Change Transmission Fluid/screen-Yes/No?

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Old 04-04-11, 11:39 AM
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Change Transmission Fluid/screen-Yes/No?

I drive very old cars. Years ago I took one to one of those tuneup shops to get the automatic transmission fluid and screen changed. They refused. They said if you touch the transmission on an old car it may never work again. I've heard conflicting info on if that is true.

Now a freind wants to take her '98 Ford Aerostar in to have the automatic transmission fluid and screen changed. She too has been given conflicting advice so what is your opinion? The transmission works fine. She just wants to do it as preventive maintenance.
 
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Old 04-04-11, 11:50 AM
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Changing the fluid and the filter should be no issue. That is a maintenance requirement that should be done and not doing it will likely cause more likelihood of a failure. The debated issue in some forums seems to be around the dangers or not of having the transmission so called flushed. The Aerostar is probably long overdue for new fluid and filter.
 
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Old 04-04-11, 01:32 PM
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I've had more than my fair share of older vehicles and have never had any issues caused by changing the tranny fluid and filter.
 
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Old 04-04-11, 01:42 PM
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Depends on how many miles and if it was ever done before. Ex: If you have 150,000 miles and it was never done I am sure you will have issues.

Mike NJ
 
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Old 04-04-11, 04:24 PM
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Search the older posts; we've had several threads on this topic with the pro's, con's, and technical details.
 
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Old 04-04-11, 04:45 PM
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Thanks guys.

......................
 
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Old 04-05-11, 01:04 PM
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I think a lot of the failures reported can be attributed to fluid changes where the wrong type of fluid was used. Stay away from universal transmission fluids. You don't necessarily need to get the OEM brand fluid but DO make sure that the fluid being used meets the OEM specs (should indicate on the label).

Dodge/Chrysler transmissions are notorious for failing when the wrong fluid was used.

Also, stay away from flushes. Insist on a fluid and filter change. They may tell you that you can only get 40 percent of the fluid out with a pan drop change and that is often true. However, there are ways to do 100 percent fluid change without any sophisticated equipment - I do it all the time in my garage. It is not difficult to do - it just takes a little more time and effort (but not much).

I have been able to bring failing trannies back to life by doing a 100 percent fluid change. My van stopped shifting and the fluid level was fine so I tried changing the fluid and disconnected the battery and took it through the re-learn procedures and it now shifts great. This is a '96 Caravan with 190k miles on it and the original tranny. I've even towed a popup halfway across the country and back several times.
 
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Old 04-05-11, 01:44 PM
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So to sum it up guys is it correct to say changing fluid and screen is good but flushing is bad because it may knock loose particles and damage the valve body?
 
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Old 04-05-11, 10:30 PM
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To sum it up, yes, changing with correct ATF and new filter is required as a maintenance item. Flushing is not required and can bring on potential failures.
 
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Old 04-13-11, 08:13 PM
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1 thing to add if you want to change it by yourself, You can call your car dealership and ask them what type of fluid to use if you give them you VIN #.
 
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