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5L40-E


Bruce Nunnally

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On one of the description sheets on the new 5-speed auto 5L40-E in the CTS it says

The Hydra-Matic 5L40-E uses DEXRON III fluid and is filled for life, requiring no maintenance.

In the owner's manual it notes:

Change automatic transmission fluid if the vehicle is mainly driven under one or more of these conditions:

  • In heavy city traffic where the outside temperature regularly reaches 90F or higher
  • In hilly or mountainous terrain
  • When doing frequent trailer towing
  • Uses such as high performance operation

If you do not use your vehicle under any of these conditions, the fluid and filter do not require changing.

If you do, it shows it on the schedule every 50k miles.

Wags in the audience may argue that it requires no maintenance for the life of the tranny, and requires maintenance at 50k indicates that the tranny will only live through the 50k warranty in heavy usage :P

Still wish they had enabled the available tap-up and tap-down feature in the CTS, but I suppose that would cost more.

Bruce

2016 Cadillac ATS-V gray/black

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So, basically EVERYONE who buys a CTS needs to make the 50k changes.

Otherwise to comply with the "normal service" level for this trans you need to live on a plain in the middle of the country, start each trip going down a ramp, and never press the accellerator till the TCC unlocks. :P And with this "sealed system" how much will fluid changes cost? What happens when you have a slight seepage? How do you sample the fluid to CHECK if its been damaged!?!

I never understood why the "normal" and "severe" service designations from GM in particular include such rediculous requirements. For example, "normal" service on my GMC K2500 suburban turbodiesel includes things like, no extended operation above 30mph... WTF. I mean I know that the "normal" service designation is there for marketing to claim rediculous fluid change intervals.

I dont understand the obsession with keeping fluids in a vehicle for rediculously extended periods. Oil costs about 5$ a gallon, atf is 13$ for 12qts, and all the other fluids are cheap as dirt too. Why bother worrying if you're running on a fluid with a depleted additive package for 13$?

-Dan

(who wishes service ratings were more realistic and that car companies would think about the people in the world who actually want to keep their cars for longer than the lease period)

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I am in favor of fluids (oil, transmission fluids) that last longer and require fewer maintenance visits. I have other plans on most Saturday mornings, so not getting something changed fits right in. Also, a Mobil-1 oil change at the dealer or quickchange is over $70 and takes time. While the car is under warranty it is good to have changes clearly documented.

Also helps the environment if we discard less oil.

I am thrilled that the manual does not say the 'every 3k oil change just to be sure' thing; I am glad that we are moving away from that to usage-based changes. I think my 96 said that, but the extended warranty paperwork was right back to the 3k oil changes, so I did that to be careful.

Bruce

2016 Cadillac ATS-V gray/black

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The 4L30-E in my Isuzu is also sealed, but it's easy to change just the fluid if needed. There is a drain bolt on the bottom of the pan and then a fill bolt at the top. From what I understand, the hard part is getting the oil pumped into that little fill hole. If you need to check the fluid level, you just take out the fill hole bolt and stick your finger in there. Oil should be to the top of the hole, just like a RWD differential.

Bruce, does the 5L40-E have a drain plug?

Jeff

98 Concours

90 Seville

04 Corvette

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I dont understand the obsession with keeping fluids in a vehicle for rediculously extended periods. Oil costs about 5$ a gallon, atf is 13$ for 12qts, and all the other fluids are cheap as dirt too. Why bother worrying if you're running on a fluid with a depleted additive package for 13$?

I'd completely agree if 100% of that waste oil can be recycled and completely reused. But there's a LOT of oil being discarded unnecessarily. If it were used, the OLM cuts your oil disposal to 30% of what you normally might change the oil. Multiply that by 100,000,000 cars (at 5 quarts each at an average) and that's 150m quarts (or almost 40m gallons) of crude that a) doesn't come out of the environment and B) doesn't go back into the environment. That's just one year. And that's just the US, assuming 100m cars. Consider the effects world-wide and I firmly believe in advancing technology to enable fluids and lubricants to remain IN the machine for longer durations.

Jason(2001 STS, White Diamond)

"When you turn your car on...does it return the favor?"

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http://www.recycleoil.org/Usedoilflow.htm

Space Heater

Eleven percent of used motor oil collected is used in specially designed space heaters in automotive bays and municipal garages across the nation. The oil helps these facilities reduce their heating costs, particularly in colder climates. This practice is not recommended for home use. The country's approximately 75,000 space heaters use about 113 million gallons of used oil per year.

Processor

Reprocessing is the most common method of recycling used oil in the U.S. Each year processors treat approximately 750 million gallons of used oil. Seventy-five percent of used oil is being reprocessed and marketed to:

43% asphalt plants;

14% industrial boilers (factories);

12% utility boilers (electric power plants for schools, homes, etc.);

12% steelmills;

5% cement/lime kilns;

5 % marine boilers (tankers or bunker fuel);

4% pulp and paper mills;

>1% commercial boilers (generating heat for school, offices, etc.);

5% other.

Re-refining

Fourteen percent of used oil collected is turned over to re-refiners who return used oil to its original virgin oil state.

Bruce

2016 Cadillac ATS-V gray/black

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Bruce,

I've been getting about 7,500 miles on my '03 CTS before the oil life monitor tells me to change the oil. As BBobynski would say, it's extremely accurate. The oil starts to show some color at about 7,000 miles, so I'm pleased with my 3.2L's oil performance. I've never had to add oil between changes.

Still, I wish I had the 3.6L engine.

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Can you tell the difference between a 3.2L car and a 3.6L car by the exhaust? I understand the original CTS had a single outlet exhaust on the left side of the car. I saw a CTS the other day with dual exhaust (they were very subtle, just like the single exhaust). Just wondering if that's an indication of a 3.6L car.

Jason(2001 STS, White Diamond)

"When you turn your car on...does it return the favor?"

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Jadcock, I think the 2004 has the dual exhaust, independent of 3.2L or 3.6L.

Rich, I'm sure they'd trade your 03 sport/lux for an 04 base w/3.6l ;)

Bruce

2016 Cadillac ATS-V gray/black

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