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1992 olds cutlass supreme tranny question


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I just purchased a 1992 olds cutlass supreme with the 3.1 engine that has 171,000 miles on it. I do not know the maintenance history. The transmission fluid looks crummy. Some say to change it, but most say, leave it alone and just add, that changing it at this point will do more harm than good. That if I change it, it will dislodge 171,000 miles worth of gunk, and kill the tranny. It is shifting fine. Any advice is appreciated!

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Hi Earl, I just finished rebuilding an auto trans on one of my cars that was much older than yours, and I would say with full confidence that you really should change your fluid. After similar mileage, the clutches were virtually as new without any friction material breakdown. The clutch materials and binders in newer transmissions are much better that they were, generally speaking. I suspect that unless your tranny is showing any signs of slippage, a complete flush , including ghe torque converter, and a filter change will extend it's life significantly. Today's engines, and yours included, consistently run much hotter underhood temps, for the sake of combustion effiency and minimal venting space, which degrades the libricating properties of the fluid. The days of the '100k miles' fluid changes and just topping up or 'fill and forget' were over in the mid-80's. Automatics should have the fluid changed avery 15 to 20k miles now. The reason is two-fold: heat, the natural enemy of any lubricant, and lubricating properties of the fluid today. For further info, please check out http://www.parttrackers.com/library/1/56/63/. it's a very interesting and useful article. For even longer life, I'd highly recommend an auxilary cooler. Hope that helps. Mark in Atlanta, a newbie, but loves his 76 Toro, aka, Blue Shamu

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