Piston Slap: The Truth About "Good for Life" Fluids?
TTAC Commentator Dror writes:
I own a 2006 Mazda 3, hatch 2.3 liter 5 speed A/T. I bought the car new, I have 45k miles now, car drives very well and I tend to follow maintenance schedule as the book suggest. My concern is that there is no schedule for A/T fluid change, what does it mean? Don’t ever change it, or let the dealer decide for you?
If it’s up to the dealer, I’d spend ridiculous amount of money on stupid things like “the 30k service” that is known to car dealers only, but they never suggest anything like that when drop by every 3 months/3k miles for oil. I live in NYC and that car spend significant time of it’s life on Manhattan streets: I would like to know if anyone knows the answer, I really don’t like to mess with my A/T if I don’t need to.
Never let the dealer decide: though these guys seem honest, I once saw a Dodge dealer convince a friend to perform differential fluid changes every 15k miles. I told her to stop it, but you can only lead a horse to water. Whatever.
Now, you live in NYC (i.e., stop-and-go traffic) and have more than an occasional heat wave. Both items are bad news for transmission fluid. I’d change the fluid on a regular basis: sealed for life transmissions are a gimmick, a joke that should (fingers crossed) pass as short term leasing and easy credit gets harder to find. So do not RTFM, because you love your car. Or hate it and have no alternative. Or want to pass good karma to the next owner: it’s all good.
If you really love your car, get an external transmission cooler for maximum fluid life. But even I think that’s overkill in this application.
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