Rolling the bones

Arthur_Davies

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2006 Lacrosse CX
2006 Buick LaCrosse CX I bought a little while ago. It has 85,000 on it now, Carfax shows no record of transmission maintenance. The fluid is transparent, does not smell burned, and is a pinkish color blending to a light brown on a piece of white paper towel.

Well, I know this topic of high mileage transmission fluid changes has been discussed a lot here, and I've worried about it a great deal. But it can't go without any maintenance at all, can it? That just guarantees buying and fitting a reconditioned transmission in the future.

Booked it in for the Virginia safety inspection on Monday, and mentioned the transmission question. The mechanic (independent shop) paused and said, "Any problems with it?" I said, "No, it shifts perfectly."

So he said he'll drop the pan, change the filter, and refill it. He doesn't do or recommend flushes.

And I'll just have to trust to luck it all works out, I guess.
 

2007LucerneCXL

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2007 Lucerne CXL. and 1995 Lesabre currently, past 1973 Riviera, 1968 Riviera
You are correct as opinions are all over the place on this. There are the GM recommend service for milage and/or years which is a good place to start. The problem with used vehicles is if the shop isn't part of the reporting system or if the previous owner(s) is a DIY no way to know if something was done. Pan drop, filter and fluid change is probably the best method and at least it's one of the fluids you now know has been changed.

Fluids can have contamination and break down over years which could create other problems, but each owner needs to make the decision on what needs to be changed based on year, milage, driving environment and habits. IMO changing fluids is cheaper than changing parts LOL.
 

SD73

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2006 Buick LaCrosse CX
I'd go for the pan drop with new filter and fluid too. I might suggest using a quality Wix filter, an extra neodymium magnet in the pan, and adding 13.5 ounces of Lubegard as the tranny's are a bit more prone to problems than I'd prefer. I might even spring for a transcooler and maybe a TransGo Shift Kit SK4T65E for some extra added insurance depending on his labor charge.
 

Arthur_Davies

A Regular
74
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Buick Ownership
2006 Lacrosse CX
I looked in the owner's manual, and the recommended service intervals are 50,000 (heavy duty) and 100,000 (normal use). The car has never been a rental or anything like that, and basically lived its whole life until I bought it in a small Virginia town with one owner, doing a much lower mileage than the national average. The Carfax was quite detailed because the previous owner used his local Buick dealership; I'm sure if the transmission had been serviced it would have been recorded. So I'm driving around in a car with 13 year old transmission fluid. I work on the assumption that can't be great for the transmission.

I could wait until 100,000 rolls around (probably 18 months from now). By then the fluid will be close to 15 years old. Changing 15,000 miles earlier can't be any worse than waiting until 100,000.

I trust the mechanic. He's a proper, independent shop, well regarded.

I'm looking forward to this like a root canal, but as with root canals, you just have to hope it all goes OK. For the first 500 miles I'll probably be a nervous wreck worrying every time I shift into drive or stop at the lights.

One small irony as I worry about this. My wife has a 1991 Jeep Cherokee. It had its first known transmission fluid change when the radiator failed and large quantities of transmission fluid spilled on the ground. A friend installed a new radiator for us, refilled the transmission (probably with the cheap stuff from Walmart) and 55,000 miles later, nothing to report. Apparently, at the end of the world it's going to be cockroaches, Keith Richards, and Jeep Cherokees left.
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2007LucerneCXL

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2007 Lucerne CXL. and 1995 Lesabre currently, past 1973 Riviera, 1968 Riviera
Yep those may be the only things left, but it's milage or years which ever comes first on some changes so your on the money just to do it.
 

Rich B.

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2016 LaCrosse & 2013 Boss 302 Mustang
Sounds from initial post in MHO the fluid is fine. Most simply change fluids because that's the way it's always been done. Ideally the fluid is tested to confirm if it actually requires change. Goes for oil especially, military has been doing it for decades now. See if I can find the test kit I use, Ford approved no less- be right back......

Fluid Rx Test Kit allows On Site automotive fluid testing for easy, accurate preventative maintenance. FluidRX test is simple and fast. This is it, not rocket science at all. Not spectrum analysis either of coarse but allows to keep tabs on things. Works for me but there's those set in their habits, dealerships love to have them visit often🤑
 
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stoopid

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2017 LaCrosse 1SL
Fluid is probably fine (if we're putting this up to a vote). I also only do drain and fill. If you do that often enough you shouldn't need a flush.
 

2007LucerneCXL

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No much of a expense changing transmission fluid every 13 years LOL, heck that fluid has outlived some recent Buick car models which cost a bunch more to change.
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tombalas

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2016 Buick Lacrosse Leather
Good luck. For sake of comparison, my other car is a 2006 Volvo S60 with a Japanese 5 speed automatic. Owned it since new, now has 157,000 miles on it and I've never changed the fluid. I was warned by the Volvo mechanics early on to never mess with that tranny's fluid or else it would likely ruin it. So I have followed their advice and left it alone - still shifts perfectly. So when that tranny eventually goes, I'll just scrap the entire car - truly a lifetime fill.
 
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