04 Saturn Vue Transmission Fluid

saturn
transmissions

#1

My transmission seems to be slipping a little, but not regularly and when tested by the mechanic it shows no transmission problem. He did point out that the fluid was really black and had specks of metal in it. However, he suggested that I not replace the fluid because it has been experience that people change out the fluid and then their transmission fails. He’s a mechanic I’ve never used before. I appreciate him not trying to sell me a new transmission if I didn’t need one, but don’t know if I should trust his assessment.
I’ve owned the car its entire life and it only has 89,000 miles on it, primarily in San Francisco, and I’d like to get a lot more miles out of it. Anyone else have experience with this?


#2

Depends. Do u have 4cyl motor? If so, u have a cvt trans. The Honda V6 motor uses a Honda trans. They are good but do like fresh trans fluid every 30k miles. The cvt trans like to die at 80-100k. Very touchy.


#3

Black fluid and metal specks point to a looming transmission failure.

The part about not changing the fluid because it will cause the trans to fail is an old wives tale repeated even by mechanics. The new fluid did not kill it; the trans was on the way out anyway.

A transmission pan drop and clean, filter replacement, and fluid flush followed by a silent prayer would be the best course of action.

If the inside of the pan is full of metallic debris and/or heavy black sludge then it’s time to consider another transmission or car.


#4

Agree with ok4559. Change the fluid.

The origin of the old wives tale is that mechanics do no want to be blamed when they change the fluid and the transmission fails shortly thereafter, not because the new fluid did anything bad, but because the transmission was already so damaged from neglect.

With new fluid and some luck yours may escape this fate.


#5

Has the fluid ever been changed before?
89,000 miles of climbing the hills of SF have taken their toll.
I’d look for a good independent transmission shop and get a rebuild, if the rest of the car is in good shape.
Try “Mechanics Files” at the top of this page, or yelp.com
I would skip changing the fluid first, but not for the “old wive’s tale”.
My reasoning is why pay $100 for a fluid & filter change if it’s going to fail soon anyway.
I’d save that $ for a rebuild sooner rather than later; and save the money for a tow if you drove it until it failed.
Also, a rebuild will likely be less expensive if it’s done before a catastrophic failure.
Looking forward, get the fluid changed every 30K miles.