Dealer transmission fluid change?

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  #1  
Old 01-19-07, 03:47 PM
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Dealer transmission fluid change?

I've heard of this before, but if any of you work at a dealership service deptartment, please buzz in.

After reviewing the AllData for changing A/T fluid, the procedure only states dropping the tranny pan, cleaning magnets and pan, and replacing pan. Then adding only 4 quarts of fluid and thats it.

Most cars, like mine, hold 8-9 quarts, so why don't they replace all of it?

And I know you can get the fluid changed in the torque converter by disconnecting the tranny cooling lines and draining it all from there.

I just want to know why they don't do this? Why would anyone want half the fluid changed?
 
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  #2  
Old 01-19-07, 04:04 PM
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What you describe is the guicky method, and you are correct, it does not even come close to replacing the fluid. There is a process for replacing nearly all the fluid. Ask your dealer.
 
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Old 01-19-07, 04:13 PM
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Bill-
I know how to replace all the fluid myself, but, was just wondering why the dealers "standard" tranny service only requires half the fluid changed.
 
  #4  
Old 01-19-07, 04:26 PM
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We never disconnected the lines and I doubt if many would. A lot of those are a bear to get to. To get the fluid out of the torque converter, you would have to drop the pan, remove the fluid, run the engine a short time and while doing so, catch the fluid in something that the filter couldn't reach to draw the fluid back up into the tranny. You could disconnect the cooler lines and let those drain to get the fluid out of the cooler. To say that's worth it, I don't know. I really don't think you can reasonably get it all out.

That's probably why we didn't do it. The issue of only changing a portion of the fluid is valid. I just don't know if it's that easy to get around.

Hope this helps,

Bob
 
  #5  
Old 01-19-07, 04:39 PM
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I thought the dealers specialized in flushing the transmission which is supposed to clean and replace the fluid in the entire system. At $125+ I figured it was easier/cheaper to do it myself - more often.
 
  #6  
Old 01-19-07, 05:11 PM
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$125 is the drop the pan, wipe it out, and 4 qt of something price.
 
  #7  
Old 01-19-07, 06:01 PM
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Talk about robbery.
 
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Old 01-19-07, 06:06 PM
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It'll be a CDIH before I paid $125 for a simple tranny service! Think I'm going to open up a shop that specializes in that job.
 
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Old 01-19-07, 06:14 PM
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Talking

I agree Tow.

I do all my car work myself. I was just wondering why dealers did this when I was reviewing AllData service manuals.

My wife still nags me about the last time I changed my A/T fluid in my Maxima. My driveway is almost permanetly stained....:-p
 
  #10  
Old 01-19-07, 06:59 PM
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... proof that the trick is to do it elegantly and cleanly. It helps to use a length of clear tygon tubing and a hose clamp plumbed to a generous bucket.
 
  #11  
Old 01-19-07, 08:04 PM
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Speaking of tricks. I'm out of commercial work now, but when I do mine, I took a large glass jar (it's about 6 qts or so) with a metal screw on lid. Then drilled two holes in the top that would accomodate two 5/16 neoprene lines with a tight fit. One goes down into the jar about 6 inches. The other about one or two.

The first one I run down the transmission fill tube to the bottom of the pan and the other I hook up to a vacuum source on the engine. Then start the engine and suck out the tranny fluid. The fluid won't get sucked into the engine because of the higher position of the end of the line in the jar.

Hillbilly engineering !! I could do fifteen $125 jobs a day!!
 
  #12  
Old 01-19-07, 09:39 PM
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You guys are making a big deal out of it, you can go to any of those fast lube places and they do have a machine to flush and refill entire tranny fluid, they won't change filter unless you also request it because flush is done without taking pan off.
Dealers are naturally more expensive due to better paid mechanics, insurance etc, usually they know your car better too and are overall more professional than your " neighborhood " auto shop.
$ 125 for a tranny service may not be cheap but it is not out of whack either, problem is people compare service prices with DIY prices and of course
the " my niece will give it a shot " is always a cheaper option.
 
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Old 01-20-07, 08:08 AM
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Lou-
These flush machines you talk about shock the hell out of the tranny. Also, it is a good idea to clean off the magnets that are there when you drop the pan.
 
  #14  
Old 01-20-07, 11:41 PM
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I don't know how replacing entire fluid would " shock " a tranny (?) and of course cleaning magnets would be a good idea, except that when they use these machines they don't drop the pan.
Seriously if you already know or think you already know the answer to something why do you start a thread in the first place ? either pay up or do it yourself.
 
  #15  
Old 01-21-07, 01:38 AM
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the tranny flushing machines do not shock the tranny it isnt exacly flushing anything its spliced into the cooler lines so as old fluid is pumped out new fluid is being added same concept as a coolant change machine that uses the waterpump of the car to pump the coolant out while new fluid is being gravity fed into the cooling system all you are doing is changing the fluid and not really flushing anything.
 
  #16  
Old 01-21-07, 04:27 AM
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I thought that they first ran a cleaning solution thru the tranny and then pumped in clean fluid replacing the cleaner. At least that was how I understood it the last time I had to go to the dealership
 
  #17  
Old 01-21-07, 05:40 AM
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apperently there is a couple of different types have never heard of using a solvent but im sure it just amounts to adding a small amount like a quart of cleaner and running the vehicle prior to flushing dont think it is procedure for most dealers or shops.
copy and paste the website below if you want a better explanation of how the machines work.
http://www.gadgetonline.com/TransFlush.htm
 
  #18  
Old 01-21-07, 06:11 AM
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There are two versions of changing ATF, one is drain and fill which takes 4-5 qts and other is flush which takes 12 qts + cleaner kit. On the flush one, first we add a can of BG cleaner to the Trans and drive it for couple of miles to get the cleaner goes thru, then we hook up the machine which was filled with 12qts and additive then we flush it thru, you can see the process goes thru by a clear glass tube on the machine and you can also tell the different by the fluid color before and after flush.

And NO, flushing will not "shocks the hell out of the tranny as someone stated, there's a pressure regulator vavle built in and it was regulated waaayyyyyy less than the pressure's output of the Trans.
 
  #19  
Old 01-21-07, 06:31 AM
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There are some shops that do the flushing by running the vehicle to pump the fluid through the system so the tranny pump is actually driving the fluid. A friend of mine said they don't use a solvent but use eighteen quarts of fluid for the job.

The logic of the no solvent was that tranny fluid has a high detergent content so the new fluid serves as the cleaner.

The point Mark was making in his original post is still worth consideration. Have you done the whole job if half the fluid is left in the torque converter or is flushing the tranny the only option that accomplishes the maintenance?
 
  #20  
Old 01-21-07, 07:14 AM
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The company I work for has let a shop change the transmission fluid using the method of a cleaner and then pumping in new fluid while pumping out old. On several pickups after this was done the transmissions failed and had to be rebuilt. I had my F350 company work truck w/100K miles done by the same method but went a bit farther. After the drive with cleaner added had the pan pulled and cleaned (they were surprised at the amount of material in the bottom of the pan as I told them there would be) and the filter changed. Then they changed the remaining fluid with the pump. I didn't have any problems as did the other pickups.

One can do this same job at home by attaching longer hoses to the cooling lines on the transmission and having two clean 5 gal. buckets. Fill one with the amount of fluid it will take to replace the fluid or a bit more and leave the other empty. Put the cooling line from the transmission (the one that has the hot fluid to be cooled) in the empty bucket and the return line in the one that has the new fluid. Start the engine with the park brake set and put it in gear. It will transfer the fluids on its own.
 

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  #21  
Old 01-21-07, 07:48 AM
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I've read of Ford truck guys using this method, but I don't believe other makes and models will suck up the new fluid.
 
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Old 01-21-07, 09:02 AM
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Originally Posted by LouBazooka View Post
I don't know how replacing entire fluid would " shock " a tranny (?) and of course cleaning magnets would be a good idea, except that when they use these machines they don't drop the pan.
Seriously if you already know or think you already know the answer to something why do you start a thread in the first place ? either pay up or do it yourself.


Then I guess you have not dealt with these machines yet Lou. There is no reason for your smart a$$ comment. I started the thread to ask why dealers change tranny fluid this way. If you read my post in the first place, you would have known this. I also stated I have done these changes in my vehicles myself. Please keep the negative ignorant commments to yourself.
 
  #23  
Old 01-21-07, 11:01 AM
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I used to work at a Jiffy Lube years ago and these are the machines we used, no dropping pan at all.
I'm surprised at how few people know about these machines, including you.

copy and paste, you'll see.


http://images.google.com/images?hl=en&q=tranny+flushing+machines
 
  #24  
Old 01-21-07, 12:30 PM
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Jiffy Lube has been documented as the worst place to get work done. Dateline NBC did an investigation on numerous shops. Jiffy Lube would charge people for work that was never performed. Stating that, I would not listen to anyone who worked at a Jiffy Lube.


http://www.nbc4.tv/investigations/8881193/detail.html
 
  #25  
Old 01-25-07, 06:23 PM
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Back in the day, torque converters had a drain plug in them. Several severe duty units still do. if it does, pull the plug with it in the lowest position and let it drain a few hours. I have squirted brake cleaner up there and let it sit, then squirt fresh tranny fluid and let it drain. I once took the inspection cover off a 700R4 and drilled a 1/16th hole in the bottom of the tc, and zapped it with the wirefeed after. This was a desperate measure for a tranny that was smoked. I cleaned the valve body and flushed the cooler and the tranny works to this day. That was in 1997.
 
  #26  
Old 01-28-07, 07:35 PM
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On my tranny it takes 5 quarts of $7 fluid and a $17 filter $3 tube of sealer. That is $55 in parts alone. The other $70 goes to labor which is probably 1 hour. I think Alldata shows 1.3 hours to service trans. That is where the $125 comes from.
 
  #27  
Old 01-28-07, 08:07 PM
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Ok, Ok, Ok, OK guys, lets keep it civil.
We're here to help each other out, right ?
I did total tranny flush on a '77 Granade, I mean Granada.
That sucker took about 15 quarts of tranny fluid including the torque converter and it did have a drain plug on the torque converter.
I also dropped the valve body and lost that little check valve in the drain pan and didn't realize it until I drove it and wondered why it wouldn't shift out of 1st.
So I had to drop the pan all over again. Then it leaked at the pan for ever.
And the tranny blew up some 20K later.
So now today I don't mess with any transmission fluid change or flush.
I just drive like a gentleman and take my chances.
I'm too afraid of upsetting a good transmission.
ALL of my cars go well into the 200,000 mile range without flushing the trannys.
 
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