tranny filter change question [Archive] - GrandAmGT.com Forum

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turdstangjunk69
10-17-2008, 07:33 PM
my tranny tends to act weird once it is at temperature. it likes to slip a little into second gear... my question is: is it ok to change the filter and replace the fluid? i heard alot of bad things about changing the fluids in transmissions. the car has 114,000 miles on it and i doubt it was ever changed before.

gagt Mechanic
10-17-2008, 09:41 PM
People on here are 50/50 on this. I personally would leave it alone, but alot of people have said they changed there filter and had no problems, not to many saying it fixed there problem. but most people agree do not flush it.

AaronGTR
10-18-2008, 08:13 AM
Slipping on high mileage transmissions is pretty common on these cars. The clutches in the 4T45E tranny are kind of weak and once they get worn they won't grab as hard. There is really no fix for it other than rebuilding the trans and getting new or better clutch plates. Changing the transmission fluid and filter won't hurt though and it will help the trans live longer. The fluid does have a limited life span and should be replaced eventually. If it is a high mileage trans and the fluid has never been changed, then I would NOT have the transmission flushed. A simple drain and refill and filter change is best.

turdstangjunk69
10-18-2008, 05:42 PM
ok thanks alot

Metalxen
10-18-2008, 10:21 PM
I'm sure I read in my owners manual that the tranny does'nt need servicing for the life of the car, but what would you recommend for service intervals Aaron?

gagt Mechanic
10-18-2008, 10:41 PM
not sure on your service manual but gm rec any car with dextron 3 every 30-50k.

Metalxen
10-18-2008, 11:26 PM
This what my manual states: Change both the fluid and the filter every 50,000 miles (83,000 kms) if the vehicle is mainly driven under one or more of these conditions: (1) in heavy city traffic where the outside temperature regularly reaches 90*F (32*C) or higher. (2) in hilly or mountainous terrain. (3) when doing frequent trailer towing. (4) uses such as taxi, police or delivery service. If you do not use your vehicle under any of these conditions, the fluid and filter do not require changing. I do not fall under any of these :iconfused

AaronGTR
10-19-2008, 04:47 PM
Yeah, I've never understood why they put that in there. Maybe they just think no one keeps their car long enough anymore that they'll get to the point where it needs to be changed so they just call it life time? :rolleyes: Basically anywhere you drive the car you are going to experience a mix of those conditions. You can't only drive the car on the freeway on flat terrain and in cool weather. lol

Bottom line is, trans fluid is a lot like engine oil. Sure, it's not exposed to the blow by gases (unburnt fuel and combustion by-products ) that engine oil is, but it still collects dirt and moisture over time just like brake fluid which also should be changed every 3 years. It still has an additives package just like engine oil that neutralizes acids and protects components. Those things get used up over time and the fluid doesn't work as well. It needs to be changed. Also they are on a new dexron fluid now (VI i think?) that is supposed to be much better than dexron3 so it would be worth changing it to that. Thats my opinion.

silverbullet51
12-15-2008, 07:30 PM
Slipping on high mileage transmissions is pretty common on these cars. The clutches in the 4T45E tranny are kind of weak and once they get worn they won't grab as hard. There is really no fix for it other than rebuilding the trans and getting new or better clutch plates. Changing the transmission fluid and filter won't hurt though and it will help the trans live longer. The fluid does have a limited life span and should be replaced eventually. If it is a high mileage trans and the fluid has never been changed, then I would NOT have the transmission flushed. A simple drain and refill and filter change is best.

why would you not get the tranny flushed? I see so many dealership ads for trans flush and fill. my tranny is starting to slip every now and then, esp. on hills. with 130k my fluid must be crap.

AaronGTR
12-15-2008, 07:57 PM
why would you not get the tranny flushed? I see so many dealership ads for trans flush and fill. my tranny is starting to slip every now and then, esp. on hills. with 130k my fluid must be crap.


Because sometimes when they flush it, they stir up crap that has settled somewhere in the transmission or pan and it gets into your seals and things and wears them out or breaks them. That's exactly what happened on my '97 grand prix I bought (has the 4T60E trans). I had the trans flushed and the fluid and filter changed when I bought it used... previous owner had never had it done and it had 127k miles on it... less than 6 months later I was installing a new transmission in that car. Took the pan off the old one and it had all kinds of pieces of seals and bearings in the bottom that had disintegrated... it wouldn't shift into gear anymore because it couldn't build any pressure.

Trust me, you are better off with just draining the fluid and changing it and the filter. Don't do a flush if it's high miles and it's never been done.

silverbullet51
12-16-2008, 10:41 PM
i heard that somewhere before, makes sense now

silverbullet51
12-16-2008, 10:53 PM
on changing the fluid, draining it only removes the used fluid inside the trans, it doesn't include any fluid inside the torque converter. right or wrong.

my haynes manual says a fluid and filter change takes 7 quarts. from dry including torque converter is 13 quarts. so a fluid and filter change only removes 3/4 of the old fluid, is that ok? do i need to worry about the torque converter?

AaronGTR
12-19-2008, 09:01 PM
Yeah, just a drain an replace doesn't get all the old fluid out. It's not really a big deal. It's a lot more work to get the TC out and get the rest of the fluid out of the trans. It's really not possible to do a complete fluid change without either a flush or a rebuild.

The most important part of changing the fluid is replenishing the additives package that neutralizes harmful buildup in the fluid and helps it maintain its lubrication properties. Those additives get used up over time just like in engine oil. If there are any contaminants in the fluid like metal particles or dirt, adding the new fluid and filter will dilute them and lower the concentration thereby extending the life of the internal parts, so the fluid that gets left in isn't really that big a deal.

silverbullet51
12-19-2008, 11:57 PM
Yeah, just a drain an replace doesn't get all the old fluid out. It's not really a big deal. It's a lot more work to get the TC out and get the rest of the fluid out of the trans. It's really not possible to do a complete fluid change without either a flush or a rebuild.

The most important part of changing the fluid is replenishing the additives package that neutralizes harmful buildup in the fluid and helps it maintain its lubrication properties. Those additives get used up over time just like in engine oil. If there are any contaminants in the fluid like metal particles or dirt, adding the new fluid and filter will dilute them and lower the concentration thereby extending the life of the internal parts, so the fluid that gets left in isn't really that big a deal.

ok, so what additives do you reccommend? I hear lubeguard ATF protectant is supposed to be good.

and just to clarify, even the lubeguard ATF flush without using a machine is a no-no?

GRABER75
12-20-2008, 08:30 AM
I just did my transmission fluid and filter change at 100,000 kms with AMSOIL synthetic automatic transmission fluid, my mechanic told me it was ok to flush at my kms and was recomended because I switched to AMSOIL synthetic ...the transmission now seams to have a firmer shift. It never hurts to renew old fluids. On the other hand....Aaron is right, it is not a good idea to flush a transmision with high milage due to settlement and debris just a simple filter and fluid change will do.

AaronGTR
12-21-2008, 09:43 AM
ok, so what additives do you reccommend? I hear lubeguard ATF protectant is supposed to be good.

and just to clarify, even the lubeguard ATF flush without using a machine is a no-no?

Don't know what lubeguard ATF flush is, never heard of it. The only way to do a flush is with a machine that pumps the old fluid out and new fluid in.

Anyway, I don't recommend any additives. Nothing other than the recommended trans fluid. Most additives are a bunch of BS anyway and don't do anything, or can actually hurt your trans or engine.

As for synthetic labeled fluids, there isn't really any difference. Trans fluid isn't like oil, there isn't traditional and synthetic. They are all pretty much synthetic now. The more important thing is what spec they are. Most of them will say they meet dexron III/mercon requirements.

If you really want the best you should use the new dexron VI. It's a little more expensive but it beats everything on the market including amsoil and mobil1. It has the highest current requirements for temperature stability, resistance to shearing and foaming, and pitting and corrosion protection.

silverbullet51
12-22-2008, 11:33 PM
cool, thanks for the info

hardcore
12-23-2008, 07:44 PM
I personally wouldn't mine did the same when it got about 123,000 miles on it and now it has 186,000 miles and it still does the same no major problems though and all those miles are in city driving just don't rod it ya know!

2001 GT Dave
02-20-2009, 02:09 PM
After reading everyone's experiences with high mileage cars, I decided to get a flush and fill. I am glad I did. The fluid was dark brown and syruppy. Obviously, it had reached the end of its useful life.

27273

If you are in the Baltimore area, I can highly recommend Jim Jennings Transmissions. This is all they do and service was very professional.

http://www.jimjenningstransmissions.com/

KhellendrosxS
02-20-2009, 02:35 PM
^

You do realize that the general consensus it to NOT flush but rather to just drain and refill?

2001 GT Dave
02-20-2009, 04:05 PM
I always read the boards first when I do work on the car. I also realize everyone's hesitation about power flushes. I can only speak about what I saw when the pan was dropped and what the mechanics explained to me. The machine they used does not "power flush" the fluid or perform any kind "backflush". It simply hooks up with one of the trans cooler lines and pumps out the old fluid while pumping in new fluid. What convinced me is that it did not use detergents or chemicals, but just plain fluid. And, it did so at NO greater pressure than normal. Maybe this method should be called "fluid exchange" instead of power flush. Only time will really tell if damage was done, but I feel confident about my decision.

vindiktive
02-22-2009, 09:30 PM
Well hopefully your tranny doesnt crap out on you :/

2000 GT Coupe
02-22-2009, 10:44 PM
I always read the boards first when I do work on the car. I also realize everyone's hesitation about power flushes. I can only speak about what I saw when the pan was dropped and what the mechanics explained to me. The machine they used does not "power flush" the fluid or perform any kind "backflush". It simply hooks up with one of the trans cooler lines and pumps out the old fluid while pumping in new fluid. What convinced me is that it did not use detergents or chemicals, but just plain fluid. And, it did so at NO greater pressure than normal. Maybe this method should be called "fluid exchange" instead of power flush. Only time will really tell if damage was done, but I feel confident about my decision.
I agree about the fluid change vs flush

Well hopefully your tranny doesnt crap out on you :/
I dont think it will, the exchange is nothing more then what the transmission already does ie pump fluid all through it.