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94 FWB, 93 SDV, 94 FWB (sold), 90 Brougham (sold)
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Discussion Starter #1
I did the 2-bucket method today to change the transmission fluid. It was blacker than the ace of spades, it took 4.5 gallons of ATF before the fluid coming out of the cooler line was red. The DeVille has 140,000 miles on it now. I got the fluid level just perfect, and took it for a test drive. It shifted well through every gear, and the 1-2 shift was quick and firm, unlike the soft and slow shift it's been for a few weeks now. I went drove back and had dinner. A few hours later when I left, the transmission began shifting goofy. The 1-2 shift was great, but the 2-3 shift felt slow.

Once in 3rd, the car would accelerate very slowly, but the engine would rev. I was able to get on the highway, where I set the cruise at 60. After about 5 minutes, the cruise light went off, the engine revved to all high-hell, and I got a code E66.Eventually 3rd gear was slipping completly, same with 4th. I was able to coast to a gas station. The fluid looks great, the level is perfect, and it does not smell bad at all (probably because it's brand new). I limped it home in 2nd gear. By the time I got home, 2nd gear was slipping too, and it will not shift into 3 or 4th any more. First gear is still solid.

I hate to assume the worst, but I'm afraid I have to. Any thoughts?

Brian
 

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1996 Deville 1985 Fleetwood
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74 Posts
That why I tell my friends if they buy a car and the tranny oil is burnt/ dirty, to never change it because usually changeing the tranny fluid is the finisher. Theres somthing about the old oil keeping a bad tranny alive very wierd, but I had this happen to me personally twice and many other people I know. Try dumping a bottle of lucas tranny fix ($10.00) in there, won't do any harm if your looking at a tranny repair. Good luck.
 

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1992 Sedan Deville, 1984 Lincoln Town Car
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759 Posts
I used the trusty Google to find some answers, and it's not good news.

Apparently, what happen is the following and I quote taken from 4 different info forums: (the 1st paragraph is a possible help for the problem)

"1) Flushes are generally not recommended around here. What others have suggested (and worked well) is to change the fluid yourself three times. Once, drive it for a bit, a second time, drive it some more, and if necessary repeat until you have nice clean fluid.

2) On high mileage transmissions, fluid change is a crap shoot because one has no way of knowing the extent of internal wear. When the old fluid gets burnt and worn out, the transmission experiences excessive internal wear, this causes the unit to heat up, heat causes the glue on the clutches to become brittle and to crystallize. When new fluid is introduced into the unit the high detergent aspect of the new fluid scrubs the old glue away from the back of the clutches rendering the transmission useless. Take it to the dealer, have them drop the pan to try to get a handle on the extent of internal wear then proceed from there.

3) I was told the transmission oil is "in bad condition, "very dirty." I was told the mechanic is afraid to flush it because of how dirty it is. The service rep told me something about how the dirty oil is sticking to the clutches and how if they flush the fluid, the clutches could get ruined (and thus my transmission would also get ruined).
I know nothing about cars. Shamefully. I was told that flushing the transmission would be "a roll of the dice" essentially. He advised me against doing so.

4) The problem with changing the fluid after so long is that over time the fluid that's in there will leave a kind of residue on parts like the gears, bands, seals, etc. This residue can actually prevent some problems like leakages caused by dirty fluid. When you change out the fluid for new fluid, the new fluid contains detergents that will eliminate this residue and can cause problems. It's tough question to answer...in one case your transmission will eventually fail, no questions. The other option maybe be helpful but it may also cause failure and much sooner than doing nothing at all."


Sadly, it all made perfect sense that your trans is ruined because of the oil change. Wish it was better news.:(
 

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94 FWB, 93 SDV, 94 FWB (sold), 90 Brougham (sold)
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Discussion Starter #6
Crap. It was running OK......but the 1-2 shift was god-awful, felt like it took a few seconds before 2nd would grab. None of the other shifts felt good either, but the 1-2 was horrible, and the fluid looked like mascara. Well....time to consider my next move. Thanks for the input everyone!

Brian
 

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2010 DTS
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87,544 Posts
Don't feel too bad. If the trans fluid looked like mascara it was on borrowed time and would not have lasted much longer anyway.
 

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1990 350 Brougham (The cruiser), 1988 Mark VII LSC (The DD)
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5,545 Posts
Brian, this is what happened the second time my trans went. I had third and fourth but it was barely there (slipping horribly) and the engine was running around 3500 rpm just to keep it moving at 45 mph.
 

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99STS,2004 Jeep Liberty Renegade,98 Deville RIP
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For what its worth, 140k is about the median failure mileage, if you are in a position to do this yourself, you can obtain a master rebuild kit for 270 and a video for 20 along with a unit repair fsm, it should cost you no more than 500 all in and it would be a better job because you have done it yourself.
 

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1992 Town Car Cartier & 2014 Accord LX MTX
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34,087 Posts
Man, that sucks. I wish I coulda sold you mine, it didn't have any of the troubles that Ruthie's does. Oh well, live and learn. :/
 

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1990 350 Brougham (The cruiser), 1988 Mark VII LSC (The DD)
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Too bad this car will most likely spoil Cadillacs for Ruthie (although I have never met her, I would feel this way if it happened to me) for a long time.
 

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1992 Sedan Deville, 1984 Lincoln Town Car
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759 Posts
Brian's wife.
why thank-you! don't tell me let me guess, Brian must be none other than 90_Brougham_350 and this nasty tranny problem is Ruthie's Caddy. (Actually, I cheated and scanned the Chicago Meet info.)

My condolences about your 93 Deville Brian and Ruthie.
I be Julie (AMENCADDY)
 

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70 Deville 77 Fleet 78 Seville 92 Deville 03 Deville
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I have always heard of this happening but I never believed it. I guess I will start to be a believer now. I would never buy a car that didn't have red tranny fluid anyway. Sorry about your loss. I'm going to see if I can find the VIN on my tranny this week to see if it's original, because it sure works nice for 190,000 miles.
 

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94 FWB, 93 SDV, 94 FWB (sold), 90 Brougham (sold)
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Discussion Starter #17
Thanks everyone. I'm still driving the car around. I live about 2.5 miles from work, and with a good first gear and somewhat of a second, I can get around town here. Ruthie's driving the Conti for the time being. She doesn't like it, says it's slow and the stereo sucks, but at least she has a car. Trust me John, she won't forget about Caddies, this is still her dream car



and even though we had a disaster of a car with this DeVille, she doesn't expect all to be like this. After all, I had pretty darn good luck with my first two Caddies. But who knows what the future may hold, the DeVille may be resurrected for the right price. I just wish the tranny didn't have to go the day after I buy a brand new windshield! Hi Julie!

Brian
 

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1992 Town Car Cartier & 2014 Accord LX MTX
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You'd better hurry up on the S Class. I've already had someone call on it today, sounds pretty interested. Times a tickin'
 
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