AL4 oil level
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Thread: AL4 oil level

  1. #1
    1000+ Posts N5GTi6's Avatar
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    Default AL4 oil level

    Well, next in my series of 'please help answer this AL4 question' I have the following :

    Reference comments from pages 21-22 of the following document :

    http://kit-group.ru/sections/AL4%20Transmission.pdf

    I've read all the instructions on setting the oil level in the AL4, and it's basically set using the drain plug - the oil level is set correctly when no more oil runs out of the level plug with gearbox at 58-68 degrees and the engine running - gearbox in 'P'. Car very level of course.

    Now with that understanding I removed the level plug on the new to us C3 and expected nothing to come out, given that I hadn't added oil, and to the best of my knowledge no service had ever been done by the one previous owner on the gearbox. I have all service receipts since new and the owner wasn't really the home mechanic type. The level should basically have been as it left the factory.

    Now, surprise, surprise - when I measured the oil that came out it was 600ml - not just a few drips but quite a large volume. OMG I thought - this gearbox has been horribly overfilled since new. I had thoughts of all the AL4 issues being due to overfilled gearboxes from the factory.

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    Then, when I removed the drain plug, and measured the oil that then came out, it was only 2 litres - I had expected close to 3 litres at this point.

    In total, I drained 2.6 litres which sounded ok, but if I refilled the gearbox using the existing drain plug, I would only be putting 2 litres back in.

    Hence my quandary - the gearbox is a lovely specimen - quiet, smooth, no clunks or thumps - nothing weirdly 'AL4' about it at all. With 80K km's on the clock I believe the existing oil level must have been doing it a favour. The oil wasn't burnt or nasty smelling, hence I have no reason to believe it was overfilled - it was certainly quite dirty as to be expected I guess.

    So I refilled it with 2.6 litres of prewarmed oil - maybe not 60 degrees but as warm as I could get it. Went for a drive - all fine. I've drained and refilled 3 times now - oil is still a little dirty but much better than when I started.

    Is the drain plug in my gearbox the wrong length ? How did I get so much oil out by removing the level plug, but not as much as I expected when I removed the drain plug ?

    Are people who use the 'correct level' technique potentially under-filling their gearboxes ?

    Oh, and I used the same calibrated kitchen measuring jug to measure both the drained oil, and the oil I refilled with - can't really trust the measures on the side of an oil bottle or a catch pan...

    Cheers

    Justin
    '07 C3 Exclusive
    '10 308 Sportium Touring
    '12 Megane RS265 8:08

  2. #2
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    Default Interesting level check !

    Hi N5GTi6,
    Well that story is interesting ! It sounds just like what happens if you do the check without the engine running.

    Does your transmission have the level tube as per the diagram in that document P15 or the later type of plastic tube that fits completely up the hole ?

    My observation is that some later transmissions have appeared to contain less oil than the earlier ones ? Not as little as that perhaps. But my recommendation would be to only check the variables that control the level check and if they are all found to be correct then do it by the book What else.
    Jaahn

  3. #3
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    Default

    Same thing happened to me in my 406 diesel with AL4, I checked it after putting the same oil dropped after changing the shift solenoids and fluid came back out. I figured it must be right as i'd done it the way you said and gearbox slipped in 1st and reverse until i brought it in to peugeot and they added another 1/2 litre for $30! Last newer french car (and auto) I ever own.

  4. #4
    Too many posts! JohnW's Avatar
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    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by downunderyank2 View Post
    Same thing happened to me in my 406 diesel with AL4, I checked it after putting the same oil dropped after changing the shift solenoids and fluid came back out. I figured it must be right as i'd done it the way you said and gearbox slipped in 1st and reverse until i brought it in to peugeot and they added another 1/2 litre for $30! Last newer french car (and auto) I ever own.
    I wouldn't tar them all with the same brush.... I can say this having avoided all multiplex PSA devices! Our new 2nd hand Renault Scenics (manuals) are just excellent.
    JohnW

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  5. #5
    1000+ Posts Greg C's Avatar
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    Default

    Make sure you put the gear lever through all positions before you put into park or neutral to do the level check.
    Mine

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    In the family

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  6. #6
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    Default

    Hi - I am no expert however it seems that the oil level can be variable providing the following is in order:

    The volumetric expansion of mineral oil is approximately 28ml per Lt from 25C to 65C. so with 6 Lt fill of oil the total variation is 168ml.
    Providing all internal pump, galleries, actuation for clutches and bands and torque converter are full (or at the usual operating degree of "fullness", the oil level in the "sump" only needs to cover the pump inlet, with allowance for oil surging during driving, and providing that the level is not overfull so that it contacts rotating components, then everything should be fine.

    What I don't know is the variation between those two extents. I would expect that a couple of hundred ml either way would have little affect on the operation of the gearbox.
    JohnW and shanadoo like this.

  7. #7
    1000+ Posts robmac's Avatar
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    Talking about variations, I wonder how Ken's Megane AL4 rebuild is progressing ?

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