Perform Transmission Fluid Service By 'Severe Duty' Change Interval

Perform Transmission Fluid Service By ‘Severe Duty’ Change Interval

Improved lubricants have allowed service intervals to extend for many vehicles with automatic transmissions, utilizing "lifetime fluids." Lifetime fluid recommendations are now 5-10 years or the life of the vehicle (100,000 miles) unless the vehicle is subjected to "severe duty."

Improved lubricants have allowed service intervals to extend for many vehicles with automatic transmissions, utilizing “lifetime fluids.” In the past, service recommendations for automatic transmissions were based on time/mileage tied to requirements of new vehicle warranties (2-3 years or 30,000 miles). Lifetime fluid recommendations are now 5-10 years or the life of the vehicle (100,000 miles) unless the vehicle is subjected to “severe duty.” 
 
The question that often comes up next: When is it appropriate to perform a fluid service? Taken directly from OEM owners’ manuals, “severe duty” has historically been defined as:
 
• Operation of vehicle when ambient temperature is above 100° F. or below 0° F.
• Carrying heavy loads or multiple passengers on a daily basis.
• High speed highway or interstate driving for extended periods of time. 
• Driving in hilly or mountainous areas.  
• Stop and go driving.
 
By definition, most drivers are engaged in severe duty vehicle operation most of the time. The severity and non-stop cold weather of this recent winter is a perfect example of severe duty conditions that really stress and deteriorate all of the lubricants in a vehicle. The standard recommendation is to cut the recommended change interval (30,000 – 100,000 miles) in half and perform service based on severe duty (15,000 – 50,000 miles). 
 
Most drivers are looking to minimize the cost of ownership and still meet the warranty requirements. Most warranties clearly state that failure to perform routine maintenance will void the warranty. When we service vehicles, we owe it to our customers to qualify their driving habits. We need to show them if they operate their vehicle in a manner that may require a more frequent service cycle. When we provide the customer with the advice and service they need to maintain their vehicle and OE warranty based on real world considerations, we instill trust, confidence and loyalty.
 
Courtesy of Lubegard

You May Also Like

How Well Do You Know Your Driveshaft?

There are three types of modern driveshafts with multiple configurations.

What are the different driveshaft configurations?

• Single shaft with two Cardan universal joints;

• Single shaft with double Cardan on one end and one Cardan on the other end; or

• Split shaft with three Cardan and center carrier.

The world's longest one-piece light truck propshaft, brought about by a team of engineers from General Motors, Dana Corp, and Alcoa. Looking for a way to improve NVH on the Chevrolet Silverado and GMC Sierra
Heavy-Duty extended cab longbox pick-ups, engineers found the solution by replacing the two-piece steel design with a one-piece aluminum driveline. The team's challenge was to develop a one-piece aluminum propshaft with specifications previously unattainable in the light truck
industry.

Manual Transmission Service

Parts that wear out and must be replaced.

CV Axles: A Look Inside A Joint

Check out these photos and take a look inside a joint.

Transmission Valve Body Replacement Tips

Here are some important things to remember when replacing the transmission valve body.

Seven CV Joint Mistakes You Shouldn’t Make

If a CV joint fails, it rarely fails on its own. Outside factors can damage a joint worse than cutting a boot with a knife.

Other Posts

Fuel Pressure Diagnostic Service

Use a scan tool that can look at special direct fuel injection parameters and perform bidirectional tests.

Oversized Tires and Transmissions

Unfortunately, big tires go hand-in-hand with something less enjoyable: Transmission failure.

Reprogramming Today’s Transmission Control Modules

It’s understandable to have a lot of questions and fears about reprogramming. 

The Problem Is Not In The Transfer Case

The most important part of any repair work is locating the cause of the problem that causes the customer complaint.