Overfill on ATF from new.

Joined
Aug 6, 2012
Messages
170
Location
Central Florida
Finally got tired of trusting someone else to check my ATF level and bought a dip stick from Amazon. Was never comfortable with the way the 62TE was shifting around town. From what I could tell it appeared to be at least 6 oz. overfull. I pulled some out today until it was down to 20mm. Only slightly warmed from starting up and running through all the gears while sitting still, as per the instructions. After a couple short trips it seems to be giving me a good positive shift without the occasional hard bang into 2nd or 3rd. The older I get, the less I trust someone else to service my vehicle. What's up with that?
 
Joined
Aug 30, 2004
Messages
25,203
Location
CA
It is not uncommon to find the transmission overfilled from the factory. The CVT on my mother's Altima was about 1/4" over the full mark from the factory. With that said, be careful about following the instructions in the repair manual or the owner's manual on the proper fluid level check. Sometimes OEMs will issue TSBs to update the method in which the fluid level should be checked. For instance, on a lot of cars now, the fluid needs to be at a very specific temperature in order for the level check to be accurate. On the Nissan CVTs, it MUST be between 158 to 161F or else the fluid level will be incorrect. So be very careful about servicing the transmission on the vehicle unless you have the proper and most up to date instructions. This is why I'm fully supportive of taking out the dipsticks altogether......it is very difficult to get the fluid level perfect unless you do your homework (which most owners do not).
 
Joined
Feb 11, 2014
Messages
1,980
Location
Upper Midwest by the Lakes USA
Man it would be awesome if somebody could invent a dipstick "tool" for my new camy with the 6 speed AT. It has a side fill port where a dip tool could go. Ugh the process is a pain as is. And all the process specifically within ONE degree of level. And before some replies wise to that....yes..ONE degree is specific, non negotiable and proven.
 
Joined
Jul 3, 2005
Messages
36,340
Location
NY
I hear you about trust, I can count on one hand how many people I trust working on my car. It's two, and one of them is me. I hate the idea that a lot of these newer cars don't come with a transmission dipstick. They should charge an extra $3/car and put the stinking thing in. Then make it so you don't need a PhD in physics to check the level. Funny how someone with a limited skill set was able to pop the hood and check ATF for decades in the past. The major motivation for leaving the dipstick out is it forces more people back to the dealerships, and they save a few $$ per unit! Rant off.
 
Joined
Nov 9, 2008
Messages
18,718
Location
NH
Bugs me too. But somehow I managed on my one automatic. I didn't like it. But I changed it, and it hasn't exploded since. Then again, it's my first automatic. Maybe I'd be jaded if I had dozens of "conventional" automatics before? Last fall was the last time I drained differentials too, and I'm 99% sure that no diff has ever come with a dipstick. Yet they too ought to get oil changes on a near-same milage basis.
 
Joined
Feb 11, 2014
Messages
1,980
Location
Upper Midwest by the Lakes USA
There's got to be some incredibly easy way to check level in the non dipstick models. What I mean is that there is some kind of a physics "work around" that a real engineer or scientist type bitog guy or gal could figure out. Think of all the life hacks there are , like getting an egg into a bottle by suddenly cooling the bottle. And so forth. Whether is a magnet or electrical conductivity or something else...there is a "work-around" out there in science.
 
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