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Discussion Starter #1
My van has 153000 miles and I read somewhere that I don't need to replace it for the life of the car. Is it true? Also it's bad for the transmission if I replace it if it has too many miles on it?

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Take a sample and compare the color to new oil. Image search transmission fluid. About the only time changing it might be a waste is if it's black. Too late, the damage is done. At 153k your probably early enough.
My van has 153000 miles and I read somewhere that I don't need to replace it for the life of the car. Is it true?
Only if the life of the car ends when the transmission fails.
 

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I'd just do a few drain and refills over some time to dilute further the old fluid. Keep in mind diminishing returns
 

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Drain and refill every 60k miles seems to be "enough." No idea why Toyota doesn't recommend it. It seems like it would be a quick and easy money maker for the service department. Maybe they sell more new vans when people brick their transmissions and the profit margin is higher.

The process changes out something like 4 quarts. I first did it at 90k and it turned my reddish-brown fluid with a slightly slipping transmission into reddish-pink fluid dropping into gear properly. If you've never done the drain and refill, do it now and then in another 3-6 months or the next oil change, whichever comes first.
 

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In our 2007, I do a drain and fill every 15k miles. Fluid always comes out a nice red color and after a filter change at 147k there was hardly any metal in filter.

-Mike

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Yes. If you plan to keep your Sienna, replace it. Like the suggestions above, do one now and another in 3-6 months and another one after that, and then regularly after that whether it's 15K, 20K. Toyota WS ATF fluid only.
Don't be like someone I know(me) and think that it doesn't need it just because it's running fine.
 

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Thank you all for responding. Van is running well and will be keeping it for a long time so I will definitely change the atf now. For my recent 2005 Acura MDX purchased, folks recommend drain and filled but like almost immediately. Why the waiting of 1-3 months? Isn't the goal is to flush 3 times to get fresh atf in?

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Thank you all for responding. Van is running well and will be keeping it for a long time so I will definitely change the atf now. For my recent 2005 Acura MDX purchased, folks recommend drain and filled but like almost immediately. Why the waiting of 1-3 months? Isn't the goal is to flush 3 times to get fresh atf in?

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You could do it more frequently of course. The idea is to drive between drain and fills in order to give the newer atf time to properly circulate and help clean the transmission.

If you just drain and fill, then drain/fill again without driving it's way less effective
 

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About the only time changing it might be a waste is if it's black. Too late, the damage is done.

Not true. I had a transmission that had fluid that looked like old engine oil. I bought the vehicle with it like that. I doubt it had ever been changed. Before I got it changed, I had to drive to a location that was about 2 hours away. I almost didn't make it. I was limping it the last few blocks. I took care of my business, which gave it a chance to cool down, and I got it home, but again, nearing the end I was limping it the last few miles.

A complete fluid replacement got me another 50,000 trouble-free miles, until someone pulled out in front of me while I was doing 55. That was the end of that!

I don't know how many more miles I might have gotten out of it.
 

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I'd just do a few drain and refills over some time to dilute further the old fluid. Keep in mind diminishing returns
I just saw this conversation. Rather interesting. There is NO Auto trans fluid that lasts the life of the vehicle IN GOOD CONDITION unless you total your vehicle at 50K-75K. If NOT, then the transmission fluid needs to be changed by 75K for sure, Waiting until 150K is just foolish. If I had a vehicle and it had 150K on the Tranny Fluid, yes, I would examine it and, as far as I go, I would change it even if it was lumpy black coffee. There is no point keeping that crap in your tranny. If it kills your tranny when you change it, well, you already committed the murder a while ago so I don't believe you save the victim by leaving the same crap in. You drain it, change the filter and put in fresh fluid. An alternative, if you know how, is to flush all the fluid out via the outbound fluid cooler hose headed towards the radiator. That would allow you to get ALL fluid out in one shot and not have any trapped in the torque converter. As for this business of draining and filling it repeatedly, that is also pretty daft. If the new fluid is pink/red after driving 100 miles, just leave it. AT Fluid is expensive (especially Dexron VI or other new class of fluid) and you don't go changing it five times for fun. Or, go ahead and piss your money away. If the new fluid is clean, leave it and check it in 25K. Don't keep changing it like you have Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder. You should have changed it AT LEAST 75k ago. All you can do now is get clean fluid in there. You can't go back and you can't make up for the omission. Yes, you shortened the life of your transmission. Now take care of it and don't change the fluid eleven times to make up.
 

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Thank you all for responding. Van is running well and will be keeping it for a long time so I will definitely change the atf now. For my recent 2005 Acura MDX purchased, folks recommend drain and filled but like almost immediately. Why the waiting of 1-3 months? Isn't the goal is to flush 3 times to get fresh atf in?

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You are crazy if you drain and fill three times. All of you are crazy.
 

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What is your take on a flush with a transmission with 200,000 miles on it? I’m hearing that it is risky??? I don’t care about cost of the fluid it is not enough to worry about.
 

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What is your take on a flush with a transmission with 200,000 miles on it? I’m hearing that it is risky???

That's an old wive's tale. It has its roots in some truth, though. There are shops that offer a transmission flush, and they use a machine connected to the cooling lines to flush the transmission at high pressure. This can dislodge gunk which can then clog passageways, trashing your transmission. This is where this rumor got started.

There are other shops which do pretty much the same thing at low pressure, using the transmission's own internal pump to replace the old fluid completely. This is perfectly safe, as is a do-it-yourself version of the same thing.

In fact, there is a Ford forum where a retired Ford transmission engineer, Mark Kovalsky, details how to do this yourself, and highly recommends it.,
 

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You are crazy if you drain and fill three times. All of you are crazy.

As I mentioned above, there is a retired Ford transmission engineer who disagrees with you. I think I'll go with his opinion, and my own experience of saving a "bad" transmission that had BLACK fluid in it by doing a complete fluid replacement.
 

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As I mentioned above, there is a retired Ford transmission engineer who disagrees with you. I think I'll go with his opinion, and my own experience of saving a "bad" transmission that had BLACK fluid in it by doing a complete fluid replacement.
I just saw this conversation. Rather interesting. There is NO Auto trans fluid that lasts the life of the vehicle IN GOOD CONDITION unless you total your vehicle at 50K-75K. If NOT, then the transmission fluid needs to be changed by 75K for sure, Waiting until 150K is just foolish. If I had a vehicle and it had 150K on the Tranny Fluid, yes, I would examine it and, as far as I go, I would change it even if it was lumpy black coffee. There is no point keeping that crap in your tranny. If it kills your tranny when you change it, well, you already committed the murder a while ago so I don't believe you save the victim by leaving the same crap in. You drain it, change the filter and put in fresh fluid. An alternative, if you know how, is to flush all the fluid out via the outbound fluid cooler hose headed towards the radiator. That would allow you to get ALL fluid out in one shot and not have any trapped in the torque converter. As for this business of draining and filling it repeatedly, that is also pretty daft. If the new fluid is pink/red after driving 100 miles, just leave it. AT Fluid is expensive (especially Dexron VI or other new class of fluid) and you don't go changing it five times for fun. Or, go ahead and piss your money away. If the new fluid is clean, leave it and check it in 25K. Don't keep changing it like you have Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder. You should have changed it AT LEAST 75k ago. All you can do now is get clean fluid in there. You can't go back and you can't make up for the omission. Yes, you shortened the life of your transmission. Now take care of it and don't change the fluid eleven times to make up.
Not sure if you're preaching at me? I agree, doing eleven drain and fills is dumb. I'm unsure if I said drain it eleven times? I just do a drain and fill very infrequently with oil changes. Believe I've only done it 2 or 3 times on a 12 year old van.

I also agree, using the hoses to replace all the fluid is better. However on an old vehicle, I can't recommend without knowing the condition of the hoses. Old ones are likely to crack and leak.
 

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Anybody can say anything on the Internet. Several years ago, when I bought a used 2009 Sienna in Mexico, not because I needed a different car, but I got permanent residence and could not keep my wonderful 2002 Sienna with 222,000 miles that ran like new, I got the used Mexican 2009. It's fluid was pretty bad. I did indeed replace it several times until it was clean. 4 quarts at a time or whatever it was. On the 2002 it was 3 quarts at a time.

The reason you replace it several times is you don't need to do anything difficult, pull the drain plug, let run out and add that amount back, no fuss, no gaskets except on the drain plug, very easy and fast. If you are not good at math, you may not understand why to drop and replace several times, if you do not on older fluid, you still have old fluid in there after only one drop and replace. On really bad fluid it takes at least three times to get most of the bad stuff out. In my 2002, I dropped 3 quarts every 20,000 or 30,000 miles and it never got bad. A quick chore.

At that time, someone posted he investigated that the environmental folks put a major fine on each new car which is sold if the fluid has to be replaced. I could not verify but that makes sense.

And,, there was an article about a man who bought a new BMW. After 60,000 miles he kept asking the dealer to replace the fluid and they kept refusing, saying WS was forever and did not need to be replaced.At 150,000 miles the transmission failed, and they happily took his money for a new tranny. Change it, period.
 
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