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GM factory recommended Trans fluid change?

Discussion in 'Chevy Trucks' started by mkwl, Nov 3, 2007.

  1. mkwl

    mkwl 2000 Club Member
    Messages: 2,361

    Does anyone know at what milage GM recommends changing the trans fluid/filter? My truck has 45,030 on it now, I think someone had mentioned 50,000 miles for the first trans fluid change/filter, but figured I'd ask to be sure. BTW- the fluid is like a deep red color- should be okay right? I'd imagine if it were brown or something there would be a problem- the fluid is red when new right?

    Thanks,
    Matt
     
  2. mike33087

    mike33087 Senior Member
    Messages: 555

    i change mine every october, also change all the other fluid every year too
     
  3. mkwl

    mkwl 2000 Club Member
    Messages: 2,361

    Wondering- dealer told me there isn't really any need to change more frequently than every 100,000 miles (unless plowing- every 50,000 miles), as the fluid will be fine and like new for at least 45,000, hence the change at 50,000. My Dad maintains it is best not to change the trans fluid at all- maybe there is something to it- we have a 2001 Chevy 1500 Suburban, has towed a lot- has 110,000 miles on it, no trans issues at all and trans fluid never changed. What can happen if the fluid is not changed at 50,000 miles? (or 100,000 miles)?
     
  4. B&B

    B&B PlowSite Fanatic
    Messages: 12,777

    Changing the trans fluid & filter is one of the best preventative maintenance item you can do for a trans in a truck that's used for it's intended purpose..I still don't see why guys refuse to change it often enough..it's such cheap insurance for a truck that you need to depend on to do the job that's expected of it..Trans fluid breaks down with heat and age, so it has a service life just like any other fluid. It will break down if left unchanged and can really cause problems in a modern electronic transmissions (like the 4L80E in your truck mkwl, for example). Guys that run them for 100,000mi or more are just running on borrowed time, and if they intend on keeping the truck are just cheating themselves. Say for example: the trans goes 100,000 and then dies because the fluid/filter was never changed...now you need a $2000 trans.. and all you saved from not changing the fluid/filter was a couple of trans services at say $80.00 each. Who made out there?

    On a truck that see's a fair amount of plowing or towing, change it every 25,000 mi or 1000 hours (Don't forget, '99-up Silverados have an hour meter.)

    If it see's nothing but hard use all year round...change it every year regardless of hours or miles..
     
    Last edited: Nov 3, 2007
  5. Mark13

    Mark13 PlowSite Fanatic
    Messages: 5,737

    My 98 has almost 152k on it and is either on the original fluid or has been changed once at the most. I notice it slipping sometimes, is it a good idea to change it now or will it cause more problems?
     
  6. mkwl

    mkwl 2000 Club Member
    Messages: 2,361


    This is true, the point my dad makes is this- he had a 2000 Chevy Solverado 1500 a few years ago- had 43,500 miles on it and he changed the trans fluid- all went well. Waited to 65,000 miles, changed it again- Chevy dealer chaged it- trans was leaking fluid after a week of them changing it. On our Suburban- never changed fluid- no problems. I guess the rule of "if it aint broke don't fix it" applies here for him. He's convinced that if I have the fluid changed, all I'll end up with are problems. My fluid is still red (not brown), has a very faint smell to it, he's convinced it is fine.
     
  7. mkwl

    mkwl 2000 Club Member
    Messages: 2,361

    What color is your fluid- does it smell burnt?

    BTW- does anyone know what new ATF fluid smells like?
     
  8. Mark13

    Mark13 PlowSite Fanatic
    Messages: 5,737

    IIRC its brownish. I havn't looked at the dipstick in a while though.
     
  9. B&B

    B&B PlowSite Fanatic
    Messages: 12,777

    You don't want it in there until it's brown...
     
  10. bribrius

    bribrius PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,609

    i must have missed something. your tranny is slipping now? and you want to put like a 9ft v on it right?:dizzy:

    as far as changing tranny fluid. my opinion is it depends on how you use your truck. no matter what though i think it should be done after 75k. earlier if you fall in the severe duty category. plowing all winter and towing the other three seasons on a daily basis id say once a year isnt a bad idea. i worry about mine every fourty k give or take. i also check it frequently to make sure it doesnt smell burnt and is still nice and red..

    speaking of which. im thinking of looking for a new synthetic or something for tranny fluid if anyone has any input on that.
     
  11. Mark13

    Mark13 PlowSite Fanatic
    Messages: 5,737

    No it was an 8.2 :D I'm running a western now.


    Any suggestions for my trans? Change the fluid and hope it helps and doesn't make it worse or wait for it to break then build it stronger?

    If I should change it, any suggestions of what brand fluid to run?
     
    Last edited: Nov 3, 2007
  12. B&B

    B&B PlowSite Fanatic
    Messages: 12,777

    Amsoil makes good stuff.. and switching over to synthetic is a smart idea but it can be a little expensive to do a switch over, as to get the full benefit from it you need to get all the dino oil out of the trans, which can take several drain and refills, or you need buy extra synthetic fluid and run it through a flush machine to flush all the dino oil out first..
     
  13. B&B

    B&B PlowSite Fanatic
    Messages: 12,777

    If the fluid doesn't look too good, or you have no idea when it's been changed last, I would change it now..

    Any name brand fluid is fine Mark.. Pennzoil, Castrol, Valvoline...just make sure it's at least Dexron 3 or higher on the label..and stay away from the store brand stuff if at all possible.
     
  14. T-MAN

    T-MAN PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,363

    Not changing your fluid in the trans is foolish. Why bother changing your Motor oil ?
    We do every 30K or every fall, which ever comes first.

    You dont need anything fancy to switch over to synthetic either. Trans fluid is much improved, but filters Allways need to be changed with every service. If you change your filter, and flush the trans you will get everything out and can run synthetic safely. It is cheap insurance changing your trans fluid.
     
  15. Mark13

    Mark13 PlowSite Fanatic
    Messages: 5,737

    My auto teacher thought that if I just changed my filter and fluid it would be ok but a complete flush might be the end of the trans. My dads 02 has 130k on it and he had his trans flushed at 100k and about 1-2k later it died. I don't want that to happen to mine. I have the money to have it rebuilt but of course I would rather spend it on other stuff.
     
  16. B&B

    B&B PlowSite Fanatic
    Messages: 12,777

    Don't flush it Mark..just change the fluid and filter... doing a flush on a high mileage or poorly maintained trans usually spells death..
     
  17. bribrius

    bribrius PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,609

    if the trannys that bad im still wondering how hes going to push snow.... i just hate to see him broke down in someones driveway. thanks for the advice on the synthetic guys.
     
  18. PremierLand

    PremierLand PlowSite.com Addict
    from detroit
    Messages: 1,572

    MKWL. I would change it, its not to much, also get the T-case and Diff fluid changed.

    Like others on here I get my fluids changed before Nov. 15th each year.
     
  19. mkwl

    mkwl 2000 Club Member
    Messages: 2,361

    No-one thinks it will cause leaks etc? That's my (and my Dad's) biggest worry. He's thinking I should wait until it has 50,000 on it, as GM recommends it be done at 50,000 for severe duty.
     
  20. mcwlandscaping

    mcwlandscaping 2000 Club Member
    Messages: 2,557

    Drain pan, drop pan, pull out filter, put in new filter, gasket, replace pan, and your done!! Do it now, doing this crap in the cold SUCKS!!!..actually, today is a beautiful day to do that :)