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2012 4x4 SLE CC
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204 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I have a 2012 Sierra SLE 4x4 Crew Cab with 101,000 miles on it. It sounds and drives like its new. I've changed the oil every 5,000 miles, but this question is about the transmission fluid. I don't tow anything and the truck has had an easy driving life. I just replaced the original front brake pads and they still had life in them at 95,000 miles, as an example.

I drained and filled at 50,000 miles about 5 years ago or so. At that time, the fluid was bright red, didn't smell and was at the right level. I'm at the 100,000 mile point now and know it's time to drop the pan, change the filter, etc......

But I looked at the fluid yesterday and it's beautiful.....bright red, smells good, right level, etc....

Do I leave it alone or go ahead and do the pan drop?


Automatic service maintenance guidance is so confusing. So many opinions on it too. I know what the owner's manual says and I'm usually a "follow the owner's manual" guy. Rules and maintenance schedules are something driven into me by spending 24 years in the Navy too. But this is one of those times I'm thinking it might be prudent to leave "good" alone.

Thanks.

Mark
 

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17 5.3 6 spd
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213 Posts
6 spd here..I drain and fill every single winter regardless of mileage (amsoil) ...now @ 5 yrs 48 k...fluid is like brand new ...won't Drop pan till 100k...
 

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2013 4.8L 4L60E
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163 Posts
replaced the original front brake pads and they still had life in them at 95,000 miles,
Nice! I did my fronts complete at 8 years / 85,500 miles.

At 102k, the transmission is still untouched. I'm due, and am gearing up for the process -DEXRON-VI, filter, gasket. You mention "drain"; I think the 4-speed can only be drained by dropping the pan; wish it did have a plug on it.
 

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2021 GMC Sierra Denali CC 4WD Ultimate 6.2L
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5,197 Posts
Most owner's manuals say it isn't necessary. Yeah, right. That's why transmission shops are making a fortune replacing burned out automatic transmissions. For optimum protection, change the Transmission Fluid and filter every 50,000 miles. An automatic transmission creates a lot of internal heat through friction: the friction of the fluid churning inside the torque converter, friction created when the clutch plates engage, and the normal friction created by gears and bearings carrying their loads.

If you think this is propaganda put forth by the suppliers of ATF to sell more fluid, think again. According to the Automatic Transmission Rebuilders Association, 90% of ALL transmission failures are caused by overheating. And most of these can be blamed on worn out fluid that should have been replaced.
 

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Vendor
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360 Posts
Most owner's manuals say it isn't necessary. Yeah, right. That's why transmission shops are making a fortune replacing burned out automatic transmissions. For optimum protection, change the Transmission Fluid and filter every 50,000 miles. An automatic transmission creates a lot of internal heat through friction: the friction of the fluid churning inside the torque converter, friction created when the clutch plates engage, and the normal friction created by gears and bearings carrying their loads.

If you think this is propaganda put forth by the suppliers of ATF to sell more fluid, think again. According to the Automatic Transmission Rebuilders Association, 90% of ALL transmission failures are caused by overheating. And most of these can be blamed on worn out fluid that should have been replaced.
Agreed. Replacing the fluid and filter in accordance with the manufacturer's maintenance schedule is cheap insurance. Sure, it's kind of a messy job to drop the pan, especially if you're doing it without a hoist, but it's worth the effort.
 

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2009, 2500HD, 6.0 L, 4x4, Ext Cab, Alumn FlatBed
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465 Posts
Let's see $6k to $7k to do a rebuild or $50 to $100 to change the fluid...hhmmm what to do???

:cool:
 

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08 Silverado 1500 CC 4x4 5.3L
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1,453 Posts
Nice! I did my fronts complete at 8 years / 85,500 miles.

At 102k, the transmission is still untouched. I'm due, and am gearing up for the process -DEXRON-VI, filter, gasket. You mention "drain"; I think the 4-speed can only be drained by dropping the pan; wish it did have a plug on it.
Get one of these....

Suction Gun

I had the 4L60E and used this to get most of the fluid out so when I dropped the pan there wasn't much left in the pan and made the job much less messy. The only reason it was messy was because of the residual fluid dripping off the internals of the transmission. Just go to Home Depot/Lowe's and get a 4-5' section of clear tube and you're set.

You can also get a pan with a drain plug. I had one at one point but ended up going back to the stock pan and just sucking the fluid out. I could never find a drain plug that didn't drip slightly.
 
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