Results 1 to 13 of 13

Thread: Trans Fluid Question

  1. #1
    Staff
    Join Date
    Aug 2006
    Location
    Houston, TX
    Posts
    3,126

    Trans Fluid Question

    My 2003 Jaguar S-type 3.0 has 52,500 miles on the odometer. I don't know, but I suspect that it has never been done on the car. Transmission fluid is the most often ignored maintenance item on a car. My question is is it too late to change the transmission fluid? It used to be that if your car had 40-50,000 miles, it was too late to change the fluid without sending a bunch of metal through the trans openings and valves. Today, I'm sure that the same rule applies, but the trans fluid has gotten better.

    What do you suggest that I do? I want to keep this car a while. Will it damage the transmission to change it at 52 or 53,000 miles? The car shifts very well right now, and I want the trans to last.

    Thanks,


    Henry

  2. #2
    Vulture of The Western World Eric's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2006
    Location
    The Land of The Edentulites
    Posts
    22,994
    Quote Originally Posted by swamprat View Post
    My 2003 Jaguar S-type 3.0 has 52,500 miles on the odometer. I don't know, but I suspect that it has never been done on the car. Transmission fluid is the most often ignored maintenance item on a car. My question is is it too late to change the transmission fluid? It used to be that if your car had 40-50,000 miles, it was too late to change the fluid without sending a bunch of metal through the trans openings and valves. Today, I'm sure that the same rule applies, but the trans fluid has gotten better.

    What do you suggest that I do? I want to keep this car a while. Will it damage the transmission to change it at 52 or 53,000 miles? The car shifts very well right now, and I want the trans to last.

    Thanks,


    Henry
    Have you checked the Jaguar recommended service intervals for transmission fluid/filter changes? Your owner's manual may have the info; if not, it ought to be easy to find out by checking with a Jaguar dealer, or calling Jaguar customer service.

    I'd go by what Jaguar recommends - and I'm betting they recommend a changeout around 50k, if not sooner....
    Last edited by Eric; 02-12-2009 at 05:51 PM.

  3. #3
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Jul 2006
    Location
    Raleigh NC, USA
    Posts
    3,628
    You can probably do two drain & fills in one day and be reasonably assured of having gotten most of the old gunk out.

    Drain & fill, then drive about 20 miles, and do it again.

    Chip H.

  4. #4
    Staff
    Join Date
    Aug 2006
    Location
    Houston, TX
    Posts
    3,126
    Quote Originally Posted by Eric View Post
    Have you checked the Jaguar recommended service intervals for transmission fluid/filter changes? Your owner's manual may have the info; if not, it ought to be easy to find out by checking with a Jaguar dealer, or calling Jaguar customer service.

    I'd go by what Jaguar recommends - and I'm betting they recommend a changeout around 50k, if not sooner....
    Okay. Will do. I have heard that the transmission is "sealed for life." Yeah, right. I have a stimulus package I'd like to offer!!

    I don't believe in lifetime fluid. That means that they want to sell you another trans. I think that today's trans are just as vulnerable to heat and clogged ports, etc as those in the past. The difference is the Transmission Fluid itself. Mercon V might be okay for longer

    I will find out from Jag tomorrow what they recommend. Thanks for the advice.

  5. #5
    Staff
    Join Date
    Aug 2006
    Location
    Houston, TX
    Posts
    3,126
    Quote Originally Posted by chiph View Post
    You can probably do two drain & fills in one day and be reasonably assured of having gotten most of the old gunk out.

    Drain & fill, then drive about 20 miles, and do it again.

    Chip H.
    I will definitely look at doing that. Thanks.

  6. #6
    DonTom
    Guest
    Quote Originally Posted by swamprat View Post
    Will it damage the transmission to change it at 52 or 53,000 miles? The car shifts very well right now, and I want the trans to last.Thanks,
    Henry
    I assume by damage, you also mean leaks.

    For leaks, it's a gamble. Often, in fact, VERY often, auto trannys leak like crazy from everywhere possible right after a fluid change. The new fluid can clean out the garbage that was holding in the tranny fluid where the old gasket ain't working all that well.

    IMO, it's best to change tranny fluid often or not to change it at all. 53,000 miles doesn't sound like all that many miles so you MIGHT be safe.

    In many of my vehicles, I have never changed the auto tranny fluid and I have no leaks and no tranny problems after well more than a 100,000 miles.

    I had a weird noise in my Jeep when I turned slowly, so I changed the tranny fluid and differential and transfer case gear oil when the Jeep had 155,000 miles on it. It even solved my noise when turning problem, but I assume that was because of the differential gear oil change.

    I was lucky there, no leaks. However, this had a rebuilt tranny from the previous owner and there probably wasn't many miles on it. If I thought it was still the original tranny, I would NOT have changed the tranny fluid unless my noise problem did not go away.

    I have changed the tranny fluid (and filter) in several vehicles (as much as I could, which is only about half of it in many vehicles, I have never done or had done a complete flush of the fluid) in other vehicles at less than 60K miles and then wished I never touched it because of leaks that started a few hundred miles later (and not from the tranny oil pan!).

    In my old age, I lean towards not fixing things that are working well. While I MIGHT need a new tranny a few thousand miles sooner this way, it's still worth it, IMO.

    So what I do, is NOTHING if I hear no problems with the tranny and the fluid looks normal and shifts normal. Other than that, I will take my chances and change the tranny fluid & filter regardless of mileage.

    The bottom line is:

    Do you feel lucky?

    -Don- SSF, CA
    Last edited by DonTom; 02-12-2009 at 11:00 PM.

  7. #7
    Vulture of The Western World Eric's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2006
    Location
    The Land of The Edentulites
    Posts
    22,994
    Quote Originally Posted by swamprat View Post
    Okay. Will do. I have heard that the transmission is "sealed for life." Yeah, right. I have a stimulus package I'd like to offer!!

    I don't believe in lifetime fluid. That means that they want to sell you another trans. I think that today's trans are just as vulnerable to heat and clogged ports, etc as those in the past. The difference is the Transmission Fluid itself. Mercon V might be okay for longer

    I will find out from Jag tomorrow what they recommend. Thanks for the advice.
    NP!

    One thing: Your Jaguar's transmission pan may not have a drain plug (many late model cars don't) and this makes fluid/filter changes a messy PITAS.

    But you can buy a very inexpensive (and universal fit) drain plug kit to solve this problem. Summit Racing or JEGS should be able to help. Keep in mind this is just a drain plug and works on any transmission with a standard sump, which yours ought to have.

    Also: Be sure you use the fluid Jaguar recommends - and nothing else.

  8. #8
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Jul 2006
    Location
    Raleigh NC, USA
    Posts
    3,628
    Second the recommendation on only using the recommended fluid.

    Transmissions are much more advanced these days, and gone are the days that you could dump a couple of quarts of whatever was on sale down at the Pep Boys into them.

    Chip H.

  9. #9
    Member
    Join Date
    Nov 2008
    Location
    Wahiawa, HI
    Posts
    44
    All this talk about draining and refilling then draining and refilling the trans fluid makes me wonder if there is a drain plug on the fluid pan like the engine oil pan do. On most vehicles you have to loosen some mounting bolts and then tip the pan one way or the other to drain the fluid which makes it a PITA to do.

    ChevyMan

  10. #10
    DonTom
    Guest
    Quote Originally Posted by Larry Adachi View Post
    All this talk about draining and refilling then draining and refilling the trans fluid makes me wonder if there is a drain plug on the fluid pan like the engine oil pan do. On most vehicles you have to loosen some mounting bolts and then tip the pan one way or the other to drain the fluid which makes it a PITA to do.
    ChevyMan
    The RV that I have now is the only vehicle I have ever owned that had a automatic tranny fluid drain plug. I would say it's quite rare on automatics.

    -Don-

  11. #11
    Vulture of The Western World Eric's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2006
    Location
    The Land of The Edentulites
    Posts
    22,994
    Quote Originally Posted by Larry Adachi View Post
    All this talk about draining and refilling then draining and refilling the trans fluid makes me wonder if there is a drain plug on the fluid pan like the engine oil pan do. On most vehicles you have to loosen some mounting bolts and then tip the pan one way or the other to drain the fluid which makes it a PITA to do.

    ChevyMan
    In the mid'70s, many automakers (GM) stopped installing drain plugs on their automatic transmission pans. The stated reason was to encourage filter changes, not just fluid changes. But it also made DIY service more of a hassle, which had the additional bennie (for the automakers) of encouraging people to come into the dealership to "get that great GM feeling."

  12. #12
    Member
    Join Date
    Nov 2008
    Location
    Wahiawa, HI
    Posts
    44
    Chip,
    I've heard one time long ago you can drain, partly anyway, by inserting an appropriate-diameter tubing or hose into the filler tube opening and suctioning out the fluid rather than draining the pan. Have anyone try it?

    ChevyMan

  13. #13
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Posts
    1,783
    Larry,

    I have done it many of times over the years. For instance last year I replaced the ATF fluid in one of my cars it gets about 500 miles on it per year. It has gone about 1,500 miles since I last changed the Transmission filter. It was foolish for me to drop the pan and go through the whole mess of replacing the filter. So I pulled the tranny fluid from the dipstick tube using a device I bought from Griot's Garage back in 1998:

    http://www.griotsgarage.com/product/...d+extractor.do

    I also have used it to extract other fluids like oil over the years, it always works great. And this device is also worth getting if you replace ATF fluid even if you want to replace the filter, so if you do drop the pan there's nothing in the pan to spill all over you if you don't have a drain plug.

Similar Threads

  1. Pain in the Azz washer fluid access!
    By Eric in forum How-To
    Replies: 7
    Last Post: 11-15-2010, 05:57 AM
  2. Replies: 0
    Last Post: 10-29-2009, 07:21 AM
  3. Brake fluid, the facts!
    By DonTom in forum Car Care & Repair
    Replies: 7
    Last Post: 10-20-2009, 07:15 PM
  4. power steering fluid flush?
    By bikerlbf406 in forum Car Care & Repair
    Replies: 8
    Last Post: 02-25-2009, 12:20 PM
  5. Power Steering Fluid
    By ChevyMan in forum Car Care & Repair
    Replies: 25
    Last Post: 05-26-2008, 10:35 PM

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •