Homesteading Forum banner

1 - 19 of 19 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
10,926 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I'm thinking of buying a used mini van ('96) for my wife and had a mechanic check it out. He said the transmission fluid is very dirty and should be flushed out and changed. Another mechanic I know said we shouldn't do that because it causes problems later on with plugged filters. Anyone know the best way to go?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
433 Posts
A tranny rebuild will set you back about $2500...fluid and a filter-what, maybe $40? I've heard that also, but use your engine as a reference-if you just left the same oil/filter on it, what would happen down the road? I've always changed our tranny fluid, and never had a problem.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
13,158 Posts
I've had the filtres changed and fluid exchanged with a pump system. Costs about $100-$150 and seems to clear up minor problems and extend the life of the tranny. I'll put my wife's little escort through that servicing next month.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
1,441 Posts
I would change it, but don't have it flushed unless they can guarantee you that they aren't going to back flush it. Back flushing just loosens up all the debris in there and it will eventually make it's way back through the system since it never gets entirely removed.

Bobg
 

·
tom
Joined
·
606 Posts
if your gonna change it yourself i would change the filter too. its a little messy but worth it down the long run.if you do it your self tho, once you drop the pan ,and after you drop the filter,make sure the vehicle is level for awhile to let all the oil drain good. make sure when you clean the pan to put the magnet back in the same place.ive never had a problem with any of my vehicles since ive been doing it.
good luck and bb
tom
 

·
Failure is not an option.
Joined
·
2,623 Posts
Hey.

A wise person would change the fluid and filter. It tells you to do that every xx,xxx miles in the owners/maintenance manual. The mechanic that told you not to change it should be avoided at all costs. The tranny fluid loses it's protective/lubricant properties in time and turns into something like varnish.

RF
 

·
agmantoo
Joined
·
10,852 Posts
I changed the sump fluid and factory filter (about $35 for supplies) in a Jeep for a friend recently. Only months before it had been pumped and filtered for a cost of $80. The service did not change the tranny filter and it was filthy. I saw from this exercise that I will never have a tranny flushed.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
745 Posts
if the fluid is old and burnt then change the filter and fluid. if ur worried about trash just change the filter and fluid every oil change for say 3 or 4 times. that will work what u have in the torque converter out and if u have a cooler just blow that out with brake cleaner and air.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
5,067 Posts
Around here to Rebuild A Automatic Tranny With 4 Wheel Drive is $800.00 With A 12 month 12000 mile warrenty. A fluid change at Any local shop (that includes Filter) is $42.50 I never had A $2.500 tranny rebuild Not even on A semi. I will be taking A Ford Explorer in tomorrow for The neighbor lady. All they do is change The fluid in the pan and filter..
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
433 Posts
James-don't come up to Ohio, then! that is the going rate for a tranny rebuild-$2500 is average...what a rip-off, but they know if you need it, you'll pay for it...
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
5,067 Posts
Up in Akron I can get one done for $750.00 Thats on Barney's Busy corner. Ohio 523 and Howe rd. At Brittain rd. You must be in A high dollar area..
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
185 Posts
If the fluid has not been changed regular at 30K, don't touch it, or it will be the kiss-of-death! It will disturb all of the little gremlins that are sleeping at the bottom of the pan. If it works okay, leave it alone. If it isn't working okay, a flush will just hasten it's demise.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
6,977 Posts
There are no gremlins, change the fluid and filter. On a used vehicle like that I would change the fluid and filter and clean the pan and be observant of what is on the bottom of the pan. I have a hand pump with a tube that goes in the dipstick tube to empty the pan first eliminating the bath in dirty fluid followed by the required curse words. After this first filter and fluid replacement I then pump the pan dry again and fill to level at the next few oil changes until the fluid remains nice and red. Draining the pan only removes a portion of the fluid as the rest remains in the torque converter.
I have never flushed a trans and probably never will. I've been to clinics where they were selling the machines and it's just a money maker for lube places.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
3,474 Posts
I'm with dodgedc, if this 96 vehicle (and I assume a good number of miles) hasn't had regular transmission fluid and filter changes I wouldn't flush it. Stay away from it and find something that has had more regular maintenance,
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
486 Posts
I don't think the new 'transmission flush' service is as good for the transmission as the traditional fluid and filter change is.

It's more work to drop the bottom pan of the transmission and change the filter, but that way you get a fresh filter in there and any particulates cleaned out of the bottom of the transmission.

Otherwise, flushing just circulates fluid thru the transmission and filters it...which is what your transmission filter has been doing already.....which is why it needs changed.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,963 Posts
I used to be a pro mechanic, and I'd change it IF the fluid on the stick is yellowish and/or burnt smelling. It should be red and not smell burnt.

I would change fluid and filter, never just fluid. I would clean the pan.

I would not change fluid in any auto transmission in which the fluid is still red and unburnt. I have seen many, many of these done according to manufacturer's mileage specs, and the trannies then go out or begin to leak heavily.

Basically, if your fluid is red and unburnt, and the vehicle shifts properly, all is well. I would not buy a vehicle with burnt, yellow or dirty fluid. It gets burnt by clutches slipping or overheating from severe tow use. Sometimes if you change fluid promptly enough, it will be OK; sometimes not. If you buy it, you toss that coin.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
185 Posts
(among other professions) and stand by my statement, that there are Gremlins living in that tranny pan if is working okay without regular maintanance. :hobbyhors
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
197 Posts
When buying a used vehicle, never assume anything. Its your investment on the line. Have all fluids and filters changed immediately and start with a clean slate. Write down the mileage and date of service and start your service program from there. Especially with a mini-van. The transmissions and engines in those things work very hard for you, protect them. This is one instance where," An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of CURE." If you are gonna buy it, start everything from square one. Don't gamble with your money. P.S. Look at the tie-rods very closely. Just an opinion, Paul.
 
1 - 19 of 19 Posts
Top