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Transmission dipstick for Chevy Cavalier

- Chevrolet-Cavalier

Forum Post
05/27/06 11:37

Transmission dipstick for Chevy Cavalier

This seems really dumb to me, but I can't find the transmission dipstick on my chevy cavalier. It is a 2001 model. I have found where to add fluid right on top of the transmission, but I do not see a dipstick to check the level. Any help is greatly appreciated.
Archived Replies

This post has a total of 42 replies. The most recent 25 are shown below, you can view the complete archive here: Transmission dipstick for Chevy Cavalier archive. Your feedback, comments, opinions and questions are welcome and encouraged.

This forum post has messages dated from 05/27/06 through 08/07/11, please be sure to read all the messages. If you feel it is old or outdated, please follow up with a question or comment and someone may be able to update it, or reply with newer information if you have it.

08/30/09 13:33

What kind of transmission fluid does a chevy 2005 cavalier take?
09/19/09 22:59

i also have a 2004 Cavalier auto 4 speed. my transmission is wanting to slip once in a while. could it be possible that im low on fluid? and would it fix the problem if it is low?
11/11/09 19:49

u all seem too have a pretty good idea on what needs to be done wit the tranny on a automatic 2001 cavalier, but its not helping me with knowing whether or not i can check it, fill it, how much it needs, or how to determine any of the above. some clarification please
11/27/09 16:43

GM wonders why they are loosing sales to foreign sales. It's stupid things like this lack of dip stick in the transmission that urges people to go find a better car. Who wants to really wait until their transmission burns out because they couldn't check thier fluid. Or to have to go under the care to check the oil....Way to go GM. Or should I say General Mistake.

A bunch of dip sticks.

Now I drive a Ford.

12/30/09 22:33

I have a 2001 cavalier 5speed and the transmission started to slip on me out of the blue. When shifting to 2nd 3rd and 4th the engine revs high then I guess the transmission catches up. I do general mechanic work on vehicles but this is out of my league. Any replies will really help me out here. Thanks
01/24/10 06:10

the auto trans fluid on cavaliers is checked by the following:

there are two plugs; the first, on the very bottom leading out toward the right axle you will see a small plug; it's a 1/8 pipe thread. this as the drain plug. it will allow you to drain the fluid from the case only. it will not drain the torque-converter. the fill-to plug is located on the side of the trans, facing foward looking at the car. its next to the cooler lines going into the radiator. it's also a 1/8 pipe thread. when doing a service, put in about 7 qts. run car through all gears until warm. pull the fill-to plug, and fluid should just trickle out. fill until fluid runs out.


03/17/10 16:46

As a former service training instructor let me say please don't be too hasty in condemning GM for its lack of a Cavalier automatic transmission dipstick. When a transmission is designed with a longggg service interval there will be is no reduction of fluid level unless fluid is visible in the engine coolant, from an internal leak, or under the car, from an external leak. In other words there is no need to add/check the fluid level until the longggg service is required. By having no easy access port for adding fluid the manufacturer reduces the possibility of improper fluid [gas, water, motor oil, washer fluid, diesel fuel, etc.] being installed by inept personnel which then causes a fluid overfill, trans failure and customer complaint [and the jumping to conclusions that the car is a 'sorry piece if #$2^&]. For those wanting to say GM car features aren't as good as those found on foreign cars you might want to look at the following list of cars [found on the net] that have no transmission dipstick...

Some of the automatic transmissions that do not have a dipstick: ALLDATA Service Information Ad


5L40/5L50E 2004-05 CADILLAC CATERA



42RLE 2005-UP CHRYSLER 300 3.5L 2WD

NAG-1 2005-UP CHRYSLER 300 3.5L AWD







AF23 2004-05 SATURN ION

4/5-Speed 2004-05 SATURN VU

03/28/10 11:18

i own a 2004 cehvy cavalier. It is a 5 sp manual transmission. I found where to add the transmission fluid but i cannot find the plug on the bottom to drain it.Any suggestions

04/03/10 21:43

I have an automatic 98 cavalier. I just couldn't believe it when I tried to check the trans fluid and there was no dipstick. I did locate the trans cap. Stuck a long wire down to see if there was any level. No level when car was not running. Then I started the car and put on the emergency brake. Shifted it up and down a few times. Left it running and stuck the wire down again. This time there was a level of fluid. I still don't know if I need to add any fluid or not. What a stupid concept not to have a tranny dipstick.
04/14/10 19:11

the dipstic for the transmission is usually located almost right beside the battery it will be red, and if you have a manual transmision you will not have a dipstick
04/14/10 19:45
Sevice Advisor

Start vehicle and locate check plug 6 inches above trans pan (8 or 10 socket. Remove and fluid should trickle out, if so than its full! Thats it! Should be flushed every 50k
07/15/10 23:50
dustin m

I have a 2004 cavelier automatic with the 2.2 eco-tech. Do I understand correctly when I say the fluid should never need filling on the transmission ? If it does then where is the fill plug and when do I know when it is full ?
07/31/10 00:00

I have a 2004 Chevy Cavalier with an automatic transmission. I put it in park and left the motor running. When I went to put it in drive, the gear shift slid freely, but the transmission did not shift. Does anyone know what the problem could be? Please respond.
08/01/10 12:54

I own a 2004 chevy cavalier 2.2L engine and it has been running great until this moring, I turn the car on and everthing is fine, but when I put the car into gear it did not work. gear shift slid freely, but the transmission did not shift, so please can anybody tell me what the problem maybe?

I know there is no dipstick to check the oil, I do not see any leaks?

Please any help will be appreciate



08/10/10 19:30

My 2001 24Z raced when accelerater was pressed, but transmission was not engaging. I took it to a transmission shop, and they sent me to a chevy dealer to replace electrical wires and sensors. It worked fine for about a year, and then I had to take it back for more work on the computer sensors. This may be why your cavalier is not shifting.
09/11/10 12:51
Louie A

What would make my 2004 Chevy Cavalier intermittenly go in reverse ? It just works sometimes and other times it wont ? The Fluid is full and clean and all other gears work fine all the time .
12/27/10 07:19
Gene Delp

I agree with Walt #26. What a stupid concept. Also, if this concept is to prevent adding "other fluids, ie oil, coolant etc, why didn't they just make an engine without an oil dipstick? If I know the difference between oil and "other" additives, I think I know the difference in trans fluids. Just another way of cutting costs from manufacturer and adding garage bills for GM (Government Motors). Thanks to you Ford now that I traded the Cavalier for an Escape that has all the dipsticks!
01/16/11 13:47
Car Buyer

When purchasing a used/new car one usually checks the trans fluid. Although, my hubby didn't that is why I am on here looking for my dipstick too. Threfore, if it's a concern to not have a dipstick...don't buy a car without one! I wouldn't and thanks for the list of cars to NOT purchase in the future.

Our car is a 03 Chevy with the eco tech engine. It has caused us many problems. Leaking radiator fluid from somewhere, now making some noise we think is coming from the trans. My opinion is this was not a very well made car. Going to the shop and its going to cost us a small fortune.

02/10/11 04:41
said Bakrim

i couldnt find a transmission dipstick for my 2005 cavalier i think it so stupid that they have to hide it from as so we can destroide our trany, thank youso much GM. .
02/15/11 18:38

So what I'm hearing is that the transmission fluid is supposed to last for a long time. I have a 1999 cavalier 2.2 automatic, with 143, 000. Should I be concerned. I have not had any problems. I just change the oils and fill the other levels as needed.
03/03/11 23:30
chris adkins

If Anyone Lost There Transmission Dipstick All They Need To Do Is Go To There Nearest Chevy Dealer Thats What I Did Cost Bout 17 Bucks Plus Tax So I Hope This Helps I Have A 99 Cavalier With

A 2.2 3 Speed Automatic Thing Runs Like A Champ

03/27/11 05:28

If you read the Owners manual for your vehicle it should tell you that the transmission doesnt have a dipstick. it is supposed to be a sealed transmission and if there are any problems it should be taken to a dealer/ qualified service professional. this would apply to fluid and filter changes. so i would suggest learning to do it yourself, or just take it to a shop and have it looked at. especially if you are having problems with it.
03/28/11 22:33

#23 & #24 explain it all. If people can't figure it out from there maybe they shouldn't be working on cars anyways. It's not that hard to pull a plug and fill until it starts to leak. Think of all the rear differentials that we still fill almost that same way.
04/16/11 23:23

I have done a lot of research on this topic since I have a 98 Chevy Cavalier. When the engine was made the transmission dipstick was removed to discourage Drivers from "overfilling". The manufacturers commented that this vehicle's transmission was so problem free that you would not need to worry about adding or removing fluid.

LOCATION: On my vehicle the Fluid Check Bolt is located on the front right side of the transmission pan just 4inches from the floor up. Right side meaning passenger side and front towards the engine.

Here I am trying to drain out 1 quart excess from my transmission fluid because when the fluid heats up it starts expanding and the check engine light comes on and I can....have to pay to have it raised up and drained 1 quart. Risking blowing the pan gaskets or other transmission gaskets if the pressure gets too high I say thanks to the Geniuses who got rid of the dipstick.

I am selling this Chevy Cavalier and staying away from them in the future.

08/07/11 18:49
Gainesville, Fl
Thank author of this post/comment"2003 Cavalier Automatic 4 speed"

Leave the car OFF!! If it's on, then tranny fluid is going to go all over the place from the check plug. Put about 8 to 10 quarts in. Should be fine. I just finished doing mine after going round and round with the internet on this. Ugh!! Try doing this on a HOT FLORIDA DAY IN THE MIDDLE OF SUMMER ON YOUR BACK IN YOUR BACKYARD!!
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    Archived Replies

    This post has a total of 42 replies. The most recent 25 were shown above, you can view the complete archive here: Transmission dipstick for Chevy Cavalier archive. Your feedback, comments, opinions and questions are welcome and encouraged.

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    Chevrolet Cavalier 'Transmission dipstick for Chevy Cavalier'