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Is it ok to mix brands of Transmission fluid?

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Old 01-13-2006, 07:03 AM   #1
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Is it ok to mix brands of Transmission fluid?

I ususally have all my scheduled maintenance done at the dealer but since I'm getting my new shocks and struts put on somewhere else this weekend, I figured I'd let them go ahead and drain and refill the transmission.

My only concern is this. I know that on a drain and refill you don't completely empty all of the fluid. I'm sure Firestone and Limbaugh Toyota use different brands of fluid, although they would both be type Dexron III. Is there any problem mixing two brands, or should I stay away from this? Thanks guys.

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Old 01-13-2006, 07:31 AM   #2
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A proper tranny flush would remove all the old fluid, typically referred to as a "power flush". Simply draining the tranny from the pan is a waste of money.

My sentiment on mixing different brands of fluids (tranny, motor oil...) is that I will do it in a pinch, but I prefer not to. Manufacturer's use different "packages" in their oils to enhance the various properties. Occasionally you can run into formulations that don't perform well together.
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Old 01-13-2006, 09:48 AM   #3
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What about those who are scared to flush their tranny because they afraid it might start leaking afterwards? I am refering to those with high mileages. In that case a simple change of the fluid in the pan is the only thing you should do right?
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Old 01-13-2006, 10:18 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rick F.
A proper tranny flush would remove all the old fluid, typically referred to as a "power flush". Simply draining the tranny from the pan is a waste of money.
It is not a waste to drain and fill unless you are changing to synthetic or you have not changed the fluid in quite some time (in that case it should be flushed.....burnt fluid is another story). As long as you understand that you are basically diluting the old fluid rather than replacing it all (like you would in an oil change) and that it needs to be done more often, then there is nothing wrong with doing it that way and I would bet money you'd get the same life from the tranny. People should focus much more attention on lowering the temps of the fluid (like with a tranny cooler) which has a far more dramatic effect on the lifetime of a transmission.
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Old 01-13-2006, 10:21 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mjwalfredo
What about those who are scared to flush their tranny because they afraid it might start leaking afterwards? I am refering to those with high mileages. In that case a simple change of the fluid in the pan is the only thing you should do right?
The dangerous part is not so much high mileage as it is burnt fluid. High mile trannys are still fine to flush but it is best to drain and fill when a transmission has heated up to where it burns the fluid. If you are worried about the effects of a flush, then you can use the drain and fill method as well with similar results (but change it more often).
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Old 01-13-2006, 10:33 AM   #6
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I think I'll hold off for a few more miles and then do another flush and install a tranny fluid cooler while I'm at it. My only concern with a tranny cooler is I'm afraid of it developing leakings at the fittings. What is the likelihood of this ever happening and how do you go about installing one? I wouldn't have to remove my brush guard to put one in would I? Thanks guys.

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Old 01-13-2006, 10:50 AM   #7
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I installed my tranny cooler about 5 years ago and haven't had any problems with leaks (or anything else for that matter). Doing your tranny flush at the same time just makes sense. Can't say if you'll have to remove the brush guard, but popping the grill off definitely makes things easier. If your cooler doesn't come with tubing, be sure to pick up quality transmission lines in the proper size for your coolers fittings. Be sure to get tranmission tubing, not vacuum or heater tubing, since transmission fluid does play well with these.

Last edited by hillbilly; 01-13-2006 at 11:13 AM.
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Old 01-13-2006, 12:59 PM   #8
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Any particular brand of tranny cooler ya'll recommend? I know several folks have used Haydens and also I believe that TRD makes one. I can't remove my front grill without removing the brush guard first. Hopefully, I won't have to...

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Old 01-13-2006, 02:16 PM   #9
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The hayden 678 and 677 I think is what everyone seems to use. Plenty of good threads on putting one in.
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