ATF drain and fill or not?

I have recently purchased a used car and believe the ATF has not been flushed or replaced/serviced. I am at 160 k and don't want to rock the boat, so to speak, so I am debating doing a drain and fill only or just completely leaving alone. Since I also know the possibilities of drain and fills causing high mileage vehicles to possibly clean out too much of the old deposits seated in the valves/sleeves and clutch packs this causes pause on the issue. I know it is a never ending debate, but I find myself in the middle of it and was wondering what YourMechanics stance was on all of it. Thanks
Experienced mechanics share their insights in answering this question :
Changing the transmission fluid and the transmission filter could extend the service life of the transmission. Be sure to change the filter though. Use a NEW pan gasket, preferably the Toyota OEM (dealer supplied) gasket. Synthetic fluid is recommended. I am not aware of any evidence that changing fluid in the circumstance that you are describing has a potential downside. If the transmission were to fail, in the wake of such a fluid change, it was going to fail anyway regardless of whether you changed the fluid or not. Consequently, I would say that if the transmission is presently still working well, now is a golden time to change the fluid and possibly add to the service life of the unit. Do not flush the transmission as that is not necessary. Obviously, about 2 quarts of fluid will be trapped in the transmission, principally in the torque converter, on any drain and refill and what I have done to deal with that is simply do multiple, sequential drains and refills, which of course will render the "used" share of the oil fill ever smaller with each successive drain/refill cycle. You can accomplish this over a period of months if need be. The filter can be tricky to deal with and MUST be mounted securely in order to work and avoid interference with the pan. If you desire that a certified professional perform the drain/refill and filter service simply request a transmission oil change.

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Many auto manufacturers suggest having an automatic transmission flushed once every 30,000 to 100,000 miles. For a manual transmission, it usually ranges from 30,000 to 60,000 miles. It`s worth noting that some manufacturers don`t recommend a flush at all, at least for certain models.
The trick on how to drain transmission fluid is to work from the top, sucking out the old fluid up through the filler tube. Then refill with fresh fluid. A hand-operated vacuum transmission fluid pump makes the job simple and clean. You can remove one-third to one-half of the fluid from the transmission at a time.
If you don`t replace your transmission fluid, it will break down much like engine oil and lose its lubricating and cleaning properties. This leads to high temperatures, sludge buildup, and excess friction, which can damage the internal clutches that shift the gears.
Automatic: Every 60,000 to 100,000 miles

If you drive manual, most manufacturers will recommend changing your transmission fluid every 30,000 to 60,000 miles. If you have automatic, you can typically boost that range up to 60,000 to 100,000 miles. There`s no harm in changing your fluid early.

Depending on what the manufacturer recommends, you may need to get a transmission flush every 30,000 miles or two years. In some cases, your owner`s manual may suggest waiting until your car reaches 100,000 miles. Your best bet is to check your manual and consult with our technicians.
It`s advised to have the fluid changed in your transmission around every 30,000 miles. This will help keep your transmission constantly running smoothly and preserve its lifespan.
In general, transmissions take about 9 to 13 quarts to fill completely. The amount of transmission you add will vary, depending on whether you are draining or replacing it all or you are just topping it up. Again, you should avoid adding too much. It is advisable to put in little amounts at a time.
Warm up the Transmission

You will be able to drain your transmission oil far easier if it is at operating temperature. Before you begin to change your transmission fluid, go for a short drive or run the engine for a few minutes to warm it up.

If your transmission fluid looks like a strawberry milkshake, you`ve got water in the transmission. Once water gets into the transmission enough to affect operation, a rebuild is required.
How much transmission fluid your vehicle needs ranges from as few as 8-9 quarts for small passenger vehicles to more than 20 quarts for heavy-duty trucks. As you do when determining how often to change transmission fluid, check your owner`s manual for the transmission fluid capacity.
Changing your fluid cannot cause any damage by itself, if everything is fine inside the transmission. The issues start to appear when you change the fluid if your clutches are already worn or damaged from use. If you go and replace the fluid after they are already worn out. this can cause slipping.
Good maintenance includes changing the fluids at the mileage intervals that the manufacturer recommends — no matter how old the car is.
Toyota recommends that vehicles featuring an automatic transmission have their fluid changed every 60,000 to 100,000 miles. Vehicles with manual transmissions should have their fluid changed every 30,000 to 60,000 miles.
Transmission lifespans are determined on a case-by-case basis, and are the result of different contributing factors. Some transmissions can last just over 10,000 miles, while others will last over 200,000 miles.
Yes, you can change the transmission fluid after 200,000 miles. In fact, changing the transmission fluid at regular intervals is an important part of maintaining the health and longevity of your vehicle`s transmission.
An overheating transmission usually means there is already some sort of internal damage or a transmission fluid issue, such as a leak, low fluid level or just old/dirty fluid running through the system. It can also happen with too much transmission fluid, which causes excess pressure within the transmission.
For normal cars/light commercial vehicles often it is somewhere between 1.5-2.5L, and may take a specific gear oil, engine oil or even AT fluid.
The optimal temperature range for transmission fluid is 175 to 220 degrees. Above that, for every 20 degrees bad things happen, starting with formation of varnish at 240 degrees, followed by seals hardening, plates slipping, seals and clutches burn out, carbon is formed, and, ultimately, failure.
Transmission fluid thickens in cold weather, making it more difficult to shift gears. As the fluid thickens, it makes it more difficult to lubricate the many moving parts of your engine. Winter may also cause your transmission fluid to leak, potentially causing serious and costly damage to your engine.
The “check engine” notification on the dashboard isn`t reserved solely for engine issues. You will see this indicator light up when you are low on gearbox fluid as well. Friction due to the lack of gearbox oil may produce some burnt smells and even smoke.
With proper maintenance, transmissions can last up to 300,000 miles or more. This includes changing the fluid in your transmission system and regular checkups. However, when you don`t keep up with routine maintenance, your transmission might have problems at the 100,000-mile mark or even sooner.
In order to fix a water flooded transmission, it`s going to need a total overhaul at best and replacement at worst. The parts and materials that make up the transmission are very sensitive. They need to be handled with care especially after flood damage occurs.
Though changing transmission fluid can`t fix mechanical problems, it does make for smoother shifts and can extend the life of your transmission. And even when manufacturers recommend fluid change intervals of 150,000 miles under normal conditions, it may be a good idea to change it more frequently.

Relevant Questions and Answers :

the most relevant questions and answers related to your specific issue

Battery drains quickly, New battery,Heavy drain, Replaced alternator , drain still there,goes away when bat. main 2 fuse is pulled
ANSWER : Hi there. It’s quite possible that you have one of two things causing the drain to the battery. First, you have a bad ground somewhere in the main relay or fuse box or an exposed wire somewhere that is not allowing the circuit to complete from the alternator to the battery. This can cause a battery draining issue as you’re describing, but it could also be one of multiple other electrical problems. The best way to pinpoint the exact source is to have a professional mobile mechanic come to your location and complete a battery will not hold a charge inspection.

Read Full Q/A … : ATF drain and fill or not?

ATF drain and fill or not?
ANSWER : Changing the transmission fluid and the transmission filter could extend the service life of the transmission. Be sure to change the filter though. Use a NEW pan gasket, preferably the Toyota OEM (dealer supplied) gasket. Synthetic fluid is recommended. I am not aware of any evidence that changing fluid in the circumstance that you are describing has a potential downside. If the transmission were to fail, in the wake of such a fluid change, it was going to fail anyway regardless of whether you changed the fluid or not. Consequently, I would say that if the transmission is presently still working well, now is a golden time to change the fluid and possibly add to the service life of the unit. Do not flush the transmission as that is not necessary. Obviously, about 2 quarts of fluid will be trapped in the transmission, principally in the torque converter, on any drain and refill and what I have done to deal with that is simply do multiple, sequential drains and refills, which of course will render the "used" share of the oil fill ever smaller with each successive drain/refill cycle. You can accomplish this over a period of months if need be. The filter can be tricky to deal with and MUST be mounted securely in order to work and avoid interference with the pan. If you desire that a certified professional perform the drain/refill and filter service simply request a transmission oil change.

Read Full Q/A … : ATF drain and fill or not?

Hard startup immediately after fill up with gas. Then starts quickly each time until next fill up.
ANSWER : The most common cause of hard start after fill up is going to be the excessive gas fumes during refueling the vehicle will flood the engine causing the hard or no start. The excessive fumes will normally be stored in the emission control system carbon canister and then when you get into a cruising speed the purge control valve will open and the engine will use the excessive fumes to run the engine. This is what should happen but in your case the purge control valve is not holding back the fumes when you refuel and leaks the fumes into the engine when it should not be causing the over rich fuel condition. The purge valve is mounted on the engine near the fuel injection system. The purge valve should be vacuum checked for leaks and replaced if leaking when off.

Read Full Q/A … : ATF drain and fill or not?

Replacing Mopar ATF 4+ fluid with Valvoline ATF 4+ fluid
ANSWER : Sure you can. They all mix. Just make sure it’s the 4+. It’s the same design; they all mix perfectly fine. There is no problem in doing that at all. If you would like to have a technician perform this oil change for you, they can provide the oil and come to your home or office to get this done.

Read Full Q/A … : ATF drain and fill or not?

Over filled oil gears shift late on turns. Will draining excess resolve issue?
ANSWER : Hello, thank you for writing in. There are several things that can happen when you overfill the oil in your engine. The damages can range from high oil pressures (and stress on the system), to complete engine failure. With that said, you may have partially locked up the engine, bent a rod or valve, blown oil into the combustion chambers, or caused the oil pump to fail. The only real way to tell is to drain the oil and see what kind of condition it runs in after the oil level is brought to spec. If you are hearing new noises, it is running funny, or there are any changes, have it inspected by a professional. For any further help resolving the issue, contact our service department to schedule an appointment.

Read Full Q/A … : ATF drain and fill or not?

Battery drained and car key couldn’t open car door.
ANSWER : Hi there. The battery is draining for a parasitic load applied to the battery over night. This will drain the battery to needing a charge or needing a replacement. If the alarm was installed and it was for a newer vehicle, as long as the wiring is correctly installed into the vehicle, the year of the alarm should not matter. The alarm was probably installed on the wrong circuit causing the other circuit to have a load applied to it when the key is turned off. I recommend disabling the alarm and see if the battery does not discharge. If so, then hook up the alarm to a different circuit isolating it from any other circuits. If you need further assistance with your battery draining, then seek out a professional, such as one from Your Mechanic, to help you.

Read Full Q/A … : ATF drain and fill or not?

My 2011 Acadia is leaking engine oil. Above the drain plug is wet- it’s dripping off the drain plug
ANSWER : Oil leaking above. the oil pan can be coming from a number of places depending on how far above the pan, the oil is leaking from. The oil pan gasket, timing cover gasket/seal, or even the oil pressure switch are just a few places that oil can be leaking from. If the vehicle is still covered under the powertrain warranty, some instances of oil/fluid leaks, may be covered at no charge to you. Consult your warranty information and/or your dealer’s service department for more information on that.

If it is not covered, then a certified technician can look into the source of the oil leak visually, or by performing a dye test. A special dye that glows a florescent color under special lighting can be added to the engine oil. After the engine is run for a bit, the dye will come out with any leaking oil and show under the black light.

Read Full Q/A … : ATF drain and fill or not?

While filling fuel in tank its flooding i.e can’t fill in full speed usually it take around 10-15 Min for filling 50 Ltrs gas.
ANSWER : This is likely related to your EVAP emissions system and something called a purge solenoid. The EVAP system prevents fuel vapors from the fuel tank from escaping into the atmosphere. The EVAP system collects and temporarily stores the fuel vapors in the charcoal canister. The charcoal canister is filled with activated carbon pellets that can absorb the fuel vapors. When the engine is running, the fuel vapors are purged from the canister and burned in the engine. The vent control valve (solenoid) controls the flow of outside air in and out of the charcoal canister. When this is not working properly, you may experience the gas pump shutting off prematurely causing it to take a very long time to fill up your fuel tank. This is due to the excess fuel vapor that is present when the purge solenoid is not working properly by releasing these vapors. The gas pumps at the fuel station have automatic sensors on them (for safety reasons) that shut off automatically when too much fuel vapor is present. I would recommend having an expert from Your Mechanic come to your home to take a look at your car to diagnose your EVAP purge solenoid.

Read Full Q/A … : ATF drain and fill or not?