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Old 06-21-2010, 05:26 PM   #1
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2010 23' FB Flying Cloud
Smithville , Texas
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Do I change transmission fluid?

I'm towing a 23FB with a 2010 F150 5.4 with the towing package.
When I got my 30,000 mile oil change today the dealer tried to convince me I needed to change the transmission fluid. He printed out a sheet telling me Ford recommends this at 30,000 for TVs. At a price of $200.00 I can afford it, but wonder if it's really needed. I've owned a bunch of vehicles since 1967 and have never changed transmission fluid.
Advice will be appreciated.

Matt & Virginia Kline
2010 FC23FB
2016 F-350 6.7 Diesel (Overkill and loving it)
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Old 06-21-2010, 05:40 PM   #2
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Transmission fluid , and transmission filters should be changed. particularly when the vehicle is used for towing, however the dealers price sounds mighty high to me.

Rick Davis 1602 K8DOC
61 tradewind, plus a few others
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Old 06-21-2010, 05:54 PM   #3
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Anywhere after 25000 but before 50000 would be my opinion - its such a forgettable item do it while you're thinking about it.

I now only change my own ATF fluid... it only took twice burned by contamination of ATF fluid when changed by third parties, once by a dealer and once by a private shop to reinforce the DIY part. (change out on road trip saw FWD unit started foaming after change and trans went out soon thereafter, private shop chose brand and additives for my Z-28 and I lost a seal soon thereafter)

Someone may try to shout me down but the no-drain flush and filtering the dealers offer now is not a great idea if you plant to keep the truck past 4 or 5 years...

I added a few things a dealer won't do like blow out the cooler lines and radiator with compressed air and do a partial fill then run the unit to dilute down the old ATF held in the passages and the torque converter bell and drain a second time.

My last F-150 ATF c/out I used Mobil 1 synthetic with about half (after dilute partial fill mentioned above) of FoMoCo branded ATF fluid to ensure their flavor of additives remained in the unit...

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Old 06-21-2010, 06:17 PM   #4
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Originally Posted by Matt Kline View Post
... I can afford it, but wonder if it's really needed...

but may depend on HOW LONG U KEEP the truck, purchased or leased and so on...

the schedule SHOULD be in the owners manual or ONLINE at ford's site by using your VIN #...

the issue is TOWING typically kicks the truck UP to the severe duty service schedule....

and that schedule typically cuts the interval by 1/2.

so a 60k service item may become a 30k item on the severe duty list.

very few autos have "lifetime" ATF.

i do own 1 car that's supposedly has lifetime ATF, and every owner i know still changes it at 30k or sooner.

towing typically means more shifting and more HEAT in the tranny so fluid changes/degrades at a quicker rate than non towing.

most importantly YOUR truck is still under warranty

and the warranty could be AT RISK for NOT following the recommended maintenance schedule.

my 250 diesel gets the tranny fluid tweaked every 30 k, but that mileage is almost all draggin' a fat/long trailer.

yes to the tranny filter service too.

the big debatable question is FULL fluid change (including torque converter) or flush/change that only replaces ~1/2-2/3s of the total.

there are valid arguments for EITHER approach and risks/issues with BOTH approaches.

the price seems TYPICAL for a flush/filter service withOUT a discount/coupon which dealers often offer for these things.

pan OFF full service is probably NOT gonna be recommended by the dealer on a NEW truck and would cost 100$+ over the flush.

all of the true things that i am about to tell you are shameless lies. l.b.j.

we are here on earth to fart around. don't let anybody tell you any different. k.v.
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Old 06-21-2010, 07:32 PM   #5
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If the fluid looks and smells ok on the dipstick, there is absolutely no reason to flush the trans. Just pull of the pan and clean it and swap the old filter for a new one and put it back together. Do this every 30k. Use good oil and filters!
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Old 06-21-2010, 07:37 PM   #6
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Originally Posted by 2airishuman View Post

but may depend on HOW LONG U KEEP the truck, purchased or leased and so on...2air'

Speaking for subsequent owners, I think the transmission fluid should be changed regardless of how long you intend to keep the truck.

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Old 06-21-2010, 07:52 PM   #7
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After being in the automobile business for over 30 years of which 15 were working for the factory as a service rep. here is the scoop. If you have towed your trailer or hauled any weight over 1000 lbs for 5,000 miles change the trans fluid at 30,000. You'll never be able to match all the variables involved to know for sure when the perfect time to do maintenance is,keep in mind the factories give guidelines at the max use. The same applies for your engine oil, easier to just do it at the lower intervals and smile as your drive along happily.....

It's not worth the awwww shucks I should have changed it.
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Old 06-21-2010, 10:12 PM   #8
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I bought my '99 'Burb with about 65K miles on it a couple of years ago. The first thing I did, and I mean I didn't even take it home first, was to take it for an oil change, trans/torque converter flush, transfer case and differential change. I do regular oil changes at 3000 miles and everything else once a year (which is about 30K miles for me). I might be overly cautious, but it's not just my TV, it's also my daily driver.
Bob Fowler

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Old 06-21-2010, 11:36 PM   #9
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Pay me now, or a lot more later.

Hi, I have my transmission serviced every 30,000 miles. Many dealers, even the one I retired from likes to sell and do transmission flushes. As some-one who used to rebuild transmissions, I want, and only accept a proper trans service. I want the pan removed and cleaned. I want a new filter. I want the torque converter drained. And the cooling lines blown out. With a flush you have new fluid pushing out old fluid, so it will never be 100%. You can't replace the filter if you don't remove the pan. The health of your transmission can only be observed by looking into the bottom of the removed pan. [you can't see grindings from thrust washers, lining from clutches, and fragments from planetary gears if you choose to do a flush] "Dirty oil is liquid sand paper." Burned trans fluid turns into a varnish and will allow the clutch plates and bands to slip; Slipping clutches and bands are a transmission heart attack.

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Old 06-22-2010, 12:03 AM   #10
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Here is my dilema, I bought the truck with 150k miles. It had the tranny rebuilt and upgrade at around 85k miles. It was filled with Mobil 1 ATF. I intended to change the fluid just after I bought it but never did. Truck now has over 180k miles, half of which some sort of trailer has been attached. Transmission shifts fine, fluid smells fine, tranny temp has never exceeded 190F and is usually well under 170F even while towing. At this point I think I'm just gonna run her till she blows. Hopefully that will happen AFTER I make the 1400 mi trip back to the land of fruits and nuts.
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Old 06-22-2010, 07:33 AM   #11
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Smithville , Texas
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Thanks. Especially thanks to Robertsunrus for giving me the right questions to ask when I price around.
BTW: The ford warranty for the transmission is 5 years or 60,000 and does not require this service. However, I hope to drive it many more miles than 60,000 and don't relish the thought of expensive transmission work after the warranty expires.

Matt & Virginia Kline
2010 FC23FB
2016 F-350 6.7 Diesel (Overkill and loving it)
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