Question about Oldsmobile Aurora

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Change tranny oil and what kind?

126k on 97 aurora. I purchased last fall at 115k. not sure of the history. Should I change the transmission oil and what kind of oil should I use

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  • Oldsmobile Master
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Some trans shops will tell you after 100k that you should not change fluid. I see some valid points in this in that if unit has a large amount of varnish and debris, it could loosen up and migrate to important components. However, I don't entirely "buy into" this simply because in not changing it you absolutely ensure that the unit will fail soon.(the oil itself looses it's ability to do its job, both from a chemical and physical aspect.)
If oil you remove looks burned or is heavily contaminated, change it (with filter) then in about 2000miles, change it again. (when you drop the pan you are only changing half the old fluid, the remainder stays inside the converter) If old fluid is "normal...used" change it once, then again next year (regardless of miles driven).
You can check for exact fluid type by asking at any good trans shop or at a local dealer...its likely dextron 3 but they keep changing requirements. If doing a "short" change use something like the wallmart brand (actually quaker state in a different container) then on second change get and use either the same or better (like a synthetic), adding a good mild additive like the sealer & conditioner made by Lucas. Doing this will not guarantee you will not have a failure but gives you the best protection possible against it.
good luck!

Posted on Apr 16, 2009

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How many miles on transmission before having to change the oil?


That all depends on how you drive it. If you beat the car and you do not maintain it, chances are it will fail very early in its service life. If you drive conservatively and have the transmission serviced at frequent intervals it will last the life of the car.

I have a bronco with 268,000 miles on it, yes 268,000 miles on a ford. It doesn't burn a drop of oil and the tranny is original. Everything works great, but I was religious about changing the oil every three thousand miles and making sure the tranny was serviced.

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Got a 'recommended' tranny fluid exchange at 126K miles...not 'service engine light" on with codes, tranny sticking in drive less than 1500 miles later. planning to go back to the dealership to find out...


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Transmission oil never wears out but the detergents and conditioners in the oil do and filters get plugged with normal wear and tear debris.
Performing the complete exchange will help prolong the transmissions life and keep it preforming properly.
I would guess there is another problem causing your issue or the dealer may have left something loose during the service.
I would return to the dealer and explain your problem and see what they do recommend and ask them to scan the vehicle for trouble codes as there may be a "B" code that would not turn the service engine light on.
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For example, a few days ago I had a worried customer call me and tell me she could not afford a $1500 transmission. I assured her that the starting point wa to do a transmission service for her car. Her car did not have a tranny pan and tranny filter, so all we did was drain her ATF (automatci transmission fluid) and I noticed it was dark and almost even black. New ATF should be red like Kool-Aid. This was a sign this tranny oil was no good. I refilled her car and took it for a test drive. I was happy to find that the shifting had improved immediately. She was so happy when she got her car back.

Remember, you change your oil right? WELL, WHEN WAS THE LAST TIME YOU DID A TRANSMISSION SERVICE? Most people say "never" or " I don't think it has ever been done before"

Some people do this every 12,000 to 25,000 miles or once ever 2 years.

Do this and this will be your starting point. If this does not work (and this does work the majority of the time); then you may need to send the car to a tranny specialist and have the tranny rebuilt or replaced.

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