2003 Chevy Tahoe- Transmission Fluid Change

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Dantheman-2003

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On my 03 Tahoe, thinking of changing the trans fluid and filter. I purchased this truck couple months back, so still in the process of going through everything. Although the transmission fluid looks clean, nice and red, I’m thinking what the hell. Might as well change it out and throw a new filter in it.
Question: My pan has a drain plug which is nice. Makes pulling the pan a little cleaner. I’ve read on a few blogs that you don’t need to change the gasket. Anyone have any thoughts on trans pan gasket replacement?
 

tomloans

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I have the same vehicle. If you want to simply change the oil only. Drain and fill. If you want to change out the filter you will need to take the pan off and replace the gasket. On a side note: the filter is either a short neck or the long neck. Likely the long neck but someone here can pipe in to let you know how you would know what Transmission you have. Mine is the long neck. This is super important. If you install a short neck filter, then when going on an incline you will starve your transmission of oil.
So to continue, the issue you will run into is that the exhaust is in the way of the pan. Don't try to somehow squeeze it off. It wont work and you may end up knocking loose a solenoid or damaging one if you keep trying. It doesn't work! So there are 6 bolts on the exhaust manifolds, 3 on each side. All you have to due is loosen them and the exhaust will lower down. I just unbolt them to be sure. But I heard you can simply loosen enough to drop it down far enough to comfortably remove the pan. Play it by ear and drop it completely to be sure. Not that hard really. Impact driver is a must. If rusted on, it may be a problem. I am in California and I don't have that problem. Maybe somebody here can pipe in. Looks like you are in Placerville and maybe yours is clean as well. Best wishes!
 

Sam Harris

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If you decide to just do a fluid change, be very careful with that drain plug - they strip very easily.
Yep, those drain bolts are there apparently for show only.. all the ones I’ve seen / heard about on these gens were basically welded in. Mine was the same situation. We were able to get it out, after massive effort, and then it needed to be tapped again, and a new plug installed.

Also, I highly recommend using a Lubelocker gasket. They are the best, reusable, 100% worth a few bucks. If your pan has a small “step” in it, that’s how you know if it’s the deep version. The non-deep version is completely flat.B6BD048B-0150-45D4-8484-5B64A259206D.jpegsorry, it’s hard to see from the picture, but best one I could find. I thought I had a better one.. but you can see the step in the pan there on the left.
 
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rockola1971

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Always change the gasket after puling the tranny pan. As far as changing solenoids as someone mentioned, why? They dont fail very often and if tranny has had a rebuild then they likely have already been replaced. I dont replace a shift solenoid unless it failed and the tranny is good or the tranny is apart for a rebuild.
 

pauly1119

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Always change the gasket after puling the tranny pan. As far as changing solenoids as someone mentioned, why? They dont fail very often and if tranny has had a rebuild then they likely have already been replaced. I dont replace a shift solenoid unless it failed and the tranny is good or the tranny is apart for a rebuild.
While the pan is off it’s just a few clips and I have had them fail on two different Camaro’s. No different then changing belts and hoses before they fail to me especially if your in there. I wouldn’t take the pan off just to do a solenoid but why not if your doing a service.
 

rockola1971

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While the pan is off it’s just a few clips and I have had them fail on two different Camaro’s. No different then changing belts and hoses before they fail to me especially if your in there. I wouldn’t take the pan off just to do a solenoid but why not if your doing a service.
You must just have bad luck or you overheated the camaro's tranny therefore overheated the shift solenoids. In all the 4L60E's that I've owned and still own, I have never had a shift solenoid fail. Do you replace your ignition coils because they have 150k miles on them? A shift solenoid will last alot longer than a belt or hose will.
 

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