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Old 06-17-2011, 11:52 AM   #1
Kris.R
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Red face Time for a trans fluid change!! Have some Q's??

So my car is getting up there with a little over 97k on the clock. I called over to the dealership and asked a parts person to run my VIN so he can tell me what type of transmission I have. He stated that my transmission is an A53252 and that I should use "S-O Lifetime 71141 fluid" that is sold in liters only. So my question is, do I have to use this fluid or is there an alternative? I don't mind paying $34.52 a liter being that it's a necessity for proper maintenance, BUT I would like to know if I have another option. Thanks for your help fellas!
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Old 06-17-2011, 12:03 PM   #2
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search, this has been covered plenty of times everywhere.
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Old 06-17-2011, 12:05 PM   #3
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Old 06-17-2011, 12:14 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by alwaysbored786 View Post
search, this has been covered plenty of times everywhere.
I've been lookig to change the fluid in my manual transmission and I have to say search hasn't been very helpful. I either come up with 10,000 threads or a couple of useless ones. Most of them that are asking similar questions just have replies suggesting to use the search My maintaince guide says nothing and my service manual says BMW life time fluid.
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Old 06-17-2011, 12:15 PM   #5
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Old 06-17-2011, 12:36 PM   #6
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lol S-O Lifetime 71141 fluid

Its "ESSO LT 71141", just fyi

the same fluid my transmission uses.

definitely do the entire service, you will not regret it. my transmission shifts like NEW and it have 105k miles. and im not exaggerating. if you are unsure of procedure then have somebody do it but MAKE sure they know their ish.
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Old 06-17-2011, 12:42 PM   #7
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^LOL! My bad.....ESSO!! I will go with the stuff from the dealership! Thanks guys.
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Old 06-17-2011, 12:46 PM   #8
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Please do your research before you change the fluid, you will be surprised at how many people are against it and how many are for it. Personally I have not done it so I can't tell you advise from my personal experience but I have had a friend who ran into alot of transmission issues after he did the change, look it up and see if it really suits the purpose of why you want to do the change.
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Old 06-17-2011, 12:54 PM   #9
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Originally Posted by TheKingSim0n View Post
Please do your research before you change the fluid, you will be surprised at how many people are against it and how many are for it. Personally I have not done it so I can't tell you advise from my personal experience but I have had a friend who ran into alot of transmission issues after he did the change, look it up and see if it really suits the purpose of why you want to do the change.
if you do it right, you will only do well for your car. period. the people that have problems either

1. didnt use oem fluid filter and gasket
2. didnt service properly, or notably, fill properly.
3. or were servicing a transmission that was already on its last leg anyways

it's honestly the same people who have seen "one story" and just think it is some end all rule. i even had a service advisor at the dealer say one time "i dont recommend it, i have seen cars get serviced that we have ended up pushing out of the bay when done" when the ZF documentation straight from the factory recommends 30-40k intervals . guarantee that guy saw one example and just based everything off that when the car was already done for. didnt listen to him at all and did it, hands down noticeable and one of the best things i have done for the car. literally. you will notice it every time you drive. from personal experience (i have done it 2x and many times for friends)

besides suspension it has been by far the most noticeable thing i have ever done on the car, and i have gone through the list pretty actively.

you will notice AMAZING results. DO IT! if you want your car to last. if anybody tells you otherwise they simply did it wrong or were trying to fix a transmission that was already done for. i.e people that have no idea what they are talking about.
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Old 06-17-2011, 03:07 PM   #10
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Here is the basic synopsis of how it happened:


Started with this.


Thanks to Neil

From there, find your fluid and kit. (double check everything of course) chart isn't necessarily an end all rule.

Note: I can't be responsible for casualties of any type or the validity of the following, anybody following this as a guide is using it at their own risk.
(Sorry but nowadays you just never know.)


My Transmission: ZF A5S325Z
My Fluid: ESSO LT 71141
(Sometimes also labeled as ZF lifeguard fluid) USE OEM FLUID TRUST ME. JUST DO IT. do not cut costs on an important job. I personally have used redline d4 in a past e46 and didnt like it at all, cost a lot to drain it and replace with OEM. Trust me just use the lifeguard LT fluid if you have the zf.

My recommendation is , DIY or not, ALWAYS use your own parts and fluid for this job, so you are positive what is happening. If a shop wont let you bring your own parts, find a different shop.

-Bought kit from pelican which included new drain and fill bolts filter and OEM gasket (i have heard really bad things about non oem gaskets. for the zf transmission it was paper. this is an important point)
photo:

-Bought fluid pump
-Bought brake cleaner (to clean pan)
-Bought 10 qts ESSO LT71141
-A lot of towels and some lint free cloths

1. Got car on jackstands, opened fill, then drain bolt. disgusting disgusting fluid came out. (you dont want to not be able to open the fill bolt after draining, rofl.)

it is going to look something like this (this is from an x5 but same idea)


2. Dropped pan. leave container to catch drip, let transmission drain thoroughly.

3. Cleaned pan thoroughly, cleaned rare earth magnets, changed filter (will require a torx bit)
would look similar to this.



these are bmw, but may not match yours exactly. the idea is the same though.

4. Resealed pan with new gasket and new filter in place, and torqued all pan bolts to 6-7 Nm. if you dont have a torque wrench that you are SURE is precise in this range. dont use it. just tighten until *snug* is the keyword. if you tighten them really good on there you will have overtorqued which is a scary proposition
trust me you would much rather undertighten and have a tiny leak that you can snug up, than strip the transmission. CLEAN the pan gasket surfaces and transmission surface very thoroughly. a leak would be annoying to say the least. I reused my bolts with no problems. checked for leaks actively for about 2 weeks after changing and can literally park the car on white italian tablecloth.

5. Reseat drain plug

6. With car off, pump fluid in until it spills out, loosely set fill bolt in.

7. Start car, run through the gears multiple times, and then put in neutral with parking brake on. leave running

8. As the car heats up, pump fluid in until the pan reaches about 100*F (i believe the actual range is 80-110 or so. by the time you are at 115 it is too hot to the touch so i just did it by touch.) if you have one of those temperature sensing laser pointers that is what the shops usually use if they dont have the software. the trans will have sucked up a lot of the fluid so you will have a decent amount to add while it is running over the initial cold fill.


9. I just kept pumping and letting it overflow as it heated up because the fluid that was coming out was still way gross so i just kept pumping even though it was spilling out until i had gone through a decent amount and it was starting to look a bit clearer. then i just let it chill and slowly spill out as it heated up and capped it off when it was a slow slow stream at about 100*. it was like clockwork. my indy later verified for me that i had leveled it correctly


keep in mind this is all ZF stuff but the gm should be fairly close in procedure.

proceed and enjoy much much smoother shifting and a transmission that is maintained.

also the horror stories are really i believe of transmissions that were well on their way out already. so basically. i look at it as an inevitable thing anyways. if your transmission is good, this will greatly extend its life. when you see the fluid that comes out you will know what i mean.

check for leaks religiously after changing. every time you drive, park on clean spots and just look for drops. one note i have is, if you are planning to check for a leak for a particular drive, drive with the AC off. because the condensation from the AC drips right right by the transmission pan which can make it very confusing.
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Old 06-17-2011, 05:07 PM   #11
g6
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Here is the basic synopsis of how it happened:


Started with this.


Thanks to Neil

From there, find your fluid and kit. (double check everything of course) chart isn't necessarily an end all rule.

Note: I can't be responsible for casualties of any type or the validity of the following, anybody following this as a guide is using it at their own risk.
(Sorry but nowadays you just never know.)


My Transmission: ZF A5S325Z
My Fluid: ESSO LT 71141
(Sometimes also labeled as ZF lifeguard fluid) USE OEM FLUID TRUST ME. JUST DO IT. do not cut costs on an important job. I personally have used redline d4 in a past e46 and didnt like it at all, cost a lot to drain it and replace with OEM. Trust me just use the lifeguard LT fluid if you have the zf.

My recommendation is , DIY or not, ALWAYS use your own parts and fluid for this job, so you are positive what is happening. If a shop wont let you bring your own parts, find a different shop.

-Bought kit from pelican which included new drain and fill bolts filter and OEM gasket (i have heard really bad things about non oem gaskets. for the zf transmission it was paper. this is an important point)
photo:

-Bought fluid pump
-Bought brake cleaner (to clean pan)
-Bought 10 qts ESSO LT71141
-A lot of towels and some lint free cloths

1. Got car on jackstands, opened fill, then drain bolt. disgusting disgusting fluid came out. (you dont want to not be able to open the fill bolt after draining, rofl.)

it is going to look something like this (this is from an x5 but same idea)


2. Dropped pan. leave container to catch drip, let transmission drain thoroughly.

3. Cleaned pan thoroughly, cleaned rare earth magnets, changed filter (will require a torx bit)
would look similar to this.



these are bmw, but may not match yours exactly. the idea is the same though.

4. Resealed pan with new gasket and new filter in place, and torqued all pan bolts to 6-7 Nm. if you dont have a torque wrench that you are SURE is precise in this range. dont use it. just tighten until *snug* is the keyword. if you tighten them really good on there you will have overtorqued which is a scary proposition
trust me you would much rather undertighten and have a tiny leak that you can snug up, than strip the transmission. CLEAN the pan gasket surfaces and transmission surface very thoroughly. a leak would be annoying to say the least. I reused my bolts with no problems. checked for leaks actively for about 2 weeks after changing and can literally park the car on white italian tablecloth.

5. Reseat drain plug

6. With car off, pump fluid in until it spills out, loosely set fill bolt in.

7. Start car, run through the gears multiple times, and then put in neutral with parking brake on. leave running

8. As the car heats up, pump fluid in until the pan reaches about 100*F (i believe the actual range is 80-110 or so. by the time you are at 115 it is too hot to the touch so i just did it by touch.) if you have one of those temperature sensing laser pointers that is what the shops usually use if they dont have the software. the trans will have sucked up a lot of the fluid so you will have a decent amount to add while it is running over the initial cold fill.


9. I just kept pumping and letting it overflow as it heated up because the fluid that was coming out was still way gross so i just kept pumping even though it was spilling out until i had gone through a decent amount and it was starting to look a bit clearer. then i just let it chill and slowly spill out as it heated up and capped it off when it was a slow slow stream at about 100*. it was like clockwork. my indy later verified for me that i had leveled it correctly


keep in mind this is all ZF stuff but the gm should be fairly close in procedure.

proceed and enjoy much much smoother shifting and a transmission that is maintained.

also the horror stories are really i believe of transmissions that were well on their way out already. so basically. i look at it as an inevitable thing anyways. if your transmission is good, this will greatly extend its life. when you see the fluid that comes out you will know what i mean.

check for leaks religiously after changing. every time you drive, park on clean spots and just look for drops. one note i have is, if you are planning to check for a leak for a particular drive, drive with the AC off. because the condensation from the AC drips right right by the transmission pan which can make it very confusing.
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