Transmission fluid vs change

Discuss any maintenance you've done to your Vibe & Matrix and ask how to perform maintenance on your vehicle
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Transmission fluid vs change

Postby 2007Vibe » Tue Feb 13, 2018 4:40 am

Good day everyone,

I have a 2007 Vibe with Auto transmission, have had no issues in 82,000 miles. In checking the transmission fluid, it has become brown in color instead of red. I need to know is it best to spend 125 to 150 for a flush or would a change of fluid and filter be best? I understand that only 3 quarts of fluid out of 7 or 8 quarts are removed when performing a fluid and filter change. I am certain I can perform the fluid and filter change and change it every 30,0000 miles, until virtually all has been replaced,but it seems in the long run a flush would be better. All remarks would greatly be appreciated.

Thank you,

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Location: Golden, CO

Re: Transmission fluid vs change

Postby andrewclaus » Tue Feb 13, 2018 5:22 am

I just bought my Vibe with 150K miles on it with no service records. One of the first things I did was to change the AT fluid. I dropped the pan, changed the filter and cleaned the magnets. I had never done this before and it was simple and clean enough thanks to YouTube. I got the fluid on sale for $5/qt and the gasket and filter was less than $15. I will drain and fill again soon, maybe twice in the coming months, to "thin out" the remaining old fluid. There was no obvious problem with the fluid or the shifting, so I feel confident this will work well enough to get enough fresh oil in there.

At $5/qt and with the convenience of the drain plug on this car, I'd rather do this than take it somewhere for a flush. If a shop does a flush without removing the sump pan, I hear there's a risk of circulating debris. But I'm no expert at this, just going by rumor.

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Re: Transmission fluid vs change

Postby Glenpointe » Thu May 31, 2018 6:03 am

You can purchase Valvoline MaxLife Automatic Transmission Fluid at Walmart. Fluid is synthetic, it works great and compatible with Toyota WS fluid.

For me, I have a Pela oil extractor. I use it when changing engine oil, transmission fluid, steering fluid, brake fluid or coolant. Just run the engine few minutes to get the oil or fluid warned up, and stick the flexible metal hose down until it bottoms down the dipstick. Just few pump, it sucks out all the old oil or transmission fluid out. It works great, no mess and I don't have to remove the drain plugs again. I changed the trans fluid in my 2009 Vibe two days ago. I poured entire gallon fluid into the trans and it was a little too much. I used the pump to suck out 1/3 of a quart. I have 6 cars to maintain, so my Pela oil extractor is a great investment.

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Re: Transmission fluid vs change

Postby 2006 » Tue Aug 07, 2018 6:49 pm

This post is a few .on the old, but I've been researching transmission fluid changes versus flushing. I'm waiting for a co-workers Vibe to become available and a transmission service is on the list when it is finally in my possession. I was leaning towards a flush after doing a filter/fluid change, but I stopped by the shop that built a 700R4 for my classic car. He told me that he has seen too many people come in after they had flushes performed on their vehicles. First one of the solenoids would be replaced, and after a while longer another would need replacement. Eventually he pulled these trannies for a rebuild. His theory is metal particles get stuck in solenoids (electromagnets) and foul them up. He advised against flushes for that reason. He told me....flush the crap outta that 700R4 of your or any other tranny prior to about 1991, but don't go flushing anything newer than that.

For that reason, I have decided to only do a filter/fluid change. But I will do another fluid change or two after a short time..... I would probably just suck the fluid out through the dipstick tube rather than drop the pan if it werent for the drain plug.

Sorry for the long post.

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Re: Transmission fluid vs change

Postby Caretaker » Wed Aug 08, 2018 7:19 am

I've always done flushes on my transmissions because I was the sole owner and I did it at appropriate intervals, not allowing varnish to build up inside. When you buy a used vehicle and don't know the history of the car or how it was driven (ie: towing up hills both ways; racing every Honda Civic you encounter), it is no longer appropriate to flush out the system. The risks of dislodging flecks of varnish (overheated fluid which has burnt on to internal parts) is too great.
Live it up: There will be plenty of time to be old when you die.
** 2009 Vibe: 1.8 liter automatic **
** 2010 Hyundai Elantra Touring **
** 2007 Honda Fit Sport **

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Re: Transmission fluid vs change

Postby 2006 » Mon Sep 17, 2018 3:08 am

Finally did the pan drop on the tranny. It was pretty dirty for sure. I went and bought another 3L of T-IV and will drain it after it has a few more kms on it. That should dilute the old/dirty stuff a bit more at least.

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