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How often do you guys do this? My old Explorer said you could do it every 100,000 miles. At 120,000 had to have the transmission rebuilt. The standard used to be every 30,000 miles.
 

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I will offer up this, FWIW. Two major things to be concerned about as it applies to ATF change interval. The first is an external contamination. It is not likely that anything from the outside world has gotten into the tranny, but being aware that it could, is important. In the case it occurs, fluid should be changed ASAP and the source of the contamination be eliminated. A high-quality external filter is really nice in these situations. The second concern is how hard has the tranny been worked. Heat is the primary enemy of ATF and argues for a tranny temperature gauge.


All heavy equipment I drive and vehicles I own have a tranny temperature gauge. The harder you work the truck, the higher the temperatures the ATF will see. With that said, when would I change fluid? On my Allison HT4000 series tranny in my coach (500HP/50K pounds...works hard in the mountains of the west), I take a sample and have it analyzed every year (approximately 5000 mile interval) and change it every second year (Allison recommended time spec). So, I would say 30,000 miles on the ATF in your truck (given it isn't worked hard and has not been overheated or contaminated) is a very safe, conservative interval. You might want to send a sample of your ATF to Blackstone (or a number of others) and with good results, you could easily stretch the interval...they will make recommendations based on the results). I would invest in a tranny temperature gauge though, if you don't have one in your truck.
 

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I tow a 3,000 pound trailer from time to time. That is about the only thing I do with it that would approach heavy use. I do not mind having it done more often than is absolutely necessary in order to protect it. I am only at 12,500 miles now so it will be a while yet.

On my old Explorer I had it changed at 100k just like they recommended but it still died not too long afterwards. Of course it was a Ford and they do not hold up as well as a Nissan, usually.
 

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How often do you guys do this? My old Explorer said you could do it every 100,000 miles. At 120,000 had to have the transmission rebuilt. The standard used to be every 30,000 miles.
Manual says inspect every 10K. Severe duty replace every 30K or 24 mos. That said... Fluid flush (complete fluid change) 60K max. Local dealer (provides lifetime drivetrain warranty) does AT pan change every 25K. They do this across all the AT models (car/truck/SUV) for all duty use. They've had very few rebuilds. Most were titans towing heavy loads.

work with your local dealer parts guy & buy ATF by the case for big savings. I got my case for $102 (8.50/qt) did drain/fill when I replaced my trans pan @20k miles. old fluid was a nice deep ruby color (still plenty life left). Stock pan is about 4-4.5qt, my new pan is ~6qt

My plan, as I offroad, is to drain/fill each 20k, flush @60k & 100k. I also plan to take a sample for analysis next drain/fill. I think $50 every 20k is money well spent.

I also have a BullyDog GT tuner to monitor AT temp (among other things) and set to alarm if I hit 200deg ATF.

100k is too long a service interval. That assumes its never overheated, never towed or steep grades, never contaminated.
 

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My truck is a 2012 but only has 20K miles on it, no towing. I just did a drain and fill using Matic S at 20K but I will go to 30K intervals from now on and I may switch to Maxlife after the warranty. I don't plan on flushing it.
 

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I do a drain and fill every other oil change. I change my oil every 6-8 months. I also always use Nissan Matic, and got a deal on a case from the dealer. I know that a drain and fill does not replace all fluid, but I figure by doing it more often it keeps my transmission fluid in good shape.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
I do a drain and fill every other oil change. I change my oil every 6-8 months. I also always use Nissan Matic, and got a deal on a case from the dealer. I know that a drain and fill does not replace all fluid, but I figure by doing it more often it keeps my transmission fluid in good shape.
If you go 5,000 miles between oil changes then you are changing your transmission fluid every 10,000 miles?
 

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If you go 5,000 miles between oil changes then you are changing your transmission fluid every 10,000 miles?


I'd say less. I work out of town 1 month on 1 month off. I change my oil based more on time and less on mileage. I do a drain and fill every second oil change. So that's roughly every 12-16 months. At about $40 Canadian to drain and fill the transmission and about 15 minutes of work, I really don't care if I could get more out of it, dirt cheap insurance.
 

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I guess im a bit slower than most here. I check mine regularly and did a drain and fill, exchanged about 4.5 qts at 70k. Old fluid still looked good and was not burnt, but i did not have it analyzed. I will do another drain and fill in the next month or so, at 78k now.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
I'd say less. I work out of town 1 month on 1 month off. I change my oil based more on time and less on mileage. I do a drain and fill every second oil change. So that's roughly every 12-16 months. At about $40 Canadian to drain and fill the transmission and about 15 minutes of work, I really don't care if I could get more out of it, dirt cheap insurance.
I can't really fault you there. When you do the work yourself I suppose it changes your perspective a bit. I have not changed my own oil in several years. I could probably still do it but it is not worth the hassle and mess to me when I can get it done fairly cheap by a shop I trust.
 

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I do a drain and fill every other oil change. I change my oil every 6-8 months. I also always use Nissan Matic, and got a deal on a case from the dealer. I know that a drain and fill does not replace all fluid, but I figure by doing it more often it keeps my transmission fluid in good shape.
On my Allison (this is a $10K transmission, if you buy a rebuilt :surprise:) and my late 4R100 (a $5K John Wood transmission :surprise:), I use a method which might apply to the Nissan automatic to help you change more of the fluid (I own a 6-speed). What I do is hook a clear hose to the line coming from the cooler. Insert into a clean container. Start vehicle up and shift through the gears while idling and a friend is watching the container. When the friend observes an air bubble (the pump just begins to suck air), shut engine off. Measure the amount of fluid in the container (and mark container with permanent marker) and replace that amount of fluid with clean fluid through the dipstick tube. Repeat this process a number of times. This method is not as efficient as dump and refill, but it does have the advantage for a DIY guy to flush the tranny at home and to clean out the valve body. How many times? Well that is up to you...On my 4R100 held 18 quarts and I would flush a case through it, at about 2 quarts a time. I once did the math and this method replaced about 97% (IIRC) of the old fluid. If someone told me the capacity of the Nissan automatic, I could do the math for you.
 

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I do a drain and fill every other oil change. I change my oil every 6-8 months. I also always use Nissan Matic, and got a deal on a case from the dealer. I know that a drain and fill does not replace all fluid, but I figure by doing it more often it keeps my transmission fluid in good shape.
I've been doing the same.... 2011 and just turned 52000 miles
 

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I've been doing the same.... 2011 and just turned 52000 miles


I've also been doing this out 2011 Honda Odyssey. It has around 60,000 miles and hasn't given me any grief. That vehicle is usually loaded right up with 4 kids, 2 adults, bags, bikes, coolers, roof rack...
 

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If you have a local fertilizer supply or landscaping supply they carry a 128 ounce marked container so you can easily know to the ounce what you drained and what to pour back in. Surely it can be sourced online as well. It makes the task go much quicker.

Clint
 

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I made my own with a empty washer fluid jug.
 

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Wow. With the frequency some of you are doing transmission fluid changes I'd be doing a lot of them. I've got 57,000 on my '13 and I'm planning to do it at 60,000 along with the differentials and transfer case. Then again I'm about 95% low stress highway driving. I do tow my snowmobile trailer about once a week in winter but like I said its winter and the fully loaded trailer is only around 2600 pounds. I'm also not going to do it myself. If you have ever been through a MN Winter you know that changing oil etc yourself in an un-heater garage is a non-starter December through March...and thats if I had the ambition to do it anyway...which I don't. Besides, I've got a local shop where I've had good luck that gives me a 20% veteran's discount :)
 

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Wow. With the frequency some of you are doing transmission fluid changes I'd be doing a lot of them. I've got 57,000 on my '13 and I'm planning to do it at 60,000 along with the differentials and transfer case. Then again I'm about 95% low stress highway driving. I do tow my snowmobile trailer about once a week in winter but like I said its winter and the fully loaded trailer is only around 2600 pounds. I'm also not going to do it myself. If you have ever been through a MN Winter you know that changing oil etc yourself in an un-heater garage is a non-starter December through March...and thats if I had the ambition to do it anyway...which I don't. Besides, I've got a local shop where I've had good luck that gives me a 20% veteran's discount :)


I know that I do mine way, way, way more often then necessary. But I don't really care. It gives me piece of mind. I also do the differentials every 24 months...
 

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$.02, In the 90s the Toyota dealer I wrenched at recommended 15k and most were overdue by that time. This was before the synthetics hit the mainstream. I stick with 30K on my cases and auto trans. Motor oil gets dumped every 6mo or 5k. I feel this is adequate based on the fluids color at drain time and you really never read bout trans failures on here.
 

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OutFront, wow, no kidding at 15K? I had multiple GM vehicles and yea, I get that the old HydroMatics were pretty darn near indestructible, but I had well over 100k on what I estimate was factory fill ( yea, I know, young and dumb-er LOL ). Is 15k really necessary? Seems mighty mighty conservative. Whats Toyota doing now with their synthetics? Just curious. My wife has a 2005 RAV4 with 200k on the clock and I don't know if she ever serviced it. Not that I'm recommending it, but it still runs fine. It will be getting traded, sold or handed down in about 6 months.
 
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