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Old 08-02-2007, 10:19 AM   #31
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Originally Posted by brucepick View Post
I've been splitting the difference between medium/low cost dino oil and high end synthetic. Been using WalMart synthetic, in the recommended weight for my car (10-30) it's about $3/qt.

I figure it's likely not as good as Mobil One or other top shelf synthetics - but definitely should be better than cheapo $1.50-$2.00/qt dino oil. FWIW. I used to change it out at 3K miles but I hope/plan to go 4K as long as it doesn't look nasty.

And change out a couple qt. of auto trans fluid at the same time, this gives me a rolling change of tranny fluid so I don't have to pay major $$ to change it all out at once. That way I think I can afford synthetic tranny fluid.

Very good move to work with the tranny fluid. On our cars I do a tranny service every 3rd oil change. Be it AT or MT. The service coming up on the wifes Accord will be a oil and filter change, 3qt tranny fluid change and filter. Then will do a rad. fluid drain and replace. Will also do a power steering fluid drain and fill. Will also do a full inspection. And rotate the tires.

Transmissions are really overlooked bad.

psy
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Old 08-02-2007, 01:54 PM   #32
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Very good move to work with the tranny fluid. On our cars I do a tranny service every 3rd oil change. Be it AT or MT. ...Transmissions are really overlooked bad.
psy
I thought there was no tranny change for MT, that you just filled "clutch fluid" sometimes which was realy justbrake fluid. Thats what I heard. My OLD retired Altima MT was not changing gears and I put brake fluid in container that someone told me was clutch fluid. After that clutch was OK. Please enlighten me.

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... Will also do a power steering fluid drain and fill. ...psy
Is this necessary. I never heard of people flushing and replacing brake or power steering fluid. Is this something that I should do? I can do VERY BASIC maintenance like oil/air/ filter and spark plug/wires changes but thats about it. Once changed the brakes on 1983 Corolla but those cars were so easy to work on.

ALSO: Ive heard that tranny fluid in pan is about 1/3 of your total, so changing tranny fluid in pan often is a good idea unless you want to do complete flush for $$$$ at dealer or service station. I have an idea to change a higher percentage. Let me know if this is good idea or is this stupid idea that will kill my car:
1. Remove tranny fluid from pan so you have 2/3 tranny fluid left.
2. Drive car around the block so now 2/3 tranny fluid spreads out and 1/3 falls into pan
3. Remove tranny fluid from pan that just populated into pan from the drive
4. Fill car with new fresh tranny fluid. You have just changed 55% of fluid instead of 33%

MATH 1/3 fluid removed initially, then 1/3 of 2/3 (actually 2/9) removed. Therefore youve removed 1/3 + 2/9 = 3/9 + 2/9 = 5/9 ~ 55.5%
These numbers assume 1/3 tranny fluid is in pan and 2/3 remains in car.
I know there was a user who did three back-to-back tranny changes over an hour but each time he replaced 1/3 tranny fluid with new fluid and reran the process. He knew he was wasting some brand new tranny fluid on the second and third cleaning but it was still a cheaper process than going to a service center.

Last question: would it be possible to vacuum ALL the tranny fluid yourself using some kind of liquid vacuum for cars that is reasonably priced. I know that they DO make some liquid extraction units for $50-100+ but I think they only remove liquids that they are actually in contact with (A tube is inserted in pan and remove whatever is in there), but it seems a tranny FLUSH would need a high powered vacuum type machine that can SUCK fluids out.
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Old 08-02-2007, 02:38 PM   #33
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... MATH 1/3 fluid removed initially, then 1/3 of 2/3 (actually 2/9) removed. Therefore youve removed 1/3 + 2/9 = 3/9 + 2/9 = 5/9 ~ 55.5%
These numbers assume 1/3 tranny fluid is in pan and 2/3 remains in car.
I know there was a user who did three back-to-back tranny changes over an hour but each time he replaced 1/3 tranny fluid with new fluid and reran the process. He knew he was wasting some brand new tranny fluid on the second and third cleaning but it was still a cheaper process than going to a service center...
I did some major math along that vein. I only did it for the capacities in my car for tranny and p/s fluid. Had to assume that whatever comes out is a true mix of what's in the car, not mostly old or mostly new. Anyway, for tranny fluid, 7.8 qt capacity, 8 x 2 qts changed = 90.65% new fluid. 7 x 2 qts changed = 87.43% new. It looks a lot better after 6 x 2 qts.

Power steering fluid, four changes of everything I can suck out of the reservoir bottle = 90% new fluid.
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Old 08-03-2007, 04:12 AM   #34
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StanleyD

MT trannys use either a gear type lube or a AT tranny type oil. And seeing that most hold 2 to 4 qt. I choose to change them out every 3rd oil change just like a AT.

I forgot to mention I will do the brake fluid in the Accord when I rotate the tires. Reason being is brake fluid and clutch fluid attracts moisture. Over time this moisture collects in the bottom of master cylinders, slave cylinders and calipers. The collection of this water tends to pit out the bottom areas of the cylinders. With the advent of plastics being used now days in master cylinders the pitting isn't so much of a issue with them. But at this time I take a moment to inspect the master cylinder. Some of the plastic bodied master cylinders tend to deform. They can bulge in the high pressure areas. I measure this area and note it in my logs. If two years later that number has changed for the worse. I will then replace the master cylinder.

If you've ever replaced a steering rack or gear box you will find they can get in awful shape. The fluids and pumps take a beating also. So every two years I change there fluid.

The way I do this is jack the car up just a bit. Wheels still touching the ground. I then take off the return line from the pump and drain the fluid from the pump and the rack. Then I get in the car and turn the wheel full lock to full lock. Reattach the hose refill the system. Bleed it out and do it all again. Then refill the second time and call it good. If the fluid that came out of the rack itself is clean. I mite bump it to a four year service at that point. If its really nasty looking. It might go on a one year service. Of note: Fords have some of the worse power steering pumps in the world. They are very sensitive to the fluid in them. So I do them once a year. My Ranger is do right now for this service.

So basically I do engine oil every 10k miles. Tranny fluid/oil every 30k miles. Then do all the other fluids every two years. I rotate tires every 10k miles.

This works out to two oil changes a year, tranny service every 1.5 years and full service every 2 years. Give or take a few months here and there.

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Old 08-03-2007, 09:38 AM   #35
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I measure this area and note it in my logs. If two years later that number has changed for the worse. I will then replace ..... So every two years I change there fluid.
...So basically I do engine oil every 10k miles. Tranny fluid/oil every 30k miles. Then do all the other fluids every two years. I rotate tires every 10k miles.
psy
WOW, very good. I need to have someone like you doing maintenance on 98Camry. I do oil every 10K and I MEAN to do tranny every 30K (Im always late cause I go to dealer/shop), but now Im thinking about doing the tranny myself. Its too damned. Other than that I never look at other fluids. I had to top off brake fluid cand power steering cause they were low earlier this year but thats it. I will think about flushing them from now on maybe ever third oil change like you do. Right now Im even low on windshield fluid.

Thanks for info and advice
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Old 08-04-2007, 12:44 PM   #36
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MT trannys use either a gear type lube or a AT tranny type oil.
Except for the ones that use motor oil, right?

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I forgot to mention I will do the brake fluid in the Accord when I rotate the tires. Reason being is brake fluid and clutch fluid attracts moisture. Over time this moisture collects in the bottom of master cylinders, slave cylinders and calipers.
I've heard of moisture being a problem with DOT-5 silicone brake fluid, but DOT-3/4 fluid is hygroscopic - It absorbs moisture, even from the air... That's one of the reasons why master cylinder reservoirs are O-ring sealed. You would need to completely saturate the brake fluid before water would stand under it, if it will at all. Spilled brake fluid can be washed clean with water. That suggests to me that you could possibly keep adding water to brake fluid until you have more water than fluid - you would have brake fluid dissolved in water, not the other way around.
I'm not saying that changing your brake fluid regularly is a bad idea - water content can drasticly change the fluid's boiling point, and likely affect the longevity of brake system seals.

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Originally Posted by psyshack View Post
With the advent of plastics being used now days in master cylinders the pitting isn't so much of a issue with them. But at this time I take a moment to inspect the master cylinder. Some of the plastic bodied master cylinders tend to deform.
I've never seen a plastic bodied master cylinder... Only steel (cast iron maybe?) and aluminum. Admittedly, I haven't been looking for them... Could you list a few models with plastic MCs so I can look for them in the junkyard?
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Old 08-04-2007, 04:06 PM   #37
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I never heard of people flushing and replacing brake or power steering fluid. Is this something that I should do?
IMHO yes.

I don't think it's likely to improve FE, but both are inexpensive to do (unless some mechanic soaks you on labor), and both can make a dramatic difference in how the car performs.

And from personal experience, I can tell you how useful each can be, as I've done both to my wife's Civic (my CRX appears to have manual steering, but I still changed the brake fluid on both cars). New fluid just seems to make both (power steering, and brakes) run MUCH smoother. And this seems especially true of brake fluid. Every car we've tried new brake fluid in (even using the "turkey baster method", see below) has had a VERY NOTICEABLE improvement in the quality of braking, and in one vehical the brakes went from barely useable to quite respectable just by replacing the brake fluid!

BTW:
Based upon a recommendation over on the BITOG forums, I use Valvoline Synpower Brake fluid ( http://www.valvoline.com/pages/produ...asp?product=51 ), because it's noticeably better than DOT-3 (or even DOT-4) fluid, is compatible with those fluids (i.e. no need for a complete brake flush), and it's both reasonably easy to get in the stores and reasonably inexpensive. There are better (specialty) brake fluids out there, but the Valvoline stuff is amazingly good for the price and availability.

NOTE:
If you don't want to pay a mechanic to change your brake fluid, then get a cheap "turkey baster" in the dollar store, and use that to suck all the brake fluid you can out of the place you add the brake fluid. You can then put in fresh brake fluid, replacing the fluid you sucked out (don't ever use that turkey baster for cooking, keep it for your car). This "turkey baster method" is considerably less effective than a full "brake flush", but it is still much more effective than doing nothing. And (unlike a full brake flush), the "turkey baster method" can be done by virtually anyone (i.e. doesn't require a skilled mechanic)...
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Old 08-04-2007, 07:14 PM   #38
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If you don't want to pay a mechanic to change your brake fluid, then get a cheap "turkey baster" in the dollar store, and use that to suck all the brake fluid you can out of the place you add the brake fluid. You can then put in fresh brake fluid, replacing the fluid you sucked out (don't ever use that turkey baster for cooking, keep it for your car). This "turkey baster method" is considerably less effective than a full "brake flush", but it is still much more effective than doing nothing. And (unlike a full brake flush), the "turkey baster method" can be done by virtually anyone (i.e. doesn't require a skilled mechanic)...
If you do it that way, you'll miss the fluid in the lines and brake slave cylinders at each wheel. I agree, it's better than nothing, as the new fluid will eventually mix in with the old, replacing some of it. Though, doing a brake system flush is within the grasp of the average person - you don't need any preticularly special or expensive tools, just the know-how, a little common sense for basic safety (don't crawl under a car only supported by a jack, ect.) and a desire to try something new.
So, here's the know-how... You'll have to supply the common sense and sense of adventure.

Unless ABS cars are drasticly different, all you need to properly flush a brake system (the same process as bleeding air out of it) is:
- Two people
- Box-end wrenches of the proper size for your car's bleeder screws
- A ~2 ft. length of clear tubing that fits on the bleeder screws' barb
- An empty soda bottle
- A quart or so of brake fluid
- Your car's jack and lug wrench

First, you want to keep the brake fluid level in your master cylinder reservoir between the low and full lines. If it drops too low, you'll pull air into the brake system and have to start the bleeding process over again.

Pour an inch or so of brake fluid in the bottom of the soda bottle. You just need enough to keep the end of the clear tubing covered. Slip your box-end wrench onto the first bleeder screw, attach one end of the clear tubing to the screw's barb and put the other end in the brake fluid in the soda bottle.
You'll probably have to remove the wheel to reach the bleeder screw - check your owner's manual for instructions on proper jacking and removing the wheel. Which bleeder screw you start with probably depends on the vehicle, but in the case of CRXs, you start with the wheel furthest from the master cylinder (the passenger rear wheel). From there, you go to the diagonally opposite wheel (driver's front wheel), the remaining rear wheel (driver's rear) and the remaining front wheel (passenger's front).
It's done this way because CRXs (and Civics I imagine) use a dual diagonal brake system - two separate brake circuits powering diagonally opposite wheels. If one circuit fails, you still have a front and rear brake to stop you (in theory anyway). If both braking wheels were on one side, the car would swerve in that direction when you apply the brakes, so they're on opposite corners instead. Anyway, this isn't a strictly Honda site, so I'll stop there.
Back to the bleeding/flushing. You have your tube attached to a bleeder screw, and stuck in the soda bottle with a little brake fluid in the bottom. Have your assistant apply constant pressure to the brake pedal. Use your wrench to loosen the screw a little.
The screw may be stubborn if it's been a while since anyone's done brake work... Make sure you use the loop "box" end of the wrench, and that it's all the way on the hexagon portion of the screw. The crescent end can actually bend out slightly under alot of force, applying alot of stress to just the points of the hexagon, rounding them off. Removing a rounded-off fastener can be a major pain. If you're buying wrenches to do this job, get 6-point box end wrenches, rather than 12-point, if you can. The more wrench in contact with the fastener, the less likely it is to round-off.
Anyway... pressure on the pedal, loosen the bleeder screw. Brake fluid should come out of the screw and flow down the tube into the bottle. Have your assitant call out when the brake pedal reaches the floor. Close the bleeder screw (tighten it), and tell your assitant to release the pedal. Make sure they know not to release the pedal before you say so, or you will pull air back into the system (a not-good thing).
Keeping the end of the tubing submersed in fluid minimizes the amount of air that gets pulled back in if you mess up, but a little bit still gets pulled in through the bleeder screw threads unless the screw is closed. It's not a big deal if you miss closing the screw once in a while - the air should get expelled on the next cycle, but it's counter-productive, so try to keep it to a minimum.
Once the pedal is released, have your assitant apply pressure again and repeat as above.
It's not as tedious as the description makes it sound - you just need to pick short commands to call back and forth and get a rhythm going. Assitant: "Up." (applying pressure, open the screw), You: "Open." (opened the screw), Assitant: "Down." (pedal is at the floor), You: "Closed." (closed the screw, release the pedal), repeat. Remember to keep an eye on the fluid level in the master cylinder reservoir, and top it up as necessary.
Watch the fluid going down the clear tube. If you were bleeding the brakes, you would be watching for air bubbles - once the bubbles stop and you get just fluid, you would move on to the next wheel. Since were flushing the system, you're watching for clean brake fluid. Once you get clean fluid, close the bleeder screw and move on.
Each time you finish a wheel, or any time all the bleeder screws are closed, the brake pedal should feel solid. If the pedal sinks, you've got a leak some place... One of the bleeders may not be closed all the way. If it feels spongy, you've got air in the system. A little bit of give is normal due to the rubber brake lines at each wheel, preticularly once the engine is on and the brake booster is working, but if you bleed all four wheels and have more give than you're used to, you need to go back and bleed the system again.
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Old 09-18-2007, 07:25 PM   #39
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This was an interesting article and test of the impact of switching to synthetic motor oil and basically says again that synthetics are great for the engine and for severe conditions, just don't expect it to make your fuel economy change any degree - except for maybe the first couple of minutes on a frigid morning.

http://www.canadiandriver.com/articles/jk/at_001121.htm
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