Drain and Fill ATF Interval?

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Sep 18, 2002
I'm using a synthetic ATF. I drain out 2-3 qts every so often to maintain a fairly clean ATF. How often would you do a partial drain and fill with this information? Transmission capacities vary between 8-9 qts
In the Hondas I stick with a 30,000 mile drain and fill. I may do a 20k drain and fill interval with the Frontier (per the severe service interval in the manual). If you're changing the ATF regularly, you're already doing more than 90% of car owners. Pick an interval that works for you and stick with it.
Once a year D&F should be fine to replenish additives, reduce TAN, and get out any particulates in the pan or on the magnet. Unless you drive more than 30k in a year, this should be plenty regardless of the transmission. I do my 06 Odyssey every 20k (1 gallon of Maxlife ATF) and my 11 Fusion every 30k (1 gallon of Amsoil ATL)... but thinking about it, every 3rd change I will likely do Honda's "full" 4x D&F... if I have the van that long.
I typically do a drain and fill every 20k. It is pretty easy so I will do it whenever I am close to that mark and due for an oil change.
I have a 2008 and 2010 Civic and do a drain/fill every 25k miles. Costs less than $20 for me to drain 2.5 quarts of Honda ATF and refill.
I wouldn't bother much more often than every 30k miles, unless its an AT known for generating a lot of clutch dust. ATF has a pretty easy life compared to engine oil- no combustion byproudcts, no acids, no moisture other than atmospheric moisture, no carbon, no sulfur, no unburned fuel / fuel additives. Just clutch dust and gradual depletion of some components of the additive package, that's why they really can live "for life" (and have "life" be > 200k miles sometimes) on a single fluid fill if the owner chooses that level of neglect.
On the 2004 Corolla with added remote filter, inline cooler and T-IV ATF used - at 30k, the drained fluid (roughly 50% of capacity) looked somewhat dark. Castrol IMV went in. On the 97 Maxima with added remote filter, inline cooler and Maxlife Syn ATF used - at 30k, the drained fluid (roughly 50% of capacity) looked very good. I'm contemplating going to 60k ATF drain and fills on the Maxima.
I'm thinking every 20k with 2 qts. That way after every 4 changes, I would have a "complete" change.
+1 .:. Cheap and easy on all mine - and when I can't get to a filter the solution to pollution is dilution - so do Cruze at 20k - just 4 quart dumps of Maxlife anyway
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Have you considered a flush? Of course; it depends on your mileage and other variables. I currently go approx 30,000 miles. Amsoil makes very good ATF. (I dont sell it) My good friend who has been a mechanic for 40 + years, changes his every 15,000 miles. I alternate drain/fills with flush. Good luck! Respectfully, Pajero!
Originally Posted By: Gebo
I'm thinking every 20k with 2 qts. That way after every 4 changes, I would have a "complete" change.
That schedule is probably not changing as much as you think. Here's a fractional dilution calculator I made, I hope you can see this link. I set it to your values; you should be able to see it but not edit it: https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/1Q09EgQ9YKJf1Q_qROXvstVO4PMeYGlPTXseqFuq3E54/edit#gid=0 After four drain/fills at 60k, 2qts on a 9qt system, you still have only 63% new fluid in it. But keep in mind, 25% of that "new" fluid now has 60k miles on it, and another 25% has 40k miles. I would try to grab a bigger percentage of the fluid each time than just 2qts. I do 3.5qts in a 9qt system on our ES; that yields an ~80% change over every 3rd fill (60k - drain/fill every 30k, so 0, 30k, 60k = 3 drain/fills).
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