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Old 04-29-2000, 09:56 PM
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Join Date: Jun 1999
Location: Surrey, Beautiful British Columbia, Canada
Posts: 750
in my quest for answers to my leaking transmission, i begged the foremost question whether my trans is overfilled with ATF. i did some research on the subject and have concluded that if you do not have the proper gauge (gadget) like shops have to measure ATF temperature, you are totally in the dark on the correct level of fluid.
i believe that since the operating temperature of the car at 80 degrees is relative, and does not necessarily apply to the temperature of the ATF, correct measurement and level of fluid may be determined at dead cold temperature in the morning - car left overnight, engine off.
your expert views, please since i am sure a lot of cars out there are overfilled with ATF.
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Old 04-29-2000, 10:32 PM
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Join Date: Mar 1999
Location: Suwanee, GA, USA
Posts: 4,712
When cold, on a level surface, with the engine at idle in park, the level should be 10mm below the bottom line. At operating temperature, the level will be between the lines.

Donnie Drummonds
1992 500E (very soon I hope
1981 280GE SWB
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Old 04-29-2000, 10:56 PM
Robert W. Roe's Avatar
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Join Date: May 1999
Location: Lehigh Valley PA
Posts: 1,322
Mine was about 1/4" above the line the last time I checked mine. Is this critical? If the car is slightly off from perfectly level, say, 1 degree, will this make a big difference? I have very slow shifting from reverse to park, and my mechanic says I will need a new/rebuilt tranny at some point.

Robert W. Roe
1984 300SD 169K mi
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Old 04-30-2000, 08:59 AM
Join Date: Mar 1999
Location: Tucker, Ga USA
Posts: 12,153
Over filling auto transmissions is a common problem. In most cases over-filling by 1/2 pint or less won't hurt, but whenever cars are driven for more than 15 miles & the trans reaches full operating temp then over-filling will cause foaming! Foam will not lube trans & will allow trans to slip. As Benzmac said the level should be at least 10mm below bottom line w/cold! On the older cars (before 1981) it should be 20-25 mm below bottom line w/cold. If the trans doesn't want to engauge reverse w/cold the the fluid level isn't the problem.

[This message has been edited by M.B.DOC (edited 04-30-2000).]
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Old 05-05-2000, 12:11 PM
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Join Date: Jun 1999
Location: Surrey, Beautiful British Columbia, Canada
Posts: 750
Finally got it to where it should be. Ran the car for about 40 mins. on the freeway at moderate to high speed, and then checked fluid while idling.

Yep, it is in between the min and max lines.

I believe this is the proper, and only way of measuring ATF level.

Thanks for the replies. Cheers!!!
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