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Automatic Transmission fluid change interval s on 2021 JT

ShadowsPapa

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Fluids are cheap transmissions are not
I know that - been in the business for decades, but 30K
Like I've said over and over - it's YOUR truck, do whatever.


But so often people talk of changing this or that every 20K or whatever as if it's a better thing and they are doing what everyone else should be doing and their truck will last longer because of it.

Naw.

I plan on doing mine at 30k. No such thing as "lifetime fluids"
So to that, I'd say "so?: If that's what you want, but insanely unnecessary unless you really run it hard and put it away wet as they say with horsed.

2014 MDX trans needs changed every 20k. It's insane. It will start slipping past that....acts like a bad torque converter. Our MDX had the torque converter replaced due to this....Acura asked for it to be sent to them....they determined the torque converter was fine....it was the manufacturer spec fluid that wasn't holding up. A TSB was issued.
If a person looks at some of the owners manuals or like in the Mitchell library of transmissions and transaxles specs and such, you find some really drastically different numbers.
I can't recall the exact year, make and model, but I ran across one the other day that was 20K for normal use, I think another was "annually" WOW.
Ford's type F was to be a "lifetime fluid" and ironically it caused FoMoCo so much trouble they dropped it and the idea after spec'ing F for only a short number of years.
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ecidiego

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Rubitrux selling 200 mile Gladiator ZFs for $1100 makes me think hmmm...

How could you safely store one for years so it doesn't get damaged from "sitting there"? What do you do with it fluid wise?
 

ShadowsPapa

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Rubitrux selling 200 mile Gladiator ZFs for $1100 makes me think hmmm...

How could you safely store one for years so it doesn't get damaged from "sitting there"? What do you do with it fluid wise?
Make sure there's fresh fluid in it. Seal up all openings - not just tape over them. Plug anywhere air can get in or out. Wrap it up with some desiccant - which can be bought from any place that caters to classic car owners because some literally store their cars in zipped up bags in the off-season and toss desiccant bags in the car's storage bag. .
It's when there's quick fluctuations in temperatures and humidity that things go south. Humid air inside the unit will drop condensation if the transmission gets cold, and if it's not sort of sealed up, differences in temperature and air pressure can allow humidity in.

That's the radical approach........
the basics - fill it up, plug all external holes and vents, cover it up. Wild temperature swings are not kind to stored things like that.
 

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What did the lab highlight for the need to change the fluid? Can you post the lab result or post the metals numbers plz?
I had high amounts of aluminum & boron. More than what is average for 70k miles of normal use. I only had 18k miles of old man driving at that time. Call me paranoid if you want, but that doesn’t sound good to me.
Edit: it was 70k not 80k as I had previously.
 
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Minty JL

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I'm agree with @ShadowsPapa 100%..........coming from another Tech.

Every 30k fluid and filter. I have never had a AT fail me, even countless GM 4L60/4L60e.

As a good measure I always install deeper transpan to hold more fluid and upgrade the transcoolers. Its all cheap insurance. If you're going to wheel your rig hard or tow, you should really consider it if not for a peace of mind.
 

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Minty JL

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I plan on doing mine at 30k. No such thing as "lifetime fluids"
Agreed.

BMW tried saying Lifetime trans fluid back with the ATs in the E46s.........that didn't age well
 

ShadowsPapa

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I had high amounts of aluminum & boron. More than what is average for 80k miles of normal use. I only had 18k miles of old man driving at that time. Call me paranoid if you want, but that doesn’t sound good to me.
"high levels of aluminum" - that's interesting...... well, not in a good way interesting like a good movie or book, but aluminum?
I suspect they suggested the first changed to get that all out (logical) and then another later - to analyze to see if the numbers were still elevated?
The planetary gears run in aluminum "housings" so I wonder about thrust bearings or other such things? Otherwise most moving parts would be some steel alloy - sun gear, planets themselves, ring gear, etc.
I'd have to refresh myself on the exact architecture of these.
 

ShadowsPapa

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As a good measure I always install deeper transpan to hold more fluid and upgrade the transcoolers. Its all cheap insurance. If you're going to wheel your rig hard or tow, you should really consider it if not for a peace of mind.
More fluid means more heat transfer and distribution of any contamination, and a cooler takes care of the real enemy of ATF - heat.
Historically, we installed a ton of coolers on pickups and RVs that were doing heavy duty, towing and so on. And the deeper pans as well - some with cooling tubes that allowed air flow (which often got plugged by mud or wasp nests) or with cooling fins. Cast aluminum pans with cooling fins allows the air beneath to extract some of the heat - minimal perhaps, but hey - it's cheap.
I don't tow often enough or "hard enough" to bother with either, but if I did tow more weight, for longer or harder runs, I'd consider some mod because it's about the heat, IMO.
Keep it under 240 or even 220 and those additives last a heck of a lot longer and you pretty much get rid of varnish formation - just don't run 'em too cool, either. Fluid that's too cool isn't doing you any favors but these have that taken care of by design. (mine takes a lot of driving recently to get the fluid up close to engine temperature.)
 

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I had high amounts of aluminum & boron. More than what is average for 80k miles of normal use. I only had 18k miles of old man driving at that time. Call me paranoid if you want, but that doesn’t sound good to me.
What are the numbers for your aluminum and boron? Did the lab analyze a fresh 8/9 speed ATF sample to cross check?
 

ShadowsPapa

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I had high amounts of aluminum & boron. More than what is average for 80k miles of normal use. I only had 18k miles of old man driving at that time. Call me paranoid if you want, but that doesn’t sound good to me.
I think this guy may have a key for those trying to decide, or wondering or concerned.
Send in a sample. It's cheaper than the work and parts and fluid, and it will tell you where you stand. Some things will be normal for a first test, but there's things that should not be seen even after 20K miles.

If you are really concerned - have it tested.

I think a question was asked a while back, a few posts back -what goes first..........
Fluid will last a very long time in a normal transmission. Heat kills the additives. So in normal use with a solid transmission that isn't having problems, that fluid could easily go longer then most Jeep people would do.
But take that fluid to the extremes in temperatures or work the transmission hard, now the fluid additives are going, and it's "contaminated" with wear materials.
A transmission can have troubles with perfect fluid in it. Hard use, constant shifting, or a manufacturing tolerance issue - you can change fluid every 1,000 miles and you will likely not save it, just delay the inevitable death coming its way.

I did a C4 years ago in a 68 or so mustang. A teacher was moving from IA to CO. And guess what she was doing with that little 289 equipped car? Towing a fair size u-haul trailer and the car was so loaded with her stuff she couldn't have taken even a small dog with her.
We warned her - that little C4 was not for towing and even the car wasn't rated for the load she had. She insisted she had to be in CO at a certain date for her job. OK, but.......no guarantees!
Job done, she takes the car, loads it back up, hooks to the loaded trailer and takes off. She gets to CO and into the mountains.......... and calls all pissed - her transmission was fried.
So there ya go - new everything, fluid, clutches, bands, and she fries it in under 2,000 miles.

So which goes first? Fluid or transmission?
It depends.
But fluid can be an indicator of things that have passed, or things that are yet to come.
 

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I will follow the 80K recommendations.
Not too paranoid about it. My 2005 Dodge Ram saw a transmission oil change at 36,000 when I purchased it. Never touched it again and we're now on +229,00 miles. Used for towing, hauling Rock and any other task needed.
No issues!
 

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If a person looks at some of the owners manuals or like in the Mitchell library of transmissions and transaxles specs and such, you find some really drastically different numbers.
I can't recall the exact year, make and model, but I ran across one the other day that was 20K for normal use, I think another was "annually" WOW.
Ford's type F was to be a "lifetime fluid" and ironically it caused FoMoCo so much trouble they dropped it and the idea after spec'ing F for only a short number of years.
Check this out...haven't thought of this for years but it was our car that was made famous, haha.

Service Bulletin - NHTSA
https://static.nhtsa.gov/odi/tsbs/2016/SB-10100143-9340.pdf
 

ShadowsPapa

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Scrubb84

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What are the numbers for your aluminum and boron? Did the lab analyze a fresh 8/9 speed ATF sample to cross check?
From what I can tell the sample is compared to a transmission with 70k miles of normal wear (no overheating or towing).
Now I have more questions, lol. Was the 70k mile trans the same zf trans or just a random one that was tested ions ago?
If it wasnt the same zf trans, that would mean my #’s could be completely normal.
I was going to change the fluid anyways because of the color alone. It was really dark and sparkly.
aluminum: 63 avg 41
boron: 184 avg 133
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