Arrgggghh!!! My transmission!!! :(

Re: Arrgggghh!!! My transmission!!! :(

Postby AngryPunk [OP] » May 8th 2020, 2:43pm

Thanks for clarifying. I was trying to get a stable reading at cold before taking it for a run, just in case there wasn't enough in it.
I'm still not sure what's going on. The cold reading is perfect (below the crosshatch) but when warm and idling I cannot get a reading at all. So I added a little fluid but now it's slightly too high when cold. It's not making a lot of sense to me.
It does seem to be shifting a little more smoothly, but I have put any stress on it yet. There's a new sound when I take off, like a little clink. I'm hoping that I didn't cause that.
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Re: Arrgggghh!!! My transmission!!! :(

Postby Mmusicman » May 8th 2020, 3:31pm

AngryPunk wrote:The cold reading is perfect...

Is this reading taken with it running?
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Re: Arrgggghh!!! My transmission!!! :(

Postby AngryPunk [OP] » May 9th 2020, 1:12am

Ok so cold it looked perfect. But at running temperature it looks like there's no transmission fluid in there at all. So I added a little more and now cold it shows a little too much. I've tried this multiple times now in multiple locations just in case the ground wasn't flat enough. I just can't understand it. Why would the level be lower when it is warmed up and idling than when it is cold?
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Re: Arrgggghh!!! My transmission!!! :(

Postby Mmusicman » May 9th 2020, 2:23am

AngryPunk wrote:Ok so cold it looked perfect.

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Re: Arrgggghh!!! My transmission!!! :(

Postby AngryPunk [OP] » May 9th 2020, 2:40am

Sorry Musicman. I apologise for the lack of clarity. I read your message and I reread it just now to make sure I didn't miss anything. What you're saying I think is that it must be both warm and idling when checking the correct level. That is exactly what I'm doing. The videos I followed said fill it to the "cold" section of the dipstick then start it and run through the gears. I did all of that. I have been checking both while hot and idling as well as when cold. So to clarify, when I said the level was perfect cold, I meant the level was in the right range for cold (where it is marked cold on the dipstick). I think I must be missing something still because I feel like I've followed everything you suggested. Again, my apologies . I didn't mean to cause you frustration. I am very grateful for your help and patience.
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Re: Arrgggghh!!! My transmission!!! :(

Postby sixsix » May 9th 2020, 2:49am

Might I suggest dropping by... anywhere and have someone else a tad more experienced and CONFIDENT take a look.
Running, warm and in park ( of course, in Park - weird instructions, I always thought... who would check it in drive or reverse ? )

Imagine getting in front while the 95 lb gf holds the brake ... :eek:
.

Well, after all... what would Banacek say ?... “It is only a matter of time before armed citizens, waiting or not for the police, take things into their own hands, fire on the rioters for personal and property prot. & end up hunted like dogs.”

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Re: Arrgggghh!!! My transmission!!! :(

Postby AngryPunk [OP] » May 9th 2020, 3:49am

Thank you for your reply. I shall do that.
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Re: Arrgggghh!!! My transmission!!! :(

Postby AstroWill » May 9th 2020, 4:37am

Check out your owners manual, starting at page 5-25

How to Check
Because this operation can be a little difficult, you may choose to have this done at the dealership service department.

If you do it yourself, be sure to follow all the instructions here, or you could get a false reading on the dipstick.

Notice: Too much or too little fluid can damage your transmission. Too much can mean that some of the fluid could come out and fall on hot engine part or exhaust system parts, starting fire. Too little fluid could cause the transmission to overheat. Be sure to get an accurate reading if you check your transmission fluid.

Wait at least 30 minutes before checking the transmission fluid level if you have been driving:
    When outside temperatures are above 90°F (32°C).
    At high speed for quite a while.
    In heavy traffic - especially in hot weather.
    While pulling a trailer.

To get the right reading, the fluid should be at normal operating temperature, which is 180°F to 200°F (82°C to 93°C).

Get the vehicle warmed up by driving about 15 miles (24 km) when outside temperatures are above 50°F (10°C). If it's colder than 50°F (10°C), drive the vehicle in THIRD (3) until the engine temperature gauge moves and then remains steady for 10 minutes. A cold fluid check can be made after the vehicle has been sitting for eight hours or more with the engine off, but this is used only as a reference. Let the engine run at idle for five minutes if outside temperatures are 50°F (10°C) or more. If it's colder than 50°F (10°C), you may have to idle the engine longer. Should the fluid level be low during this cold check, you must check the fluid hot before adding fluid. Checking the fluid hot will give you a more accurate reading of the fluid level.
Then, without shutting off the engine, follow these steps:

Checking the Fluid Level
Prepare your vehicle as follows:
    Park your vehicle on a level place. Keep the engine running.
    With the parking brake applied, place the shift lever in PARK (P).
    With your foot on the brake pedal, move the shift lever through each gear range, pausing for about three seconds in each range. Then, position the shift
    lever in PARK (P).
    Let the engine run at idle for three minutes or more.
    Then, without shutting off the engine, follow these steps:
    The transmission dipstick has a red handle and is located near the center of the engine compartment behind the air cleaner. See Engine Compartment Overview on page 5-74 for more information on location.
      1. Flip the handle up and then pull out the dipstick and wipe it with a clean rag or paper towel.
      2. Push it back in all the way, wait three seconds and then pull it back out again.
      3. Check both sides of the dipstick, and read the lower level. The fluid level must be in the COLD area, below the cross-hatched area, for a cold check or in the HOT area or cross-hatched area for a hot check.
      4. If the fluid level is in the acceptable range, push the dipstick back in all the way; then flip the handle down to lock the dipstick in place.

How to Add Fluid
    Refer to the Maintenance Schedule to determine what kind of transmission fluid to use. See Part D: Recommended Fluids and Lubricants on page 6-32.
    Add fluid only after checking the transmission fluid while it is hot. (A cold check is used only as a reference.) If the fluid level is low, add only enough of the proper fluid to bring the level up to the HOT area for a hot check. It doesn’t take much fluid, generally less than one pint (0.5 L). Don’t overfill.
    Notice: We recommend you use only fluid labeled [email protected], because fluid with that label is made especially for your automatic transmission. Damage caused by fluid other than [email protected] is not covered by your new vehicle warranty.
    After adding fluid, recheck the fluid level as described under “How to Check.”
    When the correct fluid level is obtained, push the dipstick back in all the way; then flip the handle down to lock the dipstick in place.

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Re: Arrgggghh!!! My transmission!!! :(

Postby AngryPunk [OP] » May 9th 2020, 5:17am

Thanks Astrowill. That's exactly what I needed to know. I don't have an owner's manual because when I bought the car, all the pages of the manual were stuck together. I guess this guy REALLY liked his astro.
The shifting through all gears then waiting 3 minutes was the piece I was missing. I will try that tomorrow.
Much appreciated.
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Re: Arrgggghh!!! My transmission!!! :(

Postby AstroWill » May 9th 2020, 5:52am

Any time!

We have a section with downloadable owner manuals in PDF form over here: https://www.astrosafari.com/viewforum.php?f=110

AngryPunk wrote:all the pages of the manual were stuck together. I guess this guy REALLY liked his astro.

:rofl:

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Re: Arrgggghh!!! My transmission!!! :(

Postby Mmusicman » May 9th 2020, 11:33am

AngryPunk wrote:The shifting through all gears then waiting 3 minutes was the piece I was missing. I will try that tomorrow..

NO.. this is NOT "the piece you are missing"

AngryPunk wrote:The videos I followed said fill it to the "cold" section of the dipstick then start it and run through the gears. I did all of that...

I think I'm FINALLY seeing the disconnect here.
This is not what the COLD indicator is for.

** I'm going to ask you a VERY SPECIFIC question (again)...
When you check it COLD... is the engine running???

>>> The level must ALWAYS be checked running... even when checking it cold <<<

You've indicated you are using the "cold" indicator as a level to "fill" it up to.
THIS IS NOT WHAT IT IS FOR!
It can be used to aid you in initially filling the trans, but it is not what it is for and means nothing if the engine is NOT running. When initially filling, you merely want to get a stick reading of any amount, hot or cold won't matter. As soon as you start the engine this level will immediately drop as it is sucked into the internals of the transmission (from the pan).

COLD is where the level would be if you checked it WHILE IT IS RUNNING COLD.
As mentioned, this is merely a "reference" point, level should increase slightly when warm, where it is more accurate.

Let me say it again slightly differently.... THE COLD LEVEL MUST ALSO BE CHECK RUNNING.
This is roughly where the level would show (if the engine/trans is cold and running)

"Filling" to the COLD level really means nothing (or very little)... because as soon as you start the engine, the pump sucks all that fluid out of the pan and into the trans and torque converter. You need to KEEP adding until it registers on the stick WHILE IT IS RUNNING! HOT OR COLD IT MUST BE RUNNING.

** You can check it "cold and running", or "warm and running"... but it must be running.

I think I must be missing something still because I feel like I've followed everything you suggested..


I this so!
I realize I keep repeating myself.. but this must be the problem.
Do you understand now what I am saying, and the very specific question I asked?

** The COLD mark is not for checking with the engine off.
** The transmission is not checked the same way you check oil.

Keep adding fluid (and checking the stick while running) until it finally shows up running.
You should be able to add about a quart at a time until it finally registers (since we don't know how much you've already put it)

** COLD: is fluid level of cold running transmission
** WARM: is fluid level of warm running transmission

Note: the sitting level with engine off will be higher than both of these.

The whole process of filling the trans is not that complicated. There is some initial guess work because when you first fill it (with engine off).. it will usually read excessively high on the stick until you start the engine and the pump pulls the fluid (from the pan) into the transmission. The level will instantly drop. Then you repeat the process. The idea here is that you don't want to run the trans when it's low or out of fluid (could damage it) so you only briefly run it to pull the fluid into the trans. Then you repeat, but when it's close to full you need to KEEP filling (with engine running) until it finally shows up on stick.

The fluid levels HOT and COLD is merely a "RANGE" of where the fluid level should be in a running engine. To low and the trans pickup (filter) would start sucking air, too high and the fluid may overflow (or interrupt something operational). The fluid is always moving. The fluid expands a little when hot, which is why they give you a hot and cold reading.. with the hot being the most accurate.

One more thing... check it with the van level.
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Re: Arrgggghh!!! My transmission!!! :(

Postby AngryPunk [OP] » May 10th 2020, 5:28am

Hi Musicman . You nailed it. I was missing that it needs to be running whenever checked. That explains a lot. I'm so sorry for causing you guys so much trouble. But I'm extremely grateful to you for making sure that I understand. I know now I've been running my transmission without enough fluid. I'll fix that in the morning. Thanks again.
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