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#1 Old 06-30-2012, 01:09 PM
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edwardp
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Black transmission fluid

My '07 Sonata went in for an oil change yesterday and was told that the transmission fluid was black (It was showed to me.) and should be replaced, which it was.

Mileage just turned 79,000. At the last oil change 3,000 miles ago, the fluid was apparently fine.

I'm curious as to why it is now black. The two warning signs that I am aware of that would indicate a problem with the transmission, fluid that smells burnt and metal shavings in the transmission, were both not present. Even though I had the fluid replaced yesterday, I'm sure it will eventually become black again - if it hasn't already. Valvoline does not replace the filter, but I learned (through Google) that the filter is actually inside the transmission and the transmission itself must be removed and disassembled in order to replace it, so it sounds like (1) the filter is something that is not replaced under normal conditions and (2) it's a big job to replace. What Valvoline does is use a machine that sucks out the old fluid and replaces it with brand new fluid.

I've also Googled this and in some of the results, people mentioned they have driven their Hyundai to 100,000 with black transmission fluid and had no problems.

Thanks in advance for any thoughts.
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#2 Old 06-30-2012, 02:02 PM
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I would think that any lubricating fluid left too long in any vehicle would eventually turn black due to carbon deposits/build-up over time. If you were experiencing no issues with your transmission, I would think that no harm has been done. However, it would probably be wise to change the transmission fluid sooner than the last interval. I change the transmission fluid every 30K miles and while it is not as red as new fluid, it still has a pinkish tinge to it, the transmission is beginning to shift rougher indicating to me that it is soon time for an ATF flush. According the the OM, ATF change at 30K miles is recommended for severe driving conditions which are as follows (A and G are what qualify our vehicle for severe driving conditions) -

A - Repeatedly driving short distance of less than 5miles (8km) in normal temperature or less than 10miles (16km) in freezing temperature
C - Driving on rough, dusty, muddy, unpaved, graveled or saltspread roads
E - Driving in sandy areas
F - Driving in heavy traffic area over 90°F (32°C)
G- Driving on uphill, downhill, or mountain road
H - Towing a Trailer, or using a camper, or roof rack
I - Driving as a patrol car, taxi, other commercial use or vehicle towing



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#3 Old 06-30-2012, 03:29 PM
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edwardp
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I purchased the car at the end of January 2011 and it had 61,100 on it at the time, so I've driven it 18,000 since then. I know they went over the car before I took delivery, but as to any fluid changes, I'm not sure if they did anything in that regard.

I haven't had any engine or transmission issues up to now. As to the driving conditions you listed above, none of them apply. All of my driving can be considered normal, everyday driving.

Where I'm guessing the fluid will eventually become black (to a point) again - since the method Valvoline uses, likely does not remove all of the old fluid, is it still safe to continue driving with what they put in there, until it's time for the next change (whjich I will do after the next 30,000)?

Valvoline asked me to come back in a few days so they can check the level of the new fluid.

Last edited by edwardp; 06-30-2012 at 03:31 PM.
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#4 Old 06-30-2012, 04:29 PM
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Actually, it sounds like you received an ATF flush rather than a simple change since you said that a machine was used. A flush using a machine that connects to the AT lines replaces nearly all of the ATF while a simple drain and fill only replaces about 50% of the ATF, the ATF in the torque converter is not impacted by a drain and fill. I would ask them when you return for a ATF level check if indeed you received an ATF flush. If so you should be good to go for at least 30K miles, I wouldn't go over 50K miles between flushes though, IMHO. You can also check the ATF fluid yourself and see if it is a bright red, which would indicate a flush as compared to a duller red which would indicate a drain and fill. One other thing, make sure they used an SP-III compliant ATF, anything else can cause significant issues with your transmission.


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#5 Old 06-30-2012, 04:52 PM
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Hyundai std is usually 105,000 for ATF change... guess what, by thta that time you might be lucky to have a working trans after the aged fluid kills the trans..

Consider ATF a change item at minimum of 60,000.... clean atf will not allow seals to get hard, or coat clutch linings with varnish..

One dealer I worked at had ATF on the 30 multiple schedule, dealer I am at currently has ATF on the 60 multiple schedule...

For the drain and fills I do, I dump the main case, and remove a pressure tap plug, and blow air into the oil passage(s) and get some more oil out of the case/valve body/converter.

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#6 Old 06-30-2012, 07:50 PM
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Changing oil is cheap maint ;will save you money in the long run if you keep the car. Why risk pushing it.
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#7 Old 06-30-2012, 08:12 PM
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edwardp
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ActionMan View Post
Actually, it sounds like you received an ATF flush rather than a simple change since you said that a machine was used. A flush using a machine that connects to the AT lines replaces nearly all of the ATF while a simple drain and fill only replaces about 50% of the ATF, the ATF in the torque converter is not impacted by a drain and fill. I would ask them when you return for a ATF level check if indeed you received an ATF flush. If so you should be good to go for at least 30K miles, I wouldn't go over 50K miles between flushes though, IMHO. You can also check the ATF fluid yourself and see if it is a bright red, which would indicate a flush as compared to a duller red which would indicate a drain and fill. One other thing, make sure they used an SP-III compliant ATF, anything else can cause significant issues with your transmission.
Valvoline.com > Products > MaxLife > Automatic Transmission Fluid MaxLife > MaxLife® DEX/MERC ATF is what they put in, it lists SP-III on this page.

I saw two lines coming from the machine, one obviously sucked the old fluid out, the other put the new fluid in. I believe it was sucked out through the same tube where the transmission dipstick is placed under the hood.

The big concern I have, is that by this method, if the new fluid becomes black again sooner rather than later (it may already be, if not all of the old fluid was actually removed), is it still safe to keep it in there.
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#8 Old 06-30-2012, 11:07 PM
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When they suck it out they are able to get most of it out and they actually flush through some new fluid so they end up doing a good job.

Don't worry about it ; the red die is gone from the fluid within approx 40k anway ; like the OP's said change it sooner rather than waiting for the max change interval.


Oil's job is to lubricate all the parts and get dirty ---then you change it, natural cycle.
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#9 Old 07-01-2012, 07:51 AM
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edwardp
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Thanks everyone for the replies.

I will be going back on Monday for the fluid check.
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#10 Old 07-02-2012, 05:16 PM
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edwardp
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I also had them change the coolant this morning. So I gather that when I bought the car (January 2011), none of the fluids were changed.

Regarding the transmission fluid, when they checked it today, it was full and was also red.

Valvoline's manager told me they have seen some Hyundai's come in for a transmission fluid change and they found grit mixed in with the fluid.
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