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Can I change the transmission fluid at 136,000 miles without transmission failure?

(2001 Audi Allroad Quattro)
in Sciota, PA on October 12, 2010
I have a 2001 Audi allroad with 136,000 miles and I'm unsure of the transmission service history. The problem I'm currently having is with the torque converter. I hear most early 2000's models have this issue with a cracked seal on the torque converter. Anyway- I was told I could drive the car the way it is without many issues, only that I could expect worse gas mileage and for the transmission to occasionally pulsate when I accelerate. I just bought this car so it's been driving me crazy, I just want it to run the way its supposed to.

I spoke with my mechanic and he told me not to bother replacing the fluid or the torque converter because once the fluid is changed to something clean, the transmission gears could slip and fail. He suggested I just drive the car the way it is until the transmission fails... I'm not really happy with his solution to my problem.

Considering the mileage, is it possible for me to change the trans fluid and torque converter without worrying about having the transmission fail?
Displaying 2 answers & 1 comments
Popular Answer
on October 13, 2010
Modern computer controlled transmissions are adjusting to worn parts and aging fluid. Sometimes the fluid gets replaced without the fluid counter and/or transmission adaptation being reset. To do this you have to have the correct (usually OE) diagnostic computer which will be able to do these tasks. By disconnecting the battery won't do the trick.
Sometimes you have to drive the car in a specific way to readapt it.
Also, quite few times the wrong fluid being used.
That's when you can experience shift quality problems - thinking the new ATF harmed the transmission.
This is not true. You can replace the fluid and if you do the process correctly you can actually experience better transmission performance. You need to take your car to a shop where tech knows what they are doing.

I would certainly not recommended the use of a "flushing machine" they only run the risk of dislodging crap and moving it to somewhere that could case transmission failure on a higher mileage transmission. Driving the car getting the oil hot and a straight forward drain and refill can do absolutely no harm and can only give the transmission some chance of surviving longer.
on October 12, 2010
I was told the fluid in the transmission at that mileage (if never changed, which I am unsure not knowing vehicle history) creates a varnish, that if removed with the cleaning agents of the new fluid, will create clearance in the transmission allowing slippage. Is there any truth to this? I'm very weary of changing anything because all opinions I've received about this issue are pretty much split 50/50. I'd hate to do the wrong thing and spend $1000 on a new torque converter and I'm sure just as much in labor fees , just to find I have to replace the whole transmission at double that cost on top of already spending $2000+ replacing the converter. Thanks for your time.
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