I have a 96 Cavalier with approx 206K miles. It has been a reliable car with no transmission problems as I can tell.
My family and I are evaluating what the better bang for our buck is. I understand the T-Tech fluid exchange is a much better fluid service, but what about the filter? I understand a traditional service would replace the filter but a T-tech service would not. Should the filter be changed along with the T-tech service?
With 206K on your vehicle changing ALL the transmission fluid and transmission filter is MANDATORY.
Just changing the transmission fluid without the filter will mean the new fluid could soon loosen enough varnish and clutch material to restrict the flow through the old transmission filter.
Most of today’s automatic transmissions hold between 12 to 16 quarts of fluid. When you do a complete fluid and filter replacement you are changing ALL the transmission fluid. Just dropping the pan and changing the filter and refilling with what you removed, you are lucky to change 1/3 of the transmission fluid. This method is not a complete service and may cause the transmission to act up in a short amount of time.
The partial filling of 3 to 5 quarts of new transmission fluid may lead to a potential transmission failure when you least expect it.
Now to the other concern that you did not mention: Will changing ALL my fluid and filter in a good shifting transmission with high mileage ruin the transmission?
The answer is NO, it will not, if there is nothing wrong with the transmission when the fluid and filter is changed!
If you change the all the transmission fluid and filter, and in two weeks down the road the transmission starts to act up, the fluid change did not cause the transmission to fail! The transmission was already damaged and dying and the nasty old transmission fluid was just keeping the symptoms from showing up.
I would rather change my fluid and filter and drive my car around town for a few days, just to make sure every thing works as it should. Or you can take your chances on the car breaking down without any warning. At least when you pull down the transmission pan the repair shop can see if there is evidence of a transmission failure looming in the near future. And in most case’s the shop that services the transmission will apply the cost of the fluid and filter exchange towards the purchase price of new/rebuilt transmission.
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