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Old 06-16-2008, 01:19 PM   #1
jess3292
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Default 03 Ion Transmission Fluid Questions

I have a 2003 Ion with Auto Transmission with 98,000 miles - I need some help:

1) Were there different Auto transmission made my year? How would i figure out which transmission I have?

2) I am told my transmission is a closed system and therefore has no dipstick to check the fluid - Is there anyway to actaully check the transmission fluid level?

3) If I want to change the fluid - can I do it and what would be the best transmission fluid to use?

Thanks in advance for your help, guidance and assistance...JESS

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Old 06-16-2008, 02:30 PM   #2
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Default Re: 03 Ion Transmission Fluid Questions

1.if you have a coup you have a CVT, if you have a sedan, you have the aiasin 5 speed auto.

2.yes, there are an upper and lower fill hole, the upper one is where the fluid should be, the lower one is for draining.

3.yes, you can and I encourage you to, I use Royal purple and loved the results.

For what type and quantity ATF to use, read your manual, and it's a good idea to pick up a haynes manual for these cars.

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Old 06-21-2008, 02:02 PM   #3
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Default Re: 03 Ion Transmission Fluid Questions

I've got a transmission fluid report for my 2003 ION-3 posted in my Photos area if it is any help.

Saturn uses an "odd" Type IV ATF which may be more common now but was a real pain to find compatible brand ATF at the time so I just went with Saturn's Type IV.

I have heard of others using Royal Purple... Just make sure it matches/exceeds the specs in the Manual.

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Old 06-22-2008, 10:28 AM   #4
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Default Re: 03 Ion Transmission Fluid Questions

Has Anyone had any experience with this ATF:

Mobil ATF 3309

Specially selected friction modifiers and highly refined base oils to meet the demanding requirements of Aisin slip controlled lock up converter automatic transmissions.

For many Toyota, Lexus, Volvo, Saturn, VW and other imported and domestic vehicles where Aisin transmissions are used.

Meets key Type T-IV for Toyota/Lexus vehicles

Mobil ATF 3309 is recommended for use in transmissions made by Aisin AW requiring a fluid approved against Type T-IV, JWS 3309, GM 9986195 and Audi G-052-025-A2. These Aisin AW transmissions are used in CERTAIN domestic and foreign vehicles, including Toyota, Lexus, Audi, Saturn, Ford, Volvo, Volkswagen, Saab, Porsche, and Mitsubishi.


This looks like it is a good replacement for the Satur Type IV ATF - At least with a Mobil product you can feel comfortable...I have seen others talk aboutthe Royal Purple Brand but don't know much about them...

Any further comments would be appreciated...

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Old 06-22-2008, 10:30 AM   #5
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Default Re: 03 Ion Transmission Fluid Questions

2.yes, there are an upper and lower fill hole, the upper one is where the fluid should be, the lower one is for draining

ARE THESE EASY TO ACCESS TO CHECK ON THE ACTUAL FLUID LEVEL??? WHERE CAN I FIND THEM ON THE CAR?

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Old 06-22-2008, 12:42 PM   #6
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Default Re: 03 Ion Transmission Fluid Questions

royal purple is a good brand, they make their oils to exceed any other one out there. If the mobil specifies for aisin trannies, try to get it in synthetic.

I don't know where they are on the aisin, but on the getrag manual the drain one is on the bottom of the case side facing the subframe, you need to cut an allen wrench to get to it. What you're looking for is an allen key driven about quarter sized "plug", there are three, the drain, check, and fill plug. All of them look the same, and nothing else looks like them.

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Old 06-22-2008, 02:14 PM   #7
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Default Re: 03 Ion Transmission Fluid Questions

The Aisin trans has the drain plug on the bottom center of the trans facing the passenger side.







The fill is through the dipstick hole.

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Old 06-22-2008, 03:10 PM   #8
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Default Re: 03 Ion Transmission Fluid Questions

my $.02:

the fill tube will only flow a tiny stream of fluid, overdo it and your pricey T-IV fluid ends up on the floor. I take out the 8mm hex fill plug next to the gearshift cable/range switch and fill it there (5 quarts for a spill'n'fill).

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Old 06-22-2008, 04:33 PM   #9
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Default Re: 03 Ion Transmission Fluid Questions

Apparently the service manaul needs to learn a bit more.

MoparNut is correct. I did some digging in another transmission manual and there is indeed a lube fill plug on the top of the transmission.

...
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Old 06-22-2008, 09:10 PM   #10
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Default Re: 03 Ion Transmission Fluid Questions

Quote:
Originally Posted by jess3292 View Post
Has Anyone had any experience with this ATF:

Mobil ATF 3309

Specially selected friction modifiers and highly refined base oils to meet the demanding requirements of Aisin slip controlled lock up converter automatic transmissions.

For many Toyota, Lexus, Volvo, Saturn, VW and other imported and domestic vehicles where Aisin transmissions are used.

Meets key Type T-IV for Toyota/Lexus vehicles

Mobil ATF 3309 is recommended for use in transmissions made by Aisin AW requiring a fluid approved against Type T-IV, JWS 3309, GM 9986195 and Audi G-052-025-A2. These Aisin AW transmissions are used in CERTAIN domestic and foreign vehicles, including Toyota, Lexus, Audi, Saturn, Ford, Volvo, Volkswagen, Saab, Porsche, and Mitsubishi.


This looks like it is a good replacement for the Satur Type IV ATF - At least with a Mobil product you can feel comfortable...I have seen others talk aboutthe Royal Purple Brand but don't know much about them...

Any further comments would be appreciated...
You can now find Castrol Import Multivehicle ATF fairly easily. I just did a drain and fill on our 2006 Corolla, which specifies Type T-IV in it's Aisin transmission, using the Castrol ATF. I got the fluid at Autozone.

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Old 06-23-2008, 10:51 PM   #11
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Default Re: 03 Ion Transmission Fluid Questions

I do recall reading about Mobil ATF 3309 when I was looking for Non-Saturn branded T-IV ATF... But nobody seemed to carry it.

As others mentioned if you can get T-IV ATF that meets the specs needed at AutoZone or elsewhere... more power to you. As others have said (Saturn) T-IV ATF is EXPENSIVE stuff.

I was fairly certain on my 03 ION the "fill tube" was marked with what looks like a Yellow "dip stick" straight down near the Washer fluid and Coolant Overflow Tanks.

Never "checked" it so if you try and "pull" the stick/cover/cap/screw... Don't force it. It might break off or something, so try pulling/twisting/screwing it off with gentleness first...

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Old 06-24-2008, 09:36 PM   #12
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Default Re: 03 Ion Transmission Fluid Questions

Quote:
Originally Posted by lgodave View Post
... Don't force it. It might break off or something, so try pulling/twisting/screwing it off with gentleness first...
Funny, I used to tell the ex-wife the same thing...gad, I'm such a pig...lol

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Old 06-25-2008, 03:24 AM   #13
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Default Re: 03 Ion Transmission Fluid Questions

Quote:
Originally Posted by MoparNut View Post
Funny, I used to tell the ex-wife the same thing...gad, I'm such a pig...lol
har-har-har! Zing!

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Old 06-25-2008, 07:11 PM   #14
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Default Re: 03 Ion Transmission Fluid Questions

Bolted down


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Old 06-29-2008, 06:30 PM   #15
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Default Re: 03 Ion Transmission Fluid Questions

Thanks everyone for your advice and help...Here is what I accomplished and found out...

I spoke with Mobil and indeed they make the Mobil ATF 3309 - they told me that it would work perfectly with my car but that it has to be specially ordered - almost no chance you will find it on the shelf anywhere...

I ended up with the Royal Purple Max ATF - it meets the IV spec and is also synthetic - I spoke to Royal Purple and they said it was a much better replacement than the standard Saturn product...I bought 5 quarts @ $12.70 per quart at my local parts store...I had a local shop change the fluid for me and they charged me $75 in labor - huge savings over Saturn...

The car feels like a new car - amazing - tons of pep again and my mileage went way up - also much quieter on accelerations and going up big hills...Seems like it liberated my car!

There is a dipstick for checking the fluid on the top of the transmission under the hood - when you open the hood you look straight down and it has a yellow plastic cap on it - it is bolted down so you have to unbolt it to use it to check the fluid level or use it to fill fluid...

My manual says the transmission used 4.2 quarts - we filled with 4 quarts and the dipstick showed full...I will check it again in a few weeks...

Thanks again for all your help!

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Old 09-26-2017, 12:05 PM   #16
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Default Re: 03 Ion Transmission Fluid Questions

Been meaning to get my '03 ION's ATF changed again... Wondering how things have worked out for those that have changed their fluid before and those on the Hunt for After Market T-IV (3309 Spec).

Figure I'll probably go with an "exclusive" (Not Universal) ATF that covers T-IV and little else. Debating on if I should stick with a Conventional vs Synthetic ATF AND if I should go with a "Drain and Fill" vs "Flush".

Thinking a Drain and Fill of Conventional Toyota T-IV will be cost effective and "Safe". Then again leaving a lot of "old" fluid in has some draw backs.

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Old 10-10-2017, 08:58 AM   #17
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Default Re: 03 Ion Transmission Fluid Questions

Had the ATF changed (4QT Drain and Fill) last week. Should have bought some Toyota T-IV and brought it along for the shop to use. (They suggested they could get the fluid(s) I wanted... but in the end said it could get either GM T-IV or a compatible "Universal" ATF)

Went with the $18 a Quart GM T-IV... sent a sample in for Analysis will hopefully have results later this week. Depending on the Report might do another Drain and Fill at 150K (approx 8,000 miles).

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Old 10-20-2017, 12:18 AM   #18
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Default Re: 03 Ion Transmission Fluid Questions

Let us know how the sample comes back.

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Old 10-20-2017, 09:51 PM   #19
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Default Re: 03 Ion Transmission Fluid Questions

Ya Let us know how the sample comes back.

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