Should I change the ATF fluid?

Messages
2,197
Location
Seattle-ish, WA
Originally Posted by clinebarger
A worn transmission is a worn transmission! Burnt friction material suspended in the fluid doesn't help clutch packs hold! I've seen completely metal to metal clutch packs hold under light applied torque. I've had 4L80E's have a slow forward engagement & only slip while towing. Forward Clutches are completely smoked with no friction material left at all.
Exactly. Spring tension and line pressure hold clutch packs together, not some "grit" in the fluid. The only people who could make up this nonsense are witches (they weight the same as ducks, by the way) who have never taken apart a transmission or understand how one works.
 
Messages
2,197
Location
Seattle-ish, WA
Originally Posted by djkurious
Definitely do the radiator bypass on this vehicle. Takes all of 5 minutes. Lots of info online.
As a new owner, I'd be worried about that first and then the fluid. Thanks for reiterating the point.
 
Messages
8,184
Location
Champlain/Hudson Valley
Friend bought a 2008 (90K) and upon inspection we saw the cooling line in the radiator had already been bypassed. We did a drain & fill and the fluid was "on the dark side". He went to automotive school. Good truck.
 
Messages
4,597
Location
Manchester, England
Quote
The only people who could make up this nonsense are witches (they weight the same as ducks, by the way) who have never taken apart a transmission or understand how one works.
Who are you who is so wise in the ways of science?
 
Messages
14,468
Location
The Old North State
I agree with majority, may as well service the ATF. Owners manual specs Matic D, which was some time ago, the same time frame as Dex III. Lots of choices for ATF now including synthetic based fluids that don't shear like the mineral based. 'If the vehicle was mine', I'd use MaxLife Full Syn MV ATF. Readily available and value priced at WM. Others mentioned previously also options. So whether ATF d&fs over some period of time or trans cooler line exchange, servicing ATF a good call imo.
 
Messages
35,248
Location
NY
Originally Posted by clinebarger
Originally Posted by danez_yoda
The caution is a vaild one. If its black or very dark then the clutch pads are worn and the friction in the fluid is helping them maintain grip in gear. If you flush all of that out it may start slipping. Also if the transmission is full of crud, the new fluid with fresh cleaners could lift that crud and move it to a part of the tranny that may not like the crud and cause problems. However, at 78,000 miles unless your truck was pulling hard loads, the transmission fluid should be fine (some browning but still pinkish) This is OK to change (drain and refill not a flush). 30k miles after that is a good interval.
A worn transmission is a worn transmission! Burnt friction material suspended in the fluid doesn't help clutch packs hold! I've seen completely metal to metal clutch packs hold under light applied torque. I've had 4L80E's have a slow forward engagement & only slip while towing. Forward Clutches are completely smoked with no friction material left at all.
Amen. And if changing out the fluid and filter destroy the transmission, it was either not long to this world, or shot before hand. I heard people say their transmission was acting up several times, and they planned on having it serviced hoping to resolve the issue. 9 out of 10 times these vehicles were poorly maintained, and the transmission never serviced. Occasionally the service would help, many times it wouldn't and it would fail shortly after. Typically those were the people telling others servicing their transmission ruined it. They'd usually leave out the part of them having issues before the service, but were quick to blame it. But all along it was neglect that ruined it.
 
Messages
161
Location
Georgia, USA
If you're concerned, then perhaps do a drain and fill and drive a few hundred miles and do another. Repeat until the transmission has a large percentage of fresh ATF. I would also add an inline filter like Magnafine to fully clean the system of any remaining metal shavings. I use Maxlife ATF in the 2005 G35 in my signature with great results.
 
Messages
1,300
Location
south dakota
Originally Posted by JeffKeryk
Don't service that AT unless you want smoother shifts, better pull, especially at low mid speed, piece of mind, etc. Don't service the differential while you are at it. All good.
Excellent answer! Cheers2
 
Messages
7,835
Location
MI
There has been speculation at BITOG that on severely neglected trannies it is better to do several spaced out partial drain and fills vs. doing a complete fluid exchange the first time. The thought is 100% new fluid will clean too fast, maybe loosening debris that might block passages? Vs. partial drain and fills that will treat the tranny more gently. Comments?? I also "think" that our resident expert here stated that ATF does not have high detergent properties. The addition of a Magnafine filter suggested above seems like a good idea. Just stirring the pot for additional excellent discussion.
 

RGC

Thread starter
Messages
2
Location
Indianapolis
Originally Posted by RGC
I recently purchased a 2004 Nissan Frontier Pickup. Although it is 16 years old the truck has only 78000 miles on it and it likely has never had the transmission fluid changed. I have often read/heard people say that you should not do an ATF fluid change on a vehicle if the fluid has gone a long period without being changed. I would like to hear from persons who might have personal experience with this issue or from mechanics who have dealt with this.
Thanks for all the responses to my question and also the info regarding the possible leaking of coolant into the trans. I am going to do an ATF and filter change once the weather warms, and will be looking into the coolant issue also. Appreciate all the posts!
 
Messages
4,939
Location
VA
Good decision to do the drain and fills and filter change. My only advice would be to only use the Nissan OEM fluid that is made specifically for your transmission. Other generic multi-vehicle ATF's may work fine but only one was designed solely for your Nissan tranny.
 
Messages
887
Location
Upper midwest
Change it..I did this on a 100,000 Honda Civic I bought for my daughter. I dumped oil in the only pan and added MaxLife ran it for 75-100 miles. Then pulled the pan, a new filter and 100% change out through the trans tube to the radiator cooler line till nice red fluid showed. After about 2 months of my daughter driving it there was a slight slip from 1st to second that I did not like so I dumped the pan and added 1.5 qts of redline racing and 1.5 qts of Redline light weight racing (type F with no slip agent) and that fixed it. It has been running this way for 4 years and 60,000 miles. I also use an external TransProtector filter every30,000 miles. Now they are private labeled everywhere. https://www.amazon.com/Magnefine-Magnetic-Inline-Transmission-Steering/dp/B0787KWZPS .
 
Messages
161
Location
Georgia, USA
Originally Posted by Mainia
Change it..I did this on a 100,000 Honda Civic I bought for my daughter. I dumped oil in the only pan and added MaxLife ran it for 75-100 miles. Then pulled the pan, a new filter and 100% change out through the trans tube to the radiator cooler line till nice red fluid showed. After about 2 months of my daughter driving it there was a slight slip from 1st to second that I did not like so I dumped the pan and added 1.5 qts of redline racing and 1.5 qts of Redline light weight racing (type F with no slip agent) and that fixed it. It has been running this way for 4 years and 60,000 miles. I also use an external TransProtector filter every30,000 miles. Now they are private labeled everywhere. https://www.amazon.com/Magnefine-Magnetic-Inline-Transmission-Steering/dp/B0787KWZPS .
Interesting that 3 qts of Redline Racing ATF solved the slip issue. Good tip. Did it cause any harshness in upshifts or downshifts?
 
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