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Your opinion on transmission fluid replacement

 
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  #1 (permalink)  
Old 25 Jun 2018, 10:22 am
ajhockey3's Avatar
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Default Your opinion on transmission fluid replacement

I believe the owners manual says automatic transmission fluid change at 100,000KM, but I have noticed a large amount of people on the forum replace it before then.


my PT Cruiser currently is 50,000KM sense I was told its transmission was rebuilt, I have no records to prove this, However it was sold by the local mom and pop transmission shop in my city back then, and the fluid was pink when I bought it. It has gotten a bit darker and my car takes a bit of a beating, its seen tempatures like -30c and +35c . is the 100,000KM service interval accurate? Or should I do it. Growing up my parents had Plymouth and Chrysler minivans, and there automatic transmissions failed on all 3, leaves me cautious.
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Old 25 Jun 2018, 11:28 am
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Default Re: Your opinion on transmission fluid replacement

You can't hurt it by keeping the fluid clean. I believe you should change it as often as you can afford. I used to change mine every 20K km. When I bought my Intrepid the fluid was brown and old. I removed the pan, changed the filter and installed a drain plug. Then I was able to dump and refill with new oil a few times in a short time period to effectively replace 90% or more of the old fluid with new. Then every 20K I would pull the plug and refill. This old Chrysler lasted another 150K Km before I junked it. I am sure it wouldn't have lasted that long had I not been diligent in replacing the fluid regularly.

Do yourself a big favour and buy a Dorman replacement pan with a drain plug already built in. It will make regular fluid fills easy. Only $38 CDN on amazon.ca with free shipping:

https://www.amazon.ca/Dorman-265-801...dp/B002XIKJL2/
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Old 25 Jun 2018, 11:28 am
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Default Re: Your opinion on transmission fluid replacement

There is nothing wrong with changing the fluid and filter now. I think a lot of transmission failures is because people don't change the fluid. They change it when they feel there might be a problem, then when the transmission fails a few thousand miles later, they blame it on the fact that they changed the fluid. The story always goes, (I didn't have any problems for 150,000 miles. I had the fluid changed 4,000 miles ago and now the transmission won't shift.) Maybe they should have changed fluid and filter more often. I'm not going to put a number on recommended miles to change the fluid. It will open a whole new discussion.

I have changed the fluid and filter on my '01 LE once since I have had it. It had 93,000 mile when I got it and it has 123,000 miles now.
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Old 25 Jun 2018, 11:57 am
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Default Re: Your opinion on transmission fluid replacement

Quote:
Originally Posted by myckee View Post
You can't hurt it by keeping the fluid clean. I believe you should change it as often as you can afford. I used to change mine every 20K km. When I bought my Intrepid the fluid was brown and old. I removed the pan, changed the filter and installed a drain plug. Then I was able to dump and refill with new oil a few times in a short time period to effectively replace 90% or more of the old fluid with new. Then every 20K I would pull the plug and refill. This old Chrysler lasted another 150K Km before I junked it. I am sure it wouldn't have lasted that long had I not been diligent in replacing the fluid regularly.

Do yourself a big favour and buy a Dorman replacement pan with a drain plug already built in. It will make regular fluid fills easy. Only $38 CDN on amazon.ca with free shipping:

https://www.amazon.ca/Dorman-265-801...dp/B002XIKJL2/
Thanks for that dorman link, I didn't know that product existed, and you even used amazon.ca, you guys are great! Purchasing it now
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Old 25 Jun 2018, 12:49 pm
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Default Re: Your opinion on transmission fluid replacement

There are 2 ways to effectively replace the transmission fluid. The first is a complete flush. Drop the pan, clean the magnet and replace the filter, and filling the transmission back up to full on the dipstick. Then you disconnect the return line from the ATF cooler and put it into a big container marked off in quarts. You start the engine and drain exactly 1 quart then stop the engine. Refill with 1 quart of ATF and repeat this until new/clear transmission fluid comes out of the return line. It will take about 3-4 gallons of ATF to do this. Drive around and check the fluid level several times over the next couple of days.

The other is to replace the AFT after the pan drop and do a fill and drain once a week for the next 2 weeks. You remove and replace about 1/2 the fluid on each drain and fill so:

After the first drain and fill you have 50% new fluid
2nd - 75%
3rd - 87% <-- That's probably good enough.

Another way to do this is to simply do a drain and fill once a year. You're always introducing clean fluid into the system and always dumping diluted old fluid out. This is similar to an oil change simply with longer intervals.

Any of these is better than doing a change once every 60-100,000 miles.
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Old 25 Jun 2018, 02:08 pm
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Default Re: Your opinion on transmission fluid replacement

I haven't purchased a used vehicle is 2 decades, but when I did, the very first thing I did was change all the fluids and full tune-up, even if the previous owner just did it. Not only does it give you a good base-line for future services, it could also give you some insight in what kind of shape the vehicle was in and the quality of products used. Helped me big time when I found a plug fowler on one of the plugs and was able to return the vehicle to get my money back. Of course this was all before Carfax.
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Old 25 Jun 2018, 02:30 pm
Fk5 Fk5 is offline
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Default Re: Your opinion on transmission fluid replacement

How do you determine what fluid is in it? My PT is a manual, but my daughter has a 2011 200 2.4/auto we bought used. The pan is weeping and looks like a gasket, so I assume it has been changed at least once. I planned to get a pan with a drain and swap it eventually. Do I just bank on it having the right stuff, or do I have to do a flush like rocket mentions?

I am in the same boat with the antifreeze. Seems like mixing is worse than leaving it, but at least in summer I can just flush with water, instead of wasting money and mess on tranny fluid.
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Old 25 Jun 2018, 03:23 pm
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Default Re: Your opinion on transmission fluid replacement

my opinion on tranny fluid? its awful...and tastes horrible... and it sucks having to go a day drenched in the stuff! did you know ATF can be used to charge a diesel fuel filter?

I wouldn't bother flushing.. and please confirm if the existing pan has a gasket... that's convincing enough to use some rtv! I don't bother with the drain plug one because ours is still nice and flat. and is thick enough to take a nice bashing from a rock (think moms dirt road..) use only the Chrysler ATF4- and the napa stuff has been working great btw- especially if you need 14 quarts to do a cummins 4/4 with a transfer.. $$$$!

ps, is the drain bolt on this new one subject to unforeseen damage? how much does it protrude?

oops... I found it...

Last edited by rambojoe; 25 Jun 2018 at 03:28 pm.
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Old 25 Jun 2018, 03:36 pm
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Default Re: Your opinion on transmission fluid replacement

Quote:
Originally Posted by Fk5 View Post
How do you determine what fluid is in it? My PT is a manual, but my daughter has a 2011 200 2.4/auto we bought used. The pan is weeping and looks like a gasket, so I assume it has been changed at least once. I planned to get a pan with a drain and swap it eventually. Do I just bank on it having the right stuff, or do I have to do a flush like rocket mentions?

I am in the same boat with the antifreeze. Seems like mixing is worse than leaving it, but at least in summer I can just flush with water, instead of wasting money and mess on tranny fluid.
For your daughter's car, it wouldn't hurt to do a flush. 3-4 gallons of ATF isn't chump change, but it buys peace of mind for that subject. I did that with my son's 09 Camry that he just bought and figured it's cheap insurance. Plus he won't have to worry about it for at least another few years.

You can run several drain and fills of the cooling system with distilled water with a 5-10 minute drive in between and finally drain and fill with a 50/50 fresh coolant mixture. Yes you can calculate the exact mixture of concentrate/distilled water to make up for the water left in the system from the last drain, but if you simply filled it with 50/50, it should be close enough to not make a difference unless your winters are exceptionally cold.
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Old 25 Jun 2018, 05:50 pm
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Default Re: Your opinion on transmission fluid replacement

Can anyone recommend the best fluid to use? Is it best to use Mopar fluid and filter, that will cost me a small fortune
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