We have been doing loads of ATF automatic gearbox flushes recently but this one today was particularly noteworthy.
A 2006 Range Rover Sport 2.7TDV6 with a relatively low 89,000 miles on the clock.
The symptoms were the usual harsh gear changes, hunting revs and slight juddering. The owner was also concerned about a humming/rumbling noise on the overrun when slowing down. A quick test drive confirmed that the gear changes were not as smooth as they should be and there was some juddering. The humming noise was diagnosed as from the front tyres. On visual inspection, it could be seen that they had uneven wear on the inside edges and stepped feathering on the outside tread blocks that would be causing noise and vibrations, especially on smooth, quiet road surfaces. On further inspection, it could be seen that the front lower wishbones had recently been changed in the last 3-6 months. So probably the tracking has not been checked hence the uneven wear on the tyres.
Onto the ATF gearbox flush, the first thing to note was that the gearbox filter pan had very recently been replaced and it was quite wet with fluid, not dripping and not obvious where it was coming from, so a manual double flush has been carried out in an attempt to cure the harsh gear changes and juddering.
A manual double flush is pretty pointless. The automatic gearboxes hold 9.5 litres of ATF fluid. Draining the gearbox sump will remove approx 2-3 litres, the rest is held within the gearbox internals and torque converter. Simply draining and refilling will only dilute the old, worn out, burnt fluid and is pretty much a waste of time and money.
As soon as we connected up the Fortron ATF flush machine, straight away we were quite shocked at how black and dirty the old fluid was. You can see in the photos the sample of the old fluid is black and opaque, you cannot see any light through it. The new fluid is a golden, transparent colour.
The gearbox level was manually checked, it was slightly overfilled by about 0.8Litres, which would explain the wetness around the gearbox area, if the gearbox is overfilled then the level will be higher than it should be and will leak from somewhere, especially as the fluid warms up and expands.
Finally, the gearbox adaptations were reset and another test drive carried out, the gear changes were silky smooth and no sign of any juddering.
Another happy customer!
So this shows that a double gearbox flush is quite simply a waste of time and money!
If you want a proper gearbox flush doing with all the fluid changing not just some of it, get in touch with JGS4x4 or phone us on 01536 647577 to make your appointment now.