Forum Thread

Trans fluid change every how many miles???

4,485 1,041 February 14, 2017 at 07:43 AM
OK I am in the 60k miles range on my 2009 Ford Taurus and checked the maintenance schedule and noticed there was not a recommendation to change the trans fluid. I checked the manual and it just says to check the trans fluid every 7500 miles or so but not to change it at any time. Seems odd as with my previous cars it was always recommended to change it every 60k miles or so. What is good practice these days? Wait until it gets dirty\old or change it at some pre-determined set mileage amount?

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#2
Jeez every 7500 miles?!?!?!? was that a typo?

It seems the common belief is to
- never change it
- change it frequently

The never change it crowd believes that if you change it after not having done it well after the service schedule, that you'll dislodge crap that's settled in harmless places, causing more problems than you solve.

Oddly enough, the last AUTO trans fluid change I did was on DW's old 2001 Ford Taurus - had it "power flushed" at a place that had the equipment. farking thing drove like a new car after I had that done. It also fixed some slippage problems the transmission had (or at least made them disappear). Personally I've only ever replaced trans fluid in a stick shift, which is much simpler but I had the same experience - shifting got MUCH better although some of that may have been switching to a better fluid (than OE). That particular car (BMW) has a "lifetime" fluid in it which is total BS.

This guy [youtube.com] talks about how changing the fluid can *cause* problems (around 6:30 mark) but only really if your transmission is farked to begin with.
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Last edited by Dr. J February 14, 2017 at 08:17 AM.
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#3
Quote from Dr. J
:
Jeez every 7500 miles?!?!?!? was that a typo?

It seems the common belief is to
- never change it
- change it frequently

The never change it crowd believes that if you change it after not having done it well after the service schedule, that you'll dislodge crap that's settled in harmless places, causing more problems than you solve.

Oddly enough, the last AUTO trans fluid change I did was on DW's old 2001 Ford Taurus - had it "power flushed" at a place that had the equipment. farking thing drove like a new car after I had that done. It also fixed some slippage problems the transmission had (or at least made them disappear). Personally I've only ever replaced trans fluid in a stick shift, which is much simpler but I had the same experience - shifting got MUCH better although some of that may have been switching to a better fluid (than OE). That particular car (BMW) has a "lifetime" fluid in it which is total BS.

Yeah they say to inspect the trans fluid every 15k not 7500 miles. They never explicitly say to change it. I have no issues and the car is at around 65k miles.
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#4
Quote from YanksIn2009
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Yeah they say to inspect the trans fluid every 15k not 7500 miles. They never explicitly say to change it. I have no issues and the car is at around 65k miles.

As I said, the 01 Taurus never mentioned tran oil and out of a whim I changed it, north of 100k, and it had a noticeable improvement in performance.

The BMW tran says "lifetime oil" all over it but I replaced it with some higher end stuff. That trans was particularly easy to change - drain, then fill until spill. Again, very noticeable difference in drivability and shift performance.

I think manufs are shifting (har har) to sealed/"lifetime" oils because it gives people false confidence. I'd think most people don't care for their cars well and think 100k miles is taboo - e.g. cars are being treated more as disposable items, and manufs can get rid of some routine maintenance items to make their cars seem friendlier to own, when in fact that routine maintenance is still needed if you want the car to last a long time
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#5
I've had several vehicles and I've never thought of changing Transmission fluid but once every 100K. I'm sure there are more conservative ranges and choices by users but unless you really put your vehicle through hell and back, then 100K isn't unfair or unreasonable.
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#6
My car interval was every 30k miles. 7500 mile is to inspect to see if there is any obvious signs of issue. I don't know what those obvious signs are.

According to this, you change @ 150k miles for the Taurus. Please double check though as I am not sure if it is correct. Page 41.

http://www.fordservicecontent.com...rdmg2e.pdf
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Quote from ikonoklast
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My car interval was every 30k miles. 7500 mile is to inspect to see if there is any obvious signs of issue. I don't know what those obvious signs are.

According to this, you change @ 150k miles for the Taurus. Please double check though as I am not sure if it is correct. Page 41.

http://www.fordservicecontent.com...rdmg2e.pdf

Yeah that is the manual I have. Did not even see it at 150k as it is so far out there. Hard to believe. My fluid is still mostly pink so I venture to guess I do not need to change it anytime soon.
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#8
Quote from Dr. J
:
Jeez every 7500 miles?!?!?!? was that a typo?

It seems the common belief is to
- never change it
- change it frequently

The never change it crowd believes that if you change it after not having done it well after the service schedule, that you'll dislodge crap that's settled in harmless places, causing more problems than you solve.

Oddly enough, the last AUTO trans fluid change I did was on DW's old 2001 Ford Taurus - had it "power flushed" at a place that had the equipment. farking thing drove like a new car after I had that done. It also fixed some slippage problems the transmission had (or at least made them disappear). Personally I've only ever replaced trans fluid in a stick shift, which is much simpler but I had the same experience - shifting got MUCH better although some of that may have been switching to a better fluid (than OE). That particular car (BMW) has a "lifetime" fluid in it which is total BS.

This guy [youtube.com] talks about how changing the fluid can *cause* problems (around 6:30 mark) but only really if your transmission is farked to begin with.
The pre 2000 year Taureses had a LOT of tranny problems. I had a 2001 that I bought with 60000 on it and the first thing I did was had the tranny fluid changed even though the tranny was fine.
Changed it every 30000 after that and I believe that's what the manual called for. As for my vehicles since then I haven't done anything other than check the fluid,and some GM products don't even have a dipstick to check.
For myself personally I'm not gonna change the fluid unless I'm having problems. Once had a mechanic tell me, and this was for older cars that unless you're having problems don't change it after 100000 because you could just create problems knocking sludge loose etc.
Another mechanic told me he prefers just draining the fluid and replacing the filter or screen. Apparently sometimes when they do a flush they don't replace the filter. If you are going to do a flush I would think it would be better to get the filter replaced too.
All that being said there are many different schools of thought on changing fluid or not,flushing or drain and replace or just not doing anything at all.
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#9
I'd initially follow what the manufacturer says, but if you can find an enthusiast forum for your car ask there.

I had a 2003 Jetta TDI (diesel) for a while and learned TONS from Fred's "TDI Club" website. Sadly you can't always trust a car manufacturer to have your best interests in mind. And after a car is sold a ton of new information can be gleaned from actual usage.
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#10
100,000 miles? page 6-6 or 360 of 2009 Chevy Impala owner's manual [chevrolet.com]

Chevy Impala owner's manual because GM and Ford jointly developed that 6-speed automatic transmission, but I don't know if that means it's OK to use Dexron VI that's also not certified for Ford's Mercon V standard.
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#11
My 2007 Caddy CTS came with a supposedly "lifetime" transmission fluid. GM recommended flushing/changing the fluid near 100K miles. It started badly misbehaving before ever hitting 70K miles, though. Had to be completely flushed and re-filled (including the torque converter) to resolve the transmission problem. 60K-to-80K is probably a good time to completely flush/change/replace it.
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#12
I'd go ahead and do a filter and fluid change. Not sure if that year even has a replaceable filter and trans pan. If it has drain and fill plugs on the case, you can drain about 4-5 quarts out and refill once in a while. Much easier to fill if it has a under hood dipstick. I do a quick drain and refill on my 2011 Ford Edge every 3rd oil change. It's really easy to change out about 4 quarts on the Edge cuz it has an easy to get to drain plug and a dipstick to fill.
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#13
Another thing to consider is your driving condition. Heavy stop and go traffic is not the same highway driving. The wording on my manual has different intervals for "severe" driving conditions.
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