Transmission Fluid - 03 Aztek

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Thread: Transmission Fluid - 03 Aztek

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    Transmission Fluid - 03 Aztek

    I'm planning on having the local dealer flush and change my transmission fluid. The Aztek has 97,000km's (60,000mi) and was put in service in 2002, so it's been on the road 7 years.

    I've been reading up a bit on trans. fluid flushes tonight and I've been seeing a lot of people saying that flushes can cause transmission failure. Last time I checked the fluid it was at the right level, smelled alright and was a light pinkish colour, so everything seems peachy with it. Haven't really had any driving issues either with the rare exception of the downshift from 2nd to 1st being a little harsh.

    Only reason I want to change it is because I'm pretty sure it's the original and it is a 7 year old vehicle. 97,000km's is hardly 'high mileage' but should I even be considering flushing the transmission of a vehicle of this age/mileage? My wife drives a lot of highway but definitely gives the Aztek it's share of city driving as well.

    Do I have anything to worry about if I have the service done?

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    Re: Transmission Fluid - 03 Aztek

    You're doing everything correctly in my opinion. I would have the dealer drain and refill it not flush. And don't forget to have them change the transmission fluid filter as well. I'm sure it's included with any transmission service however I would ask them to make certain.
    Last edited by Bejeweled; 05-27-2009 at 01:45 AM.

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    Re: Transmission Fluid - 03 Aztek

    Just drain and fill, don't flush. With a flush the old dirty filter is left in the pan. They just hook up to the cooler hoses and pump new fluid in and catch the old. I would worry about what stuff is left in the pan and filter with a flush.

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    Re: Transmission Fluid - 03 Aztek

    Quote Originally Posted by Bejeweled View Post
    You're doing everything correctly in my opinion. I would have the dealer drain and refill it not flush. And don't forget to have them change the transmission fluid filter as well. I'm sure it's included with any transmission service however I would ask them to make certain.
    9 times out of 10 the filter is not included. Why, the world may never know? Probably so they can fix your tranny when it breaks down because the filter was not changed.
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    Re: Transmission Fluid - 03 Aztek

    Read your vehicle's owner's manual - GM does not state to flush and fill a transmission. The recommendation is to change the filter and fluid.

    Many dealers offer this "menu pricing" service using aftermarket equipment and fluid. It is a big money maker for them - despite being an "authorized" dealer that should follow the manufacturer's recommendations for service.

    I would have the fluid and filter changed, using the new GM Dextron VI fluid.

    Good luck.

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    Re: Transmission Fluid - 03 Aztek

    Thanks for the input guys.

    Turns out the service was a simple fluid swap, no filter or any additives, just straight up Dex VI fluid. I suppose the mentality is that the filter + fluid change is recommended at 85,000km's under heavy driving conditions, so under 'lighter' driving perhaps they feel the need to only do the fluid and that the filter will hold up until it's recommended to do at 160,000km's. But I agree completely, it seems kind of half-assed to only do one thing.

    I went ahead and had them do the 'flush', due to the fact that the complete service was $350... which seems like a huge rip to me, and that we've put most of the km's on the car and have never really worked it out and as I said in my first post, the fluid looked and smelled normal as well. I suppose I could always change the filter myself (anyone ever done this on a 3.4L? Montana, Venture, Silhouette?) a little later on. On that note, any idea how much a transmission filter will usually cost, as well as some 'how-to' tips as I've never really looked at the transmission beyond checking the fluid.

    I hope I didn't waste money here, but my first impressions on the service are good. Shifts and downshifts seem smoother, particularly the downs. What I gather from a lot of what I read is that troubles arise when these services are done to a neglected transmission.

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    Re: Transmission Fluid - 03 Aztek

    Quote Originally Posted by Asinity View Post
    Thanks for the input guys.

    Turns out the service was a simple fluid swap, no filter or any additives, just straight up Dex VI fluid. I suppose the mentality is that the filter + fluid change is recommended at 85,000km's under heavy driving conditions, so under 'lighter' driving perhaps they feel the need to only do the fluid and that the filter will hold up until it's recommended to do at 160,000km's. But I agree completely, it seems kind of half-assed to only do one thing.

    I went ahead and had them do the 'flush', due to the fact that the complete service was $350... which seems like a huge rip to me, and that we've put most of the km's on the car and have never really worked it out and as I said in my first post, the fluid looked and smelled normal as well. I suppose I could always change the filter myself (anyone ever done this on a 3.4L? Montana, Venture, Silhouette?) a little later on. On that note, any idea how much a transmission filter will usually cost, as well as some 'how-to' tips as I've never really looked at the transmission beyond checking the fluid.

    I hope I didn't waste money here, but my first impressions on the service are good. Shifts and downshifts seem smoother, particularly the downs. What I gather from a lot of what I read is that troubles arise when these services are done to a neglected transmission.
    Actually, I've heard this as well and am exteremely curious if this is true or not. Does anyone know if there is any truth to this or just a myth?

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    Re: Transmission Fluid - 03 Aztek

    yes it is true. we tend to see failures due to lack of maintenance, and then when the trans starts acting up, people hurry in to get the fluid changed. then you normally have issues later on. slipping, harsh shifts, flares, etc... better off to change the fluid at about every 50-60,000 miles. if it gets black in color, and smells like its burnt, then its probably too late. when it looks like engine oil, your out of luck. thats normally when you see problems.
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    Re: Transmission Fluid - 03 Aztek

    Personally I drop the pan while dumping out its contents, replace filter, put the pan back on, refill the trans with about the same amount that came out of the pan, and let the trans pump out a quart or two at a time (starting and stopping engine, while dumping in new fluid to replace the pumped out fluid) until all the old fluid is out. So, pretty much all the fluid has been swapped out, the filter is replaced, and no added force is involved (flushing machine).

    The thing with automatics dying soon after changing the fluid is a myth. It happens because in a lot of cases people will change the fluid in an effort to save a transmission that's on its way out already
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