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batsona
Maryland

join:2004-04-17
Ellicott City, MD
Reviews:
·Vonage
·Verizon FiOS

Is this guy feeding me a line, or what??

Greetings -- Just had the oil changed at the local Valvoline store (not specifically the reason for writing...) The guy there tried to sell me on the transmission oil-swap thing, which I declined because I'll have it done at someplace that drops the pan & replaces the filters (I'm at 60k mi right now anyway). The Valvoline guy says:

"you know no one does that anymore, right?"
----->"uhhhh... really"?
"yea, the dealership will do the same thing we're going to do - no one drops the pan anymore because you have to replace the gasket & all that stuff---- it's alot of trouble..." "Plus, dropping the pan leaves all the oil in the torque-converter. Draining the fluid, we stick a line down the filler neck & suck out all the oil in the Converter. Your dealership isn't going to do that..."

Questions?

1.) Is dropping-the-pan-and-replacing-the-filters no longer a popular / required service? Don't the filter(s) need to be changed every so often? My manual says every 60k mi.

2.) Couldn't dropping-the-pan also involve sucking the fluid out of the Converter? I do know that it holds fluid captive.

3.) Is this guy full of *%($*&^ and he's trying to sell his service & sour me against doing it any other way?


oxymoron69

join:2004-11-10
Corbyville, ON
kudos:1
Reviews:
·TekSavvy DSL
·Kingston Online ..
I still drop the pan and change the filter. Then I reuse the stock gasket, even though the Wix filters I buy come with new ones.

Trapped fluid in the convertor... drop the pan again in a few months to do another fluid change with a quality ATF (no filter change) and you're good. Of course folks may say differently, but that's how I've always seen/had it done.

I don't see why he's worried about a few quarts of older ATF when they're leaving in a crufty filter.

You were right to think twice.


drewis
Premium
join:2006-09-04
Hamilton, ON
reply to batsona
Hey there. If you hit 60K miles, check the service interval from your users manual to determine if it needs to be done. IMO if it hasnt been done before, I would do it, and do it right. Drop the pan, check the magnet for excessive shavings/metal parts, let drain for an hour or two, machine the pan to get gasket material off, change filter(s), replace gasket (I RTV'd mine) and fill her up!

But yeah most cars that ive seen recommend it right about 90,000 KM or so but check your owners manual.

As for the torque converter, im not even sure that the vacuum would even extract the fluid from there, all it does is suck up the fluid from the bottom of the pan IIRC...


mattmag
Premium,ExMod 2000-03
join:2000-04-09
NW Illinois
kudos:3
reply to batsona


That's pretty much BS.

You have options:

You can opt for dropping the pan and changing the filter at the recommended interval *and* combine that service with a complete fluid flush. I feel that's the best of both worlds; you get a new filter plus all new fluid.

Don't use a shop that purports to "sucking out all the oil" through the filler neck. It can't be done, period. The transmission MUST be operating in order to move fluid through the converter and valve body circuits. A quality service will have a machine that installs in-line with the cooler circuit, capturing the old dirty fluid while supplying the system with fresh new fluid. That's the ONLY way to have it done. BG Products makes an excellent machine as I have described, and there are others.

After the filter has been replaced, the other option is 30,000 miles from now you can do only the fluid change.


Kibbles
Premium
join:1999-07-31
Mission Viejo, CA
reply to batsona
Dropping the pan lets the mechanic see and remove any metal particles..."sucking" out the fluid may move metal particles into the transmissions valve body.
--
»www.angryrenter.com/

Tig

join:2006-06-29
Carrying Place, ON
Reviews:
·voip.ms

1 edit
reply to batsona
"we stick a line down the filler neck & suck out all the oil in the Converter."
>>BS, Mechanically impossible. I would walk away based on this guys willingness to talk out his butt.

Questions?

1.) Is dropping-the-pan-and-replacing-the-filters no longer a popular / required service? Don't the filter(s) need to be changed every so often? My manual says every 60k mi.
>>I think suck, fill, run, suck, fill, pay me now, is common as a "flush" process. But the filter still should be replaced, so drop the pan when required.

2.) Couldn't dropping-the-pan also involve sucking the fluid out of the Converter? I do know that it holds fluid captive.
>>Converters usually (or maybe I should say used to) have their own drain plug. There is no other access short of removing the converter.

3.) Is this guy full of *%($*&^ and he's trying to sell his service & sour me against doing it any other way?
>> Yup!!


ropeguru
Premium
join:2001-01-25
Mechanicsville, VA
reply to batsona
The shop I use will tie in between the transmission and transmission cooler and do a complete replacement and then drop the pan and change the filter.

H_T_R_N
Premium
join:2011-12-06
Valencia, PA
kudos:1
reply to batsona
Yep full of it. There is ZERO way to get a hose to suck anything out of the converter from the filler tube, or anywhere else for that matter. Only way is a flush or if there is a drain plug on the converter itself.


BonezX
Basement Dweller
Premium
join:2004-04-13
Canada
kudos:1
said by H_T_R_N:

Yep full of it. There is ZERO way to get a hose to suck anything out of the converter from the filler tube, or anywhere else for that matter. Only way is a flush or if there is a drain plug on the converter itself.

uncle had a machine like that, it would suck out a couple liters, but nowhere near the almost 12L that it took to refill my trans after i had it flushed.

batsona
Maryland

join:2004-04-17
Ellicott City, MD
Reviews:
·Vonage
·Verizon FiOS
reply to batsona
OP here: Thanks for the info -- this is just what I needed. Sounds like I need both: Drop pan, new gasket, new filter(s) and do a fluid-swap with a machine that installs in-line with the trans, and cooler. This way I get near-100% new fluid, and a new set of filters... (jeep Grand cherokee withi the 'mercedes' transmission - I think it has 2 filters...)


SwedishRider
Rider on the Storm
Premium
join:2006-01-11
not Sweden
kudos:1
reply to batsona
This is the best method for changing transmission fluid IMHO:

»www.youtube.com/watch?v=vhksapxDPA0


mattmag
Premium,ExMod 2000-03
join:2000-04-09
NW Illinois
kudos:3

1 recommendation

said by SwedishRider:

This is the best method for changing transmission fluid IMHO:

Actually, it is a very poor example, and clearly illustrates the person's inexperience with performing such work. I watched that entire video when you posted in the other thread, and it is full of things that should never be done.

Just to name a few:

He doesn't have the slightest idea which cooler line is the supply and which is the return, so he removes the line and starts up the truck to see which one pumps fluid out, resulting in a big mess. If anyone who worked for me had done that they would have had the rest of the day off. They publish repair information for a reason, and the cooler flow information is readily available.

After dropping the pan down, he "discovers" the factory-installed dipstick opening plug from assembly. He marvels at making such a find, clearly pointing out he's obviously very inexperienced. Anyone actually familiar with automotive repair would simply toss the thing into the trash, and not be so excited.

His biggest error by far however, is his method of starting the truck with the cooler line off, all the while dumping new fluid into the filler tube. Seriously? What happens when he doesn't keep up and he starves the front pump? Sorry, but that is completely amateur, terribly unsafe, and poor practice.


SwedishRider
Rider on the Storm
Premium
join:2006-01-11
not Sweden
kudos:1

1 edit
I look at it the other way... I think flush machines are pretty awful. They take all the gunk from the filter and the pan and force it back into the tranny. Personally, I would never do that.

»www.amsoil.com/lit/filter_man_council01.pdf

»www.performanceoiltechnology.com···ures.pdf

I agree that he made a mess, and that could have been avoided. But dropping the pan, changing the filter, and replacing all the fluid including what's in the torque converter before topping off is the better way to go.

But as always, to each their own.


pmohr
Premium
join:2002-09-22
Maryville, TN
said by SwedishRider:

I look at it the other way... I think flush machines are pretty awful. They take all the gunk from the filter and the pan and force it back into the tranny. Personally, I would never do that.

Perhaps you're thinking of the machines that have their own pump to force fluid through the cooler hoses, in the opposite direction, I wouldn't use one of those.

The most common one you'll find, however, is just an inline collection tank/fresh supply that basically uses the front pump to move the fluid around. No chance of damage, it just replaces the trans cooler.


Ghastlyone
Premium
join:2009-01-07
Las Vegas, NV
kudos:5

2 edits
reply to batsona
Any automotive shop or service station that doesn't drop the pan and change the filter, are either complete morons, or scam artists.

Filter replacement is crucial. I had a 95 GMC Sierra, and the 700R4 was acting strange and not shifting at times or it would completely lose 2nd gear. I thought the trans finally took a crap.

Low and behold, I finally said "screw it" and changed the fluid and filter. Come to find out, I had a completely clogged filter and the fluid wasn't cyling completely when the truck was cool. That thing shifted awesome afterwards.



SwedishRider
Rider on the Storm
Premium
join:2006-01-11
not Sweden
kudos:1
reply to pmohr
said by pmohr:

Perhaps you're thinking of the machines that have their own pump to force fluid through the cooler hoses, in the opposite direction, I wouldn't use one of those.

The most common one you'll find, however, is just an inline collection tank/fresh supply that basically uses the front pump to move the fluid around. No chance of damage, it just replaces the trans cooler.

The only machines I have seen force the fluid through the cooler hoses. I'm not opposed to the machine that does what you describe, but still doesn't drop the pan, clean it out, and change the filter.

But the local dealerships/quick lubes have the "force fluid" flush machines. And none will drop the pan. I would have to do it myself or go to an independent mechanic/shop to get that done.


SwedishRider
Rider on the Storm
Premium
join:2006-01-11
not Sweden
kudos:1
reply to Ghastlyone
said by Ghastlyone:

Any automotive shop or service station that doesn't drop the pan and change the filter, are either complete morons, or scam artists.

Sadly, most dealerships and quick lubes are going the route of the flush machine. I had to call around to find a mechanic that would drop the pan and do a full fluid change with filter replacement. Even 2 local transmission shops said they would do it, but preferred to just use the flush machine because it was less labor (and priced it so high it was unlikely I would go that route). Clearly the easy money is in flush machines these days. It's unfortunate... but it is what it is I suppose.


SimbaTLK1
Rawrrr

join:2001-09-07
Pittsburgh, PA
reply to batsona
I agree that what he told you was mostly BS. The only thing that may have a grain of truth is #1. It depends on what Make/Model of car you have.

I've owned 2 cars that have been exceptions to the rule.

1) A Saturn S series doesn't have a pan type filter. It has a spin on type like an oil filter. Simply pull the plug, drain the ATF, spin off/on a new filter, and refill.

2) My gen 2 Nissan Altima's ATF pan filter is little more than a coarse screen. Not worth changing every fluid change, or maybe even every other change.


Cho Baka
Premium,MVM
join:2000-11-23
there
kudos:2
Reviews:
·TekSavvy DSL
reply to mattmag
said by mattmag:

After dropping the pan down, he "discovers" the factory-installed dipstick opening plug from assembly. He marvels at making such a find, clearly pointing out he's obviously very inexperienced. Anyone actually familiar with automotive repair would simply toss the thing into the trash, and not be so excited.

I fully agree, a proper flush machine will do a good job flushing all of the fluid in the transmission.
Some good ones meter the fluid in to match the amount of fluid that came out.

To add to that, many transmissions have 100,000 mile or longer fluid change intervals and metal screens, not filters, so there is nothing to be gained by pulling the pan down to change the screen.

The only catch is that plug you mention. For many newer transmissions (those without a dipstick), that plug is the only way to correctly set the transmission fluid level.
Setting the fluid level correctly, within the temperature range specified, is absolutely crucial to maintain correct transmission performance.
--
The talented hawk speaks French.

batsona
Maryland

join:2004-04-17
Ellicott City, MD
Reviews:
·Vonage
·Verizon FiOS
Thanks for all this info.. My filler tube has a plastic plug in it that says, "Dealer access Only". I saw a guy check it once, and he put a long rod down inside the tube, that had millimeter lines on it. He measured 68mm for a hot transmission, and said that was good. No dipstick.


pcdebb
RIP lil hurricane
Premium
join:2000-12-03
Brandon, FL
kudos:5
Reviews:
·Bright House
reply to batsona
about 10 years ago, i went to an express lube place (IIRC it was Texaco Xpress Lube) for a simple oil change, and they pretty much strong-armed me into a "transmission flush" since I had an older car, which involved them sticking something down the tube and sucking the fluid out. I dont think they drained anything from the bottom or changed any filters. they did it three times to "show" me how dirty it was. The next day my car would not go into gear. I will NEVER EVER trust those places again.
--
| map your city |


Irun Man
Spartan up
Premium
join:2002-10-18
Walden, NY
reply to batsona

read the manual

I bought a used 2007 Lexus IS250 AWD (since traded). On a dealer service visit I inquired about having the transmission service (OEM drain & fill) done at about 70K miles... they TALKED ME OUT OF IT! Service interval was 100K IIRC. No dipstick, only a fill cap. Nephew is a Toyota tech, he confirmed.

I'm a believer that all lubricants have viscosity breakdown and it should have been done sooner; before this I had a 2005 Avalon serviced, Blackstone Labs looked at the ATF and told me it's a good thing I had that one changed @ 70K (that also uses ATF-WS).

IMHO all vehicles with ATF need at least one post break-in fluid exchange (1-2 years after in service date).
--
You'll know at the finish line.

Beezel

join:2008-12-15
Las Vegas, NV
Mine is sealed (VW 5 speed auto w/Tiptronic). You don't change the fluid unless it is a rebuild or has a leak from the case. You only check the final drive level and top off if required. Shop manual says you have to get it at a certain temp by monitoring it with a scan tool and then remove the plug and check the actual tranny level. If low and not leaking from the case then repair the leak and top off fluid.

So far it has 99k on it and it is still at level and running strong.

gozer
Premium
join:2010-08-09
Rochester, NY
reply to batsona

Re: Is this guy feeding me a line, or what??

Yes and a bit of no, I will clarify. With a little basic knowledge you can quickly answer this yourself. Oil is oil and ATF is oil but its viscosity is less or thinner than engine oil because it works in the transmission as an hydraulic fluid so it needs to be able to move or flow much faster through small openings. Yes it does also lubricate moving parts in the trany. The difference is that it does not degrade like engine oil because it is sealed and doesn't get contaminated from carbon or waist from the burning of a fossil fuel.
The design of an auto trany needs the parts and fluid to be super clean. Many old time auto mechanics even use ATF to clean parts. The difference in ATF oil and engine oil is viscosity and detergent all motor oil has some detergent in it but ATF has allot more detergent and would damage an engine by lowering the motor oil from well sticking or clinging to the bearings and and other internal engine parts. Here's a nice money saver did you know that that pint of lawn mower or any small gas engine crank case oil you pay allot for is just standard 30 weight motor oil with no detergent added buy a quart of 30 weight with no detergent and you can do two mower oil changes for less than the one change you get from the one pint mower type jug. So if you do decide to have your ATF service done goto a dealer that has a clean service area or as a second choice a non franchise shop and ask just what will be done and even what filter and yes the filter should be changed if you do this. don't fret over the oil that is left in the TC it is not important. The reason why is this even the ATF fluid is not so much the reason why you have the trany service done as much as the basic inspection for contaminates that may be found during the service work because the ATF fluid as I said before is not exposed to the chemicals that cause the break down of oils like in a gas motor. The two things that can hurt an auto trany are heat and dirt. One of the big killers of auto tranys is a leak if an trany is run low on fluid it will run hot and can burn and and allow the bands to slip which also makes more heat this is the other thing that degrades or breaks down any oils design properties. So to answer your question you may want to have the service done to keep the cars warranty valid if not then, check the trany fluid your self pull the dipstick and with your fingers wipe the cherry juice off the stick and rub it and smell it it should feel like a thin oil and not have any feel of dirt or grit and be clear and have no burnt aroma at all. ATF has a feel similar to break fluid but the slip or lack of is more obvious in the break fluid this drag is from the detergent but the break fluid has another thing that causes it to drag more than ATF it has glycol basically some alcohol too so when rubbed between the thumb and index finger it will feel more like motor oil under a lite pressure and Will increase in drag as you increase the pressure while you rub so this feel is normal and correct the main thing is any burnt smell ATF just smells like an oil or darkening and grit or dirt as you rub it. So if it ain't broke and has no bearing on a warranty, save your money. You can confirm what I have said goto a dealer and ask the service manager if you can talk with one of the older mechanics or just do what I do and walk into the garage area and strike up a talk with one of the older mechanics. Never hurts to tip or offer a cup of coffee. Anyone know why Chrysler did the 100,000 mile drive train warranty? It was because they had a flaw in their auto trany and the problem was made worse and this is just my own opinion I think it was a flaw that involved dirt even the most minute contamination could cause the trany to fail so many ppl had oil change or basic service done because of fear and this had the affect to cause even more fails than if they had not had the service. So to regain consumer confidence we got a 100,000 mile drive train warranty. Hey it was that or tell the truth.
Sorry for the verbose reply I hope people find my post informative and a good read.

reply to batsona
Run away from that place. Had a similar experience with a Valvoline. Talked my wife into flushing the tranny on a Honda that is well known for having bad things happen with power flushes (Honda Dealers don't use flush machines either). Also left it so low on fluid it didn't show at all on the dipstick. Transmission started shifting badly and I discovered it was low. Called Valvoline and they sent their "Regional Master Tech out" who "filled" and checked the transmission saying it was fine. I then checked it and it still was a quart low. Transmission was toast. Valvoline then produced a packet of materials by some university professor about causes of failures and low fluid not being a common cause, offered to show the security video of my wife being shown the dipstick to say it was her fault for not noticing it was low. I escalated up many levels who all had very polished scripts to point out reasonable doubt as to what could have caused the failure and refused to do anything more. Talked to a lawyer friend who looked into it and advised against going forward, seems they are very good at playing the extend and delay game in court to rack up legal costs that are more than a transmission replacement, so even if you win you lose.


mattmag
Premium,ExMod 2000-03
join:2000-04-09
NW Illinois
kudos:3

2 recommendations

reply to SwedishRider
said by SwedishRider:

I look at it the other way... I think flush machines are pretty awful. They take all the gunk from the filter and the pan and force it back into the tranny. Personally, I would never do that.

Incorrect. Any quality machine does NOT "take all the gunk" from anything, nor does it "force" anything anywhere. Please, do not confuse shade-tree and backyard-style repair shops with a reputable business.

A good flush machine simply captures the old fluid as it leaves the cooler line and supplies fresh fluid into the return line. It's as simple as that. What comes out gets replaced with the same volume, and there is no forcing of anything.

I also am a proponent of replacing filters where indicated.

said by SwedishRider:

I agree that he made a mess, and that could have been avoided. But dropping the pan, changing the filter, and replacing all the fluid including what's in the torque converter before topping off is the better way to go.

But as always, to each their own.

You can't simply "replace the fluid in the torque converter" without either physically removing it from the vehicle, or using a machine as I noted that captures the output fluid. There used to be drain plugs on converters, but those have all but disappeared.

I'm not an amateur, I speak from over 25 years in the automotive repair field as a certified technician, service manager, and business owner. Your view is incorrect.


SwedishRider
Rider on the Storm
Premium
join:2006-01-11
not Sweden
kudos:1

3 edits
said by mattmag:

You can't simply "replace the fluid in the torque converter" without either physically removing it from the vehicle, or using a machine as I noted that captures the output fluid. There used to be drain plugs on converters, but those have all but disappeared.

I'm not an amateur, I speak from over 25 years in the automotive repair field as a certified technician, service manager, and business owner. Your view is incorrect.

Well, to replace the transmission fluid, including the torque converter, would only require disconnecting the oil cooler supply line, and running the vehicle, capturing the dirty fluid in a waste container as new fluid is poured at about the same rate into the dipstick opening, just as was done in that video I posted and as described in the Amsoil technical bulletin that I linked to. No machine required actually. And no physical removal of the torque converter required either. I've used that method (in addition to dropping the pan, cleaning it, and replacing the filter) a few times (and seen it done by others) with no issues.

As I said, to each their own, there is no one method in this case. I like the video's method. And you don't. And that's okay. But it is a legitimate method that has been demonstrated to work just fine.


rusdi
American V
Premium,MVM
join:2001-04-28
Flippin, AR
kudos:2
reply to batsona
Some cars have "sealed" transmissions! That's right, not even a dip-stick!!

I'm not saying that's good, or bad, (it's really just a gimmick from new car sales to be able to claim, "lower maintenance cost"). Because, let's face it, they don't care if that transmission lasts, but a day past the power-train warranty. Rarely do we see a transmission fail, (these days) before 100K. Again, I'm not saying it doesn't happen, just rarely does it happen.

YMMV.


David
I start new work on
Premium,VIP
join:2002-05-30
Granite City, IL
kudos:101
Reviews:
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·magicjack.com
·Google Voice
reply to batsona
yea I get the same speech from the local valvoline here in granite city. Apparently the injectors are dirty and need to be cleaned at 142,000 miles. I just had the plugs, plugwires, cerpentine belt, brakes and a bunch of other stuff changed in the year before last. Last year it was air bag sensors and a cluster panel.

"but your injectors will sieze!"

I call chucks across town... "is it still driving?"
me: "Yea?"
chuck: "Hasn't siezed has it?"
me: "Well no"
chuck: "for your truck those injectors can go up to 200k before you have to worry about it you know."
me: "ok, considering I haven't had any problems with it starting and such I will have to take your word on it."
--
If you have a topic in the direct forum please reply to it or a post of mine, I get a notification when you do this.
Koetting Ford, Granite City, illinois... YOU'RE FIRED!!


rob_in_chatt
Premium
join:2004-09-17
Chattanooga, TN

1 recommendation

reply to batsona
is changing all the fluid in an automatic transmission needed? well that is something that is usually left to out of sight, out of mind.

what i mean by that is no one thinks about an automatic until there is a problem of some sort. im sure there are many people who still service an auto trans, but are you doing the transmission justice with the tools for the job that are available today?

what is transmission fluid? well the fluid in an auto has 2 purposes. first off, it is the lubricant and coolant for the clutch packs. secondly, it is the fluid that is compressed to give hydraulic pressure for things to work inside the trans.

while your driving to the store, ball game, or where ever, the trans is doing its thing. the clutch packs are working to provide the friction to take you down the road. the fluid is pumped around inside and it is cooling and lubricating the clutches. then it drains down and is picked up from the pump through the filter in the pan.

fluid gets dirty, and the filter is doing its job to filter out the particles so it does not damage the pump.

all the heat cycles break down the viscosity of the fluid, and the friction of normal trans operation starts to darken the fluid. the filter starts to get plugged, so the pump has to work harder to maintain the flow of fluid to cool and lube the internals.

see the cycle here? i worked in a full service garage for 15 years and i have done hundreds of fluid and filter changes.

the correct way is to service the trans at the declared service interval in the manual. you flush the trans then replace the filter and refill the trans.

the removing the line crap was not smart. the new machines now are a simple fluid exchange canister. they are connected at the cooler at or near the radiator.

as the vehicle runs, it pumps the old fluid in to the fluid exchange machine, while the new fluid goes back in to the trans. this gets about 95% of the total fluid out of the trans.

you then change the filter. why would you change the filter only to run the vehicle to run the old nasty fluid right through that new filter?

there are people who are going to disagree and want to argue saying cars of the past ran for many many years with nothing done to the transmissions at all.

well that might be pure luck. cars are not made like they were in the 60w 70s or even the 80s. they are basically made to last 4 or 5 years now.

dropping the pan and draining 3 or 4 quarts of old fluid only to leave 12 to possibly 16 old quarts of old fluid in the trans is the same thing as removing your old oil filter from your engine, replacing it and adding enough oil to replace what was in the old filter.

the service machines look close to the image i am about to post. the service usually runs about a 100 bucks.

remember, when it comes to cars, use the K.I.S.S. method. and that stand for Keep It Simple Stupid.

an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.

and here is the image.

»www.allstates.com/TRANSMISSION%2···TECH.JPG