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Old 11-23-2005, 11:12 AM   #7
Bill Murray
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Bill Murray will become famous soon enough
Join Date: Apr 2000
Location: Speedway, Indiana
Posts: 2,015

1997 SC1
1997 SC1
Default Re: "S" Series automatic transaxle fluid/filter change

Originally Posted by sierrap615
let me also add the Wolfman's post. before changing the fluid. take a white paper towel. wipe a sample of ATF from the dipstick on the paper towel. if it is red, you are good. if it is a light dark red, its iffy. dark red, brown, or black - DO NOT CHANGE THE FLUID. if you see any grainy materal - DO NOT CHANGE THE FLUID. discolored fluid and grainly partiticiles are signs that the friction materal in the clutch packs have broken down, and friction materal is now curculating in the fuild. now the fiuld is acting as the friction materal in the clutch packs. at this point changing the fluid will result in the loss of that friction materal and result in slipping. also the materal from the clutch pack can dirty up the valve body causing sticking valves(which i have done : ). in short, if the fluid is in bad condicton, do not change the fluid, and a trans rebuild will be needed in time. follow the manufactior's service interval.
I don't want to start a flame war but I disagree with this post.
If your clutch packs are spalling friction material, leaving the old stuff in only makes it worse because you are circulating abrasive material and plugging your filter. As you said the clutch material can "dirty up the valve body causing sticking valves" which I think confirms my opinion. Also the clutch material is abrasive to your gears, bushings, and bearings so your upcoming rebuild will be more extensive. It's always good to change fluid, and while you will find many stories about "I changed my auto trans fluid and the trans failed" it wasn't because of new fluid.


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