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Old 01-19-2011
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Auto Tranny Fluid

I just bought an '04 edge 2wd with 120k miles. I have no records on it so I have no way of knowing if the transmission fluid has ever been changed. This is the 1st automatic vehicle I have ever owned. Always had 5-speed manuals in the past.

The fluid on the dipstick is red, as I *think* its supposed to be. I've read that when it gets old it turns black and smells bad. It does kinda stink, but I'm not sure what its supposed to smell like. It doesn't smell like motor oil. Could it still be good? Sorry for such a newb question

EDIT: Despite what I've read on here, the maintenance schedule doesn't say to change it until 150k miles. Every other maintenance interval says to just "inspect" it.

Last edited by iplayloudly; 01-19-2011 at 09:48 AM.
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Old 01-19-2011
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Used vehicle + fluid not brown or black = change it and the filter.
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Old 01-19-2011
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If you inspect it regularly, i wouldn't change it until it starts to get a bad "burnt" smell. you'll notice it'll change color. Unless you beat the crap out of the transmission, or the PO did, then i wouldn't worry about it yet.
Trans fluid isn't very hard to change, but it can get VERY messy. I.E. the giant spot in my garage where it hit everywhere except the drain pain i had.
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Old 01-19-2011
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Id change it just so you know it has fresh fluids. I bought my 05 last yr with 17K miles on it...changed the fluid at 30K and will change it again at 60K no matter what color/smell it has.
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Old 01-19-2011
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should i actually do a "flush", or just change what comes out with the pan?
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Old 01-19-2011
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The system (tranny, pan, tubing, and cooler) will carry something like 14qts; the pan will get you only 4 or 5 quarts to drop...

Given that the fluid seems to be in generally "OK" condition (still red, not dirty, or burnt) , you can prolly just work with replacing what you drop with the pan... and stay committed to maintenance.

If ya wanna get all thorough & junk --> Lots'a folks will open one of the cooler lines (immediately after changing the pan and refilling) then run the engine while pouring in new fluid (into the filler/dipstick tube) at about the rate that the fluid is pumping outta the open cooler line) -- it's a fairly effective flush in most cases. The thought behind changing the filter first is that the cooling circuit on the 5r55e doesn't flow the full pumped volume -- Changing the filter will ensure that there's clean and happy fluid in the pan (about a 30% change) as you replace what pumps out... the fresh fluid and filter should help to not re-circulate much of the older (previous) fluid and also to NOT wash the crap outta the old filter with the new fluid...
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Old 01-19-2011
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ok i guess i'll just go ahead and change whats in the pan, and commit to doing it once a year or so.
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