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Thread: Change automatic transmission fluid?

  1. #211
    Registered Member Lbear's Avatar

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    If someone thinks that transmission fluid will last forever and will never need changing. That person should forfeit their drivers license and just take mass transit. They should then have their picture placed in the vehicle maintenance hall of shame.

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    Forever is a long time, I can see both sides of the argument here, but what I'd really like to know is what time frame/mileage the manufacturers consider to be lifetime?? 100k miles? 150k miles? 15 years? Fluid does not last forever. There has to be a limit somewhere.

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    Quote Originally Posted by shadonoz View Post
    Amusing column from Ezra Dyer about changing trans fluid in the December Car and Driver here. Anyone who works on their car can relate. Even tho he's talking about a stick.
    That was an entertaining read. Thanks!

    Quote Originally Posted by Kedis82ZE8 View Post
    Scotty is fun to watch but his references are Ford/Mazda era.... I'm gonna go ahead and change my AT within the month. If it ends up that I have a AT leak so be it.....although unlikely. I had been on the fence as I didn't want to waste new fluid $$$ depending on resolution to my long-standing issue.
    Yeah, be sure to do a measurement on dipstick of ATF before you drain and will be curious if its under filled as mine was, or if it's even lower if that's the source of your leak.

    Quote Originally Posted by madar View Post
    Forever is a long time, I can see both sides of the argument here, but what I'd really like to know is what time frame/mileage the manufacturers consider to be lifetime?? 100k miles? 150k miles? 15 years? Fluid does not last forever. There has to be a limit somewhere.
    Mazda would not give me a definition for lifetime. I asked them very directly...is it the Powertrain warranty? Can you give me a mileage or years for what is considered "lifetime". They were non-committal. Best I could determine from their non-committal speak is that the fluid is "good" until your transmission breaks, has to be rebuilt/replaced and filled with new fluid. They always said "good for lifetime of transmission, and only needs to be replaced if major transmission work is done". I can read between the lines of that statement lol.
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  4. #214
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    Maybe a better avenue would be to go to whoever makes Mazda's (is it Mazda?) trans oil and maybe get some specs from them. It's not the oil that wears out, it's the additives.

  5. #215
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    Lifetime for my 05 Ford Focus air filter was 120k lol. Listed as Lifetime* in the owners manual with the asterisk. 6 pt font at the bottom of the page:120k miles. Front bumper needed to be removed to replace the thing.

  6. #216
    Registered Member Lbear's Avatar

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    Part of the lifetime nonsense is due to the EPA and petroleum based fluids. The manufacturer tells the EPA, look we have a trans that the fluid never needs replacing so we are green and environmentally friendly. Yet, the stupidity is, would you rather replace the fluid every 50k miles or replace a transmission every 100k miles? Which has the greater environmental impact. The latter of course.

    Fluid engineering basically states that ALL fluids will eventually break down due to heat, time and contamination. THERE IS NO SUCH THING AS FOREVER LIFETIME FLUID. That is a scientific and engineering fact.

  7. #217
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lbear View Post
    Part of the lifetime nonsense is due to the EPA and petroleum based fluids. The manufacturer tells the EPA, look we have a trans that the fluid never needs replacing so we are green and environmentally friendly. Yet, the stupidity is, would you rather replace the fluid every 50k miles or replace a transmission every 100k miles? Which has the greater environmental impact. The latter of course.

    Fluid engineering basically states that ALL fluids will eventually break down due to heat, time and contamination. THERE IS NO SUCH THING AS FOREVER LIFETIME FLUID. That is a scientific and engineering fact.
    There is no such thing as a lifetime transmission, engine, or differential, either, but I'm going to do my best to see how long the OEM transmission fluid lasts. 100,8XX miles and doing fine, currently.

  8. #218
    Registered Member CX-5um's Avatar

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    Quote Originally Posted by madar View Post
    Maybe a better avenue would be to go to whoever makes Mazda's (is it Mazda?) trans oil and maybe get some specs from them. It's not the oil that wears out, it's the additives.
    Good point. The additives have a lower lifespan than the oil itself. That said I'm pretty sure term "lifetime" in car manuals = manufacturer's powertrain warranty period. From a lawsuit perspective at least.

    The closes to lifetime we get is the emissions equipment. That stuff has a longer warranty period.
    Last edited by CX-5um; 12-15-2018 at 11:37 PM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by CX-5um View Post
    Good point. The additives have a lower lifespan than the oil itself. That said I'm pretty sure term "lifetime" in car manuals = manufacturer's powertrain warranty period. From a lawsuit perspective at least.

    The closes to lifetime we get is the emissions equipment. That stuff has a longer warranty period.
    If "lifetime" means "warranty period"...then what does the "lifetime warranty" mean?

  10. #220
    Resident barbarian ColoradoDriver's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Unobtanium View Post
    If "lifetime" means "warranty period"...then what does the "lifetime warranty" mean?
    You have a lifetime powertrain warranty????
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