Flushing old ATF and transmission failure

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Old 06 Nov 2008, 11:11 pm   #1 (permalink)
johngdole@hotmail.com
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Default Flushing old ATF and transmission failure

Here is an explanation of the problem of transmission failure after
flushing/changing old ATF:


Archive for Wednesday, November 15, 2000
Transmission Health Check: Situation Is Fluid

By Ralph Vartabedian
November 15, 2000 in print edition G-1 LA Times

An automobile’s automatic transmission–the technology-packed gearbox
that is built like a Swiss watch, controlled by a sophisticated
computer and cooled by a red liquid that looks like cherry Kool-Aid–is
all too often a repair disaster waiting to happen.

Indeed, a transmission failure will typically cost more than $2,000,
which in many cases is nearly as much as replacing the engine itself.
Once a transmission starts to disintegrate, there isn’t much you can
do except to replace the entire unit.

Dirty automatic transmission fluid is one of the big culprits in
failures, which have grown more common in recent decades as engineers
have made systems more complex, jammed them into smaller spaces and
reduced the amount of outside airflow that cools them.

These trends have made transmission fluid all the more important
because of the crucial role it fulfills. It must lubricate gears,
bearings and other moving parts. It acts as a hydraulic fluid that
operates delicate valves and transfers power in the torque converter,
which is a high-powered fluid clutch that connects the engine to the
gearbox. And it is the only coolant inside the transmission to
transfer out heat.

Unlike motor oil, transmission fluid must provide lubrication but not
be so slippery that bands and clutches inside the transmission would
be unable to grab and transfer power when they are supposed to,
according to Mark Ferner, an engineer at Pennzoil’s lube research
center in Texas.

As transmission fluid ages, it can oxidize or burn up. It starts out
clear with a reddish tint but can end up opaque or brown with an
acrid, burnt odor. Such signs are typical of transmission failure
because they indicate that the transmission is overheating. (Fluid
that loses its color but remains clear is not necessarily a sign of
impending trouble.)

As the fluid oxidizes, it becomes less slippery and offers less
protection to moving parts. It also makes the clutches and bands
inside the transmission more grabby, so shifting is more labored.

All the while, higher temperatures accelerate wear. It is also common
for transmissions to shed metal flakes, but the amount of flaking
grows as a failure approaches, and that can jam valves and abrade
moving parts.

A mistake some motorists make is to change the fluid for the first
time only after they think trouble is coming on a high-mileage car.
The new fluid–with its greater lubrication and fresh detergents–often
will cause clutches to slip and will loosen deposits that can jam
valves. So the new fluid may actually precipitate the failure of a
transmission that is on its last legs.

Auto makers and transmission fluid makers have introduced newer fluids
that are better suited to handling modern operating conditions. At the
same time, they have extended the recommended change intervals. For
example, Ford Motor Co.’s Mercon 5 and General Motors Corp.’s Dextron
3 are described as lifetime fluids.

But a lot of the country’s top transmission experts believe that
motorists who follow such advice are begging for trouble. It makes a
lot of sense to change transmission fluid every 20,000 to 25,000 miles–
about four times as often as the auto makers say.

Ferner, for example, changes his own transmission fluid every 12
months or about 12,000 miles, saying new fluid replenishes the
detergents, contaminant dispersants and friction modifiers that get
used up over time.

Sam Memmolo, a master mechanic with a repair shop in Georgia, adds
that spending $100 or so on a fluid change to protect a $2,000
transmission is “a no-brainer.”

*

Knowing what to ask for in a transmission fluid change is a little
more complicated than getting a motor oil change. Auto makers do not
provide drain plugs for transmissions, so garages have developed two
ways to do the job.

Traditionally, a mechanic unbolts and removes the transmission oil
pan, a messy job that often results in burnt knuckles. With the pan
off, the mechanic typically changes the transmission filter, which is
either a screen or a cartridge with a felt filter inside. A good
tranny man can tell a lot about the health of a transmission from
looking at the amount of metal flakes inside a filter. The service
costs about $65.

But this method leaves several quarts of dirty fluid inside the torque
converter. Some garages now offer an alternative fluid change, in
which the old fluid is pumped out of the transmission through a
coolant line. The cost is typically about $60 to $80.

Although this procedure results in a complete fluid change, the old
filter remains behind. But a transmission filter may not need to be
changed every 25,000 miles, because it will continue to allow
unrestricted flow.

A third option–which many transmission mechanics recommend at least
every 50,000 miles–is to spend $110 to $130 and have both services
done at once.


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Old 07 Nov 2008, 06:58 am   #2 (permalink)
ransley
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Default Re: Flushing old ATF and transmission failure

On Nov 6, 11:11*pm, johngd...@hotmail.com wrote:
> Here is an explanation of the problem of transmission failure after
> flushing/changing old ATF:
>
> Archive for Wednesday, November 15, 2000
> Transmission Health Check: Situation Is Fluid
>
> By Ralph Vartabedian
> November 15, 2000 in print edition G-1 LA Times
>
> An automobile’s automatic transmission–the technology-packed gearbox
> that is built like a Swiss watch, controlled by a sophisticated
> computer and cooled by a red liquid that looks like cherry Kool-Aid–is
> all too often a repair disaster waiting to happen.
>
> Indeed, a transmission failure will typically cost more than $2,000,
> which in many cases is nearly as much as replacing the engine itself.
> Once a transmission starts to disintegrate, there isn’t much you can
> do except to replace the entire unit.
>
> Dirty automatic transmission fluid is one of the big culprits in
> failures, which have grown more common in recent decades as engineers
> have made systems more complex, jammed them into smaller spaces and
> reduced the amount of outside airflow that cools them.
>
> These trends have made transmission fluid all the more important
> because of the crucial role it fulfills. It must lubricate gears,
> bearings and other moving parts. It acts as a hydraulic fluid that
> operates delicate valves and transfers power in the torque converter,
> which is a high-powered fluid clutch that connects the engine to the
> gearbox. And it is the only coolant inside the transmission to
> transfer out heat.
>
> Unlike motor oil, transmission fluid must provide lubrication but not
> be so slippery that bands and clutches inside the transmission would
> be unable to grab and transfer power when they are supposed to,
> according to Mark Ferner, an engineer at Pennzoil’s lube research
> center in Texas.
>
> As transmission fluid ages, it can oxidize or burn up. It starts out
> clear with a reddish tint but can end up opaque or brown with an
> acrid, burnt odor. Such signs are typical of transmission failure
> because they indicate that the transmission is overheating. (Fluid
> that loses its color but remains clear is not necessarily a sign of
> impending trouble.)
>
> As the fluid oxidizes, it becomes less slippery and offers less
> protection to moving parts. It also makes the clutches and bands
> inside the transmission more grabby, so shifting is more labored.
>
> All the while, higher temperatures accelerate wear. It is also common
> for transmissions to shed metal flakes, but the amount of flaking
> grows as a failure approaches, and that can jam valves and abrade
> moving parts.
>
> A mistake some motorists make is to change the fluid for the first
> time only after they think trouble is coming on a high-mileage car.
> The new fluid–with its greater lubrication and fresh detergents–often
> will cause clutches to slip and will loosen deposits that can jam
> valves. So the new fluid may actually precipitate the failure of a
> transmission that is on its last legs.
>
> Auto makers and transmission fluid makers have introduced newer fluids
> that are better suited to handling modern operating conditions. At the
> same time, they have extended the recommended change intervals. For
> example, Ford Motor Co.’s Mercon 5 and General Motors Corp.’s Dextron
> 3 are described as lifetime fluids.
>
> But a lot of the country’s top transmission experts believe that
> motorists who follow such advice are begging for trouble. It makes a
> lot of sense to change transmission fluid every 20,000 to 25,000 miles–
> about four times as often as the auto makers say.
>
> Ferner, for example, changes his own transmission fluid every 12
> months or about 12,000 miles, saying new fluid replenishes the
> detergents, contaminant dispersants and friction modifiers that get
> used up over time.
>
> Sam Memmolo, a master mechanic with a repair shop in Georgia, adds
> that spending $100 or so on a fluid change to protect a $2,000
> transmission is “a no-brainer.”
>
> **
>
> Knowing what to ask for in a transmission fluid change is a little
> more complicated than getting a motor oil change. Auto makers do not
> provide drain plugs for transmissions, so garages have developed two
> ways to do the job.
>
> Traditionally, a mechanic unbolts and removes the transmission oil
> pan, a messy job that often results in burnt knuckles. With the pan
> off, the mechanic typically changes the transmission filter, which is
> either a screen or a cartridge with a felt filter inside. A good
> tranny man can tell a lot about the health of a transmission from
> looking at the amount of metal flakes inside a filter. The service
> costs about $65.
>
> But this method leaves several quarts of dirty fluid inside the torque
> converter. Some garages now offer an alternative fluid change, in
> which the old fluid is pumped out of the transmission through a
> coolant line. The cost is typically about $60 to $80.
>
> Although this procedure results in a complete fluid change, the old
> filter remains behind. But a transmission filter may not need to be
> changed every 25,000 miles, because it will continue to allow
> unrestricted flow.
>
> A third option–which many transmission mechanics recommend at least
> every 50,000 miles–is to spend $110 to $130 and have both services
> done at once.


Why temp gauges and coolers are not installed is a good question, I
drive hard in the city which overheats and kills trannys. When my 84
camry started to go bad I put in a cooler with thermostat that helped
alot on keeping it shifting, after that failed to help 130w gear oil
kept it out of the junk yard for another 10000 miles. I dont go by
manufacturers long schedules, I siphon or drain what I can at 12-20000
and do the pan at 40-50. On my Volvo ive been having issues, Volvo
charged me 300 for a synthetic flush 3500 miles ago, just recently I
took out 2.5 quarts and put in Mobil synthetic, I now see by how it
drives Volvo did not use the syn they charged for. Coolers, temp
gauges and more frequent changes are an answer. People fail to
understand that unless you drive mainly highway miles you are usualy
listed in the "severe" catagory.
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Old 07 Nov 2008, 10:31 am   #3 (permalink)
Leftie
Guest
  • Posts: n/a
  • User Status:


Default Re: Flushing old ATF and transmission failure

johngdole@hotmail.com wrote:
> Here is an explanation of the problem of transmission failure after
> flushing/changing old ATF:
>
>
> Archive for Wednesday, November 15, 2000
> Transmission Health Check: Situation Is Fluid
>
> By Ralph Vartabedian
> November 15, 2000 in print edition G-1 LA Times
>
> An automobile’s automatic transmission–the technology-packed gearbox
> that is built like a Swiss watch, controlled by a sophisticated
> computer and cooled by a red liquid that looks like cherry Kool-Aid–is
> all too often a repair disaster waiting to happen.
>
> Indeed, a transmission failure will typically cost more than $2,000,
> which in many cases is nearly as much as replacing the engine itself.
> Once a transmission starts to disintegrate, there isn’t much you can
> do except to replace the entire unit.
>
> Dirty automatic transmission fluid is one of the big culprits in
> failures, which have grown more common in recent decades as engineers
> have made systems more complex, jammed them into smaller spaces and
> reduced the amount of outside airflow that cools them.
>
> These trends have made transmission fluid all the more important
> because of the crucial role it fulfills. It must lubricate gears,
> bearings and other moving parts. It acts as a hydraulic fluid that
> operates delicate valves and transfers power in the torque converter,
> which is a high-powered fluid clutch that connects the engine to the
> gearbox. And it is the only coolant inside the transmission to
> transfer out heat.
>
> Unlike motor oil, transmission fluid must provide lubrication but not
> be so slippery that bands and clutches inside the transmission would
> be unable to grab and transfer power when they are supposed to,
> according to Mark Ferner, an engineer at Pennzoil’s lube research
> center in Texas.
>
> As transmission fluid ages, it can oxidize or burn up. It starts out
> clear with a reddish tint but can end up opaque or brown with an
> acrid, burnt odor. Such signs are typical of transmission failure
> because they indicate that the transmission is overheating. (Fluid
> that loses its color but remains clear is not necessarily a sign of
> impending trouble.)
>
> As the fluid oxidizes, it becomes less slippery and offers less
> protection to moving parts. It also makes the clutches and bands
> inside the transmission more grabby, so shifting is more labored.
>
> All the while, higher temperatures accelerate wear. It is also common
> for transmissions to shed metal flakes, but the amount of flaking
> grows as a failure approaches, and that can jam valves and abrade
> moving parts.
>
> A mistake some motorists make is to change the fluid for the first
> time only after they think trouble is coming on a high-mileage car.
> The new fluid–with its greater lubrication and fresh detergents–often
> will cause clutches to slip and will loosen deposits that can jam
> valves. So the new fluid may actually precipitate the failure of a
> transmission that is on its last legs.
>
> Auto makers and transmission fluid makers have introduced newer fluids
> that are better suited to handling modern operating conditions. At the
> same time, they have extended the recommended change intervals. For
> example, Ford Motor Co.’s Mercon 5 and General Motors Corp.’s Dextron
> 3 are described as lifetime fluids.
>
> But a lot of the country’s top transmission experts believe that
> motorists who follow such advice are begging for trouble. It makes a
> lot of sense to change transmission fluid every 20,000 to 25,000 miles–
> about four times as often as the auto makers say.
>
> Ferner, for example, changes his own transmission fluid every 12
> months or about 12,000 miles, saying new fluid replenishes the
> detergents, contaminant dispersants and friction modifiers that get
> used up over time.
>
> Sam Memmolo, a master mechanic with a repair shop in Georgia, adds
> that spending $100 or so on a fluid change to protect a $2,000
> transmission is “a no-brainer.”
>
> *
>
> Knowing what to ask for in a transmission fluid change is a little
> more complicated than getting a motor oil change. Auto makers do not
> provide drain plugs for transmissions, so garages have developed two
> ways to do the job.
>
> Traditionally, a mechanic unbolts and removes the transmission oil
> pan, a messy job that often results in burnt knuckles. With the pan
> off, the mechanic typically changes the transmission filter, which is
> either a screen or a cartridge with a felt filter inside. A good
> tranny man can tell a lot about the health of a transmission from
> looking at the amount of metal flakes inside a filter. The service
> costs about $65.
>
> But this method leaves several quarts of dirty fluid inside the torque
> converter. Some garages now offer an alternative fluid change, in
> which the old fluid is pumped out of the transmission through a
> coolant line. The cost is typically about $60 to $80.
>
> Although this procedure results in a complete fluid change, the old
> filter remains behind. But a transmission filter may not need to be
> changed every 25,000 miles, because it will continue to allow
> unrestricted flow.
>
> A third option–which many transmission mechanics recommend at least
> every 50,000 miles–is to spend $110 to $130 and have both services
> done at once.
>
>


I have yet to read of an automatic transmission failing right after
a simple fluid change. It's the flushes that can kill them. This article
looks to me like one of those semi-thoughtful but ultimately uninformed
pieces done by automotive "journalists" who don't really understand
automotive technology...
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Old 07 Nov 2008, 10:11 pm   #4 (permalink)
johngdole@hotmail.com
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Default Re: Flushing old ATF and transmission failure

I think cost cutting measures. But more decent transmissions should
have better filtration systems than plain strainers.

Synthetic oils are more expensive, like some of the Volvo use Mobil
3309 dinos. BTW, the new Mobil-1 synthetic ATF looks like a good
formulation for a number of applications, including their own Mobil
3309! Got a case on the shelf waiting for the next trial
opportunity.


On Nov 7, 4:58*am, ransley <Mark_Rans...@yahoo.com> wrote:
> Why temp gauges and coolers are not installed is a good question, I
> drive hard in the city which overheats and kills trannys. *When my 84
> camry started to go bad I put in a cooler with thermostat that helped
> alot on keeping it shifting, after that failed to help 130w gear oil
> kept it out of the junk yard for another 10000 miles. I dont go by
> manufacturers long schedules, I siphon or drain what I can at 12-20000
> and do the pan at 40-50. On my Volvo ive been having issues, Volvo
> charged me 300 for a synthetic flush 3500 miles ago, just recently I
> took out 2.5 quarts and put in Mobil synthetic, I now see by how it
> drives Volvo did not use the syn they charged for. Coolers, temp
> gauges and more frequent changes are an answer. People fail to
> understand that unless you drive mainly highway miles you are usualy
> listed in the "severe" catagory.


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Old 07 Nov 2008, 10:16 pm   #5 (permalink)
johngdole@hotmail.com
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Default Re: Flushing old ATF and transmission failure

I think most mix "flush" and "fluid exchange". Just like when people
"flush" their brake system of old fluid.

I don't think there are "flush" machines anymore, they are more
accurately described as "fluid exchangers," accurate to 95% volume
typically.




On Nov 7, 8:31*am, Leftie <N...@Thanks.net> wrote:
> * * *I have yet to read of an automatic transmission failing right after
> a simple fluid change. It's the flushes that can kill them. This article
> looks to me like one of those semi-thoughtful but ultimately uninformed
> pieces done by automotive "journalists" who don't really understand
> automotive technology...


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Old 08 Nov 2008, 05:05 am   #6 (permalink)
ransley
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  • Posts: n/a
  • User Status:


Default Re: Flushing old ATF and transmission failure

On Nov 7, 10:11*pm, johngd...@hotmail.com wrote:
> I think cost cutting measures. But more decent transmissions should
> have better filtration systems than plain strainers.
>
> Synthetic oils are more expensive, like some of the Volvo use Mobil
> 3309 dinos. BTW, the new Mobil-1 synthetic ATF looks like a good
> formulation for a number of applications, including their own Mobil
> 3309! Got a case on the shelf waiting for the next trial
> opportunity. *
>
> On Nov 7, 4:58*am, ransley <Mark_Rans...@yahoo.com> wrote:
>
>
>
> > Why temp gauges and coolers are not installed is a good question, I
> > drive hard in the city which overheats and kills trannys. *When my 84
> > camry started to go bad I put in a cooler with thermostat that helped
> > alot on keeping it shifting, after that failed to help 130w gear oil
> > kept it out of the junk yard for another 10000 miles. I dont go by
> > manufacturers long schedules, I siphon or drain what I can at 12-20000
> > and do the pan at 40-50. On my Volvo ive been having issues, Volvo
> > charged me 300 for a synthetic flush 3500 miles ago, just recently I
> > took out 2.5 quarts and put in Mobil synthetic, I now see by how it
> > drives Volvo did not use the syn they charged for. Coolers, temp
> > gauges and more frequent changes are an answer. People fail to
> > understand that unless you drive mainly highway miles you are usualy
> > listed in the "severe" catagory.- Hide quoted text -

>
> - Show quoted text -


I put a few quarts of mobil syn transmission fluid, the multi car ford-
dextron mix in the volvo but I dont think its volvo rated, well it
shifts better, milage is higher on the same loop than its ever been.
Next I am trying 0-30 mobil 1.
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