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Old 03-24-2007, 03:54 PM #1
NViejeP NViejeP is offline
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Brake fluid, transmission fluid, and rear differential fluid

Well, I went to get my oil change today and the person told me that my brake fluid was low. That was probably why my light was going on and off.

Well I foudn where the brake fluid is and it looks like I just need to fill it up. Does it matter what type of brake fluid I get, or should I just get any type of DOT3 availible?

Also, he recommended that I change the transmission fluid and also the rear differential fluid becasue both have gone pretty bad.

In a week and a half I'm going to be going on a long road trip from San Francisco to past Los Angeles. Do you think I can get away with teh transmisison and rear differential fluid being bad for now? Can I hold off changing that until after the trip?

And one more thing, I noticed that they gave me 10/30 oil instead of my 5/30 oil I previously had. is there any difference really?
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Last edited by NViejeP; 03-24-2007 at 04:21 PM.
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Old 03-24-2007, 04:13 PM #2
keylay31 keylay31 is offline
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You went to a place that has $15 oil changes didn't you? Those places are ALWAYS trying to tell you that your fluids are bad. Generally, they bring out a little holder and place your fluids in it to try to convince you that you need new fluid. Generally these fluids will be "darker" than normal. My bet would be that you don't need it.

They probably put the different oil in because a) it was cheaper and b) summer is coming and they don't think you need the low viscosity oil for winter. If you're going to do a lot of highway driving, this isn't necessarily a bad idea. when I drove to California (about a 30 hour trip), I put in a little higher viscosity oil.
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Old 03-24-2007, 04:18 PM #3
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Quote:
Originally posted by keylay31
You went to a place that has $15 oil changes didn't you? Those places are ALWAYS trying to tell you that your fluids are bad. Generally, they bring out a little holder and place your fluids in it to try to convince you that you need new fluid. Generally these fluids will be "darker" than normal. My bet would be that you don't need it.

They probably put the different oil in because a) it was cheaper and b) summer is coming and they don't think you need the low viscosity oil for winter. If you're going to do a lot of highway driving, this isn't necessarily a bad idea. when I drove to California (about a 30 hour trip), I put in a little higher viscosity oil.
Haha yah I went to Pennzoil. It was $40 for a full service. They asked me if I wanted 5/30 instead of the 10/30, and I thought 10/30 was the standard so I just said 10/30. But yes, they brought ou the ltitle holder and asked me if I wanted to change these fluids. The fluid looked darker and uglier than normal. So I'm assuming I shouldn't listen to them? And just leave it be?
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Old 03-24-2007, 04:24 PM #4
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i would say no,you dont need new fluids, but here is what I would do. Find yourself a old school mechanic and ask him (when he is in an off-time) what those fluids look like old versus just used. Generally, those fluids will get dark with a few days use. But on the other hand, you don't want to be driving around with bad fluids. If what the mechanic shows you for bad fluid is what you saw, have him check your fluids and do the work. But dont worry too much, this is normally just a small scam from those places to make up the money they lost on the cheap oil change.

As for the oil, I wouldnt worry about it either. If you get an unusually cold day, just remember to "warm" up the car a bit.
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Old 03-24-2007, 04:49 PM #5
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Oh I see. Okay thanks for the help. Just want to make sure I don't mess up my tranny on this long trip casue that would suck.
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Old 03-24-2007, 07:41 PM #6
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you will be just fine, and it wouldn't hurt to change the diffs either. have a nice trip down here So Cal you're more than welcome.
how long are you staying here in so cal?
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Old 03-24-2007, 07:54 PM #7
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I'm going down to Laguna Beach for half my spring break. My friend has a house down there and while we're down there we're goign to check out some colleges in San Diego. Should be fun.

So as long as changing the transmission fluid and the rear differential fluid isn't that big of a deal, I shouldn't worry too much about it I guess.

I just topped off the brake fluid. 12 Oz bottle cost like $3.00. Brake light hasn't come on yet, looks like it's fine.
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Old 03-25-2007, 12:08 AM #8
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You left out key data that would affect the validity of any response to your question.

How many miles on the truck ?
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Old 03-26-2007, 09:31 AM #9
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Haha sorry, 75000 bought it used at like 68000
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Old 03-26-2007, 12:17 PM #10
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Re: Brake fluid, transmission fluid, and rear differential fluid

Quote:
Originally posted by NViejeP
Well, I went to get my oil change today and the person told me that my brake fluid was low. That was probably why my light was going on and off.

Well I foudn where the brake fluid is and it looks like I just need to fill it up. Does it matter what type of brake fluid I get, or should I just get any type of DOT3 availible?

Also, he recommended that I change the transmission fluid and also the rear differential fluid becasue both have gone pretty bad.

In a week and a half I'm going to be going on a long road trip from San Francisco to past Los Angeles. Do you think I can get away with teh transmisison and rear differential fluid being bad for now? Can I hold off changing that until after the trip?

And one more thing, I noticed that they gave me 10/30 oil instead of my 5/30 oil I previously had. is there any difference really?
That was total BS.

There is really no way to get enough of a "sample" to fill any container no matter how small with out pulling the drain plug of a diff, tranny, or t-case.

DOT 3 brake fluid should be OK, but check the owner manual to be sure. It may even say on the MC cap.

Auto tranny fluid is bright clear, cherry red when new. Gets less clear and darker red w/age. If brown or burnt smell, that's bad news.

Gear oil is usually a clear dark brownish. Also gets darker and less clear w/age.

At 75000 mi it's probably due to be changed, although the PO may have already done it. Check yourself to see what they look like. (Pull dipstick on auto tranny and fill/check plug on diffs (stick your finger in the hole )
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Old 03-26-2007, 10:25 PM #11
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So your saying the little tray that Pennzoil showed me with the different fluid drops are total BS?

Because the tray revelealed that the tranny fluid was brownish from what I remember.

The differential fluid was like brown also but with some darker brown material concentrated inside of it. If I remember correctly.

Regardless, I won't really have to worry about this until after my trip, correct or is this something I should change immedietely?
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Old 03-28-2007, 09:48 PM #12
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Gear oil is honey colored when pouring it but looks much darker when a large volume is in front of you. I change my diffs, coolant, transfer case, and ATF every 30,000 miles because I want to drive this vehicle as long as I can.

If you have no maintenance history on this vehicle, then you know what to do. After changing these you will have a baseline to go on and decide what interval you would like to follow.
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Old 03-31-2007, 03:43 PM #13
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Alright, thanks. I guess I'll just change it after my long road trip.
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