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Thread: Tranmission fluid change without changing filter OK?

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Aug 2012

    Tranmission fluid change without changing filter OK?

    I'm considering flushing the transmission and just put new fluid in, without dropping pan and changing filter. I have a pump that can suck the oil fluid out of the transmission.

    I got a quote from a auto shop for doing a flush, they wanted $500.

    I was told by the salesguy att the auto store that this procedure, where you leave out filter-change, is a total waste of time and has absolutely no point to it at all. What are the thoughts on that here?

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  3. #2
    Join Date
    Jan 2011

    I would recommend dropping the pan...the advantage is not only to replace the filter but to inspect the bottom of the pan, clean off the magnet, and to clean any slug off the pan. Replacing old fluid with new is better than nothing...but I would pull the pan. There is a gasket available, so its easy to re-install. Getting the pan off sometimes can be a real pain.

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  5. #3
    Join Date
    Jul 2008
    Niles Il.

    It is ok to do, just not ideal maintenance. Changing the filter is always good to do along with new fluid.
    Candy the van. '98 Sport 3.8L 132,200 miles. Used trans at ~96k. Great piece of my life and a fine van.

    '69 GTO drop top

  6. #4
    Join Date
    Sep 2003

    Might as well get a Dorman pan with the drain plug. It's good to see what is inside the pan but a filter should be good for 100K miles or more. Has the filter ever been changed?
    I would avoid any kind of "power flush". You can change fluid using the outlet line from the tranny to the radiator cooler while adding new fluid. This is a good way to exchange fluid.
    Be sure to use +4 fluid. No Dexron and for sure no Ford stuff. Stay away from that shop that wanted $500 for a flush. Just my $0.02.


  7. #5
    Join Date
    Apr 2009
    Tampa, FL

    Changing the trans fluid and not the filter is like changing your engine oil and not the filter. I did mine at 80k and flushed it with 2qt of additional fluid via the return hose. When you reseal the pan do not use the rubber gasket the filter comes with as it will most likely leak. Use RTV only to seal the pan to the trans.
    2004 Town & Country Limited
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  8. #6
    Join Date
    Jan 2008
    Nova Scotia, Canada

    It's not uncommon to change the filter every other fluid change or flush, especially if you are changing per a severe service schedule. A flush, done properly, allowing the transmission pump to do the work, is fine. DON'T use a power flush that deposits a whole bunch of crap on your filter.
    If the vehicle is new to you and you don't know its history then, by all means, drop the pan and change the filter.
    2007 GC SXT - Magnesium - S&G - 3.8L - 154,180 kms
    2002 GC Sport - Stone White - 3.3L - 336,400 kms
    2003 Jeep TJ Sport - 4.0L - 268,600 kms

  9. #7
    Join Date
    May 2012
    South Carolina

    I agree with all of the responses. But I must add even if you are changing the fluid every 30,000 miles, why not go right ahead and change the filter for and extra 10 bucks or so. Can't hurt a darn thing to keep a nice clean filter in there. When I purchase a used vehicle I will do a minimum of 2 Fluid and filter changes unless it's above 100k miles then it's an automatic 3 fluid and filter changes regardless of what the fluid looks or smells like, driving the vehicle for at least 500 to 1,000 miles or so. I know it's almost totally 100% clean oil when I do the third Fluid and filter change. Then I know I can go at least 60k mile before needing to do it again under normal driving conditions. Be sure to find out the torque value for the pan bolts and use a good pound inch torque wrench (not with the rubber gasket, use the force Luke). I will use the rubber gasket until my last oil change then I use RTV when I know I'm not going to need to remove it for 60k miles.
    Last edited by sbboudreau61; 11-02-2012 at 09:03 PM.
    Current vehicles, 06 GC SXT, 09 Nissan CUBE
    Previous Mopars in order, 67 Coronet 500, 80 Horizon TC3, 88 Cherokee, 95 GC, 88 Ply Reliant, 96 GC SE, 98 Dakota
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    Next New Mopar after I hit Powerball, 2013 SRT Viper

  10. #8
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
    Jefferson City, TN

    The filter is the important part. By all means change the filter.

    And the shop that wanted $500 to do a fluid exchange and filter change is crazy. At work we do that all day long for $240 plus tax.
    2007 Grand Caravan/3.8L V6/103K mi/original 41TE
    2006 300C/5.7L HEMI V8/128/K mi/original W5A580
    2002 PT Cruiser/2.4L I4/139K mi/original 40TE
    1992 S-10/4.3L V6/249K mi/original 4L60E
    Previous minivans:
    1997 Grand Voyager SE/traded@192K mi/3.3L V6/original 41TE
    2003 Grand Caravan Sport/3.8L V6/traded@124K mi/original 41TE
    2007 T&C/3.8L V6/traded@44K mi/ original 41TE
    2010 T&C Touring/3.8L V6/the ex's@72K mi/original 62TE

  11. #9
    Join Date
    Jan 2007
    Thanked 116 Times in 104 Posts

    Quote Originally Posted by jgbat View Post
    The filter is the important part. By all means change the filter.

    And the shop that wanted $500 to do a fluid exchange and filter change is crazy. At work we do that all day long for $240 plus tax.
    Remember, original poster is from Sweden. Automobile purchase/repair can be quite expensive in Scandinavia
    2000 Chrysler Cirrus 2.4 Wrecked/Junked 8/26/16
    2001 Saturn SL1 (replaces the Cirrus)
    2001 Caravan SE 3.3.........SOLD 5/4/14, 131,750 trouble free miles
    2014 G Caravan AVP 3.6
    2012 Ram Van 3.6
    (company vehicle)

  12. #10
    Join Date
    Aug 2012

    Quote Originally Posted by Sunvanse View Post
    Remember, original poster is from Sweden. Automobile purchase/repair can be quite expensive in Scandinavia
    Correct you are.

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