No Transmission Dipstick on my Cruze
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Thread: No Transmission Dipstick on my Cruze

  1. #1
    Learning about my Cruze
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    Red face No Transmission Dipstick on my Cruze

    I just found out that the six speed auto doesn't have a dipstick to check the trans fluid level. It may not seem like a big deal right now because our cars are new. However, anyone planning to keep these cars for a long time will have a possible headache in years to come.
    I just traded in an 02 passat for my cruze and that car didn't have a dipstick either.
    Apparently my passat had a very slow tranny leak at the cooler for a while and a few years ago I noticed the trans wasn't shifting well. The dealer wanted one hour labor just to check the fluid because it requires cooling down the engine, hooking the car up to a computer (Vagcom), getting the car to a specific temp and removing a plug while the car is on a lift. If it needs fluid, they have to pump the fluid into the trans. The whole process is expensive and not many indy mechanics know how or are willing to even check the fluid.
    As far as I know most european cars don't have a dipstick. But my 06 Honda Odyssey has one.
    So for right now, no big deal. But down the road, this might be a big pita for all of us. Kinda sucks, But Im still happy with my cruze

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  3. #2
    Handbrake Released
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    Most new cars do not have one. I don't like it much either but what can ya do but except it or learn how to service it yourself?

  4. #3
    Handbrake Released elwood58's Avatar
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    Auto Tranny Dipsticks have been disappearing for a while now. The advantages of creating a completely closed system, versus having a vent point that could allow pressures and fluid out while possibly letting debris in.

    The initial migration started with the addition of an O-Ring to many of the dipsticks, and then the stick starting disappearing, especially on front wheel drive vehicles.

    Most people rarely checked the fluid level, and many that did had no idea how to check it properly.

  5. #4
    World Rally Champion 70AARCUDA's Avatar
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    Unfortunately, the "...no dipstick..." transmission is just another result of Detroit's response to EPA's "...sealed for life..." mentality, where-in Detroit touts "100,000 mile service life" but make it functionally impossible for the owner to check or service themselves...it MUST be done by a shop.

    ...a paraphrasing of Jack Nicholson's Col. Nathan Jessep's quote in "A FEW GOOD MEN" comes to mind right about now:

    "...SERVICE? You can't handle the SERVICE..!"
    Last edited by 70AARCUDA; 02-04-2011 at 11:07 AM.
    • 2011 Chevrolet Cruze LTZ 1.4LT 6A
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    • 1971 Dodge Charger 318 3A
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    • 1968 Dodge Charger 383 3A
    • 1967 Plymouth Barracuda Formula-S 383 4M
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  6. #5
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    On my 2004 cavalier there is no trans fluid dipstick either. There is however a small plug you can remove to check the level similar to a rear axle on a rear wheel drive car (too much work if you ask me).

    I noticed when changing my oil one day the transmission pan gasket was seeping/leaking, so instead of driving it not knowing how much fluid was in there I took it to the chevy dealer & had the trans filter & fluid changed for around $90. I figured that was a small investment over replacing a ruined transmission from running it too low.

  7. #6
    Learning about my Cruze
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    Quote Originally Posted by spacedout View Post
    On my 2004 cavalier there is no trans fluid dipstick either. There is however a small plug you can remove to check the level similar to a rear axle on a rear wheel drive car (too much work if you ask me).

    I noticed when changing my oil one day the transmission pan gasket was seeping/leaking, so instead of driving it not knowing how much fluid was in there I took it to the chevy dealer & had the trans filter & fluid changed for around $90. I figured that was a small investment over replacing a ruined transmission from running it too low.
    If thats the case for our Cruze, then its not so bad. VW charged me more than that just to check the level.

  8. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by Uns69 View Post
    If thats the case for our Cruze, then its not so bad. VW charged me more than that just to check the level.
    It is probably would cost more normally to have the dealer change the fluid, filter, & pan gasket. The one local dealer almost weekly has some service deals in the paper, I noticed the ad right after the leak & took it in. I wouldn't expect the sale price was that much less than normal price, its probably still under $150.

  9. #8
    Driver's Ed strick8's Avatar
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    I had a 2002 Pontiac Sunfire with no dip stick.
    2011 Cruze LTZ Gold Mist Metallic, Cocoa/Light Neutral, Sunroof, Pioneer Audio, OEM Fog Lights

  10. #9
    World Rally Champion 70AARCUDA's Avatar
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    ...of course, it could also be that GM (unlike Castrol™) doesn't want us to "...think with your dipstick...Jimmy!" (ha,ha)
    • 2011 Chevrolet Cruze LTZ 1.4LT 6A
    • 2009 Pontiac Vibe 1.8L/SFI 4A
    • 2004 Pontiac Vibe 1.8L/MFI 4A

    • 1971 Dodge Charger 318 3A
    • 1970½ Plymouth AAR 'Cuda 340/6BBL 4M
    • 1968 Dodge Charger 383 3A
    • 1967 Plymouth Barracuda Formula-S 383 4M
    • 1965 Plymouth Barracuda Formula-S 273 4M

  11. #10
    2nd Gear
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    Quote Originally Posted by strick8 View Post
    I had a 2002 Pontiac Sunfire with no dip stick.
    Yes...and I can recall owning a car from the early nineties that also did not have a transmission dipstick.

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