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With only 30k miles can the ATF be failing already.... Tranny fluid looks dark. Should I get it just emptied and refilled or have complete inspection done?
 

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The NissanMatic "J" and "S" automatic transmission fluids look brown when they drain out. It's just a characteristic of the fluid. I service mine with Valvoline Maxlife Full-synthetic ATF and after a couple of drain and fills, the fluid looks the more traditional "cherry red" color on the dipstick and when drained.
 

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The NissanMatic "J" and "S" automatic transmission fluids look brown when they drain out. It's just a characteristic of the fluid. I service mine with Valvoline Maxlife Full-synthetic ATF and after a couple of drain and fills, the fluid looks the more traditional "cherry red" color on the dipstick and when drained.
Not to thread jack but that give me a thought on servicing the transmission fluid.

Rather than doing the whole flush procedure, could one just drain and fill every other oil change to keep the fluid fresh and also use the time to monitor the magnetic drainplug etc etc? OR is that overkill?
 

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Not to thread jack but that give me a thought on servicing the transmission fluid.

Rather than doing the whole flush procedure, could one just drain and fill every other oil change to keep the fluid fresh and also use the time to monitor the magnetic drainplug etc etc? OR is that overkill?
You could, wouldn’t hurt, but way, way overkill. I’ve got vehicles at 100k that still had factory trans fluid and ran fine, I changed it of course. I feel like 60k changes would be perfect... but with that said, no filter, no pan dropping makes it so easy, I’m going to do mine every 30k miles.

i have a 06 grand marquis that I changed at 60, it’s right at 100 now, I’m debating dropping the pan and changing filter, or just draining it and refilling
 

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Not to thread jack but that give me a thought on servicing the transmission fluid.

Rather than doing the whole flush procedure, could one just drain and fill every other oil change to keep the fluid fresh and also use the time to monitor the magnetic drainplug etc etc? OR is that overkill?
I do a "drain and fill" with Matic S every 20-30K miles. My Fronty only has 80K miles on it, but I have a 2008 Nissan Xterra with over 350,000 miles on it that I have owned since new, and this is all I have ever done. No problem with either, and the fluid always drains out looking clean. If you do decide on a full flush there is nothing wrong with a poor man's flush - it is actually what the service manual says to do, but I would not have a garage do a flush with their shotty, dirty machines personally.
 

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If you do a pan drop and clean magnets, monitor for pan debris every 20-30K there is no reason to ever need to flush and your fluid will always be a bright cherry red(valveoline maxlife)
 

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I have been changing the fluid in mine about every 20K (once a year, ish…). My truck gets wheeled enough in wet / mud where I'm under checking / changing diff and transfer case fluids anyway, so, doesn't hurt a thing to also pull the plug on the transmission as well.
Off the top of my head, could be off by 20-30 percent I've had a few beers since I did the math originally, a simple drain and fill is about 1/3 volume of the total transmission fluid for the AT. If you were to do a drain and fill every 10k miles, at 30k miles you'd have exchanged all of the fluid. (yes I realize there will be some residual as it will all have mixed together) Continue that trend same at 60k so on and so forth. Being that I wheel fairly often, and sometimes with a motorcycle and all my gear in the back, I don't think it'd hurt. Plus with wheeling often enough I'm working on **** or down there pulling branches and rocks out anyhow.
 

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Off the top of my head, could be off by 20-30 percent I've had a few beers since I did the math originally, a simple drain and fill is about 1/3 volume of the total transmission fluid for the AT. If you were to do a drain and fill every 10k miles, at 30k miles you'd have exchanged all of the fluid. (yes I realize there will be some residual as it will all have mixed together) Continue that trend same at 60k so on and so forth. Being that I wheel fairly often, and sometimes with a motorcycle and all my gear in the back, I don't think it'd hurt. Plus with wheeling often enough I'm working on **** or down there pulling branches and rocks out anyhow.
I would rather do a flush then drain and fill.. replace all the old with new. Drain and fill the second time is drain old and new fluid to add new . I think drain and fill is better than nothing, but I believe flush is the way to go.
 

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I would rather do a flush then drain and fill.. replace all the old with new. Drain and fill the second time is drain old and new fluid to add new . I think drain and fill is better than nothing, but I believe flush is the way to go.
Probably right. If I'm doing work anyway, I shouldn't be such a lazy bastard. The only upside I can see to the drain and fill vs. flush at the intervals I'm considering, is that I'll more often be checking the drain plug magnet to see if there is any premature wear happening.
 

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Probably right. If I'm doing work anyway, I shouldn't be such a lazy bastard. The only upside I can see to the drain and fill vs. flush at the intervals I'm considering, is that I'll more often be checking the drain plug magnet to see if there is any premature wear happening.
Giving yourself an excuse to slide under your truck more often is excuse enough. For me, skid plates come off, fluids get drained and filled and I give everything a visual inspection as well as a shake. Doing a complete flush less frequently means I'm letting things go longer before checking.

replacing 1/3rd of the trans fluid every 20k is fine by me. per the manual, it's "inspect" every 30k, so if I've actually replaced "2/3rds" of the fluid volume every 40k, I'm money ahead.
 

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I'll I've ever done on my two R51 Pathys (same trans) are drain and fills every 50,000 miles with Valvoline Maxlife Full-synthetic ATF. Over 450,000 combined miles between the two and they both shift like new and the pans have never been off. No transmission leaks, either, "knock on wood!"
 

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I'll I've ever done on my two R51 Pathys (same trans) are drain and fills every 50,000 miles with Valvoline Maxlife Full-synthetic ATF. Over 450,000 combined miles between the two and they both shift like new and the pans have never been off. No transmission leaks, either, "knock on wood!"
Thats some good luck. Would you suggest a shorter fluid change interval if the vehicle was heavier use? For instance, fully armored, front and rear bumpers. Plus 1-2 weekend offroad adventures a month?
 

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The fluid's synthetic, so it's pretty durable. Obviously, excessive heat is what breaks down automatic transmission fluid. Heavy towing is probably the hardest thing on a transmission. What you could do is do a drain and fill at a mileage interval that you feel comfortable with and then send a sample to Blackstone Labs to see what kind of condition it's in. They can tell you how much life is left in the fluid to help you determine an appropriate service interval for your use. Most people think of Blackstone Labs in regards to engine oil analyses, but they also do transmission fluid as well as other fluids.

 
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