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Change that ATF! Picture of my fluid

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Old 10-28-2013, 09:19 AM   #1
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Default Change that ATF! Picture of my fluid

Bought the car with 102,000 miles. Changed the ATF at 105,000 miles.

This "Lifetime" fluid does not look so great. Sounds like ZF suggests every 75,000. That would make better sense.

It took 5.5 liters to refill. I used the ZF 6 gold fluid.
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Old 10-28-2013, 09:24 AM   #2
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Default Is the pan picture pre- or post- cleaning?

It looks pre-cleaning from the fluid in it, but the magnets are surprisingly clean of the typical iron shaving type fuzz.
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Old 10-28-2013, 09:37 AM   #3
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This is just as I took it off the car. I was very worried when I saw the fluid but then the pan was not so bad. Forgot to take a clean pan photo.
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Old 10-28-2013, 10:20 AM   #4
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I wouldn't say that fluid is in that bad of shape. Just because it doesn't have the clear gold color to it, doesn't mean it's bad fluid. When its chunky, burnt smelling, or full of metal shavings then I'd say it is bad. When I changed it on my 05 4.2 at 70k miles the dealer even said that the fluid was in great shape, nothing on the filter either. Only reason I changed it was to get rid of the noise I heard when shifting. So just because the fluid looks dirty it doesn't mean it's bad. It is good that you flushed the fluid out for the longevity of the vehicle though. Either way you saved money because your car works fine with the cheaper ZF 6.
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Old 10-28-2013, 11:02 AM   #5
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That is the entire point of changing the fluid (maintenance). "for the longevity of the vehicle"
If the fluid is $1 a quart or $100 a quart no one wants to drive around with fluid that looks like that. Sure I do not think damage has happened from that dirty fluid but that could be the next step. I posted as a log for other owners to know what their fluid might look like.
Burnt or chunky fluid is too late, some type of damage has occurred.
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Old 10-28-2013, 11:59 AM   #6
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Default I don't think it's as simple as this

Color is a sign of course of how new/old it is. From my question, the OP also confirms there is little stuck to the magnets. I saw much, much worse on my C5 with the 5 speed every time I did it. Either the clutch plates aren't wearing much, or they are now non metallic, or the filter is doing a better job than it did in the C5. FWIW, the filters seem similar from having seen both.

The color still probably won't tell you what is going on with any additives that are in the factory/OE fluid. If they are anything like motor oils, they get used up over time/use. Good to renew those with changes.
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Old 10-28-2013, 12:14 PM   #7
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Yes, that is more my point. Trying to change my thinking on ATF. If I thought about it more like motor oil. Why wait until you hear or feel a problem?
Lucky there was not more magnet chia pets going on.
Cost is always an issue but proper maintenance is never cheep even when we do it our-self.
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Old 10-28-2013, 01:27 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Brozee View Post
I wouldn't say that fluid is in that bad of shape. Just because it doesn't have the clear gold color to it, doesn't mean it's bad fluid. When its chunky, burnt smelling, or full of metal shavings then I'd say it is bad. When I changed it on my 05 4.2 at 70k miles the dealer even said that the fluid was in great shape, nothing on the filter either. Only reason I changed it was to get rid of the noise I heard when shifting. So just because the fluid looks dirty it doesn't mean it's bad. It is good that you flushed the fluid out for the longevity of the vehicle though. Either way you saved money because your car works fine with the cheaper ZF 6.
Are you kidding????? That's EXACTLY why you change it!!!!

If you wait until it's burnt smelling, full of metallic debris, or worse, actual metal shavings, etc it is WAY too late.

Further, short of a lab analysis, you have no idea at what stage the additive package is at in its life.
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Old 10-28-2013, 03:56 PM   #9
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that_tg
Nice, just wondering where you got your kit from.
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Old 10-28-2013, 04:53 PM   #10
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Wow, that fluid is blacker than motor oil lol. Routine maintenance is always key and you shouldn't wait until you have a problem.

How do you check the fluid level since there's no dipstick?? How many qts does it take??
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