer interference can be argued as a reason to deny a claim.

6383


To them, it's not a design fault. It's a way to keep people from overfilling their transmission, reducing warranty claims, and more importantly, drive traffic to the dealer service department.
 

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I
Which plug on the driver's side are you talking about? The fill hole on the top of the transmission with the black plastic screw cap, or is there another one somewhere?

Not having a dipstick and just filling until fluid leaks out is an intentionally stupid design failure.
its just designed so “you” can’t work on it. Manufacturers have designed today’s automobiles to be “throw away”. Think about it nobody has a microwave repaired out of warranty. They throw it away and go buy a new one. Somehow the manufacturers got it in their heads that we the consumer would just go along with that. The end game is to do away with the idea of “used cars”. I estimate that within the next 15 years car “ownership” will no longer exist and will be replaced with some sort of pay as you go thing and before anyone says no way that could never happen, just think of everything you thought could never of happened in the world 20 years ago. Rant over. Good luck with your dipstick!
 

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Discussion Starter #12
Thanks for the info everyone. Still think it's idiotic not to allow an owner to check something as important as the ATF. Why not just make the oil dipstick unavailable also? Or the coolant? Or the wiper fluid?

So just to clarify, "oil level set plug" should be "ATF level set plug", correct? And when it comes time to do a drain/fill, the correct amount is when ATF runs out of the plug? Doesn't seem very accurate.

And how does an owner know if there's ever a small leak, or if the fluid has turned black, if they can't check it?
 

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If enough fluid leaks out you would most likely experience shifting problems. As far as black fluid, with most transmissions I've seen, the fluid is usually clean-looking.

They have been using overflow plugs in small engines for many years, probably to keep us from over-filling them, as pointed out by entropy867.
 

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On my 2018 Enclave, the transmission fluid is checked with a scanner similar to but not x-ray. Takes seconds. My dealer wouldn't charge for the check.
 
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