The tranny dipstick is bolted down with a 12 mm bolt that you'll have to remove. On the driver side of the vehicle, on the top of the transmission, there's a plastic yellow thing with a picture of a gear with liquid in it indicating transmission fluid , that's your transmission dipstick. Do not overfill as it will not help. Since the bracket is broken, the clutch will not engage fully, if at all. Also look around the transmission pan for leaks. The theory is that you'll check your fluid when it's not up to temp, think it's low, and add more, overfilling your transmission. The transmission that's in your Saturn was not intended to be checked by the owner.
There is a check plug underneath the car, just a couple inches above the transmission pan. Slipping of the transmission is the most obvious indicator of low fluid, stepping on the gas but the transmission doesn't push you faster. This brackets failure presents a loss of control safety issue which I feel should be addressed by the manufacturer; when coming to a stop earlier today, I was unable to shift to neutral while coming to a stop - which nearly caused a crash. If fluid is a qt low you ahould check transmission lines going from radiator to the tranny as there is a leak somewhere. If you have any more questions dont hesitate to ask! However, you should have your transmission fluid and filter changed every 50K miles. Check the fluid after the vehicle has warmed up and with the engine running.
Granted, at 20 years old, I am certain he isn't a model driver, but he is also a very responsible kid and I can't imagine how badly he could have driven the car to cause this. He pulled into a parking lot and discovered a large fluid leak with no ability to shift gears. The failure is described as the clutch pedal not properly engaging the hydraulic clutch due to a bracket or some other part of the assembly's breakage. The fluid should be level with the check hole. This bracket holds a piston in proper place to actuate the hydraulic clutch as the pedal is depressed to the floor. The only other yellow plastic piece that you can see is your oil dipstick. If you had to buy a Saturn Ion — and I would question why anyone would even consider it — I suppose the 2005 could be considered the best of a bad bunch? The dipstick may be a bit harder to pull out than you imagine, but as long as you took that bolt off, it'll come out.
On the top of the transmission by the firewall of the car, if you look down on the transmission with a flashlight, you will see a red plastic cap. He shifted into 3rd gear and the car made a loud noise and was barely drivable. You should also make sure that the fluid doesn't have a burnt odor. When you go in to buy it make sure ypu tell them how cheap they are not including a transmission dipstick with the car. After removal of the bolt, just pull the dipstick straight out to check fluid level. Even if it's only to check the color of your tranny fluid.
It has happened twice before, but this time we couldn't start it even after repeated attempts. I was assured that they didn't believe it was anything my son had done to cause this failure. However, I think most owners would prefer having a more easily accessible dipstick. I have temporarily placed double-sided foam tape where the bracket used to be on the pedal so that the piston rod can remain somewhere close to its original mounted position - so that I may drive the vehicle. You must have the car running in park, at normal operating temperature, and pull the plug. To fill, run the car in park, pull the plug, remove the red cap on top of the transmission and fill until it pours out of the check plug.
Since the failure, the transmission exhibits a grinding noise when shifting into third gear - presumably due to the partial engagement of the clutch. Car had 20,000 miles, bought new. That is where the dipstick goes, and you can buy it from your Saturn dealership. The problem is they waited and let over 30,000 warranty claims get filed before they bothered to. . Also if it is a manual transmission then it has no dipstick. Car towed to Saturn of danbury.
The tranny shouldn't need to have any fluid added to it unless you have a leaking transmission. . . . .
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