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Old 02-07-2007, 03:24 AM   #1
Spazie
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Default Transmission fluid leak

Ok, stupid question - does the S-series DOHC have a transmission fluid filter?

Cause if it does, mine's leaking.

I can see a filter that is orange and definitely NOT the Saturn oil filter (the ones my dealership uses are white), that is down underneath my battery. It's absolutely caked in fluid, and my transmission fluid is a little low. There's a small puddle of reddish fluid underneath where my car has been sitting in the garage for the past 2 weeks.

So .. considering I'm guessing that's a tranny filter, how often are those supposed to be changed? Cause that bright orange thing has been untouched since I got the car 3 years/55k miles ago. And it's definitely leaking.


This might explain why my transmission has been acting wonky lately.

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Old 02-07-2007, 06:59 AM   #2
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Default Re: Transmission fluid leak

If you have an automatic, the answer is yes and you are supposed to change the fluid and filter every 30K. I'd do it ASAP. You're flirting with a reverse slam. It's no harder to do than changing the oil.

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Old 02-07-2007, 12:04 PM   #3
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Default Re: Transmission fluid leak

> Spazie <

Also, affect a thorough examination of the front top of the transmission, for there is a gasket under the top plate.

I mention this, for when I picked up my car, new, it initially developed a "transmission leak", resulting in repeated changing of the filter by the dealership. It was finally determined that the gasket was the source, not the filter.

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Old 02-07-2007, 12:25 PM   #4
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Default Re: Transmission fluid leak

Kat,
As you know, none of my Saturns have automatics. But in all the great "which filter is best" debates here most agree, that the automatic transmission filter is among those items that you should get OEM from the dealer. Not sure why that is but, and if he is on and reads this, he can correct me, but Wolfman is one of those who reccomends the OEM filter.

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Old 02-07-2007, 02:23 PM   #5
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Default Re: Transmission fluid leak

how many quarts do you need to fill the transmission back up to the proper level after doing a fluid/filter change? my car is a 01 sc2...

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Old 02-07-2007, 05:23 PM   #6
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Default Re: Transmission fluid leak

Change it ASAP! Many times people with S-series automatics think they're transmission is going bad because of quirky shifting etc. when in reality a simple flush and filter change usually does the trick.

In all the Saturns my dad and I have fixed, I've never had one with a bad automatic transmission. They are rock solid. Manuals usually give out (diff pin) before the autos in my experience, atleast with the S's.

Your filter could be leaking because it's loose, or actually could be rusted. If it hasn't been changed in 3 yrs atleast, it needs to be changed.

I have personally seen a Saturn S aftermarket transmission filter fail, the gasket on the filter blew out and was leaking fluid. So, I'd say always go with an OEM filter. They're worth it.

Remember, the S series automatics had over like 40 patents or something, and THAT is where most the development money went with the S initially, so I'm confident they are rock solid and long lasting transmissions...with 30K changes!

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Old 02-07-2007, 05:37 PM   #7
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Default Re: Transmission fluid leak

Ok, is there a drain plug like the oil has, or should I just unscrew the filter and let the fluid drain from there? I'll tackle it this weekend. I haven't driven this car in several weeks because it's been too cold, but I've got a laundry list of minor stuff I want to do to it if it's nice enough on my next day off, including fixing the sunroof so I can drive in the cold again without my windows fogging up.

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Old 02-07-2007, 06:11 PM   #8
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Default Re: Transmission fluid leak

Quote:
Originally Posted by Spazie View Post
Ok, is there a drain plug like the oil has, or should I just unscrew the filter and let the fluid drain from there? I'll tackle it this weekend. I haven't driven this car in several weeks because it's been too cold, but I've got a laundry list of minor stuff I want to do to it if it's nice enough on my next day off, including fixing the sunroof so I can drive in the cold again without my windows fogging up.
There is a drain hole, similar to the oil drain plug. If you're under the car it will be on the right side of the transmission, on the side. Actually I personally think an auto transmission filter/fluid change is just as easy if not easier than an oil change.

Good luck

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Old 02-07-2007, 11:13 PM   #9
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Default Re: Transmission fluid leak

The owners manual has nice instructions on replacing the fluid and filter.

I believe one of the problems with aftermarket filters is leaking. Saturn has an external magnet that does not work well with aftermarket filters.

I have to laugh, when you said bright orange thing, I though Fram "the can of death". They do make a transmission filter, and it has three 666's on the outside (which may be a bad omen) :

http://www.partsamerica.com/ProductD...e=1158&ptset=A

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Old 02-07-2007, 11:38 PM   #10
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Default Re: Transmission fluid leak

That orange filter is probably a FRAM. Best bet is get a OEM from Saturn. Make sure you take out the magnet and clean it off. It fits on filter where it screws on to mounting. I had a Fram do the same thing on son's sl. I wised up and got the Saturn part.

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Old 02-08-2007, 02:44 PM   #11
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Default Re: Transmission fluid leak

Don't worry, I get all my parts from Saturn. (Employee discount. )

I'll tackle this on Sunday for sure. I'll probably have to run it out to my in-law's house to borrow some jack stands but it doesn't sound too difficult at all!



Tiger - Yeah, it's a Fram. Speaking of things with 666, our VUE has "666" in the VIN. Her name is Spooky because of that.

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