Transmission Fluid Change - Still Dark

I took my Jeep into a tranny shop to have them replace the fluid and filter. 4,000 miles later I had the oil changed (another shop) and the tech told me to have the fluid changed, it was dark brown. Figuring he wanted to up-sell me, I told him I just had it done 4,000 miles ago. Last week I took it in for an oil change (yet a different shop) and he told me the same thing. When I told him I just had it changed 9,000 miles ago, he showed me where he had swiped the dipstick and indeed it wasn’t red, but brown, and he told me to take it back to the guys that originally did the work. Question: Can the fluid turn dark in under 10,000 miles? If not, what should I say to the original techs? (ps. mileage at the time of fluid change was 189,000)

Are you saying you don’t ever bother to check your transmission fluid? If so, there’s no way to figure this out now. Change it again and start checking it. However, chances are that the transmission is on the way out.

If they just did a pan drop type tranny fluid change all the tranny fluid wasn’t replaced. This only removes about 30% of actual amount of tranny fluid held within the transmission. So if you add 4 quarts of new tranny fluid to 10 quarts of dirty/burned up tranny fluid, that new tranny fluid is just going to be contaminated with the dirty fluid.


If you had the pan dropped and the fluid and filter changed that only changes about 1/2 the fluid. Did you check the color of the fluid when you first hag it changed? A lot of shops offer a transmission fluid exchange where the flush the fluid using the transmission cooling lines,but I don’t think that is a good idea. I think it can make particles of dirt or grit go where they don’t belong,and I don’t see how that would exchange the fluid in the torque converter anyway. I think the reason the oil change chains want to use this method is they don’t have to deal with the stripped pan bolts and leaking gaskets they caused trying to do it the right way.

Yes, I check the fluid, which is why I brought it in (this will have been the 3rd fluid/filter change on the vehicle - I do it every 60,000 miles or so) Unfortunately, I didn’t check it right after they did it. My mistake.

Thanks for the heads up. The transmission is doing fine, I only brought it in cuz of mileage and the way the fluid looked.

Unfortunately, I didn’t check it just after they did it. My mistake. What is the best way for one to do the job?

If you want ALL the tranny fluid changed, take it to a shop that has a transmission fluid exchange machine. This connects to a cooler line at the radiator and to the radiator. Then the machine is filled with new fluid. The engine is started, and the pump in the transmission forces the old fluid into the machine as the machine introduces new fluid back into the transmission. This continues until the fluid coming out of the transmission is the same color as the new fluid going into the transmission.


Thanks, will do!