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  #1  
Old 04-20-2005, 06:11 PM
twisted twisted is offline
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bubbles in tranny fluid normal ?

everytime i check the tranny fluid in my truck it has bubbles in it making it somtimes hard to read. i check it hot with the truck in park at idle.
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Old 04-20-2005, 06:22 PM
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How dark is the fluid? Brown, black....or is it a nice healthy red?


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Old 04-20-2005, 08:27 PM
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I had bubbles in mine with nice red fluid. Then BAM there goes second gear. Rebuild place said bubbles are a sign of bad seals and will eventually cause tranny problems. Best just take it somewhere now and see what can be done for the cheapest price, before you really mess something up and end up paying out the butt.

PS. The transmission is something you really can't skimp on, because without it you can't go anywhere; or at least you can't go anywhere very fast or, you will be going there in reverse.
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Old 04-20-2005, 09:15 PM
amw_drizz amw_drizz is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by buckeyebronco
PS. The transmission is something you really can't skimp on, because without it you can't go anywhere; or at least you can't go anywhere very fast or, you will be going there in reverse.
I've done that a few times.

Goin in reverse down mainstreet. atleast there were no cops. fun fun fun

that was some fun. people giving you weird looks. saying wtf?
did that in a ford f150 with a manual. went to get it from a friend and could not get ahold of some 1 to tow it and 1-4 gears were stripped clean. only OD and reverse. only about 4 miles down the road till my place. so i drove it in reverse.

and he did not tell me that the tranny was f***** up... too bad for him he ended up paying a $3000 shop bill for a new tranny with a replacement tcase as that had problems. so yea...

NEVER let people borrow you vehicle. i learned my lesson.
I require a $1,500 security deposit
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Old 04-20-2005, 09:19 PM
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Generally bubbles are a sign of cavitation in a fluid system. Over-filling the transmission is the main contributor to cavitation. Should you find bubbles, check the fluid level and if necessary flush the transmission, replace the filter, and refill w/recommended fluid to correct level. Bubbles allow heat buildup and greater wear in an automatic transmission.
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Old 04-20-2005, 11:49 PM
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the fluid is in the cross hatched area.it also a nice healthy red.looks new.
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Old 04-21-2005, 02:12 AM
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I've never paid much attention to bubbles in the trans fluid or any other places - no offense to anyone but there are a lot of "old wives tales" floating around the automotive world.

If the fluid is at the proper level, and a nice healthy red, and the transmission shifts well and works properly- are you really going to take it to the transmission shop and tell them that you have "bubbles in the fluid?"

The rebuild place that said that bubbles in the fluid are a sign of bad seals and could cause the tranny to need a rebuild, or whatever - that sounds absurd coming from a certified (hopefully) transmission rebuilder. Certainly bad seals could -theoretically- damage the transmission if you let the fluid run low and continue to drive - but I have had old vehicles that I drove FOR YEARS with bad tranny seals and just made sure that the fluid level stayed up. The transmissions themselves worked fine the whole time. I even did let them run low when I forgot - if it don't go into drive then you need more fluid! But blaming a transmission failure based purely on the fact that there were bubbles in the fluid, that is just plain ridiculous.

PS - Overfilling the transmission usually just results in leakage around the fill tube O-ring, or possible damage to a seal that was weak anyway. If it had no way to get out of the trans then it could possibly mess it up, but most transmissions either have a place for the extra fluid to come out, or else they will just leak at one of the seals until the fluid level goes back down to normal and then stop - usually the fill tube seal.
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Old 04-21-2005, 07:21 AM
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If the fluid is in the correct range, and according to you it is, and it looks new, bubbles canbe incidental. When I'm talking bubbles, I mean nearly foam on the stick, not just a few here and there, by the way. Does the truck drive properly? If so, you're probably okay.
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Old 04-21-2005, 07:38 AM
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BTW - it's almost impossible to damage an -automatic- transmission by running it low on fluid, for the simple reason that if the fluid gets too low the transmission won't go into drive or reverse. It's sorta hard to drive that way.

To the original poster - there is nothing wrong with your transmission. Sometimes it is hard to see the fluid on the stick, especially when you are pulling a stick from a deep corner of a hot, running engine. There are going to be some bubbles because the motor is running, and you were supposed to shift the trans through its gears before checking. If you can see the fluid in the general area of the grid, then you should be fine. If it makes you feel any better, as long as you see ANY fluid at all on the stick, you haven't done any damage to it and you just need to fill it up to the proper level (see my first paragraph, about potentially ruining trannies). Automatic transmissions can hold A LOT of fluid - some hold over 24 quarts. One quart low is not going to fry your transmission right away. Two or three quarts low and it won't go into gear and you will need to fill it. But it should work fine after you fill it back up, if it worked fine before - although you might want to fix the leaky seals or whatever is leaking. Just don't overfill it, or you will surely be leaking tranny fluid until it gets back down to the proper level.

And think of it this way - it's a good sign that the fluid is hard to see on the stick - that means that it is clean. You would not want it to be dark and black.
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  #10  
Old 04-21-2005, 02:44 PM
twisted twisted is offline
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thanks guys for all your help. as you can see iam not a mechanic.i do know a littel ,be it VERY little. lol.coming here i have learned some.it helps. i was unaware you had to shift the trany through the gears before checking.ill try that.
its not a foam but maybe four or five bubbles in the fluid.
the tranny seems to run fine.somtimes it does shift harder then others but nothing that doesnt seem out of the ordinary.no slipping etc.
thanks again.
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Old 04-21-2005, 06:22 PM
tHeCoS tHeCoS is offline
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I disagree....bubbles will affect your tranny's performance and buildup heat. And eventually burn out your tranny. It is just like the power steering pump. You dont want to have air bubbles. My tranny guy puts an additive in all his work. I use royal purple in my tranny and power steering pump. If you ever read the label on royal purple, they are concerned about bubbles and breakdown in oils and additives. Its expensive stuff but they've proven their products.
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  #12  
Old 04-21-2005, 11:24 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tHeCoS
I disagree....bubbles will affect your tranny's performance and buildup heat. And eventually burn out your tranny.
This is another one of those pointless arguments that goes nowhere and proves nobody right. So this is my final post on the subject. I've seen bubbles in tranny fluid, power steering fluid, oil, and in radiator coolant while the motor is running. And you will find people who will argue vehemently about each one, and how the bubbles mean that a) your engine needs to be rebuilt; b) your transmission is shot; or c) all of the above and more.

What generally happens in real life is that some person was just checking the fluid levels on a vehicle that was running fine, and will continue to run perfectly well for many years to come. But along comes some "expert" and the next thing you know, some guy is bringing his car to the transmission shop for "bubbles in the fluid" and of course the tranny shop is only too happy to rebuild the transmission.

For me, the bottom line comes down to this - more often than not, you can see some bubbles when checking fluid levels. It is generally not a cause for concern at all, unless you are already having some troubles and there are other symptoms, like water in the oil etc. But normally it is nothing to worry about. If you want things to worry about, just pick up a newspaper - you will find plenty.

If bubbles in fluid are such a problem - why in my over 20 years of driving, over 40 cars, trucks, and motorcycles, and certainly a couple of million miles driven, all the while maintaining my own vehicles for the most part; why has never never been one single failure of anything at all that could possibly be attributed to "bubbles;" why has not one of the "bubble conspiracy" folks ever explained -exactly- what the bubbles are, what exactly causes them, how they ruin engines, trannies, etc. and most importantly, how the bubbles are "repaired." They will say something about bad seals; bad seals alone do not cause failure as long as fluid levels are maintained. Or they might speak about cavitation - maybe in a 3,000 HP top fuel car, or an Indy car, etc. but not in a street driven Bronco. Or that the bubbles will "build up heat." If these things were all true and relevant to street driven, stock vehicles - considering the number of times that I have seen bubbles there should be a lot of dead cars stranded on the side of the road, they should be all over the place.

And I have never had anybody ever tell me how to fix the bubbles - the whole notion of it is absurd. I mean, what do you do precisely to your transmission when you see bubbles in the fluid? Do you change the "bubble valve" or maybe the E4OD's have "bubble sensors" that go bad?

I found the following on the web. And these are from professional mechanics who will always err on the side of caution and recommend service - that's their job. The point is that nobody is saying that bubbles in transmission fluid mean that the transmission is bad. I looked - I could find NOTHING at all to support that theory.
--------------------------------------------------------------------------
From Quality Transmissions of Tempe, AZ: Q: What does the appearance of small bubbles on the dipstick mean? A:Small bubbles in the fluid on the dipstick is a common occurrence. It is just one of the signs that the transmission fluid needs to be changed, along with color and smell. When the color is turning brown or the fluid smells burnt, have the fluid changed. None of these indicators necessarily means that the transmission is in bad. They are just indications that it's time for a service.
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From 2CarPros.com - Question: 1996 Jeep Grand Cherokee Limit V8 mileage: 53887. I recently changed the automatic transmission filter, gasket & fluid. The fluid that I used was the Dextron 2. Now when I check the fluid, the fluid has several air type bubbles. What could be causing the bubbles and what needs to be done to correct the problem? If I check the fluid when the engine isn't running there isn't any.

Answer: Your transmission may be low on fluid. The bubbles may be the result of air and fluid being sucked up into the filter and pump. Check the fluid level first thing in the morning after the bubbles have settled down over night. Our guess is you will find it low.

SO AT THE MOST these professionals are saying that the fluid is either dirty, or low. And I do not even agree with the first shop about the bubbles as an indicator of the fluid needing to be changed - the color and the smell yes, but the bubbles? I've never heard that one either. As for the second answer, about being low and air being sucked in, I am not even sure how valid that is either. The point that I am trying to illustrate by printing those anwers is that nobody is saying that the bubbles mean that your transmission is fried. Believe me, if I had found something by a pro that said that, I would have printed it, but I could not find anything at all to that effect. And as you can see, even the pros give two slightly different answers. I think that even they succumb a little bit to the "old wives tales" about the bubbles. It's just one of those arguments that has been going on since the internal combustion engine was invented, most likely. Bottom line - your transmission is fine. If you don't believe me, then go rebuild it. It's your choice.
--------------------------------------------------------------------------

One final thought. No offense to the poster, but look at the statement "If you ever read the label on royal purple, they are concerned about bubbles and breakdown in oils and additives. Its expensive stuff but they've proven their products."

Of course they are going to say that - you can read similar things on old cans of STP and Wynn's. I have certainly had experience with additives that did what they said they would do, although I have never tried Royal Purple. I just get tired of hearing people say how such-and-such an additive is "great stuff" but in reality all they know is that they poured it into their oil and the motor didn't blow up.

Too many "old wives tales" floating around the automotive world. Just use your head and some common sense and you will be able to see what is really going on.
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Last edited by JBronco; 04-22-2005 at 12:17 AM.
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Old 04-22-2005, 02:09 AM
twisted twisted is offline
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ok upon alot of reading on here and the web, i too agree with JBronco's .everything seems alright with the tranny. no leaks,shifts fine and the fluid is a nice translucent red.
i did not mean to start a thread war on this subject i was just concerned after reading all the "wives tales".
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Old 04-22-2005, 04:12 PM
tHeCoS tHeCoS is offline
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haha..whoa...never said to go and rebuild the tranny. the point being is to maintain oil consistency. A periodical change of oil would do. Of course all companies will say that but the purpose is to lower the oil breakdown. go ahead and use whatever oil you use. But this old wives tales, goes to desert races. I beat the hell out of my tranny and see ,and have had, a lot of tranny and power steering breakdowns. I do not endorse RP but rest assure I will use that product for cheap insurance then having to rebuild another tranny.
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Old 04-22-2005, 08:59 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tHeCoS
haha..whoa...never said to go and rebuild the tranny. the point being is to maintain oil consistency. A periodical change of oil would do. Of course all companies will say that but the purpose is to lower the oil breakdown. go ahead and use whatever oil you use. But this old wives tales, goes to desert races. I beat the hell out of my tranny and see ,and have had, a lot of tranny and power steering breakdowns. I do not endorse RP but rest assure I will use that product for cheap insurance then having to rebuild another tranny.
Just for the sake of friendly debate, you did say "bubbles will affect your tranny's performance and buildup heat. And eventually burn out your tranny."

That sounds like an eventual rebuild to me, you did not say to change the fluid to get rid of the bubbles.

And I did make it very clear that I was only talking about stock, street driven vehicles.

I also believe in some additives, I am not "anti-additive." It's just that you hear so many people saying that this or that additive is great but in fact they don't know if it did anything or not. As a racer, I don't think that you fall into that category. Considering the number of teardowns and rebuilds that a racer does, they are able to see first hand which additives make a difference. I personally always put one quart of Lucas in every time I change my oil, which I think is about the same as the Royal Purple. I've got it in the power steering as well. I have also seen noticeable results from SeaFoam and Restore, as well as from fuel injector cleaners.
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