What interval would you change your ATF filter if drain + fill ATF regularly

Joined
Dec 7, 2012
Messages
3,705
Say you perform regular/frequent ATF drain + fills via a transmission pan drain plug; also you have an ATF filter in the transmission pan. For example on a 4L60E. Or really any 4L80E, 6L80E, etc...

How often would you change that filter with a pan drop? Am I correct in thinking (reading on here in the past) that they're a rock catcher?

1709174297481.jpg
 
I wouldn't do a pan drop at all until north of 100k miles. I'd do whatever drain interval makes you most comfortable, perhaps every 30k. The filter isn't really a filter so much as a debris screen.

Edit: After looking at your maintenance screenshot, I see you change fluid really often. At that rate, I don't think you need to change the filter very often, if ever. If the fluid is currently clean, you can go longer than 8 to 16k intervals.
 
Last edited:
Is the filter in the pan actually a filter or a "Rock Catcher" ?

If its a rock catcher I'd install a Magnefine Trans Filter and drain and fill every 30k.

If it's an actual filter element figure every 60k or what ever the OEM specifies if not lifetime :D
 
Most transmission filter don't do much and don't need to be replaced.

Maxlife is good, and the cheapest fluid that meets the standards your transmission needs will be good.

On one of those transmissions, every 3-5 years or 30-60k should be sufficient.
 
I wouldn't do a pan drop at all until north of 100k miles. I'd do whatever drain interval makes you most comfortable, perhaps every 30k. The filter isn't really a filter so much as a debris screen.

Edit: After looking at your maintenance screenshot, I see you change fluid really often. At that rate, I don't think you need to change the filter very often, if ever. If the fluid is currently clean, you can go longer than 8 to 16k intervals.
I think the trans has about 150-170k on it now. There is a hand written date-code on the bell of 2014 era which would've put this truck's odometer around 165-170k miles. I am figuring a rebuilt unit was put in it then. I cannot imagine this is an OE 60e with 322k on it.

With that said, I did my first (new to me ownership) pan drop + drain and fill around 285k, so the subsequent times were cycling fluid through it and draining it a few times to see how it looked.

I am definitely running the fluid in it longer these days as it performs well and all drain and fills have been clean.
 
GM/Hydramatic has used a filter media in transmission sumps since the late 70's. Likely not a real high efficiency but no where near a "rock catcher"/screen type either.

Variable/Vane style pumps used in GM/Hydramatic units are not as tolerable to debris as Gerotor & Crescent Gear pumps.

Cleaning the sump magnet is important along with adding a second magnet on 4L60E & it's variants along with the 4T60E.

Routine pan drops on 6L80E/6L90E can catch Converter Clutch failure before it goes Nuclear.

After all those spill & fill's....You have mostly TES-295 which is an excellent extended drain Dexron III spec ATF.
 
I do the first pan off at 20k mainly to clean magnets of break in metal … then install a plug … on my 2017 - it is very easy to S&F in the spring … The Jeep got the early change - but it’s a pain and frankly will not get changed as often … Over priced ATF etc …
Pathetic they got rid of fill tube dipsticks …
 
After all those spill & fill's....You have mostly TES-295 which is an excellent extended drain Dexron III spec ATF.

Since starting to run it almost two years ago from seeing your recommendations on it, it is all I want to run in the 4L units. The stuff is great.

I find the TES-295 has a better shift quality and operating "feel" versus Dex VI. I run the 295 in this thing and then I have Dex VI in the Suburban. They act completely different. They probably have different rebuilds amongst them... so who knows, that might be a variable in the mix as well.

Have about 6qts of ACDelco Dex VI that once used up, the Suburban will start seeing TES-295.

I tell everyone I can about 295 in a 4L.
 
Depends on the transmission. I like to do a pan/filter dump withing first 25k miles to get break in metals out. I do 30k pan dumps on the F150 as it's not the best candidate for any other way, IMO anyway. I don't often change the filter on that one. The RAV4 I dropped the filter first time and since do two drain/fills with a MightyVac. It's that easy so I don't make it more complicated than it is. Wish they were all that easy.

Other trans only have screens for filters. No need to do anything but drain and fill with fresh fluid.
 
Since starting to run it almost two years ago from seeing your recommendations on it, it is all I want to run in the 4L units. The stuff is great.

I find the TES-295 has a better shift quality and operating "feel" versus Dex VI. I run the 295 in this thing and then I have Dex VI in the Suburban. They act completely different. They probably have different rebuilds amongst them... so who knows, that might be a variable in the mix as well.

Have about 6qts of ACDelco Dex VI that once used up, the Suburban will start seeing TES-295.

I tell everyone I can about 295 in a 4L.
Remember we ran that stuff for 75000 miles in a trash truck at NYC Sanitation, drained it out, and used it to run our durability test cycle on the 1000 series and it was all good.
 
Remember we ran that stuff for 75000 miles in a trash truck at NYC Sanitation, drained it out, and used it to run our durability test cycle on the 1000 series and it was all good.
Wow that is quite the durability test. Impressive!
 
Wow that is quite the durability test. Impressive!
We considered NYC Sanitation to be one of our toughest applications. They put snowplows on their trash trucks (that's not typical) so they get a duty cycle that's even more rugged than usual.
 
Back
Top