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Old 12-22-2014, 06:25 PM   #1
jacek_p
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2003 ION-2 Sedan
Default 2003 sedan 2 ATF dipstick question

Yes, I did a search and that confused me even more. Some people said there is a dipstick, some people said sealed tranny, no dipstick. What I did see in mine is a flexible rubber tube on the top of tranny with some yellow plastic on top. Looked more like breather element than dipstick. I did some google image searches and nothing came out.

Does anyone have a picture or a link?

Also, should one drop a pan to replace internal tranny filter?

This is my first Saturn (and domestic car) and very different from what I'm used in imports (I used to own Yugo, Datsun, Renault, Nissan, Mazda, Subaru, and a few toyotas).

Thanks!

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Old 12-22-2014, 09:13 PM   #2
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2003 ION-2 Sedan
Default Re: 2003 sedan 2 ATF dipstick question

This is a picture from my car. The tube I'm referring to is just right to the metal AC pipe on the right (I know it needs cleaning):



It's easier to see in this image (not mine):

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Old 12-22-2014, 09:56 PM   #3
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2007 ION-2 Sedan
Default Re: 2003 sedan 2 ATF dipstick question

Nowhere on here is it said that it's a sealed transmission, other than people saying "i heard it's a sealed transmission". All ions have a sought hole for checking the level, but the 03-04 ions have a dipstick, also your owners manual will tell you whew it is, but it's a bolt on the transmission case.

...
2007 Saturn Ion 2
2003 Chevrolet venture lt

trifecta dealer for the U.P. and WI. There is no two door ion. Proudly driving one of the last saturns produced before gm killed the brand.

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Old 12-22-2014, 10:32 PM   #4
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2003 ION-2 Sedan
Default Re: 2003 sedan 2 ATF dipstick question

Quote:
Originally Posted by 2006 ion2 View Post
but the 03-04 ions have a dipstick, also your owners manual will tell you whew it is
I didn't see one for sure and I consider my self car savvy.
I also downloaded the 2004 manual (no 2003 for some reason, obsolete after 10 years?) from http://www.saturn.com/owners/owner_r...s/manuals.html
and not even one word on checking tranny fluid or dipstick. So, where are getting the info on dipstick?

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Old 12-23-2014, 12:18 PM   #5
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2003 ION-2 Sedan
Default Re: 2003 sedan 2 ATF dipstick question

Im not sure if the autos are the same as the manuals, but on a manual, the check and drain plugs are on the driver side of the tranny.
You have to remove the front driver wheel to get access to the 2 bolts.
If you have to, you can purchase a Haynes manual and it should pinpoint everything for you.
I buy one with every vehicle iv owned, and its been my savior many times lol

...
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05 Santa Fe 2.7L (Fefe) {Wrecked}

"A problem clearly stated, is a problem half solved."

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Old 12-24-2014, 09:00 PM   #6
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2003 ION-2 Sedan
Default Re: 2003 sedan 2 ATF dipstick question

Success.
I took delivery of the car today and found the dipstick based on the info I googled on the AW55 transmission (=AF23). It's in the front, low, and just next to the tranny pan that happens to be in the front and not bottom of the tranny. This is really weird location of both dipstick and the pan.

The only thing that seem to be different on Ion is the yellow plastic dipstick is secured by 13 mm bolt.

By the way, unlike what people say here, there is no frigging way the dipstick bolt can be confused with the 3rd gear anchor bolt that is on very top and has recessed hex head.

In case this helps someone else, here is mine:







Marry Christmas everyone!

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Old 12-24-2014, 09:45 PM   #7
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2007 ION-2 Quad Coupe
Default Re: 2003 sedan 2 ATF dipstick question

Quote:
Originally Posted by jacek_p View Post
The only thing that seem to be different on Ion is the yellow plastic dipstick is secured by 13 mm bolt.

By the way, unlike what people say here, there is no frigging way the dipstick bolt can be confused with the 3rd gear anchor bolt that is on very top and has recessed hex head.
Our 2007 Equinox has the same dipstick. It was secured with a 12mm bolt when I performed a DIY complete fluid exchange a few years ago (documented here).

The 3rd gear anchor bolt is often mistaken for a filler plug, not the dipstick bolt . A fellow Saturnfans member made did that when changing the fluid on their Vue last year, but was able to fix it without disassembling the transmission (link to thread). The service manual says the transmission must be disassembled if this bolt is removed so the manner in which they fixed it is very impressive.

Happy Holidays!

...
2007 Ion 2 Quad Coupe 5-speed manual 178K miles
2007 Chevy Equinox LT 187K miles

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Old 12-25-2014, 03:05 AM   #8
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2004 ION-1 Sedan
Thumbs Up Re: 2003 sedan 2 ATF dipstick question

It took me forever to figure this out too. Im car savy and couldn't find the dip stick or even the drain hole on my 04 automatic. I didn't have a manual but after asking these guys and my buddy to take a look we finally figured it out. My car had 185,000 miles on what looked to be the original trans fluid. Wow was it burnt smelling and black. Car shifted fine but after I changed the fluid it shifted better! I drove for about 100 miles and changed the fluid again. Thanks for posting this! Im sure it will help other people out. Just make sure to replace your trans fluid with the proper Toyota fluid for the af23 transmission.

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Old 12-26-2014, 02:12 AM   #9
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2003 ION-2 Sedan
Default Re: 2003 sedan 2 ATF dipstick question

Mine has 135000 miles, but ATF looks fairly fresh on the dipstick. That surprised me as the brake fluid is black and spark plugs were never changed by the previous owner(s). I'll eventually change it, but it's lower on my priorities list.

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Old 01-01-2015, 12:25 PM   #10
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2003 ION-2 Sedan
Default Re: 2003 sedan 2 ATF dipstick question

I just got the Chilton manual and it correctly describes the dipstick location although there is no picture. They also warn about the 3rd gear band anchor bolt on the top of the tranny. I still believe that info should be included in the owners manual (it's not).

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