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Discussion Starter #1
Hey guys hope it’s okay to post this here. I have a 2007 Nissan Frontier LE V6 4x4. I want to do a drain and fill of my ATF. I had the fluid changed once at about 40,000 miles do to a recall on it. Than after around 90,000 my u joint needed to be replaced. I had broke my hand so I had to have a shop replace it. The tech said they had to drain the transmission so I’m assuming it was changed. Now I want to drain and fill it again as it’s due. I’m a big fan of Amsoil Oil and was going to use their ATF fluid for the fill. However I’m hearing people say that after 120,000 miles you shouldn’t change the ATF. It could cause problems such as slipping. My truck runs great and I have no problems with it at all. I want to change the ATF to help save the transmission not kill it. I’m hoping someone here might be able to help me decide if it’s worth doing or should I just leave it be. Thank you all for your help. Anything I should look for to help make the decision? Now it would only be a drain and fill. I wouldn’t be doing a flush as I know that could be bad. Any advice?
 

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There are some incredibly knowledgeable guys on this that may have some things to add. But I have an approach that has always worked with me on every vehicle I've ever owned. I don't sell vehicles until they have 200,000 or more on them, if they don't make it I don't consider them good vehicles. First off, do not do a power flush, too many miles. Just do a drain and fill. The rule of thumb that I have used is that if it is pink I would go with with a synthetic ATF. If it is clear, now probably slightly brown with use, I would go with the clear stuff that they make for these. I believe it's j Matic type or equivalent. Measure how much comes out and try to put close to that back in and then check it. But do not do a power flush. I have used Amsoil and the purple Stuff, Etc before, but usually just in axles, not necessarily in transmissions or engines just because myself personally I've never noticed a difference considering the expense. Usually in motors that I know have had conventional detergent oil run in them I use a Valvoline synthetic blend, and in motors that I know have had nothing but synthetic in them I use Valvoline full synthetic. When they get around a hundred thousand or a hundred and twenty thousand I go with a high mileage version. Obviously, replace any filters and gaskets as necessary. Hope that helps.
 

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Thank you for your reply. No I wasn’t going to even consider a flush just a drain and fill. I was going to do it a few times because I was changing the brand. So I bought enough ATF to do a drain and fill 3 times to get the old out. I posted this question in a different mechanic forum and people were saying it was a huge mistake. That they wouldn’t touch it past 120,000 miles and definitely not change brands. I just didn’t see any issue hence why I went ahead and purchase it all. I mean I don’t do a lot of heavy toeing. I toe my little 15’ John boat around a few times a year but nothing horrible. The transmission is still pink in color and I don’t have any issues at all with the transmission. It goes in and out of gears like butter. I would rather waste money on this case of ATF than to buy a new transmission because of my own ignorance. After searching online I came across this forum and figured hopefully someone can give me some advice. Thank you again. Hopefully others will chime in and I’ll either feel better about doing it or it’s staying just like it is hahaha
 

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There's always been alot of debate on this one but here's the science behind it so you can decide for yourself.

When/if a transmission slips it makes alot of heat. The heat burns the fluid and disintegrates the friction material from the clutch packs into very small particles. Some of it falls out of the clutches into the oil and eventually ends up in the filter. But some of it remains stuck in the clutch pack. Under the extreme heat and pressure of the clutch pack the very small friction material particles cake together into bigger chunks. With poor fluid these chunks of loose friction material can stay stuck in the clutches indefinitely. With fresh fluid they can very quickly be cleaned out and can clog some of the smaller passages in the transmission. The transmission can starve for oil...and then it's goodbye tranny.

Burnt looking/smelling fluid has lost most/all of its cleaning ability while new tranny fluid is a fierce cleaner. So if the current condition of your fluid looks and smells burnt then your tranny has already experienced some heat damage to the clutch packs. In that case you do not want to change it ever again in hopes that the old fluid will not clean/detach the loose friction material and kill your tranny. You might even be lucky enough to get another few years out of it. But if you replaced the burnt fluid with new fluid, in a short period of time (days, weeks, few months) it will clean/detach the loose friction material from the clutch pack and then can clog and kill your tranny. These are the horror stories we've all heard.

So in short...it all revolves around the condition of the fluid currently in the transmission. Take a really good look at it...notice the color and the smell and compare both to new fluid. If the color and smell are similar then your clutches/tranny are still in good shape and you'll be just fine changing it at normal intervals. If the current fluid is dark and/or burnt smelling compared to new fluid then some clutch damage has occurred and a fluid change at that point would be rolling the dice. You would be better off leaving the old fluid in eternally and praying for another few years of operation.
 

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I drain and fill my ATF approximately every 30k and have had zero issues. Currently have over 280k on the odometer.
If and when my transmission begins to slip...that's when the drain and fills come to an end.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
There's always been alot of debate on this one but here's the science behind it so you can decide for yourself.

When/if a transmission slips it makes alot of heat. The heat burns the fluid and disintegrates the friction material from the clutch packs into very small particles. Some of it falls out of the clutches into the oil and eventually ends up in the filter. But some of it remains stuck in the clutch pack. Under the extreme heat and pressure of the clutch pack the very small friction material particles cake together into bigger chunks. With poor fluid these chunks of loose friction material can stay stuck in the clutches indefinitely. With fresh fluid they can very quickly be cleaned out and can clog some of the smaller passages in the transmission. The transmission can starve for oil...and then it's goodbye tranny.

Burnt looking/smelling fluid has lost most/all of its cleaning ability while new tranny fluid is a fierce cleaner. So if the current condition of your fluid looks and smells burnt then your tranny has already experienced some heat damage to the clutch packs. In that case you do not want to change it ever again in hopes that the old fluid will not clean/detach the loose friction material and kill your tranny. You might even be lucky enough to get another few years out of it. But if you replaced the burnt fluid with new fluid, in a short period of time (days, weeks, few months) it will clean/detach the loose friction material from the clutch pack and then can clog and kill your tranny. These are the horror stories we've all heard.

So in short...it all revolves around the condition of the fluid currently in the transmission. Take a really good look at it...notice the color and the smell and compare both to new fluid. If the color and smell are similar then your clutches/tranny are still in good shape and you'll be just fine changing it at normal intervals. If the current fluid is dark and/or burnt smelling compared to new fluid then some clutch damage has occurred and a fluid change at that point would be rolling the dice. You would be better off leaving the old fluid in eternally and praying for another few years of operation.
Thank you so much. That was a lot of great info. I will thoroughly inspect the condition of the current fluid. If the fluid is still pink in color and isn’t black or burnt I should be good. How about using this Amsoil ATF? Am I adding even more risk to an already risky procedure? The last drain and fill was with matic j. They don’t make that anymore and is now matic s. So I figured since I would be switching I might as well use Amsoil because I’ve heard so many great things about it.
 

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If you had never replaced or drain&fill'd your tranny fluid in the first 120k, then the advice of leaving it alone 'may' have 'some' credence.
 
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Discussion Starter #9
So looking at the color it’s almost blue. The red is the new. Why would it be bluish in color?
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Do you all think the mechanic would have put Nissan NS3 in my transmission? I certainly don’t have a CVT. I just don’t understand the color. It’s bugging me lol
 

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Do you all think the mechanic would have put Nissan NS3 in my transmission? I certainly don’t have a CVT. I just don’t understand the color. It’s bugging me lol
That's a pretty significant difference between the two...what does it smell like compared to the new? Have you ever noticed any performance issues at all...slippin, funny shifts, etc?

I personally wouldn't trust the dealership to properly change my cabin air filter properly so who knows what else they are capable of.
 

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No I can’t say I noticed anything unusual. It drives fine and no issues switching gears. Definitely don’t like that color though. I drained it and filled it with new fluid. I only got about 4 1/2 quarts out but it is definitely blue almost purple in the drain pan. Red and blue do make purple and the only blue ATF that I can think of was for nissans CVT transmissions
317639
 

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No I can’t say I noticed anything unusual. It drives fine and no issues switching gears. Definitely don’t like that color though. I drained it and filled it with new fluid. I only got about 4 1/2 quarts out but it is definitely blue almost purple in the drain pan. Red and blue do make purple and the only blue ATF that I can think of was for nissans CVT transmissions View attachment 317639
In this pic it doesn't look burnt to me...maybe a little dirty but definitely purple. I wouldn't be surprised if a dealership did something dumb like putting in the wrong fluid so who knows.

The normal progression for ATF is from bright red to brownish red to browns to black...no purples. Even Royal Purple ATF is red. So what you are thinking about the CVT fluid sounds very logical and very possible.
 

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If you really think theres blue stuff in there you better do 2-3 more dran an fills to get it all out. To me it looks like normal used dirty atf fluid.
 

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If you really think theres blue stuff in there you better do 2-3 more dran an fills to get it all out. To me it looks like normal used dirty atf fluid.
I am planning on doing a drain and fill 2 more times. I was going to do them about 4 or 5 thousand miles apart. Do you think that’s good? Should I do it sooner or later? It definitely has a purple tinge to it and I couldn’t really find any info that would explain the color purple in transmission fluid. The only thing I could think was I know some ATF very few are actually blue not red. Since red and blue make purple I wondered if the shop that changed it last put something different in it.
 

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Like Kelly Mack I wouldn’t trust them with a dry filter let a lone anything that involved fluids. When I first got my 08 pathfinder I wanted to make sure I got the right fluid so I went to local dealer parts desk and they give me the wrong stuff. The guy thought it had CVT in it, lol. That was before I found this place.😊
 

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Like Kelly Mack I wouldn’t trust them with a dry filter let a lone anything that involved fluids. When I first got my 08 pathfinder I wanted to make sure I got the right fluid so I went to local dealer parts desk and they give me the wrong stuff. The guy thought it had CVT in it, lol. That was before I found this place.😊
Yeah I totally agree. I have had way to many bad experiences with dealerships doing work on my vehicles. Even shops. Finding a quality trusted mechanic is tough. When my u-joint went out I had broken my hand at work. No way I was going to be able to fix it so I went with a guy a friend highly recommended to fix it for me. He definitely wasn’t cheap but I’ll pay extra for quality. I needed the ATF changed so I figured he might as well do it. I don’t know why I never bothered to check the transmission fluid up until it was about time to do it again. Luckily I don’t have any issues with the transmission. Hopefully it remains that way with a few drain and fills. I wish I knew what he put in it and why. I just don’t see any reason ATF would turn purple without adding something strange to the mix. I do see some brands of ATF that is actually blue but mainly for Mazda or Nissans CVTs. I don’t however see any that would be a multi vehicle ATF that is blue.
 

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I am planning on doing a drain and fill 2 more times. I was going to do them about 4 or 5 thousand miles apart. Do you think that’s good? Should I do it sooner or later? It definitely has a purple tinge to it and I couldn’t really find any info that would explain the color purple in transmission fluid. The only thing I could think was I know some ATF very few are actually blue not red. Since red and blue make purple I wondered if the shop that changed it last put something different in it.
It's hard to say how long before you do it again...cuz what was in there before went 30k miles with no issues. What might make me decide when is how it looks at 5k miles. If they did what you think they might have done (which sounds logical) they only replaced part of the fluid when they did it. So you putting it the new red fluid maybe it won't be purple anymore after 5k. If it is I'd change it again...if not so bad maybe a longer interval than 5k?
 

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Yeah I totally agree. I have had way to many bad experiences with dealerships doing work on my vehicles. Even shops. Finding a quality trusted mechanic is tough. When my u-joint went out I had broken my hand at work. No way I was going to be able to fix it so I went with a guy a friend highly recommended to fix it for me. He definitely wasn’t cheap but I’ll pay extra for quality. I needed the ATF changed so I figured he might as well do it. I don’t know why I never bothered to check the transmission fluid up until it was about time to do it again. Luckily I don’t have any issues with the transmission. Hopefully it remains that way with a few drain and fills. I wish I knew what he put in it and why. I just don’t see any reason ATF would turn purple without adding something strange to the mix. I do see some brands of ATF that is actually blue but mainly for Mazda or Nissans CVTs. I don’t however see any that would be a multi vehicle ATF that is blue.
Broken hand...ouch! Yeah you gotta do what you gotta do sometimes. I also have never seen an ATF that wasn't red.
 
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