If I Don’t Change My Automatic Transmission Fluid for a Long Time, Will the Transmission Fail When I Do?
Maybe. That’s really the best answer I can give here. It is true that if you don’t change your transmission fluid for some time and then you change it, your transmission might fail shortly after. I’m talking high mileages here, like more than 80K before this becomes an issue. The reason for this is your old fluid is thicker, and as a result helps seal all the stuff that’s worn out inside the transmission. Take that thick fluid away and put in new thinner fluid, and it slips past all the areas the old fluid was sealing. Once this happens, the transmission can no longer function as it used to.
Remember, everything about the automatic transmission is dependent on the pressures of the fluid within it. If there is a loss of pressure somewhere, you have a failure in that circuit. A pressure failure can equate to poor or no shifting. It could also mean harsh shifting depending on the situation. If you have a global pressure loss inside the transmission, the transmission might not function at all. So, if it’s been some time since you’ve changed the fluid and filter or you purchased a vehicle and you have no service history of when a fluid change was done, proceed with caution. Know that the good you’re trying to do could spell the end of the transmission. I can’t tell you if that’s going to be the case; you’ll just have to try it and see. Cross your fingers.
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