The Saturn’s Transmission

Sun Jul 17 21:01:56 2005 EDT (-0400 GMT)

Quite the automotive weekend. I was back in Markham to work on the Saturn, the transmission has been slipping in 4th — probably due to the heat and the Saturn’s 190,000+ KM and the fact that I haven’t changed the transmission fluid since 120,000KM. I spent Saturday trying to get the drain plug off and could not find anything that was the right size. My aunts and uncles started arriving around three for a small dinner party while I was still under the car. I had to make a third trip down to Canadian tire to again look for the right sized tool to remove the drain plug.

While I was on my third trip I had to wait almost ten minutes for someone to unlock the socket cabinet, apparently the call-button was turned off. While I was waiting my mother called me and asked me to go to 48 & 16th with my cellphone because my sister had got in a car accident and her battery was dying. This made the wait even more excruciating. Once I got there I was relived to see she was fine and that my father and uncle had already made it over.


Apparently, the other driver was leaving Tim Horton’s and was waived in to the outside lane and was coming across into the left-hand turn lane as my sister was braking. She hit his front left with her front right – she’s OK, he had a small scar on his forehead. The Cirrus is still drivable, but he had to have his car towed. It was interesting to see how the tow trucks swarm like diesel powered vultures, it was a good thing we were able to drive off. I took a few pictures while we waited for the police, and we found out that the gentleman who hit my sister used to live on our street and has a picture of my sister at a birthday party from years ago. The whole family of the person who hit my sister where really nice, if we were going to get hit by someone it may as well be them/him.

Sunday. Still unable to get that drain plug lose and now the ground was wet and it was preventing me from using my ramps to raise the car up. I took it to Canadian Tire and the guys loosened it for me after going through a whole bunch of tools. They didn’t even charge me so I slipped the guy from the counter and the guy who did the work a five each. Obviously, once this plug was loose I didn’t want to change the fluid and use that plug again. They guys at the first Canadian Tire had sold me a guess at the proper plug, but it wasn’t the one. So I had to go over to the other Canadian Tire, with the plug this time, and they were able to give me a new one.


The rest of the afternoon included a down-poor, another trip for ATF and some good scrapes on my forearm from removing the filter. I was able to finally fix the transmission and my drive back to St. Catharines without incident after about ten hours of work on this car. I got a quote before all of this and it was going to be $220 for the shop to do it with my fluid and filter – so time well spent.

Now, beer. Soon, sleep.

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