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I was wondering has anyone, or if not WILL anyone maKe a sort of diy dipstick for the automatic transmission on these cars? It's just ridiculous these things don't come with a dipstick! GM had no right trying to come up with some sealed for life transmission which is complete bull crap considering it has intervals for the tranny fluid to be changed. So if it's for life, does that mean the Cruze only supposed to last 45,000 miles under severe conditions and to about 100,000 miles under normal? Anyway, I was thinking it would be nice if some one has something long enough, perhaps a dipstick from something else or a long enough stick like material (of course something that wouldn't deteriorate risking getting material in fluid) that you could use perhaps a yard stick or ruler to put measurements on it. This would have to be done by a member who has either had no transmission leak problems or has recently had theirs refilled the correct way. Stick this measured and marked stick down into the fill hole where a "normal" transmission would have a dipstick and see where the fluid goes up to. I would do it, but my transmission has been leaking from the cooler lines. If someone could do this, it would give me and other members who have had the common transmission cooler line leak an idea of how much fluid we have lost.
 

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I haven't tried putting anything down the tube in this car, but my girlfriends mom has an 07 Saturn Vue with no trans dipstick, and if you have one, they have to design the whole thing to have a clean straight rod go down the middle, where as with her car... No more than 3 inches past the hole, it comes to a stop because there's tran components in the way. It only had to take fluid from that hole.
You have a check plug. Buy a bit of fluid, get a scan gauge or scan tool that will read the trans temp, and wait until it's at 180-200F. Do a long 2nd gear trans brake or drive in 2nd gear until
It gets to that temp, and then dump fluid in until it just dribbles out of the check plug.
 

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What’s worse than not having a tranny dipstick?……not having a coolant temperature gauge like the Chevy Sonic! Whose brilliant idea was that?
 

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What’s worse than not having a tranny dipstick?……not having a coolant temperature gauge like the Chevy Sonic! Whose brilliant idea was that?

Don't worry about the missing temperature gauge on the sonic. The one on the Cruze only indicates that it is warming up. Once it gets within one tick of half scale, it does not move although there is a 25 Deg Celsius swing in reality. I am confident that mine should be moving up and down between 1/2 and 3/4 during the hills.
 

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Don't worry about the missing temperature gauge on the sonic. The one on the Cruze only indicates that it is warming up. Once it gets within one tick of half scale, it does not move although there is a 25 Deg Celsius swing in reality. I am confident that mine should be moving up and down between 1/2 and 3/4 during the hills.
Not having a temperature gauge on the Sonic prompted me to buy an Ultragauge to monitor the coolant temperature. Now that I no longer have the Sonic I'm using the Ultragauge on the Cruze and I've noticed temperatures range anywhere from 207 to 223 degrees F. on a fully warmed engine which I'm assuming is normal. I don't know if the dash gauge is moving or not as I rely on the Ultragauge to give me a more accurate reading. I also like seeing the fuel tank level in gallons remaining instead of the stock needle gauge. Same goes for the digital speedometer readout vs. the old needle style. I don't even look at that one anymore.
 

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I was chatting with some experienced automatic transmission engineers who heard some experts say that you shouldn't ever change your transmission fluid as long as you never overheat it. It was something to do with the seals and the dynamics of the sealing, so new fluid can potentially cause issues with these seals that are "used to" the old trans fluid. When I say seals, it's not the case seals, but internal seals.

Food for thought
 

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I was chatting with some experienced automatic transmission engineers who heard some experts say that you shouldn't ever change your transmission fluid as long as you never overheat it. It was something to do with the seals and the dynamics of the sealing, so new fluid can potentially cause issues with these seals that are "used to" the old trans fluid. When I say seals, it's not the case seals, but internal seals.

Food for thought
The problem is......without a dipstick there's no way to smell, touch, taste (well, maybe not taste) if it's been overheated or not. Plus when buying a used car I'd always check for burnt/dirty transmission fluid, now there's no easy way to do it.
 

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GM is not the first and I'm sure not the last to remove dipsticks... The 2009 BMW 335d and X5d that I reviewed years ago when they were new did not have engine oil or transmission dipsticks. You checked the oil level through the iDrive system on the radio... Very weird for sure.
 

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I bet in the future there will be no oil dipstick to check the engine oil. I won't buy a car without an oil dipstick and I will try to never buy a car without a transmission dipstick.
 

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I was chatting with some experienced automatic transmission engineers who heard some experts say that you shouldn't ever change your transmission fluid as long as you never overheat it. It was something to do with the seals and the dynamics of the sealing, so new fluid can potentially cause issues with these seals that are "used to" the old trans fluid. When I say seals, it's not the case seals, but internal seals.

Food for thought
Both the auto and manual trans are capable of overheating the OEM fluids. Yeah, I did mention the manual trans where you are the one shifting gears. That logic kinda works on the older cars where if you haven't touched it since 1998 then you may be in a world of hurt when you try and force it all out. In that case you want to drain fill as slowly as possible but cars like the Buick Century didn't have a drain plug. you had to undo a series of bolts to drop the pan and drain it over the side in the process.

I bet in the future there will be no oil dipstick to check the engine oil. I won't buy a car without an oil dipstick and I will try to never buy a car without a transmission dipstick.
Benz/ BMW do that but they give a menu to at least check the levels.
 

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I have no issue with this, have owned cars with and without a dipstick and they drive the same either way.

Normal maintenance interval is 97K on the automatic fluid, or 42K severe service. Only time I would ever need to check the fluid is if there has been a leak. (I recommend checking your transmission cooler lines, they are known to leak) If you find a leak, gives you a good reason to change the fluid and top everything off again. If I'm not mistaken there is a bolt you can remove to ensure you don't overfill the transmission similar to how most rear axles are on trucks.
 

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Ah, the good ole' days when you could check your own transmission fluid.
But wait...........I also remember gummed up carburetors, sticking floats, fouled plugs, burnt contacts, stuck automatic chokes, cracked rotors, buying no-name oil by the gallon because it came out the tailpipe as fast as I added it to the crankcase. That's when I remember the not-so-great things about the "good ole' days". Yeh, who needs a dipstick!
 

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but wait...........i also remember gummed up carburetors, sticking floats, fouled plugs, burnt contacts, stuck automatic chokes, cracked rotors, buying no-name oil by the gallon because it came out the tailpipe as fast as i added it to the crankcase. That's when i remember the not-so-great things about the "good ole' days". Yeh, who needs a dipstick!
gummed up fuel tanks and inside the tank due to sitting ethanol, improper gapped and junky cruze 1.4 spark plugs that every 30k gives some issues, coil packs that crack and must replace the whole pack vs just a cap, buying very expensive and hard to find dexos 2 oil since we have all this epa bs in the car, a dpf that when clogs is so expensive average joe wont ever buy a diesel again, a master clutch and brake cylinder combined so if one goes out they both do,a trans so complicated to flush at home you have to bring it to a shop ,instead of a simple clutch lsd we let computers that fail or have bad logic keep our wheels from spinning, somthing as simple as a pcm has become 10 computers including a body control module that has known to be a burden if it fails since it controls stuff it has no business doing so.. That's when i remember the not-so-great "new days". Yah i need a dip stick
 

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Why drive a new car if you feel like that? I must be lucky only general maintenance over 100K on my cruze with one out of pocket repair(leaking transmission cooler line). I didn't even check/change my spark plugs until 85K!!! I subscribe to the old adage.... If it ain't broke, don't fix it. No reason to mess around with plugs as often as some on here do.
 

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Most every car I have ever had, I just drove and not worried about things like the tranny fluid etc. I have only done normal maintenance on my cars until I encountered a certain level of "paranoia" with owning new cars as spaced mentioned.
No reason to mess around with plugs as often as some on here do.
. I have noticed quite a bit more unnecessary maintenance happening with some on here. Unless there is something remarkably wrong or not working correctly or time to replace like brakes. Just drive the car and don't worry about it.
 

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new cars while more efficient and much more luxurious then earlier days do cost a bit more to fix but as with any machine its in how the owner treats it. i follow my service intervals and it will give me a long life with expected cost. old or new it will one day break.

do i think older cars where more DIY friendly absolutely but they like new have there own set of issues
 

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Not having a temperature gauge on the Sonic prompted me to buy an Ultragauge to monitor the coolant temperature. Now that I no longer have the Sonic I'm using the Ultragauge on the Cruze and I've noticed temperatures range anywhere from 207 to 223 degrees F. on a fully warmed engine which I'm assuming is normal. I don't know if the dash gauge is moving or not as I rely on the Ultragauge to give me a more accurate reading. I also like seeing the fuel tank level in gallons remaining instead of the stock needle gauge. Same goes for the digital speedometer readout vs. the old needle style. I don't even look at that one anymore.
I have a digital temperature gauge in my DIC and the needle on the dash gauge first moves at 51C (124F) and settles around 80C (176F) in my diesel. My daughter has a 1.6T manual hatchback and it settles at 105C (221F). I hope you find this information useful, I believe the 1.4T runs about the same. My car is diesel to explain the cooler running.

View attachment 202633 I think my gauge may look a little different to the US Cruze. View attachment 202641
 
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