How to Check Transmission Fluid Levels in a 2008 Saturn Aura XE 3.5 Engineby Robert Moore
The 2008 Saturn Aura XE came with a 3.5-liter six-cylinder engine and a four-speed automatic transmission. The transmission in your Aura does not have a dipstick, so to check the transmission fluid you have to remove a plug on the transmission case. In general, the transmission fluid should maintain operating level and health for 100,000 miles, but the transmission may require service sooner if the Aura is used in severe conditions like extremely hot climates and hauling or towing. If the transmission fluid is low, add only genuine Dexron-VI automatic transmission fluid.
Park the vehicle on a level surface and set the parking brake. Lift the front of the vehicle into the air with a floor jack and place two jack stands under the front sub-frame rails. Lower the front of the vehicle until it rests securely on the jack stands. Lift the rear of the vehicle into the air and place the remaining two jack stands under the rear suspension. Lower the rear of the vehicle until it rests securely on the jack stands; the vehicle should sit completely level to accurately check the transmission fluid. Shake the vehicle to make sure it is safe to work under.
Lay down under the vehicle and position your self below the engine and transmission mating area. Remove and under engine splash shield, if equipped. Look to the left of the bottom most transmission to engine mounting bolt to locate the transmission fill plug.
Start the engine and allow it to reach operating temperature, the transmission fluid must reach a minimum of 104 degrees to accurately check the fluid level. Shit the transmission through each gear from park to low range and back, pausing for 3 seconds in each position. Position yourself under the vehicle with the engine running and locate the fill plug again. Place a drain pan under the transmission and remove the transmission fill plug with a socket and ratchet.
Inspect the transmission fluid color by sticking your finger or a small screwdriver into the fill plug hole and removing it. If the transmission is a dark brown color, milky or smells burnt the transmission fluid and filter should be changed. If the transmission fluid level is not at the base of the transmission fill plug hole, you will need to add transmission fluid.
Place a transmission funnel into the fill plug hole and slowly add Dexron-VI automatic transmission fluid in half quart increments until fluid begins to pour from the fill hole. This step is only necessary, if the transmission fluid checks low.
Clean the threads of the fill plug with a wire brush and apply a small amount of thread sealer to the threads of the fill plug. Install the fill plug hand tight, one the fluid has finished running from the fill plug hole. Tighten the fill plug to 9 foot-pounds with a torque wrench. Remove the drain pan and store the transmission fluid in a safe place until it can be disposed of properly. Shut of the engine and remove the ignition key.
Lift the front of the vehicle off the jack stands with a floor jack and remove the jack stands from under the front of the vehicle. Lower the front of the vehicle to the ground. Lift the rear of the vehicle off the jack stands and remove the jack stands. Lower the rear of the vehicle to the ground.
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- Alldata: 2008 Saturn Aura, Automatic Transmission/Transaxle Testing and Inspection, Component Tests and General Diagnostics: 4T45-E Automatic Transaxle, Transmission Fluid Check
Things You'll Need
- Floor jack
- Jack stands
- Socket set
- Drain pan
- Transmission funnel
- 1 quart Dexron-VI transmission fluid
- Thread sealer
- Torque wrench
- Exercise extreme caution when under the vehicle with the engine running, serious injury can result if contact is made with the serpentine belt system.
- Do not spend any more time than necessary under the vehicle while the engine is running.
Robert Moore started writing professionally in 2002. His career started has head writer and Web designer for VFW post 1224 in Hamburg, Michigan. He has prepared business plans, proposals and grant requests. Moore is a state of Michigan-certified mechanic and is pursuing an Associate of Arts in automotive technology from Lansing Community College.