Transmission fluid change

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  #1  
Old 03-25-06, 11:27 AM
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Transmission fluid change

1. How often should the transmission fluid be changed.

2. I went to an automotive place and they told me if it hasn't been changed in a while, putting new fluid in might actually cause problems, because the transmission has gotten use to the old fluid. Is this true?

Thanks
 
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  #2  
Old 03-25-06, 03:33 PM
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Trans fluid change?

Unless you meet some fairly strict circumstances, the transmission fluid in your car should outlast the car.

Under NORMAL circumstances (NOT towing your Airstream up the Rockies at 105 degree ambient temperature, NOT racing across Death Valley at 120MPH, NOT being a cab driver in NYC) your transmission fluid should not need to be changed. It's not subject to the kinds of wear and tear that oil is.

Remember, there have been tremendous advances in both transmission design, and fluid chemistry in the last 20 years. Even the best oil of 1985 would be low-shelf junk these days.

Unless your manufacture recommends it, I'd check it every couple of weeks, and forget it.

And NEVER EVER EVER EVER EVER have it "FLUSHED", by a dealer or anyone else. You have no control over what car was flushed before yours, whether or not the operator cleaned the machine out as required, or whether you'll end up flushing your transmission with the crap that was sucked out of the last guy's Corolla or something.

Transmission flushes are right up there with "Rustproofing", "Slick 50", "The Tornado" and fuel line magnets - they line the pockets of the dealers/Tranny shops, do more harm than good, and "sound" like a good thing.
 
  #3  
Old 03-25-06, 03:45 PM
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Originally Posted by nametag
1. How often should the transmission fluid be changed.

2. I went to an automotive place and they told me if it hasn't been changed in a while, putting new fluid in might actually cause problems, because the transmission has gotten use to the old fluid. Is this true?

Thanks
1. Start with what the manufacturer recommends for fluid replacement and work from there. High temperature is one of the things that really kills the life of transmission fluid. Even getting seriously stuck in the snow and spending time spinning your tires and rocking the car back and forth can raise fluid temps to the point that the fluid should be changed right away. If in doubt change it sooner than the manufacturer recommends, sort of the "Pay me now or pay me later" idea.
2. I don't know how a transmission gets used to the old fluid? One of those "Just a gut feeling" type of things that people like to spout I guess. The worn clutch, band and metal particles usually settle in the pan and because of the filter no unusually large particles should settle in the rest of the transmission. Because of this, changing the fluid and filter usually causes no problem. It is a rare case that servicing a transmission will cause a particle of something to lodge somewhere and cause a problem but as I said, it is a rare occasion. The fresh additives in new fluid will tend to clean any varnish that has started to accumulate and that in time could stick a valve, plus the fresh additives will help to keep the seals pliable and functioning correctly.
 
  #4  
Old 03-25-06, 05:41 PM
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Originally Posted by nametag
1. How often should the transmission fluid be changed.

2. I went to an automotive place and they told me if it hasn't been changed in a while, putting new fluid in might actually cause problems, because the transmission has gotten use to the old fluid. Is this true?

Thanks
mechanical components don't " get used " to anything, change tranny fluid if it's been a while, replace filter too, see your owner's manual for a reference change according to driving conditions and weather in your area.
 
  #5  
Old 03-25-06, 05:53 PM
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The consensus is to change the fluid every 30K for cars that use regular fluid, every 60K for cars with "lifetime" fluid.

I agree with staying away from flush services. But I urge people to have the fluid completely exchanged, and not just change what's in the pan. The difference is that flushes run a cleansing agent through your transmission. An exchange is simply substituting new fluid for old. Sometimes the cleansing agent isn't completely removed from the transmission, which can adversely affect the seals in the transmission.
 
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