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AT/DIFF/Transfer Case Fluid Changes #5234735 10/09/19 10:05 AM
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buster Offline OP
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I can relate to the obsessive ways a lot of us have with our cars and trucks when it comes to fluid changes. On another forum, I've noticed some people are big on changing the differential, transfer case and transmission fluids very early on their trucks. With the engine oil I can see the reason, but not so much with the other fluids. Do you agree? I believe the intervals are 30k for severe service on my truck.


2019 Frontier Pro 4X - RGT 5w30
2019 Impreza Sport - OE fill
Re: AT/DIFF/Transfer Case Fluid Changes [Re: buster] #5234741 10/09/19 10:11 AM
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By very early do you mean consistently throughout the life of the vehicle or just when it's new?


03 Hyundai Tiburon:
Castrol Edge 0w40
Redline MT90
94 Mazda B4000
Supertech 5w30 Full Synthetic
Valvoline Dex/Merc
Re: AT/DIFF/Transfer Case Fluid Changes [Re: buster] #5234746 10/09/19 10:14 AM
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Rat407 Offline
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To me swapping out all the fluids for a good quality synthetic is a good thing. Think about most manufactures and the fluids they use. To me the lowest bidder gets the contract and the fluid just has to meet the minimal spec's.

Look at GM and all the issue with their 8sp in the pickups. GM even went as far as to reformulate the dexron hp fluid in hopes it fixes the issues. I have read on some GM forums that a few have used AMSOIL's ATL fluid and it actually fixed the issues with the transmission.


2002 Silverado 5.3 0w-20 AMSOIL
Re: AT/DIFF/Transfer Case Fluid Changes [Re: buster] #5234752 10/09/19 10:17 AM
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Delta Offline
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I'm pretty sure I know what forum you're talking about (used to be a member when I had my 2nd gen Frontier) and they're a little too fanatical about that stuff. Pretty sure if you do the severe service intervals you'll be good. How many trucks go hundreds of thousands of miles without even servicing those items. As long as you're not going into deep water often, you're good.


'17 VW GTI 2.0T - 6MT - 18K - Edge 0w40
'15 Camry SE - 2.5 - 24K - PP 0w20
'09 Tacoma TRD Offroad 4x4 - 4.0 - 135K - Edge 0w40
Re: AT/DIFF/Transfer Case Fluid Changes [Re: buster] #5234753 10/09/19 10:17 AM
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Since Supertech is cheap and there are often sales, I went ahead and changed my rear diff fluid at 16k. I also did the transfer case because I found Napa ATF+4 on the cheap, too. I did the front diff and transmission (also ATF+4) at 20k. I'll probably do them all again at 45k and every 25k after that. I do tow and do a bit of off-roading, so why not.

On my JK I've used Supertech full syn in the diffs, Pennzoil or Valvoline Synchromesh in the tranny, and Castrol or Napa ATF+4 in the T-case every 25 to 35k and all is well at over 140k miles. I think I did them early, too, way back when it was new. Probably 20k miles.

Is it necessary? No. But it makes me feel better and maintaining the Jeeps is as much a hobby as it is a necessity.


18 Jeep JLUR Wrangler 3.6 22k
15 Ford Transit 125k, Reman 3.5 @85k
17 Jeep Renegade 2.4 21k
08 Jeep Wrangler 3.8 134k
04 Jeep Grand Cherokee 4.7 105k
99 Mercedes E430 Sport 92k
Re: AT/DIFF/Transfer Case Fluid Changes [Re: buster] #5234755 10/09/19 10:17 AM
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Personally I change the ATF in my truck every 10k but thats because the A4LD is notorious for overheating itsself and I have a big supply of Dex/Merc stocked up and that's my main application. By way of differential its more so gear oil is cheap and if you're towing consistently it is definitely worth doing. Or using 4x4 often or have an AWD vehicle same idea with the transfer case. The train of thought being that the manufacturers are shorting the amount of maintenance you need to do to advertise lower cost of ownership and to keep the vehicle from lasting as long as it physically can so that you will buy another one.

With that being said I don't really have a whole lot of experience by way of that actually helping.


03 Hyundai Tiburon:
Castrol Edge 0w40
Redline MT90
94 Mazda B4000
Supertech 5w30 Full Synthetic
Valvoline Dex/Merc
Re: AT/DIFF/Transfer Case Fluid Changes [Re: buster] #5234759 10/09/19 10:20 AM
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SubieRubyRoo Offline
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I haven't owned a new vehicle in 10 years, but on every used vehicle I buy I always swap all the fluids. On a new vehicle, I would personally swap the diffs, t-case, and tranny at around 5k to remove any wear particles from the gears getting friendly, and then go on the manufacturer's recommended change interval for everything but ATF, which would be every 50k whether it needs it or not.

On Subies I buy or service, diffs & manual trans always get Motul Gear 300, 4EATs get MaxLife ATF, and the engine usually gets something out of a yellow bottle. But lately I've stockpiled a bunch of Rotella & Delo 10W30s, and Motul 5W30, which works in almost any Subaru.

Re: AT/DIFF/Transfer Case Fluid Changes [Re: buster] #5234777 10/09/19 10:40 AM
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Kira Online Content
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How many "early changers" there are overall vs. the number who post on these boards? is one question.

You ask if we agree with your seeing a reason to change engine oil early but not so much with the other fluids? How could we not?

I just bought a 2005 vehicle which had fewer than 48K. The PO had 16 oil changes done but no others.
The quick lube place he used states "check fluids" on every invoice.
However, the transfer case drained nowhere near its 40 ounce capacity. I'd bet it was more like 20 ounces.....20 ounces of very dark fluid

When it stops raining I'm going to change the others.
The transmission calls for 30K pan drops/filter changes. It's overdue. I'm dying to see its color!
The transfer case now clicks into and out of 4HI crisper. 4LO test to follow.
The diffs call for 100K (some say 150K) servicing but, as stated, the fluid is 15 years old so I'm changing it.
If the diffs drain horrid fluid I'll use the 80W-90 conventional fluid I bought first for cleansing then consider going to synthetic.
The coolant was never touched so draining it and running a cleaner through the system is going to happen. G-05 all the way.
I want my brake fluid flushed too.

Re: AT/DIFF/Transfer Case Fluid Changes [Re: buster] #5234789 10/09/19 10:49 AM
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SubieRubyRoo Offline
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Solid plan, Kira. Your results so far are not surprising on noting improved function.

Re: AT/DIFF/Transfer Case Fluid Changes [Re: buster] #5234807 10/09/19 11:07 AM
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buster Offline OP
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By early I mean 5k miles on a new truck. Unlike engine oil, the other fluids are not exposed to the same contaminants so I don't think it's as necessary to change them.

Delta, you got it. smile


2019 Frontier Pro 4X - RGT 5w30
2019 Impreza Sport - OE fill
Re: AT/DIFF/Transfer Case Fluid Changes [Re: buster] #5234826 10/09/19 11:46 AM
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When I bought my Mustang I changed out the factory diff and trans fluid at the first oil change at 5K miles.


2014 Ford Mustang GT Track Pack
1995 Ford Mustang GT

Ford/Mazda Parts Counter
NRA Benefactor Member
Opinions expressed are my own.
Re: AT/DIFF/Transfer Case Fluid Changes [Re: buster] #5234931 10/09/19 01:39 PM
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demarpaint Offline
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I did the first transmission, transfer case, and differential fluids at 10K miles on both of my Jeeps. IMO it was worth the effort, especially considering how long I typically hold onto a vehicle. Going forward the transfer cases and transmissions will get serviced every 30K miles, and the differentials every 50K.


God Bless Our Troops

Re: AT/DIFF/Transfer Case Fluid Changes [Re: buster] #5234955 10/09/19 02:05 PM
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buster Offline OP
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^I'll likely do the same and wait until around 10k.


2019 Frontier Pro 4X - RGT 5w30
2019 Impreza Sport - OE fill
Re: AT/DIFF/Transfer Case Fluid Changes [Re: buster] #5234960 10/09/19 02:18 PM
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demarpaint Offline
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Originally Posted by buster
^I'll likely do the same and wait until around 10k.

thumbsup I did my homework and came to the conclusion 10K was a good number for the first service. 30K was what I used for ATF service for many years so I stuck with that, and figured while the drain pan was in place the transfer case was easy enough to drain. 50K seems reasonable for differentials, after the initial 10K change.


God Bless Our Troops

Re: AT/DIFF/Transfer Case Fluid Changes [Re: buster] #5234969 10/09/19 02:26 PM
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For our new 2017 Explorer I had the dealer change the infamous PTU at 9,000 miles and I did a drain & fill on transmission at 12,000 miles. The factory Mercon LV was black, it looked nasty for ATF. And that ATF is supposed to be in the transmission for 150,000 miles crzy! I had the rear diff fluid changed at 22,000 miles, it was black. Both the PTU and the drain and fill for the transmission are easy to do as both have drain plugs and relatively easy to access fill locations. We keep our vehicles for a lot of miles and time. spending a little more in fluids is worth it in the long run for us. As I understand the worse wear material in the fluids of these units occurs early on and once changed there is usually much less wear material debris afterwards.

Whimsey

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