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Trans Fluid Check

i swear im losing my mind with this 4l80e fluid

Trans Fluid Check

Postby Drifted [OP] » Sep 16 2020, 3:17am

hey guys i have a 2004 sierra 2500 6.0 4l80e. now im having an issue that i dont understand at all. so before i say anything the truck drivers perfectly fine shifts fine doesn't get hot no burnt fluid smell fluid is still red as can be. so my issue i swear every time i check the fluid level its different. last summer i checked it and it was reading pretty low but still on the stick so i put about a half quart in nothing crazy. i drove all winter fine then into this summer. i checked it again a couple months ago and it was the same low but still reading on the stick. so i added about a half quart like last time and it was good. now fast forward to last month i checked it after riding around on a 90 degree day trans was about ehh 175 180ish degrees and it read literally perfect on the stick so i was like ok cool. so now then last week i checked it and it was low but still on the stick so im like uhhhhhhh. so today i checked it again its a little colder here like 55 and the trans was about 150. i pulled the stick and it was same spot low but on the stick so im like ok ill check it when i get home. so i get home check it and now it is reading above the cold mark but just below the first HOT marker hole. prob like .25 of a quart low honestly. so my question is i looked in the manual and it says to check the fluid at 180-200 degrees because thats the operating temp. now with it being 55 out today and the trans about 140-150 would it make that difference of reading just under the first HOT marker hole. also im pretty sure the truck probably does have an extremely slow leak i did get under it and noticed on the trans cross member bolts one of them has a little fluid on it but nothing crazy its not even enough to drip honestly. so my question is does the trans NEED to be 180-200 degrees to check it? like will it always read low if its not at 180-200? also forgot to mention i know how to check the fluid ive done it a thousand times i drive it around warm it up bring it back park it on the level surface of my driveway shift threw all the gears waiting about 4-5 seconds between then put it back in park pull the stick wipe it and check it. i also try to not check it after driving on the highway ect i always check it after driving around town or riding up and down back roads. thanks guys!
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Re: Trans Fluid Check

Postby Regalguy80 » Sep 16 2020, 3:25am

The issue I think is when you are checking the trans oil. Trans oil expands when it's hot. I always check my trans fluid right after the thermostat opens. Cold days to hot days same thing.
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Re: Trans Fluid Check

Postby MacQ » Sep 16 2020, 3:45am

Regalguy80 wrote:The issue I think is when you are checking the trans oil. Trans oil expands when it's hot. I always check my trans fluid right after the thermostat opens. Cold days to hot days same thing.


Never thought of doing it like that Regalguy80. Makes perfect sense and is consistent. I'm going to do it like that from now on.
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Re: Trans Fluid Check

Postby Drifted [OP] » Sep 16 2020, 3:49am

Regalguy80 wrote:The issue I think is when you are checking the trans oil. Trans oil expands when it's hot. I always check my trans fluid right after the thermostat opens. Cold days to hot days same thing.

So you're saying once the truck hits 200 degrees check it? The trans doesn't need to be warm?
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Trans Fluid Check

Postby tortuga13 » Sep 16 2020, 4:41am

My trans is the 6-speed. Stamped into the transmission dipstick are a cold mark and above that a cross hatched area that says hot. The dipstick states that at a transmission temperature of between 165 and 200 degrees, the fluid should be in the cross hatched area.

I’ve always known to check the transmission fluid when the vehicle was hot, but never had a way to see transmission temp until this truck. It’s nice to have that reading built in.
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