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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I bought a 2011 Sierra 4x4 from a GMC dealer in 2019 with 95k miles. I now have 124k miles. The trans fluid is red and looks good to me -- not dirty. I am having no problems at all. My question is this. I have no idea if the transmission fluid has ever been changed by the prior owner. The dealerships tell me its best not to change it since there's no way to know if its been changed or not....and if the prior owner did not do that then I may start having problems if I change it now, so.....just let it ride. I've read other posts on this site where people recommend to someone to change the fluid out, and filter for trans temp problem. So, I got to thinking (again) should I have that changed out even though the dealerships didn't recommend it ? I don't know. Am I a worry-wart? Ha
 

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Hmmmm, most dealerships would try to sell you a fluid change.
Do the new truck come with an owner's manual? If you have one, read the maintenance schedules. If you didn't get one, they can be downloaded from the internet.

Then if your still not sure, ask yourself the same question using engine oil.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Hmmmm, most dealerships would try to sell you a fluid change.
Do the new truck come with an owner's manual? If you have one, read the maintenance schedules. If you didn't get one, they can be downloaded from the internet.

Then if your still not sure, ask yourself the same question using engine oil.
RayVoy, I think a manual is in the glove box. I'll check. In "most" of them I "think" they say do one after 30k miles and then afterwards. I will look.
 

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I change my tranny fluid at 20K miles on my new truck in 2000.. then I change my tranny fluid every 40K miles.also replace the transfercase/diff fluids.. my truck has no failures no eng/transmission issues..
on my 2000 truck I had to change the front diff 3 times until the truck had 11K miles on it ....diff oil was nasty had crap in it ..
you should replace your power steering fluid at every 7years... you have a 6sp tranny so get the correct tranny fluid...
I dumped dexron III in 2001 .. I changed the fluid to mobil synthetic transmission fluid dex/merc ..
my transmission fluids look like new .. not red but a very light pink color..very clear..
many had transmission failures with the dexron III ..
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Hmmmm, most dealerships would try to sell you a fluid change.
Do the new truck come with an owner's manual? If you have one, read the maintenance schedules. If you didn't get one, they can be downloaded from the internet.

Then if your still not sure, ask yourself the same question using engine oil.
RoyVoy, the manual index referred me to page 10-13. For 6 speed, that page just said checking the trans fluid was usually not necessary (unless you were having leaks). And then it said change fluid and filter at scheduled maintenance intervals listed in Scheduled Maintenance on page 11-2. So, after wading through that jargon it said change trans fluid/filter at the first oil change after 50k miles for SEVERE use (which is not my case). Further down, for (normal use) change at first oil change after 100k miles. So, since I'm at 124k miles I think it should be changed regardless whether a prior owner did or not.
 

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A lot of GM truck owners change their tranny fluid every year when they tow/plow ...
typical use of these GM trucks change the fluid 40K miles. the reason is air temps 90F and higher, drive it over 80MPH, in traffic on high temps shifting a lot ,ac on when the air temps are 80F. driving it in hilly areas .
many on the forums had to rebuild the transmissions because they were tricked out by the GM manual.
the torque converter does get damaged with particles in it . another issue is the rubber components in the tranny breakdown because the fluid over heats creates a chemical damage.rubber hardens valves bind .

the dealership states you cannot change your fluid because it is over 120K miles ..did not change it.. well the transmission if not maintained properly the new fluid will loosen up debris and cause torque converter to get damaged. NOW many did buy an older truck .. then they replaced the filter/fluid and they put in a filter on the tranny fluid line to the radiator ... then they took it off a few hundred miles and cut it open to see if there was any mess in it .. then if it was a mess they put another filter on it ..
GM states our trucks will last only 7yrs and mileage over 140K miles..
 

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So, since I'm at 124k miles I think it should be changed regardless whether a prior owner did or not.
I would, the 6 speed appears to be a pretty reliable transmission, I haven't heard of too many problems with it.
Use a fluid that meets Dexron VI when you change it
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
I would, the 6 speed appears to be a pretty reliable transmission, I haven't heard of too many problems with it.
Use a fluid that meets Dexron VI when you change it
Yes, I've read somewhere to go up to the VI. I was thinking about going to the Mobil synthetic. I get my oil changes at a dealer and they've gone to full synthetic in oil; I'd assume they have the same in trans fluids.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
A lot of GM truck owners change their tranny fluid every year when they tow/plow ...
typical use of these GM trucks change the fluid 40K miles. the reason is air temps 90F and higher, drive it over 80MPH, in traffic on high temps shifting a lot ,ac on when the air temps are 80F. driving it in hilly areas .
many on the forums had to rebuild the transmissions because they were tricked out by the GM manual.
the torque converter does get damaged with particles in it . another issue is the rubber components in the tranny breakdown because the fluid over heats creates a chemical damage.rubber hardens valves bind .

the dealership states you cannot change your fluid because it is over 120K miles ..did not change it.. well the transmission if not maintained properly the new fluid will loosen up debris and cause torque converter to get damaged. NOW many did buy an older truck .. then they replaced the filter/fluid and they put in a filter on the tranny fluid line to the radiator ... then they took it off a few hundred miles and cut it open to see if there was any mess in it .. then if it was a mess they put another filter on it ..
GM states our trucks will last only 7yrs and mileage over 140K miles..
A lot of GM truck owners change their tranny fluid every year when they tow/plow ...
typical use of these GM trucks change the fluid 40K miles. the reason is air temps 90F and higher, drive it over 80MPH, in traffic on high temps shifting a lot ,ac on when the air temps are 80F. driving it in hilly areas .
many on the forums had to rebuild the transmissions because they were tricked out by the GM manual.
the torque converter does get damaged with particles in it . another issue is the rubber components in the tranny breakdown because the fluid over heats creates a chemical damage.rubber hardens valves bind .

the dealership states you cannot change your fluid because it is over 120K miles ..did not change it.. well the transmission if not maintained properly the new fluid will loosen up debris and cause torque converter to get damaged. NOW many did buy an older truck .. then they replaced the filter/fluid and they put in a filter on the tranny fluid line to the radiator ... then they took it off a few hundred miles and cut it open to see if there was any mess in it .. then if it was a mess they put another filter on it ..
GM states our trucks will last only 7yrs and mileage over 140K miles..
j cat, I'm a bit confused here. First thing, I don't do any heavy towing, or plowing. My truck is just mostly local driving and highway usage and never drive over 70mph. I only tow the boat once or twice a year for a long distance. About 350 miles one way. Trans temp to my knowledge has never gotten over 200 or 205 maybe -- and that was not for long, as it went back down to 175-190. Local driving its usually lower than that. So it sounds like you are saying new fluid at this point (124k miles) will likely cause debris to damage the torque converter. Second thing, "tricked by the manual" are you referring to where it said "change trans fluid and filter at first oil change after 100k miles"? Third thing, would a dealer put a filter on the trans fluid line to the radiator if I asked them to? Fourth, I'm not sure what you mean by "our trucks will last only 7 yrs and mileage over 140k. ? My truck is already 10 years old, and everything works fine.
 

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Yes, I've read somewhere to go up to the VI. I was thinking about going to the Mobil synthetic. I get my oil changes at a dealer and they've gone to full synthetic in oil; I'd assume they have the same in trans fluids.
Dexron VI is full synthetic, according to the label on the container.
 

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the manual states plowing and towing Manual states change fluid 50K miles.. well owners change the drive train fluids every year.. towing a camper/snow plowing this is what many owners do at every year..
you drive your truck with a boat in the warm weather , than you have to do all the drive train fluids 40K miles. it will not have failures.
because the truck did not have any tranny fluid changes you should install the filter in line, when you changed the fluid.. this will protect the transmission torque converter , and then cut in line filter , open and if its clean do not put another filter in the fluid line.. if its dirty then put another filter in it and if its really messed up change the fluid and might have to clean/replace the trans filter.

yes if owners drive the truck to the supermarket for a few miles and do not drive it on hills/hot weather/in traffic stop/go every day no towing . then the manual says 100K miles...
I do my fluid changes at 20K miles.. now why did I do it ????????????? because I buy NEW .. and on some of my NEW vehicles the 20K miles had a lot of crap in it .. I have a 1996 Impala and my sedan has the best fluid color and perfectly clean .. I changed it in 1997 had 20K miles on it and it was nasty ...I still own it no failures no leaks shifts perfectly pedal to the metal ...
1996 Impala I have the GM shop manual .. GM change the fluid 100K miles ...hell no ...

GM states that the GM trucks are 7yrs and 140K miles then GM does not do any work on them for recalls and other failures of GM parts .

talk to transmission shops ask them how many miles can I replace my transmission fluid ask them on your truck ,,, had over 120K miles and did not change the fluid ...get the response ..
GM dealerships do not rebuild transmissions , so talk to a good transmission shops in your area ..
I know my cousins had auto repair shops ... owned over 40 yrs .. retired now ... they told me to inspect and replace the fluids ... vehicle will last much longer ..I owned a new 1983 GM sedan 17 yrs , sold it 380K miles on it .. no failures .. I just had to change the water pump ....
 

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your truck will have a TCC issue , because the manual will not state changing the fluid 40K miles..
your 2019-2020 GM truck 5.3L 6l80 ................................that is why the dealership did not want to replace your fluid.
might have a recall if you truck is over 140K miles no help .
 

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The '14 and newer trucks are known to have a TCC shudder, usually it's with the 8 speed transmission. That's the 1st Ive read of the '14 and newer trucks having a shudder with the 6 speed.
I usually follow what the manufacturer recommends, Dexron VI is a pretty good ATF, it has synthetic shear strength and synthetic heat tolerance. I like to get my monies worth out of everything I buy, including the vehicle fluids.
 

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2000 Silverado Z71 4x4 5.3L 460k+ miles w/ GM rebuilt motor and trans
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No mechanic would say anything that dumb.
I've had this said to me multiple times by very experienced mechanics, though usually on much higher mileage vehicles.

Further down, for (normal use) change at first oil change after 100k miles. So, since I'm at 124k miles I think it should be changed regardless whether a prior owner did or not.
I agree. Change it. You are not so far outside the standard service window's "Factor of Safety", in my mind, as to ignore a fluid change altogether.

my transmission fluids look like new .. not red but a very light pink color..very clear..
You mean it's not supposed to be darker than motor oil? Wish I had a picture of the fluid color coming from my wife's Suburban when the transmission was replaced. 😬 Inherited a mess, is what I did.
 

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I bought a used 2000 suburban in 2006, changed the fluid and filter at about 120k because one of the solenoids failed. It was fine, it has 235k on it now. That being said, any gm transmission at 235k miles is probably on borrowed time so I am having it rebuilt completely. If it were mine, I'd change it.
 

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any gm transmission at 235k miles is probably on borrowed time
We replaced the transmission in my '00 Silverado at 450k and in my '04 Suburban at 200k. I think you're right in regards to Suburban transmissions in regards to a shorter lifespan. All the extra weight is just brutal on the poor thing, especially when towing improperly. However, we have 2 more GM transmissions in 1/2 ton pickups knocking on 350k in a '97 and an '03 Silverado.

Just to make it juicy... The 450k transmission in my '00 Silverado did not have a fluid or filter change from the time I bought it in 2011 (245k miles) until I replaced it in ~2019. I need to take it in for its initial break-in service soon to keep this one on a proper maintenance schedule.
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
I've had this said to me multiple times by very experienced mechanics, though usually on much higher mileage vehicles.


I agree. Change it. You are not so far outside the standard service window's "Factor of Safety", in my mind, as to ignore a fluid change altogether.


You mean it's not supposed to be darker than motor oil? Wish I had a picture of the fluid color coming from my wife's Suburban when the transmission was replaced. 😬 Inherited a mess, is what I did.
I've had this said to me multiple times by very experienced mechanics, though usually on much higher mileage vehicles.


I agree. Change it. You are not so far outside the standard service window's "Factor of Safety", in my mind, as to ignore a fluid change altogether.


You mean it's not supposed to be darker than motor oil? Wish I had a picture of the fluid color coming from my wife's Suburban when the transmission was replaced. 😬 Inherited a mess, is what I did.
j cat, yes. I know its not suppose to be dark, like motor oil. I know bright pink is the optimal color. Its a very pale pink right now. And clear. No brownish color at all.
 

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I bought a 2011 Sierra 4x4 from a GMC dealer in 2019 with 95k miles. I now have 124k miles. The trans fluid is red and looks good to me -- not dirty. I am having no problems at all. My question is this. I have no idea if the transmission fluid has ever been changed by the prior owner. The dealerships tell me its best not to change it since there's no way to know if its been changed or not....and if the prior owner did not do that then I may start having problems if I change it now, so.....just let it ride. I've read other posts on this site where people recommend to someone to change the fluid out, and filter for trans temp problem. So, I got to thinking (again) should I have that changed out even though the dealerships didn't recommend it ? I don't know. Am I a worry-wart? Ha
If it ain't broke don't fix it!
 

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A lot of GM truck owners change their tranny fluid every year when they tow/plow ...
typical use of these GM trucks change the fluid 40K miles. the reason is air temps 90F and higher, drive it over 80MPH, in traffic on high temps shifting a lot ,ac on when the air temps are 80F. driving it in hilly areas .
many on the forums had to rebuild the transmissions because they were tricked out by the GM manual.
the torque converter does get damaged with particles in it . another issue is the rubber components in the tranny breakdown because the fluid over heats creates a chemical damage.rubber hardens valves bind .

the dealership states you cannot change your fluid because it is over 120K miles ..did not change it.. well the transmission if not maintained properly the new fluid will loosen up debris and cause torque converter to get damaged. NOW many did buy an older truck .. then they replaced the filter/fluid and they put in a filter on the tranny fluid line to the radiator ... then they took it off a few hundred miles and cut it open to see if there was any mess in it .. then if it was a mess they put another filter on it ..
GM states our trucks will last only 7yrs and mileage over 140K miles..
What kind of filter did you put in the tranny line?
 
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