No Transmission Fluid, Can that be right?

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jozee

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While doing some routine maintenance on my '98 Class A today I checked the transmission fluid for the first time (I have only had the RV for about two months), and it is registering as completely dry.  How can that be?  I have traveled about 800 miles, many very steep miles, since I bought the RV two months ago, and have had no transmission problems.
The rig is fairly level, the engine was idling, but I can't get a reading on the transmission fluid stick.  Am I out of fluid??  YIKES!!
Jozee
 

Woody

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I would think if you were totally out of fluid, or low enough not to register on the stick the vehicle would not move.
Sometimes it doesn't take much out of level to change the fluid level on the stick, or it could be that you are not bottoming it completely back into the tube. The vehicle should be level, in Park, and idling to get a good reading. If you do all of this and make sure the stick is completely back in the tube and you still get no reading at all on the stick I would have it towed to a truck repair facility to be checked out. I would not attempt to drive it.

Woody
 

John From Detroit

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Let's say your transmisstion holds oh, say, two gallons of transmission fluid,  The stick may only sense the top 2 or 3 quarts.  It is likely you do have fluid in the tranny, but you should fill it up.

Also, verify you are following the proper level test procedure, it has changed since I first learned to do it, and the difference between then and now might well be enough to cause the symptom you cite
 

King

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It is supposed to be checked HOT idling in neutral on level ground.  If it is checked cold it may not show on the dipstick.
 

Karl

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Jozee,

Also (with your foot on the brake) shift into first, then reverse; then into neutral to do your check. As King said, it must be HOT. If still nothing, check underneath and see if there are any drops of tranny fluid on the transmission pan and around the rear seal where the output shaft connects to the driveline. That would indicate a gasket or seal leak; possibly from not being driven for a long time. It should be red, but could be brown if it got too hot. Did you notice any mushy shifting while driving, any engine speeding up or racing while shifting to a higher gear? Woody's advice is sound; no fluid level or any of the above symptoms, have it towed - don't drive it. Could mean the difference between a relatively inexpensive seal, filter, gasket, fluid replacement, and adjustment, and a full blown tranny replacement or rebuild.
 

Tom

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Jozee,

Is your Allegro a diesel by chance and does it have the Allison transmission? If so, with the engine hot, idling and in neutral and the brake on, press the up and down shift arrows at the same time. The small window will show a count down and eventually show "OL OK" (if it's full) or some other code if it's not. Let us know what the code says.
 

Jim Dick

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Tom said:
Jozee,

The small window will show a count down and eventually show "OL OK" (if it's full) or some other code if it's not. Let us know what the code says.

Tom,

True but it only works if the coach manufacturer provides it. I had it on the CC but don't have it on the Dream. :mad:
 

Tom

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Alaskansnowbirds said:
I think you meant to say Transmission hot.

Good catch Don, thanks. If the transmission is hot, the engine is hot, but the reverse is not necessarily true.
 

Tom

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Jim Dick said:
True but it only works if the coach manufacturer provides it.

Hi Jim, I assumed that feature was standard on Allison transmissions, but maybe I read too much into my Allison owners manual.
 

John From Detroit

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Alaskansnowbirds said:
Tom,

I think you meant to say Transmission hot. It doesn't make any difference what the temp of the engine is.


Actually it does since transmission fluid is often passed through the radiator for cooling, a cold engine will cool the fluid much more than ahot one will.  That said, it is a bit hard to have a hot tranny and a cold engine
 

Jim Dick

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Tom said:
Hi Jim, I assumed that feature was standard on Allison transmissions, but maybe I read too much into my Allison owners manual.

Tom,

I guess it's standard with Allison but not the manufacturers. It would cost me over $800 to have it installed!! I really was disappointed since that is a more accurate method of determining the level than the dipstick. If only I had asked about it when we ordered the coach!
 

Tom

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Jim,

Too bad that AC didn't include it. I'm glad Monaco did, because I have to open a hatch in the bedroom to get at the dipstick. In the case of the engine, the dipstick is accessible from the rear compartment, but I have to open a hatch in the closet to get to the oil fill. Since I have drawers mounted in there, I have to unscrew and remove the drawers and remove the plinth that they sit on before I can open the hatch and get to the oil filler.
 

Jim Dick

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Tom,

You ARE lucky!! :) I'll bet Monaco provided it because of the dip stick location. They knew they'd be getting complaints. ;D
 

BernieD

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Jim Dick said:
Tom,

You ARE lucky!! :) I'll bet Monaco provided it because of the dip stick location. They knew they'd be getting complaints. ;D

Jim

IIRC, the oil level check was standard with Allison but American speced some options for themselves with the different OEM suppliers. I know that they went contrary to the Spartan chassis suspension designer for the air suspension height level controls and must have done the same for the read out. Our 1998 Damon (Freightliner chassis) had the Allison read out.
 

Ron

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Jim Dick said:
Tom,

I guess it's standard with Allison but not the manufacturers. It would cost me over $800 to have it installed!! I really was disappointed since that is a more accurate method of determining the level than the dipstick. If only I had asked about it when we ordered the coach!

It wasn't standard with the Allison till after you ordered your coach.  I understand that now it is a standard item.
 

Jim Dick

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Hi Bernie,

I guess they all do their own thing and one cannot "assume" that a certain feature will be there just because another coach did have it. I didn't even think about asking the question when we were ordering our coach.
 

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