How much tranny wear is acceptable?
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1985-1992 Fleetwood, 1993 Sixty Special, All FWD Forum Discussion, How much tranny wear is acceptable? in Past Cadillac Vehicle Discussion; I just changed the transmission fluid on my 2000 DHS. When I dropped the pan the magnet inside had a ...
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    Slick Black Cadillac's Avatar
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    How much tranny wear is acceptable?

    I just changed the transmission fluid on my 2000 DHS. When I dropped the pan the magnet inside had a pile of "junk" (ie: little bits of plastic and metal shavings) on it about the size of two stacked quarters. There was also an awful lot of black soot swiriling around the remaining oil. The car has 95k miles on it and probably has never had a trans service. Is this sort of wear normal? I don't want to own a car with a risky transmission. Thanks for your help.

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    JOHNNY Z's Avatar
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    Re: How much tranny wear is acceptable?

    Alot of variables here. First off how it was driven, next if the fluid was ever changed before, 95000 miles is alot of miles for any fluid. I don't care what Caddy says about 100,000 mile this or that. Thats just a selling point to people who read the glossy brocures when they are in pre-buy stages. How much is acceptable depends on how you are going to drive it and how long you plan on keeping the car. Unless you're in it for the right amount of money a car with nearly 100K is only going to go down in value. No one cares how it was cared for internally. To MOST buyers 100K is just that used. Of course a 60K car with lousy maintainance is far worse. But as buyers we all have stars in our eyes. Lets face it vehicles in general are a headache. There is more to maintain today than years ago. Lots of OBD sensors and lock up clutch type items and all are running at much higher temps than the cars of yesteryear. Hotter engine/trans more efficent, but certainly harder on its componenets. Big statement here but here goes. Caddies are more trouble prone than lesser vehicles just by the nature of the added accessories. Have you had a service ride control light yet?? You won't get one on a Buick Lesabre or Ford Crown Vic. They don't have that "feature". Bottom line on a 4T80E is that its a pretty good trans as awhole,but there are solenoids and of course the VCC convertor that have the potential to take you for thousands in repair. But to be fair a GM large car like a Lesabre or Ford Gr marquis trans will set you back 1500-2000 also. You realy have to love the car and maintain it extra well to sort of hold off the high mileage gremlins that can take you for twice what the cars worth. 2 quarter size mounds of filings sounds excessive. But how big were the mounds??

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    Re: How much tranny wear is acceptable?

    Quote Originally Posted by Slick Black Cadillac
    I just changed the transmission fluid on my 2000 DHS. When I dropped the pan the magnet inside had a pile of "junk" (ie: little bits of plastic and metal shavings) on it about the size of two stacked quarters. There was also an awful lot of black soot swiriling around the remaining oil. The car has 95k miles on it and probably has never had a trans service. Is this sort of wear normal? I don't want to own a car with a risky transmission. Thanks for your help.
    I wouldn't say that what you describe is abnormal for that many miles. There is usually a fair amount of "debris" like that. Some was in the trans from the original build at the factory and most of it accumlated during breakin of the trans. The black "soot" over the inside of the pan and such is perfectly normal. Just microscopic pieces of clutch material...once again, most of it accumlated during breakin.


    I would see no reason to worry about the trans. If the fluid still looked reasonably clean (it will darken quit a bit with heat and age and be fine) is is a good bet that it is fine. The main thing is the way the fluid smells. If it was still oily and clean smelling...not acrid and burnt smelling...then nothing is likely going wrong in the trans.

    The 4T80E is a very very robust transmission and there really aren't any chronic problems with it.

    95K on the trans fluid is fine. It was due for a service at 100K but it does not hurt a thing to run it that long as long as the car wasn't being used for heavy duty towing or harsh livery service.

    Did you just drain the bottom pan or did you remove the "hidden" drain plug to drain the side cover as well with the oil change?? There is oil in the bottom pan and the two pickup screens to clean and there is also a hidden drain plug inside the lower oil pan area that is acessed once the lower pan is off. That drains the side cover where most of the oil is. The 4T80E is a dry sump unit where the scavenge pump pulls the oil from the lower pan to the side cover where the main pressure pump is.

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    Re: How much tranny wear is acceptable?

    I did pull the "hidden" plug behind the filter screen, got about 10 quarts or so. Looked somewhat dark but didn't smell alarmingly burned. The ammount of debris was in one pile about the size of two stacked quarters. Consisting mainly of tiny metal shavings and small bits of white plastic.

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    RBraczyk's Avatar
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    Re: How much tranny wear is acceptable?

    What could that white plastic be?

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