ATF exchange. By mileage, time, or color?

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I have put close to 70K miles on my ATF and it is still bright red and smells new. What is the best procedure on ATF service? When should I change it? If you were wondering, my owners manual says it is lifetime fluid and should never be changed. Unless I use my car for towing or as a taxi. Then, it's every 52.5K miles.
 
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If you are having no problems with it I would go ahead and drop the pan and change the filter while you are at it. It is pretty amaizing how much stuff (dust like junk) falls out of suspension and how little of it is caught by the filter. That stuff just lays at the bottom of your pan waiting for you to come along and wipe it off. I do it by mileage. 30,000 miles on my wife's Xterra (big car, small pan), and every 50,000 on my Taurus. Their is always a HUGE difference in how a car drives before and after the transmission gets a full service.
 

KLowD9x

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There is no filter. And dropping the pan is only a "when absolutely necessary" job on my car, because it is on the side of the transaxle, not at the bottom.
 
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I do one drain and fill of the ATF on my Volvos every oil change (5K OCI). Only get about 4 quarts out at a time with the drain. Got a 240, 850, S60, and a V70.
 

01rangerxl

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 Originally Posted By: SuperDave456
Their is always a HUGE difference in how a car drives before and after the transmission gets a full service.
Honestly, I have never noticed much of a difference in my two automatics after flushes and changes. With my 2002 Ranger the trans was flushed with Mercon V at 30K and with full synthetic BG at 58K. It didn't shift any different after either flush. The fluid color has always been a nice transparent light red. My old 1995 Explorer had somewhat dark fluid when I got it at 148K, so I did a pan drop and then a flush later with Mercon V. It shifted the same too, the fluid was just cleaner afterwards. I still change ATF every 30K though since it makes me feel better and at some point the fluid probably will affect shifting. To the OP, I'd change it. I'd be okay running full syn in a differential for 70K, but I don't think I could do it with an automatic transmission.
 

KLowD9x

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 Originally Posted By: johninmemphis
I do one drain and fill of the ATF on my Volvos every oil change (5K OCI). Only get about 4 quarts out at a time with the drain. Got a 240, 850, S60, and a V70.
That's overkill. Especially, even at my cost, JWS3309 fluid (Volvo P/N: 1161640) is 40 dollars for a four liter bottle. I have changed the fluid in my 850 two times. About every 100K miles. I just do it when the fluid starts to not look as red. I think it will do it about every 75K miles on my S60. The fluid still looks brand new and smells perfect, but I want to make this transaxle last as long as possible. Also, 75K miles gives me enough time to save up 16 liters of the expensive stuff to flush through.
 
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I read somewhere that you shouldn't wait to change the ATF until after the fluid looks different or changes color, because then it's too late, and the damage is already done.
 
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Maintaining your vehicle is never overkill if it prevents problems. Not everyone blindly runs to the dealer for OE fluid or their exorbitant cost. The oil companies and boutique blenders have substitutes for almost everything. With any fluid or cleaner, if it works then you waited too long. Pick a more sensible maintenance interval.
 

KLowD9x

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 Originally Posted By: unDummy
Maintaining your vehicle is never overkill if it prevents problems. Not everyone blindly runs to the dealer for OE fluid or their exorbitant cost. The oil companies and boutique blenders have substitutes for almost everything. With any fluid or cleaner, if it works then you waited too long. Pick a more sensible maintenance interval.
I also don't run blindly to the dealer. There are two oils that are certified compatible with my transaxle. Mobil3309 and Volvo 1161640. I get one of those two for free. 75K is sensible.
 
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I think your older Volvo uses Dexron-III and the new one Volvo-labeled fluid, but check your owner's manual. The Volvo fluid is re-labeled 3309 for use in certain Aisin-Warner transmissions, and that's not a very robust fluid. I'd drain and refill both of these transmissions now and every 30k miles if not sooner. You might find a suitable synthetic recommended for both these...you won't find anything that is Dexron-III certified, 'cuz GM is no longer certifying Dexron-III, and nothing except Mobil 3309 is certified for those transmissions, but the modern near-universal ATF from many blenders do a very good job with excellent reliability. I trust the recommendations from any top quality ATF blender...Mobil 1, Amsoil, Schaeffer, Red Line, etc.
 

KLowD9x

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I don't trust universal ATFs. I will stick with the recommended fluids. I was just wondering what is a better method, time, color, or mileage?
 
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The best method is simple...a $22.50 test at Blackstone labs or any other lubricant testing lab. The depletion of the fluid depends on heat and load among other things. Time is the least reliable. For the Volvo fluid, it you can confirm that it is indeed JWS 3309 fluid, the best price is from a Mobil distributor or any shop that can get it for you by the case. Mobil 3309 is exactly the specified fluid for all these A-W transmissions.
 Quote:
Mobil ATF 3309 is an exceptionally high performance lubricant that meets original equipment manufacturers’ specifications for use in certain slip-controlled lock-up automatic transmissions. Mobil ATF 3309 is recommended for use in transmissions made by Aisin-Warner requiring a fluid approved against Type T-IV, JWS 3309, GM 9986195 and VW/Audi G-055-025-A2. These Aisin-Warner transmissions are used in CERTAIN domestic and foreign vehicles, including Toyota, Lexus, Audi, Saturn, Ford, Volvo, Volkswagen, Saab, Porsche and Mitsubishi.
http://www.mobil.com/USA-English/Lubes/PDS/GLXXENPVLMOMobil_ATF_3309.asp
 

KLowD9x

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 Originally Posted By: Ken2
The best method is simple...a $22.50 test at Blackstone labs or any other lubricant testing lab. The depletion of the fluid depends on heat and load among other things. Time is the least reliable. For the Volvo fluid, it you can confirm that it is indeed JWS 3309 fluid, the best price is from a Mobil distributor or any shop that can get it for you by the case. Mobil 3309 is exactly the specified fluid for all these A-W transmissions.
 Quote:
Mobil ATF 3309 is an exceptionally high performance lubricant that meets original equipment manufacturers’ specifications for use in certain slip-controlled lock-up automatic transmissions. Mobil ATF 3309 is recommended for use in transmissions made by Aisin-Warner requiring a fluid approved against Type T-IV, JWS 3309, GM 9986195 and VW/Audi G-055-025-A2. These Aisin-Warner transmissions are used in CERTAIN domestic and foreign vehicles, including Toyota, Lexus, Audi, Saturn, Ford, Volvo, Volkswagen, Saab, Porsche and Mitsubishi.
http://www.mobil.com/USA-English/Lubes/PDS/GLXXENPVLMOMobil_ATF_3309.asp
I get the Volvo OE fluid for free, so cost is not an issue.
 

PT1

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 Originally Posted By: KLowD9x
I get the Volvo OE fluid for free, so cost is not an issue.
Well then flush it every 20k....no make that 10k....no make that every 1k....aw heck just put a couple of 55gal drums in the garage and flush it every night.....
 

PT1

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 Originally Posted By: AzFireGuy79
"Mobil ATF 3309 is an exceptionally high performance lubricant" I needed a good laugh today.
"High Performance": Definition: Good for 30,000 miles like in my RX330
 
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 Originally Posted By: KLowD9x
I don't trust universal ATFs. I will stick with the recommended fluids. I was just wondering what is a better method, time, color, or mileage?
go drain and fill 30k miles. if you do have an overheating event, like towing, change it out asap in between that drain and fill.
 

KLowD9x

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 Originally Posted By: crinkles
 Originally Posted By: KLowD9x
I don't trust universal ATFs. I will stick with the recommended fluids. I was just wondering what is a better method, time, color, or mileage?
go drain and fill 30k miles. if you do have an overheating event, like towing, change it out asap in between that drain and fill.
Drain and fills are just a waste of time. You put 4 liters of good fluid into a sump of 12 liters of nasty fluid. I flushed out my transaxle yesterday evening seeing as how we ran out of work here. I reset the adaptive data and performed a relearn test drive. The shift quality is perfect now.
 
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