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Changing Trans Fluid- This Doesn't Look Good


I finally got a break from work and started working on my cars yesterday.

First I changed the transmission fluid and filter in the 1998 car (51k miles). I pulled the cooler lines off to let the trans pump out its fluid. It pumped VERY slowly, just a thin trickle. The fluid started our pure black but after awhile it turned to a dirty red. The car worked fine after the change. The only problems the car had shown before was frequent torque converter locking/unlocking, I haven't driven it enough since the change to get it hot and determine if new fluid/filter fixed the problem, but the low rate of fluid flow doesn't look right to me. Does this mean I have to pull the end cover off and pull the pump out?

Secondly I changed the fluid and filter in the 1997 car (136k miles). This car is the one I am planning to sell. It has never shown any transmission problems, but it was time for the fluid to be changed and there was a slight fluid leak at the pan. I thought the only way I could cure the leak was with a new gasket, so I thought I might as well do the whole job. As I remembered, this car pumps plenty of fluid, and this is the third time I've done the full fluid change on this car.

Interestingly I noticed that both factory cooler tubes on the 98 are finned, whereas only the power steering cooler tube on the 97 is finned. With the slow rate of fluid flow in the 98 I'm not sure that the cooler would be effective.

The second time I changed the fluid in the 97 I added an auxiliary cooler. I threw in a photo of it just for grins.

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