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1/4 to 1/2 quart underfilled dexron vi any problems? #5356579 02/21/20 03:10 PM
Joined: Sep 2017
Posts: 102
apollo18 Offline OP
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Posts: 102
Hey guys I have a 4l60 in my truck and I did a pan drop and also exchanged the fluid through the cooler lines so I got all 12 quarts exchanged. I ensured the pan gasket was seated good and I did each pan bolt to 10 foot lbs with torque wrench. I ensured the transmission cooling line was tight and fit properly. Before I drove the truck I made sure it was at the correct fluid level cold and then I drove 20-30 mins and shifted between all gears and checked the fluid again and had to add some probably about ¼ quart ish and maybe upto ½ quart maximum I added. I was on a pretty level surface and then i locked the dipstick in place and drove home. The next morning, I started the truck and everything was normal and I hit the road on the highway for 6 hours but I stopped a bunch of times and noticed nothing with the transmission. And then a couple days later, the temperature was noticeabley colder in my city and I started the truck and I noticed when I switched from park to reverse and reverse to drive , the rpm would rev up before going into gear. I thought it was just due to the cold weather or something and then i hit the road and after driving 100 km on the highway I pulled over to fuel up and also check the tranny fluid level incase I needed to add some more. I switched it into every gear and then did the check. The tranny was obviously hot and when I went to check the level was at the cold position. I checked again and ensured the level was at the cold position again which kinda freaked me out. I added probably about ¼ quart ish maybe a little bit more to get it to the hot section on the dip stick and drove the rest of the trip on the highway. Ever since I filled the fluid, the tranny has been normal. No rev ups when I shift and nothing else.

My question is did I do any damage? ¼ quart – ½ quart underfilled is barely any fluid but it seems like my tranny is very sensitive. Does this obviously mean I have a small leak somewhere? Or could there some other reason that I lost .25 quart of fluid over a couple days of driving? Before I did the fluid exchange and pan drop I checked the fluid color and it was red and not burned so I know it wasn’t too late for my tranny. It just seems super weird that I lost some fluid and that the fluid loss caused rev ups and weird tranny operation when cold.


Re: 1/4 to 1/2 quart underfilled dexron vi any problems? [Re: apollo18] #5356597 02/21/20 03:44 PM
Joined: Sep 2007
Posts: 1,415
JMJNet Offline
Joined: Sep 2007
Posts: 1,415
FWIW, it happened to me the first time I replace ATF in my Camry.

When I started driving it the next morning, it was surging.
I thought I damage the trans, so I brought it to my mechanic.
All he did was top the fluid.

I drove the car for another > 100k miles before I sold it.

As far as damage, you will never know unless you open it up and measure everything with a caliper to see if there is any wear or do an oil analysis.

Last edited by JMJNet; 02/21/20 03:44 PM.

  • 2017 Toyota Sienna
  • 1995 GMC Suburban 6.5L Turbo Diesel

Re: 1/4 to 1/2 quart underfilled dexron vi any problems? [Re: apollo18] #5356604 02/21/20 03:57 PM
Joined: Feb 2019
Posts: 273
vw7674 Offline
Joined: Feb 2019
Posts: 273
Probably no damage to the trans.
The damage that can happen with low fill levels or failing bands & servos is
damage to the thrust bearing holding the crankshaft, the intermittent slamming
into gear can end up putting fine particles in suspension in the crankcase oil of all places.: (
You probably did none of that just 1/4 quart shy of full.

Re: 1/4 to 1/2 quart underfilled dexron vi any problems? [Re: JMJNet] #5356606 02/21/20 03:59 PM
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Posts: 102
apollo18 Offline OP
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thanks for the reply and thats true but i feel like .25 to .5 quart is nothing in like a 6 quart pan and 12 quart system. but i aint a tranny tech

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