1984 Olds 88


#1

I recently inherited a 1984 Olds 88 with only 60,000 miles on it. The transmission fluid was never changed by previous owner, but it works fine when warm,i.e., after 6 blocks of driving in cold weather. However, it will not shift out of low until warm. I have been advised not to change the transmission fluid since the change might cause transmission to remain in low forever. Transmission works fine in all gears after it warms up. Please advise whether or not transmission fluid should be changed. THanks.


#2

Depends on HOW you change the fluid. Not too knowledgeable myself, but I gather one method which forces new fluids in while pumping old fluid out, stirs up the fluid enough so that debris which was on the bottom of the tranny can get into places where it can cause damage.

The other method, which involves dropping the pan avoids this stirring up the debris.


#3

I have been advised not to change the transmission fluid since the change might cause transmission to remain in low forever.

What was the theory behind that one? I seriously doubt if it will help, but I would not worry about changing the fluid. I think I would look for a good transmission shop (usually a local shop not a chain) and have them take a look at it and determine what the problem is. Then I would have them fix it and change the fluid.

It seems common for a transmission to fail shortly after a fluid change. So many people recommend never changing the fluid. Of course they don’t seem to consider that so many people don’t get around to changing the fluid until they are having problems that often by the time they change the fluid it is too late for that to help, it was already about to fail. It was not changing the fluid earlier that is often the cause of the failure.

With luck transman will happen along here and maybe he can give you some specific advice.  He is the transmission man around here.

#4

Ah know, but you have to try something and you might be surprised to see lumpy transmission fluid. At least look at the stuff; it will smell bad too but it shouldn’t kill you. It is actually a good sign if it eventually upshifts. Check the modulator valve. If the vacuum line (under the car is where you will find the valve) is wet with fluid, you’ll need one of them too. You might have too much fluid in the trans too. If you pull the modulator valve out and you get fluid jumping out, then you have too much in there and you have just drained out the excess. Do that with the car level if you can get it on a lift.