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Any opinions on fluid analysis?

Discussion in 'Hangout Lounge' started by Sarah, Apr 9, 2018.

  1. Sarah

    Sarah maxim-um fun

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    So I'm curious about trying one of those oil and transmission fluid tests for our vehicles, one to get more information about a transmission problem, and the rest just for baselines to get a general idea of the condition of each. ;)

    Anyway, I wondered if anyone here has done this, what lab you used, how much it cost, how happy you were with the results, etc...

    Thanks! :)
     
  2. Polock

    Polock Well-Known Member

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    what is the problem?
     
  3. Sarah

    Sarah maxim-um fun

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    2005 Chevrolet Malibu, 3.5 V6, with the automatic transmission of course. Just hit 150,000 miles, service history unknown. It's sort of hesitating and shuddering slightly after shifting into overdrive from 3rd at a low load. If I accelerate quickly it shifts fine.

    We just replaced the transmission in our Yukon XL so not real keen on doing that again so soon. Especially in a FWD o_O kind of hoping a fluid analysis will give us a better idea of what we're dealing with, then we're thinking we'll change the trans filter, fluid, and clean out the shift actuators while we're in there and hope that takes care of it, unless an analysis shows major issues, if it can do that.
     
  4. Chitwood

    Chitwood Well-Known Member

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    Unfortunately that can and might make the situation worse. Do you have any way to hook up a scan tool and monitor trans data? Also could check to see if there's any codes in there. Maximum adapt/long shift, etc
     
  5. Sarah

    Sarah maxim-um fun

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    Yes, currently the only check engine codes relate to the sensor for the fuel guage. The guage has been messed up for well over a year, shouldn't be related at all.

    And yeah, unfortunately I know from experience that a trans filter & fluid change can sign the death warrant of a slipping transmission. That's the main reason I was considering getting the fluid tested. We caught plenty in a jar from the overflow when we topped off the trans when it first started having issues. These don't have a dipstick, not a fun process! o_O

    Anyway, if the fluid testing doesn't indicate any imminent failure, I was kind of hoping we might get lucky and have a gummed up shift actuator instead of a failing trans. We could clean out the shift actuators when we swap out the filter and fluid.

    When I say service record unknown, I only mean that we don't know if it's ever had a trans flush or filter change. We bought it from a Chevy dealer with 103,000 miles, and didn't think to ask about service records. We've driven it a light 10,000 miles a year since, and now right at 150,000. We've done basic maintenance and necessary repairs, tune up's, and monitored fluids besides the oil, which gets changed when the computer in the car tells us to. Overall, it's in very good shape, besides the shifting issue, it drives and rides very well.
     
  6. Chitwood

    Chitwood Well-Known Member

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    Depending on the scan tool you can actually go into the transmission module itself and look for any trans specific codes. Sounds to me like you're going about it in the correct way. I know my buddy sends in oil samples from the dump trucks and his service truck all the time. I'll have to ask where he sends them.
     
  7. Sarah

    Sarah maxim-um fun

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    I just have a cheap generic Amazon Bluetooth OBDII reader that connects to the app Torque Pro on my phone, I don't think it gives me access like that. I know it doesn't connect with the ABS module, for example.

    If you do ask, I would definitely be interested to know where your friend gets his oil testing done. Thanks!
     
  8. Timbox

    Timbox Well-Known Member

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    I do seasonal work for a cranberry marsh and they do oil analysis on all their water pump engines. If you don't have any luck with getting a name from others I will see what I can do for you.
     
  9. Chitwood

    Chitwood Well-Known Member

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    My buddy sends his to the Schaeffer oil company, since they run their oil it doesn't cost anything so I'm not sure how that would work in your situation. Wouldn't hurt to contact them and ask I suppose
     
  10. Polock

    Polock Well-Known Member

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    never looked into it but what would compare your numbers to?
    seem you would need a history of numbers. unless the place that does it says there's a problem
     
  11. k-moe

    k-moe Pie, Bacon, Bourbon. Moderator Premium Member

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    The analysis will look for signs of transmission failure, such as having higher than expected amounts of metallic particulates in the oil (they will even tell you which metals are present). Oil analysis is not far removed from reading spark plugs in that there is direct evidence of what's going on inside of the machine.
     
    chacal and Chitwood like this.
  12. Kickaha

    Kickaha Active Member Premium Member

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    A sample of the original unused oil if you don't have a history of sampling
     

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