Cleaning up dirty Transmission fluid

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Old 06 Mar 2004, 12:25 pm   #1 (permalink)
Raul
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Default Cleaning up dirty Transmission fluid

I have a recently purchased 97 Camry. Great car, but my mechanic
noted that the transmission fluid is a little dirty. He says it is
not near as bad as some he has seen but he recommends replacing it
with new fluid.

He suggests that rather than pay a transmission shop $100 to do the
job, I buy two cases of transmission fluid and every two weeks drain
out about 2 quarts of the dirty fluid and refill with two quarts of
the new fluid. He says I will have to do this about 12 - 16 times to
get all of the dirty fluid out.

It's an easy job, but I am wondering if it will work well. I have
always read that transmissions were sealed units, so I question
whether this will get all the dirty fluid out.

Does the fluid in the bottom pan of the transmission circulate enough
to mix with the rest of the fluid in the transmission?
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Old 06 Mar 2004, 02:22 pm   #2 (permalink)
IceMan
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Default Re: Cleaning up dirty Transmission fluid

What is current mileage?
Has transmission fluid been changed before?

"Raul" <raul_lithgo@yahoo.com> wrote in message
news:e9f396c5.0403061025.11fcfd44@posting.google.c om...
> I have a recently purchased 97 Camry. Great car, but my mechanic
> noted that the transmission fluid is a little dirty. He says it is
> not near as bad as some he has seen but he recommends replacing it
> with new fluid.
>
> He suggests that rather than pay a transmission shop $100 to do the
> job, I buy two cases of transmission fluid and every two weeks drain
> out about 2 quarts of the dirty fluid and refill with two quarts of
> the new fluid. He says I will have to do this about 12 - 16 times to
> get all of the dirty fluid out.
>
> It's an easy job, but I am wondering if it will work well. I have
> always read that transmissions were sealed units, so I question
> whether this will get all the dirty fluid out.
>
> Does the fluid in the bottom pan of the transmission circulate enough
> to mix with the rest of the fluid in the transmission?



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Old 06 Mar 2004, 03:21 pm   #3 (permalink)
IceMan
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Default Re: Cleaning up dirty Transmission fluid

Read following document excerpt from
http://www.autotap.com/articles/Prev...s_Filters.html

"Automatic transmission fluid is rarely changed for preventive maintenance,
yet is often the cause of premature transmission failure. Considering how
expensive a transmission is to replace, the cost of changing the fluid and
filter periodically is peanuts.

Most vehicle owner's manuals do not specify a change interval for automatic
transmission fluid-unless the vehicle is used for towing. But most
transmission experts say changing the fluid and filter (which is located
inside the transmission) every 25,000 to 30,000 miles can significantly
prolong the life of the transmission. But if a transmission has a lot of
miles on it and the fluid has never been changed, they also say it may be
best to leave the fluid alone. Why? Because changing the fluid may loosen
accumulated varnish deposits that could cause sticking of control valves in
the valvebody.

At the very least, the transmission fluid level should be checked
periodically. On most vehicles, this should be done after the vehicle has
been driven and the fluid is hot. The dipstick is then read while the engine
idling and the transmission is in park."




"Raul" <raul_lithgo@yahoo.com> wrote in message
news:e9f396c5.0403061025.11fcfd44@posting.google.c om...
> I have a recently purchased 97 Camry. Great car, but my mechanic
> noted that the transmission fluid is a little dirty. He says it is
> not near as bad as some he has seen but he recommends replacing it
> with new fluid.
>
> He suggests that rather than pay a transmission shop $100 to do the
> job, I buy two cases of transmission fluid and every two weeks drain
> out about 2 quarts of the dirty fluid and refill with two quarts of
> the new fluid. He says I will have to do this about 12 - 16 times to
> get all of the dirty fluid out.
>
> It's an easy job, but I am wondering if it will work well. I have
> always read that transmissions were sealed units, so I question
> whether this will get all the dirty fluid out.
>
> Does the fluid in the bottom pan of the transmission circulate enough
> to mix with the rest of the fluid in the transmission?



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Old 06 Mar 2004, 03:40 pm   #4 (permalink)
Philip®
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Default Re: Cleaning up dirty Transmission fluid

In news:e9f396c5.0403061025.11fcfd44@posting.google.c om,
Raul <raul_lithgo@yahoo.com> being of bellicose mind posted:
> I have a recently purchased 97 Camry. Great car, but my mechanic
> noted that the transmission fluid is a little dirty. He says it is
> not near as bad as some he has seen but he recommends replacing it
> with new fluid.
>
> He suggests that rather than pay a transmission shop $100 to do the
> job, I buy two cases of transmission fluid and every two weeks
> drain out about 2 quarts of the dirty fluid and refill with two
> quarts of the new fluid. He says I will have to do this about 12
> - 16 times to get all of the dirty fluid out.
>
> It's an easy job, but I am wondering if it will work well. I have
> always read that transmissions were sealed units, so I question
> whether this will get all the dirty fluid out.
>
> Does the fluid in the bottom pan of the transmission circulate
> enough to mix with the rest of the fluid in the transmission?


Let's understand ... NO automatic transmission is a "sealed" unit.
That a couple of high end cars fill the transmission via a plug on
the side of the transmission as if it were a manual box does not make
them "sealed." Torque converters no longer have a drain plug on them
but still ... this does not make them "sealed." ALL fluid in the
transmission recirculates thru the pan.

If you drain the transmission COLD (don't fire up the engine), you'll
get nearly 4 quarts out of it. Do this twice and you'll get enough
of the old fluid diluted to make everybody happy again. After that,
drop your fluid every 15-20k miles and ... you only have to drop the
fluid once.

--

- Philip @ Maximum Torque RPM


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Old 06 Mar 2004, 04:36 pm   #5 (permalink)
Philip®
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Default Re: Cleaning up dirty Transmission fluid

The link below contains some industry DRIVEL. Transmission fluid and
filter/screen servicing has been minimized in scheduled maintenance
books for the sake of lowering estimated cost of ownership
calculations ... not for your longevity benefit.

The ONLY reason for leaving the fluid alone in a foul transmission is
.... YOU (the garage) don't want to be the last one to touch that pile
just before it blows. It's a matter of avoiding the "blame game."

DO read your owner's manual about checking the fluid level. There
are cars that are checked with the engine NOT running and some that
can only be checked thru a plug on the side of the transmission (like
a manual box).
--

- Philip @ Maximum Torque RPM


In news:Vhr2c.80684$aH3.2468592@bgtnsc04-news.ops.worldnet.att.net,
IceMan <badmineral@worldnet.att.net> being of bellicose mind posted:
> Read following document excerpt from
>

http://www.autotap.com/articles/Prev...Fluids_Filters
..html
>
> "Automatic transmission fluid is rarely changed for preventive
> maintenance, yet is often the cause of premature transmission
> failure. Considering how expensive a transmission is to replace,
> the cost of changing the fluid and filter periodically is peanuts.
>
> Most vehicle owner's manuals do not specify a change interval for
> automatic transmission fluid-unless the vehicle is used for
> towing. But most transmission experts say changing the fluid and
> filter (which is located inside the transmission) every 25,000 to
> 30,000 miles can significantly prolong the life of the
> transmission. But if a transmission has a lot of miles on it and
> the fluid has never been changed, they also say it may be best to
> leave the fluid alone. Why? Because changing the fluid may loosen
> accumulated varnish deposits that could cause sticking of control
> valves in the valvebody.
>
> At the very least, the transmission fluid level should be checked
> periodically. On most vehicles, this should be done after the
> vehicle has been driven and the fluid is hot. The dipstick is then
> read while the engine idling and the transmission is in park."
>
>
>
>
> "Raul" <raul_lithgo@yahoo.com> wrote in message
> news:e9f396c5.0403061025.11fcfd44@posting.google.c om...
> > I have a recently purchased 97 Camry. Great car, but my mechanic
> > noted that the transmission fluid is a little dirty. He says it
> > is not near as bad as some he has seen but he recommends
> > replacing it with new fluid.
> >
> > He suggests that rather than pay a transmission shop $100 to do
> > the job, I buy two cases of transmission fluid and every two
> > weeks drain out about 2 quarts of the dirty fluid and refill
> > with two quarts of the new fluid. He says I will have to do
> > this about 12 - 16 times to get all of the dirty fluid out.
> >
> > It's an easy job, but I am wondering if it will work well. I have
> > always read that transmissions were sealed units, so I question
> > whether this will get all the dirty fluid out.
> >
> > Does the fluid in the bottom pan of the transmission circulate
> > enough to mix with the rest of the fluid in the transmission?




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Old 06 Mar 2004, 07:19 pm   #6 (permalink)
Daniel M. Dreifus
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Default Re: Cleaning up dirty Transmission fluid

raul_lithgo@yahoo.com (Raul) wrote in message news:<e9f396c5.0403061025.11fcfd44@posting.google. com>...
>
> Does the fluid in the bottom pan of the transmission circulate enough
> to mix with the rest of the fluid in the transmission?


Yes. It is circulating whenever the transmission is in use.
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Old 06 Mar 2004, 08:08 pm   #7 (permalink)
Raul
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Default Re: Cleaning up dirty Transmission fluid

"Philip®" <1chip-state1@earthlink.net.invalid> wrote in message > > If you drain the transmission COLD (don't fire up the engine), you'll
> get nearly 4 quarts out of it. Do this twice and you'll get enough
> of the old fluid diluted to make everybody happy again. After that,
> drop your fluid every 15-20k miles and ... you only have to drop the
> fluid once.


That's good news to me. I do check the fluid level on a regular
basis, at least twice a month. Years ago I payed plenty for a tranny
overhaul, and while it kept the car going for several more years, the
tranny never was as good as it should have been and I realize I could
have saved the tranny and the $$ by doing a bit of preventive
maintenance.

So it looks like the case or two of transmission fluid will be used up
over the next few months as I slowly replace the dirty fluid with
new fluid.

By the way the Camry is truly a great car. I can see why it is one of
the most popular cars sold in the USA.
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Old 06 Mar 2004, 10:56 pm   #8 (permalink)
default
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Default Re: Cleaning up dirty Transmission fluid


"Raul" <raul_lithgo@yahoo.com> wrote in message
news:e9f396c5.0403061025.11fcfd44@posting.google.c om...
> I have a recently purchased 97 Camry. Great car, but my mechanic
> noted that the transmission fluid is a little dirty. He says it is
> not near as bad as some he has seen but he recommends replacing it
> with new fluid.
>
> He suggests that rather than pay a transmission shop $100 to do the
> job, I buy two cases of transmission fluid and every two weeks drain
> out about 2 quarts of the dirty fluid and refill with two quarts of
> the new fluid. He says I will have to do this about 12 - 16 times to
> get all of the dirty fluid out.
>
> It's an easy job, but I am wondering if it will work well. I have
> always read that transmissions were sealed units, so I question
> whether this will get all the dirty fluid out.
>
> Does the fluid in the bottom pan of the transmission circulate enough
> to mix with the rest of the fluid in the transmission?


Also, if it's a 4 cylinder you may want to drain and fill the differential.
The diff fluid is also ATF, but is isolated from the transmission's fluid.
If it's a 6 cylinder, then it shares fluid with the tranny.
I asked this question on this group about a year ago (thanks, MDT Tech), and
thought I'd share the info.



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