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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
So rule of thumb is 60,000 miles, but recent developments have me seriously concerned about the health of my transmission.

Last fluid change was in '05, at 128,196. Today, it reads 164,079, and my transmission slips when shifting out of reverse into drive. I've always been taught not to hit the gas until the transmission catches, so maybe my not hitting the gas is the reason, thusly rendering my concerns baseless. All I know is I back out, stop, shift into drive and it takes a second to engage and start rolling forward as all A/T's do. I'm not familiar enough with the car's nuances, or what to feel for when the car shifts while driving. I don't really notice anything particular. Its pretty much only that shift that really stands out. I'm going to take the car in tomorrow to have the fluid drained, I'll probably have them replace the filter too while they're at it.

However, I suspect theres more at play than this. From what I know, this is the original transmission. Seems in '05, when the fluid was changed, the fluid was dark brown, according to the service order I'm looking at right now. The fluid now is pinkish, not 100% sure if its at proper level or not, I'll check it again in the morning to get a better read on it. It definitely doesn't look dirty, but I'm sure I'm wrong. I don't know what it would look like in a typical car outside of "its supposed to be pinkish". Personally, 60,000 miles is a lot of miles, but then again, 3 years seems like an awfully long time too.

Yeah, no. My suspicions are that if this is abnormal, then that old fluid was probably the original fluid, or the first change the car ever had, and now the transmission is showing the signs of that improper maintenance thanks to the previous owner's apparent inability to perform the most basic maintenance.


Can I expect to find my transmission pushing up daisies any time soon or am I right to suspect a fluid change will fix 'er? Worst case scenario, tranny is shot/on its way out, how much could I expect to drop on one? I've heard rebuilds are upwards of 2,000 bucks, not sure if I'd fare better finding one in a junk yard and having it installed.

And equally as important: what is the interval for our Mustangs? I've seen some differentiation between brands/models, and figure you guys know better than I as to the ideal change interval for our particular cars.
 

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I used to have mine changed every 30k or so. Tranny fluid is supposed to be pink/redish in color, so you're fine. The only other thing would be the smell of burnt tranny fluid. You're probably just a little low on fluid right now. (Heck, with that many miles on it, it's allowed to lose a little fluid between changes) I wouldn't worry about it now unless the shifting patterns have changed......
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Yeah, I don't smell anything particular, it just smells... well... it just smells like stuff. I suppose I can head off to the parts store today and pick up some new ATF and add a tiny bit if I see any loss. I'll get a second opinion on the odor for the sake of argument, if its bad, its getting flushed and changed.

That takes a huge load off, between my steering, the oil leaking from behind my engine somewhere (bad seal was the ages-ago diagnosis), the last thing I need is a bad transmission to replace too...

Thanks Shiner, yet another question you've answered for me! Heh, don't take a breather yet, knowing me, I'll be back with even more questions eventually.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Update:

Went in anyways on my suspicions. I've realized that every single time I've second guessed my gut instinct, I've been wrong.

The fluid was dark brown. For whatever reason, maybe I'm just too new to know what dirty fluid presents as on a dipstick (it looked fine to me...), but holy crap that fluid was bad.

It seems to be a bit more smooth now. I didn't notice but its always shifted rough while idling (park to drive or park to reverse) which probably shouldn't happen but I'm just glad i got the fluid changed.

And my fluid was indeed low, so was my power steering fluid, which explains why it felt like steering was much better after it was topped off.


Thanks again though, appreciate the advice, and now that I know when it was done last, I'll be better about staying on top of it.
 
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