Transmission Fluid Level - Quick Cursory Check
Keep in mind that your 41TE transmission contains about 9 quarts of fluid http://www.moveras.com/TechnicalSupport/QuickReference/TechnicalSpecs41TE.aspx
and you drop about half of that during a pan drop and filter change. So, being down a quart/liter of fluid is no big deal with all that other fluid available. Being overfilled is a worse situation.
There are three ways to check the fluid level in your transmission: Check your Owner Manual (OM) for two of them.
- when fluid is "hot" (OM)
, like after 15 miles of driving. Keep in mind that transmission fluid and motor oil take longer to warm up than your coolant so a warm engine doesn't necessarily mean the transmission fluid is at operating temperature i.e. "hot". Checking the transmission fluid when "hot", even though following the instructions in your Owner Manual, doesn't always lead to a correct reading. The level on the dip stick can be all over the place for some unexplained reason. Be careful. Done on a level surface and in Park.
- when fluid is "cold" (OM)
, a couple minutes after cold startup. Most dip sticks contain a cross hatched area for a "cold" reading. This reading seems easier to take than when "hot" for some reason - much more consistent. Done on a level surface and in Park.
- when fluid is cold and not flowing (quick cursory check)
. This is a "quick check" to determine the amount of fluid in the transmission in case you have concerns. With vehicle on a level surface, engine not running, engine stone cold, check the level. It should be above the full "hot" mark. For my 2002 GC, it is at the crook in the dip stick, which is 5/8" above the full "hot" mark.
As additional information, the full "hot" mark is 1 1/16" above the full "cold" mark.
The cross hatched area for the "cold" reading is only 1/2" long, which is shorter than the cross hatched area for the "hot" reading by quite a bit. Go figure.
Note: The Moveras site referenced above has some interesting reading re training the transmission.