How do you check the transmission fluid in a 2000 Chevy Malibu?
You can not check the transmission fluid it is sealed off. You should take it to get it checked! actually you just have to jack the car up and make sure its level, leave the car running and go under the car and take the higher plug out of the transmission just above the pan, if tranny fluid starts to come out, it is fine but if nothig comes out you should start filling it up from the top until it comes out.
This is one of the reasons that GM is on their way out of business. The assine engineers that planned this one should be shot. There is a red cap that is under the throttle body below the exhaust manifold. Don't remove it unless the engine is running or you'll start losing fluid. It is meant to be checked at room temperature (104 degress f). It is full when there is nothing running out. It is a real bastard trying to get the cap back on when the manifold is screaming hot. The first attempt usually winds up with a burn on your hand (wear gloves), and losing the cap behind the transaxle. WARNING: Here's the kicker when that happens-you can't shut the car off or it will spew oil. So you need to raise the car while it's running to try to get to the dropped cap. Be careful on this one.
When you change the filter, it calls for 6.9 quarts to refill. The dry fill is around 12 quarts. Well I had 12 quarts into it and it still wasn't to the overflow point. I'm not sure where that leaves me. Somthings rotten in Detroit is all I know. The pan gasket is reusable if you take it off carefully.
I have a 2000 Malibu with the 3.1L. If you have the same tranny as me and can't afford to take it to a dealer, the check plug is on the passenger side of the car. It's near the axle on the underside where the tranny wraps around the back of the engine. It's a pipe thread plug and looks like a pointless bolt. Just remember to have the engine running and the tranny in park when you check it. Also, it must be warm. If it is full, fluid will be level to the whole created when you remove the plug. Don't forget to put it back when you are done.
Whenever I change the oil on my wife's 2000 Chev Malibu 3.1 L checking the transmission oil level is a must since there is no dipstick to check the oil level with. The MOTOR oil is hot to change the oil in the motor. Driving the car up on ramps alters the level a bit as does the trans fluid at 200 degrees instead of the recommended 100 degrees. Let the car idle while you slide cardboard, newspaper, a flex socket wrench with a deep 7/16 inch six point socket. Set both the Park at the transmission gear selector and the parking brake, and put blocks behind and in front of the rear tires before you climb underneath the car. Cars roll off of jacks, ramps and whatever enables mechanics to get underneath. Before changing the motor oil while the engine is at a slow idle, using a six point 7/16 wrench turn the plug on the passenger side of the transmission counter clockwise looking down at the top of the bolt/inspection plug. If oil runs out put the plug right back in. If not add about four ounces at a time.
To add fluid, remove the red add fluid cap is on top of the chain/side cover which is underneath the exhaust crossover in front of the air valve. I used a turkey baster with the bulb removed and used a funnel into the baster which I placed into the add fluid hole after removing the red add fluid cap. While it is a better to have one person adding fluid while the other is underneath yelling stop when the fluid starts to run out of the inspection hole, I added 4 oz at a time and may have a slightly overfilled transmission. Although the car is not level, if you have fluid at normal operation temperature, the expansion of the fluid will compensate for the overfill due to the rear of the car being lower than the front.
After removing the motor oil and filter, spray some engine degreaser on the side of the motor and transmission to remove dirt and to make finding future leaks and pinpoint their location.
If you do not have a leak and are not losing transmission fluid the time to check the fluid level adds less than five minutes to your oil change. If you have to remove the fill plug and add fluid after finding or buying Dextron III transmission oil, you may add 15 - 30 minutes to the oil change.
The exhaust crossover pipe is several hundred degrees even at idle. A bright flashlight is helpful to find leaks when lying on the ground underneath the car and oil pans.