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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I have a dipstick tube but it doesn't have a dipstick. I have something generic and flexible to check the fluid level, but I don't have appropriate marks on the "dipstick" so I don't know what depth the fluid level should be when fully warmed up. Does anyone know what the depth of fluid should be(in inches, please) on the dipstick, when it bumps the bottom of the pan?
 

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There's a reason for that. The trans itself isn't designed to have one just sitting in it. Also the fluid level is directly related to the trans temp, which is also why there isn't a dipstick; most people don't have a means to accurately measure trans temp to check/fill it properly.
 

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Explanation:
No dipstick from the factory due to a complex procedure (for owners who don't perform their own maintenance/repair) and the liability of personal injury or property damage. Fluid level can not be checked with the transmission in Park/Neutral.
Procedure:
There's a chart that shows what the fluid level should be (measured in millimeters) based on the fluid temperature. So you need the correct dipstick (correct length with 10mm markings). Then you need a way to measure the transmission fluid temperature.
If you use the instrument panel (e.g. EVIC) or a scanner (plugged into the car's OBD2 port) to display the transmission temp you need to have the transmission in Reverse or a forward gear (Drive). If the transmission is in Park or Neutral the transmission temp reading is the same as the engine/coolant temperature. This is because the transmission temp sensor is in series with the Park/Neutral switch. If the transmission is in Park/Neutral the temp sensor signal is blocked and the engine/coolant temp is displayed.

NAG1 Transmission Fill Graph
Rectangle Slope Plot Parallel Font

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You can be prepared to do a dip and put the car in drive, read the temp, return it to park, hop out and take a dip.
 

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While you can buy the NAG1 trans dipstick from places like Amazon, Mancini Racing, or even O'Reilly's, you really need a scan tool that can show trans fluid temps to be accurate with the chart. Getting the car up to normal operating temps and/or using a thermal gun might get you close in the ballpark, which is better than running with very low amounts. Just fyi - some of the aftermarket dipsticks can run like $75-$80. There are some articles online where guys have made their own homemade dipstick out of junkyard parts, but you're really rolling the dice on that.
 

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I use the performance pages Tran temp Gauge. I have varified it with HPtuners scanner, OBDLink scanner, AlfaOBD. They all matched. Anything that will read out the number uses the same sensor.
 

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So which is it, check dipstick level in Park, or Drive?
For fluid level it's Park. For fluid temp it's Drive.

From the Service Guide:
Start engine and let it run at idle speed in selector lever position "P".
Shift through the transmission modes several times with the vehicle stationary and the engine idling.
Push the dipstick into transmission fill tube until the dipstick tip contacts the oil pan and pull out again, read off oil level.
Check transmission oil temperature using the appropriate scan tool.
Note: The true transmission oil temperature can only be read by a scan tool in Reverse or any forward gear position.
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