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Old 06-21-2016, 07:58 AM
402 posts, read 534,557 times
Reputation: 548


I have a 2001 Cavalier 5-speed manual 2.2. I have owned it for every day and every mile (204K) since I bought it new in April of 2001. I have had many mechanical disasters and problems mostly starting a couple of years ago - and a lot of them I have worked on or fixed and/or replaced the part myself.

The transmission fluid in this car has never been changed, looked-at, drained, added, etc....because I was told that it didn't need it. The manual says the same thing. For as long as I've had this car, it has had a intermittent rattle noise that I figured was just the "Getrag rattle" - so I didn't pay much attention to it. But over the past year - especially the last 6 months - this rattle has just gotten totally insane and out of control. It is now a constant loud rattle whenever the car is in gear - especially starting out in 1st or 2nd. I mentioned this to someone and they asked when the last time the fluid was changed and said that would fix the problem - and couldn't believe that the fluid had never been changed after 15 years and 200K miles.

So my question is - (and if you are going to mention a dipstick, then you can forget it because this model doesn't have a dipstick, just a big red screw-on cap on top of the transmission).....First - is the fluid supposed to be changed on this model car or not - and if so, how often - and what do you suppose has been the consequence of not having done so for the life of the car as specified above? Second, I sure want to do it myself - so how are you supposed to drain/check/fill it since there is only a really tiny little hole at the bottom of this big reg cap on top?

I have searched and searched for a diagram or image of the location for the DRAIN and CHECK plug - and they are nowhere to be found even in the Chilton manual for this car. Given my situation, my plan is to just drain whatever - if anything - is in there and then fill it up and maybe repeat that after a month or so to get it all washed-out. But I need to know where the heck this drain plug is first.

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Old 06-26-2016, 04:50 PM
17,667 posts, read 17,843,539 times
Reputation: 25808
I had an automatic transmission Cavalier and to change the transmission fluid you have to get dirty because you have to drop the whole pan.
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