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Old 05-28-2009, 08:13 PM   #1
SuperCujo
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Default 60K Miles Auto transmission, fluid change or a flush???

I have an automatic 2001 Saturn SL1 with 59,300 miles. I am the second owner and received it just shy of 50k miles. I don't know if the previous owner ever changed the transmission fluid so although the fluid looks good to me I wanted to get it changed at 60K just to be safe.

I have been debating over whether to get just the transmission fluid changed or to get a flush. I have heard that if your transmission is already developing problems or you see flakes in your fluid that a flush will pretty much destroy your transmission. I have noticed that I do have a little bit of a reverse slam and sometimes the transmission does give a good bump when it changes gears at around 40mph. Anyone have any insight into which way I should go on the transmission service?
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Old 05-28-2009, 08:17 PM   #2
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Default Re: 60K Miles Auto transmission, fluid change or a flush???

I would go with a fluid change only. You don't want to run the risk of doing a flush and knocking loose any "good" stuff that has built up in the trans.

Fluid Change only along with the filter change.
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Old 05-28-2009, 11:31 PM   #3
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Default Re: 60K Miles Auto transmission, fluid change or a flush???

I'd've got the fluid changed as soon as you got the car (and get him to knock off ~$130 off his price if it's changeable )

That said, I had a trans flush @ 128k miles, and it's still running. honestly at this young age I'd go either way.
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Old 05-29-2009, 10:04 AM   #4
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Default Re: 60K Miles Auto transmission, fluid change or a flush???

Change it NOW. 60,000 miles isn't "just to be safe", it's 30,000 miles OVERDUE.
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Old 05-29-2009, 10:36 AM   #5
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Happy Re: 60K Miles Auto transmission, fluid change or a flush???

Change the transmission fluid and the transmission fluid filter yourself. Since there is an external spin-on transmission fluid filter, this procedure is probably no more difficult than doing an oil change. Wolfman posted instructions here:

"S" Series automatic transaxle fluid/filter change

Something else to consider is doing the following procedure at the same time as preventative maintenance. Instructions are also posted by Wolfman and they are found here:

Reverse "Slam" Cure in Saturn Autotransaxles
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Old 05-29-2009, 01:21 PM   #6
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Default Re: 60K Miles Auto transmission, fluid change or a flush???

I would do a flush. I know its not recommended here but I've had good luck with flushes on 2 of our cars (one will be done soon on the 97 that was just purchased). One was at 100k miles (using Amsoil synthetic). On the other car I did flushes at around 190k and 230k IIRC.

If you have the money to spend, I would go synthetic.
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Old 06-04-2009, 03:08 PM   #7
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Default Re: 60K Miles Auto transmission, fluid change or a flush???

Alright I think I'm just going to get the Fluid changed. Anyone have an idea on how much it should cost around the mid-Michigan, Flint area?
...
"The youth of today is rude, obnoxious, rebellious, lazy and have no respect for their elders."
- Σωκράτης Date: 400s BC

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Old 06-04-2009, 03:16 PM   #8
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Default Re: 60K Miles Auto transmission, fluid change or a flush???

Quote:
Originally Posted by SuperCujo View Post
Alright I think I'm just going to get the Fluid changed. Anyone have an idea on how much it should cost around the mid-Michigan, Flint area?
DIY (Do It Yourself)

A couple of quarts of ATF, and a new filter and you are set.

Relatively easy to do if you have tools.
...
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94SL2 HCE, "Pearl"

99 SL

94SL2 260K Miles
1/15

97SW2 266K Miles
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Org. Engine/Auto Trans
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Gone 3/12

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Old 06-04-2009, 03:21 PM   #9
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Default Re: 60K Miles Auto transmission, fluid change or a flush???

It's one of the easiest DIY jobs on an S series.

http://www.saturnfans.com/forums/sho...luid+automatic

It's easier than changing the oil on these cars... you don't have to crawl under to reach the filter.
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Old 06-04-2009, 06:39 PM   #10
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Default Re: 60K Miles Auto transmission, fluid change or a flush???

Quote:
Originally Posted by alordofchaos View Post
It's one of the easiest DIY jobs on an S series.

http://www.saturnfans.com/forums/sho...luid+automatic

It's easier than changing the oil on these cars... you don't have to crawl under to reach the filter.
Yeah, I was thinking about DIY but I'm not paying for the fluid, filter etc.

The person that is paying for it told me to just give them a price it would normally be to have a garage do it and then I could just do it myself if I get the time or have the company do it if I don't get around to it. Thats why I'm asking, I pretty much have classes all day so I don't have much time to call and I figured you guys could give me a ballpark figure.
...
"The youth of today is rude, obnoxious, rebellious, lazy and have no respect for their elders."
- Σωκράτης Date: 400s BC

My Transmission shall now be known as "Sir Slam-A-Lot" .
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Old 06-04-2009, 07:03 PM   #11
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Default Re: 60K Miles Auto transmission, fluid change or a flush???

Filter is like 6 bucks iirc. Fluid is 12 at walmart.
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Old 06-05-2009, 09:30 AM   #12
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Default Re: 60K Miles Auto transmission, fluid change or a flush???

The google, she is your friend

$60 with coupon ($59.95 plus tax, possibly environmental fees) place is in Dearborn, MI

$75-$200 according to this place depending on make and model

I purchased valvoline synthetic ATF last week, think it was around $4-$5 a quart and according to the How To, you need 7 quarts.

edit:This recent thread suggests YMMV - you may only need 5 quarts, depending on how much is removed. Key is apparently only putting in the same amount that was removed - follow Wolfman's suggestion of every time you put a clean quart in, fill the empty bottle with the old fluid for accuracy.

I'm glad I have a manual
And how are you getting someone else to pay for this? Inquiring minds...
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Old 06-09-2009, 02:04 AM   #13
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Default Re: 60K Miles Auto transmission, fluid change or a flush???

I did a flush on mine and the transmission has gotten better and better afterwards, so I am really glad I went that route. There were some harsh shifts and reverse slams, but not anymore.

I did it myself. If you think about it, a flush is just an attempt by a machine to replace nearly ALL the fluid in the tranny. You can accomplish this yourself by changing the fluid the normal way, driving the car a bit, changing it again, driving it, then changing it a third time. If you know the quantities in the pan and torque converter and do the math on this, you will find that this process replaces about 95% of the fluid.

And you don't have to worry about Jiffy-Lube taking your money and not really doing the flush!
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