Transmission Fluid
Chevy Malibu
Toyota Highlander

How do you check transmission fluid on a 2003 chevy malibu?

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December 17, 2008 5:15PM

There is no dipstick on the Malibu transmission. To correctly check fluid level, you must locate the filler cap and the drain plug on the transmission. The filler cap is a red cap located on the drivers side of the transmission between the air filter box and exhaust crossover pipe, almost under the crossover pipe. The drain plug is located on the passengers side of the transmission, just behind where the axle connects to the transmission. It has an 11mm head and can be seen if you lay in front of the passengers front tire, look about 3 inches above the transmission pan. Once you have located these, warm the transmission to normal operating temperature, and with the car running, transmission in park, and the car sitting level, slowley remove the drain plug, have a drain pan under the plug in case any fluid comes out. There should be very little fluid coming out, if there is none coming out re-install the plug, remove the filler cap and put 1/2 quart of fluid in, now run the transmission thru all the gears and back to park. Put the drain pan under the plug and remove the plug, if it is overfull, let it drain until it stops, if it still doesn't have fluid coming out, add 1/2 quart at a time until it does, following the above procedure. Make sure you let any excess fluid drain out and re-install the plug. As noted above, make sure the car is running while checking the fluid. I know it seems complicated but it isn't as bad as it sounds. This same procedure applies to all Chevy Malibus from about 1997 until 2004 if I'm not mistaken.