The Truth About Cars » tranny fluids http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com The Truth About Cars is dedicated to providing candid, unbiased automobile reviews and the latest in auto industry news. Sat, 25 Oct 2014 13:00:38 +0000 en-US hourly 1 http://wordpress.org/?v=4.0 The Truth About Cars is dedicated to providing candid, unbiased automobile reviews and the latest in auto industry news. The Truth About Cars no The Truth About Cars editors@ttac.com editors@ttac.com (The Truth About Cars) 2006-2009 The Truth About Cars The Truth About Cars is dedicated to providing candid, unbiased automobile reviews and the latest in auto industry news. The Truth About Cars » tranny fluids http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/wp-content/themes/ttac-theme/images/logo.gif http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com Piston Slap: The Snow, The Lease And The Tranny http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2010/07/piston-slap-the-snow-the-lease-and-the-tranny/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2010/07/piston-slap-the-snow-the-lease-and-the-tranny/#comments Mon, 12 Jul 2010 09:53:57 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=360687 TTAC Commentator Jenneil624 writes: I lease a 2008 Mazda3 2.3L with an automatic transmission and 30K miles. I have had the car for two years and have been very satisfied. I am strongly considering buying the car at lease end. Here is the problem. After one year of ownership, I got stuck in some snow […]

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TTAC Commentator Jenneil624 writes:

I lease a 2008 Mazda3 2.3L with an automatic transmission and 30K miles. I have had the car for two years and have been very satisfied. I am strongly considering buying the car at lease end. Here is the problem. After one year of ownership, I got stuck in some snow and needed to aggressively rock the car free. It took so long to free the car that the transmission temporarily failed.

I put it in reverse and just revs – no power to the wheels. Then I put it in drive – same result. I assumed that I overheated the transmission fluid and let it rest for two hours. I went back to the vehicle after it cooled down and it worked perfectly. It has worked perfectly since, with no noticeable damage. I recently brought the car to the dealer for an unrelated warranty repair and the service advisor recommended a transmission fluid change. He said the fluid looked dark and needed to be changed. He knew nothing of my snow escapade. My question is – Has the transmission been damaged badly enough that purchasing this car would be a mistake? Would a transmission fluid change be enough to mitigate the damage I caused? Do I buy the car at lease end or turn it in and run away?

Sajeev Answers:

I’m with you.  Because a transmission’s line (fluid) pressure greatly impacts operation, they tend to act funny when the fluid gets stupid hot. And I suspect that’s happened here.  Whether or not your romp in the snow actually damaged the soft/hard parts inside the Mazda’s transaxle is truly anybody’s guess.

But I’ll play devil’s advocate, saying the transaxle was driven a long time on toasted fluid. Assuming this is a three year lease (please tell me you didn’t lease a car for longer), my rough timeline says you’ve driven on burned fluid for well over a year.  If so, there could be permanent damage to items inside the unit. Maybe.

And, as discussed ad nauseam both here and any car forum, flushing old fluid can do more damage to a transmission’s soft parts (clutches, etc) than keeping the junky fluid around till death do us part.  While this isn’t terribly likely in your situation, it’s possible.

And now, the advice you won’t normally see on a car message board: If you’d like to keep this car for 10+ years, I’d let the lease expire. FWIW, there’s a good chance you can buy the same or better Mazda3 on the retail used car market for less money.  That’s the beauty of pre-recession leasing: residual values were so inflated that a car’s term value was far more than it’s actual market value.  And you don’t wanna play that game anyway.

Send your queries to mehta@ttac.com


Piston Slap: The Snow, the Lease and the Line Pressure

TTAC Commentator Jenneil624 writes:

I lease a 2008 Mazda3 2.3L with an automatic transmission and 30K miles. I have had the car for two years and have been very satisfied. I am strongly considering buying the car at lease end. Here is the problem. After one year of ownership, I got stuck in some snow and needed to aggressively rock the car free. It took so long to free the car that the transmission temporarily failed.

I put it in reverse and just revs – no power to the wheels. Then I put it in drive – same result. I assumed that I overheated the transmission fluid and let it rest for two hours. I went back to the vehicle after it cooled down and it worked perfectly. It has worked perfectly since, with no noticeable damage. I recently brought the car to the dealer for an unrelated warranty repair and the service advisor recommended a transmission fluid change. He said the fluid looked dark and needed to be changed. He knew nothing of my snow escapade. My question is – Has the transmission been damaged badly enough that purchasing this car would be a mistake? Would a transmission fluid change be enough to mitigate the damage I caused? Do I buy the car at lease end or turn it in and run away?

Sajeev Answers:

I’m with you. Because a transmission’s line (fluid) pressure greatly impacts operation, they tend to act funny when the fluid gets stupid hot. And I suspect that’s happened here. Whether or not your romp in the snow actually damaged the soft/hard parts inside the Mazda’s transaxle is truly anybody’s guess.

But I’ll play devil’s advocate, saying the transaxle was driven a long time on toasted fluid. Assuming this is a three year lease (please tell me you didn’t lease a car for longer), my rough timeline says you’ve driven on burned fluid for well over a year. If so, there could be permanent damage to items inside the unit. Maybe.

And, as discussed ad nauseam both here and any car forum, flushing old fluid can do more damage to a transmission’s soft parts (clutches, etc) than keeping the junky fluid around till death do us part. While this isn’t terribly likely in your situation, it’s possible.

And now, the advice you won’t normally see on a car message board: If you’d like to keep this car for 10+ years, I’d let the lease expire. FWIW, there’s a good chance you can buy the same or better Mazda3 on the retail used car market for less money. That’s the beauty of pre-recession leasing: residual values were so inflated that a car’s term value was far more than it’s actual market value. And you don’t wanna play that game anyway.

Send your queries to mehta@ttac.com

Snowjob. Picture courtesy automobilemag.com

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