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Discussion Starter #1
I recently checked the auto trans fluid on my daugthers car and it was rather dark (not the normal red I'm used to seeing), but it did not smell burned. Her car has 100k miles on it, and there's no telling when the fluid was last changed.

The local mechanic said if the fluid was too dark, it probably indicates that it contains metal and that he would not flush and change the fluid if this was the case. He made it sound like it would create leaks or other problems.

Does this sound right?
 

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No, not to me. I get the trans fluid flushed and changed at the dealer. 58,000 miles on my Vic and I've had it done twice. I'd get it done. This is your daughters car, not yours. Oh the dealer has a machine that pumps it all out, so even the torque converter gets fresh fluid.

<font size=-1>[ This Message was edited by: Rich Long on 1/11/02 3:55am ]</font>
 

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I would drain the tranny fluid and inspect it first. Run a magnet thru it or something, and see if there is any meatal particles or grit. If all is well, then you can get it flushed.
 

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New, clean fluid won't make it leak....But it will shift better and last longer!!

I changed my 2000 Crown Vic at about 50,000 miles and the pan magnet looked like a doughnut with ultra-fine metal particles!! They say that is perfectly normal and that is why the magnet is there....Otherwise the metal would be wearing out all the moving parts.

BTW, the last Crown Vic I had is still going STRONG with 185,000 miles on it!!! Love those FORDS!!!!

My $.02 worth,
Cobrajack
 

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Just because it's dark, doesn't condemm the trans.
TAke it to a dealer, and hopefully they have at least the BG machine. Hooks up in line with your cooler lines. Gets out like 99% of the old fluid. Depending on the size of the system, it can flush it/change it a couple of times just being hooked up once.
Highly recommend it. I do sometimes 2-3 of those flushes on customers vehicles a day. It won't polish a turd, or make an otherwise screwed trans work better, but I have seen it unstick sticky solenoids, and for sure it takes the shudder out of aod's and E40d's.
Going price, (depending on area), is about a hundo or so. Go for it.
 

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I have found that changing burnt fluid can cause problems. First what kind of vehicle is it? If you drain it and find a ton of friction in the pan you may have problems. But if is shifting fine with no cold or hot problems I would change the fluid and filter. In my shop I usually try to stay away from servicing transmissions with burnt fluid. I have seen some start slipping with fresh fluid.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
The car is a 94 Ford Probe with a 2.0L 4-cylinder and automatic with overdrive. I'm not sure about any cold or hot shifting problems since I'm not the main driver, but I'm not aware of any. I gave the car a major tune-up last weekend and took it for a test drive afterwards. I ran it through the gears from a dead stop and the tranny was shifting at about 6000 RPM; each shift felt firm and I didn't notice anything out of the ordinary. When I saw the fluid was dark I smelled it, but it didn't smell burned (like I've smelled in other trannies which were ready to go out).
 

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Talking from 'lots of history' with those Probe trannies...........They get dark fast. Within almost 20k the fluid in those gets dark colored. 4Eatshits we call them.
If the trans is shifting fine, and there are no problems, again, I highly recommend having the fluid flushed.................
 

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The dark color usually means worn clutch material not metal!! You can actually see the metal particles in the fluid when you check it!! This is usually normal unless you drop the pan and find alot in the pan.Then you may have problems in the future!!!Soo,go ahead and change your fluid if the fluid doesn't look orange to yellow in color!!
 

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The G4AE-L can be a fun transmission to deal with. The fluid does get dark quick. If you pull the dipstick out wipe it off in a white towel or your fingers it should be clean. If you see friction (fine dark powder) you could have problems. I have built alot of them and the CD4-E's and they can be fun. But I love them. What do you have to lose, I would flush and replace the filter.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
Thanks for all of the feedback. Having recently encountered a dealership who tried to rip me off for an $875 timing belt replacment, it's nice to have a resource for discussing these things.
 
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