Modern “automatic cars” are considered maintenance-free. Still, you need to change the oil for the compartments’ long-term operation, considering several nuances regularly – given the roads of UAE.
Old and new: what’s the difference?
As a rule, mineral-based liquids were emitted into automatic transmissions of cars of early years of production, which had to be changed at intervals of 30–45 thousand kilometres. However, modern boxes use synthetic oils with long service life, so today manufacturers either offer to change the oil much less often, for example, every 60 or 120 thousand km, or do not provide for a routine oil change in the automatic transmission at all throughout the entire service life of the car.
In general, one can assume that with an estimated service life of about five to six years, the vehicle’s mileage before overhaul will be at least 150-200 thousand kilometres. However, to avoid costs for long runs, experts still recommend changing the oil periodically, even in “maintenance-free” compartments, especially given the fact that there is a technical possibility of replacement on all such units. For modern chambers, the first two replacements are recommended to be executed every 60 thousand km, and after 120 thousand km of run – to reduce the interval to 30-40 thousand kilometres.
Why change your oil at all?
In any box or compartment, there are friction pairs that gradually wear out and contaminate the oil. Special magnetic filters capture metal particles in the gearbox housing, but they wear debris clogs filters, oil channels, and control mechanisms over time. As a result, oil pressure drops, gearbox performance deteriorates, mechanical parts are destroyed.
Dynamic driving, driving in traffic jams, towing a trailer or off-road driving puts even more stress on the box, which leads to accelerated wear. Changing the oil under such conditions allows you to clean the unit from the inside and extend its service life. Therefore, it is required to change it even more often under heavy loads. Finally, it is highly recommended to change the oil when buying a used car, as it is unknown under what conditions and how it has been serviced before.
Full and partial replacement: how to do it right
There are two methods for changing the oil in automatic transmissions. The first is a partial replacement method when the liquid is removed only from the crankcase through the drain plug, but at the same time, from a third to half of the old oil remains in the bowels of the unit.
This preventive measure only allows you to refresh the fluid, but it is highly recommended to remove the sump and clean or replace the magnetic filter even with this method. On cars with high mileage, it is recommended to repeat the procedure to increase the proportion of fresh fluid in the box and remove wear debris that will have time to wash out the new oil.
The second method is a complete replacement with flushing of the unit, which is done on a lift using a particular installation. The fluid is forced through the box under pressure while the engine is running. This method is more expensive and requires 10 to 20 litres of oil, but it almost guarantees cleaning of the box from wear products.
Is it possible to “kill” the automatic transmission with new oil?
The probability of spoiling the compartment does exist, but we are talking about running units with high mileage of about 200 thousand km, in which the oil has not been changed for a long time. New oil with good detergent properties quickly flushes out all dirt and wear products in such boxes, but it can also quickly transfer them to a narrower place and clog the oil channels. The result can be disastrous.
VVT engine or not, it is always better to be safe than sorry. An expert recommends keeping a spare tyre in your trunk. There are no shortages of car tyres in UAE.
Most modern automatic transmissions are considered maintenance-free by manufacturers, but an oil change is still required in some cases. And for compartments of older cars, such a procedure is directly provided for by the maintenance regulations. Unfortunately, changing the oil in the box is more complicated than the engine and depends on the unit type.