How Long is a “Lifetime”?

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How long does “lifetime” transmission fluid last? As long as the life of your transmission. It’s just likely to be a shorter life, if you never change the fluid.

If that seems paradoxical, you don’t understand advertising and marketing.

“Lifetime” is a word used by advertising and marketing people to gull you into believing it is never necessary to change out the fluid and that there will be no consequences if you don’t change it out. The latter italicized part is what they never spell out. They want you to assume that “lifetime” means – essentially – forever. Or at least, as long as the car itself lasts.

In fact, they know (well, the engineers know) that automotive fluids such as transmission fluid degrade over time; lose their lubricity. Or the additives’ detergent properties wane. That – inevitably through use, heat cycling and accumulation of contaminants – the fluid reaches a point at which it needs to be changed. Assuming you don’t want to change the transmission, because you didn’t.

That point is reached at around 50,000 miles.

Far sooner than the “lifetime” of the car. Or so you probably hope it is. You might (and many do) go 100,000 miles – which is sometimes the fine-print definition of “lifetime,” according to some of the advertising, assuming you read the fine print. Many don’t and so continue to drive – on the assumption that “lifetime” is another way of saying forever.

Or rather, never.

Until the transmission reaches the end of its life.

This business of leading people to believe that “lifetime” is forever is one of the greatest single (and ongoing) frauds in the car business. It has been abbetted, over the years, by the elimination, in the first place, of drain plugs in transmission pans – so as to give the impression that periodic draining of the fluid within isn’t necessarry (assuming you want the transmission to last an actual lifetime) and, more recently, by elimination of easily accessible fill tubes.

The result is that what used to be an easy job for anyone who was capable of performing an oil change has become an extremely messy – and difficult – job that most people are unable or unwilling to do themselves. This discourages the doing of it. And then they read in their owner’s manual that they never have to worry about it. The fluid is “lifetime.” Dealers will sometimes tell customers (marks) the same thing.

Because there’s more money in selling the customer-mark a new $4,000 transmission at 100,000 miles than a $150 transmission fluid and filter change every 50,000 miles. The latter item in italics to make another point about this “lifetime” business.

Filters are essentially fine screens meant to capture particles that might otherwise circulate along with the fluid. Filtering is more-than-usually important in the case of automatic transmissions, because these have a warren of tiny passages in a hydraulic fluid circuit – the valve body – that governs much of the transmission’s function.

A useful analogy is the human circulatory system, which includes narrow veins and arteries that – when clogged – result in bad things happening.

Our bodies have kidneys to filter out the contaminants. These are lifetime components. They regenerate themselves. A transmission filter cannot do that. It eventually “fills up” with contaminants and – at that point – ceases to be a filter. Now the contaminants are free to circulate – and will. And shortly thereafter, you will know precisely the length of a “lifetime.”

It is astounding that there haven’t been lawsuits over all of this. It is clearly deceptive, with the clear intent to encourage people to think they never need to have their car’s transmission fluid/filter replaced – so as to achieve the end result of either selling them a new transmission or a new car.

There is another reason why they do it, too.

Advertisers and marketers have figured out that it is a “sell” to advertise and market low-to-no maintenance. This is perfectly understandable, of course. People are more inclined to buy Car X rather than Car Y if they believe it will cost them less to service and maintain Car X rather than Car Y.

And – if it’s not deceptive – it’s a good sell.

But there is a big difference between low and no maintenance. The former is achievable – as via use of a high-capacity filter that lasts longer than a standard-capacity one. Or by using fluids and lubricants that are of higher quality, with longer-lasting additives – and so on.

But this business of encouraging people to believe they never need to worry about changing fluid/filters – by telling them they are “lifetime” – is of a piece with telling people that they won’t catch a cold if they always wear a filthy “mask” over their faces. Which of course is just what they were told. It is why millions of them ended up catching cold anyhow.

If you’d like to avoid something worse – as far as your transmission is concerned – consider changing out the fluid/filter in your car’s transmission every 50,000 miles or so. If you do, you are more likely to get a lifetime out of the transmission, as opposed to the fluid.

. . .

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  1. I remember Chrysler saying that their Torque Flite automatic transmission never needed service back in the 70s. The Mopar folks I knew disregarded that and serviced it themselves, often under the guise of “putting in a shift kit.”

    At that time, their cars often went to the junkyard with their original transmission fluid and filters, because the car rusted out or the engine conked out before the transmission did!

    WRT EVs, their business model is such that maintenance is really a non-starter (pardon the pun) because for one thing, you’re not supposed to buy one new or gently used, pay cash for it or take out a loan for 3,4,5, or however many years, pay it off, and keep it for 10 years in the first place. No, you’re supposed to serially lease them every 3-5 years or “subscribe” and if you can’t afford that, rent them or summon them via Uber as transportation-as-a-service. You’ll never own a car—and be happy that you don’t!

    It’s a great business model for making Tesla et. al. rich, and you broke.

    • Uber (and similar services) will likely not be around in a few more years. Uber is having financial difficulties, and they would need to raise fares SUBSTANTIALLY to survive- and even more so, as more people are waking up to the fact that it doesn’t pay to drive for such services when you have to foot all of the costs.

      Such services were planning on the reality of self-driving cars…but the fact that such is not feasible is starting to sink-in, finally- as Uber has abandoned their self-driving development programs. And even if it did become reality, it would not work financially- Uber can’t survive as it is, with their drivers supplying the cars and maintenance and insurance and gas…imagine the prospect of Uber having to pick-up all of those costs!

      The Silly-Con Valley pie-in-the-sky “businesses” are not sustainable, and only a madman would think that they could be. I can’t help but to wonder if they were all started ultimately by the WEF/CIA/CFR, etc. so as just to get people to abandon the old infrastructure…and once they come to rely on the new, the rug will be pulled out from under them.

  2. If ever one needed a reason to go manual transmission. In my experience, it’s often easier, and cheaper, to change gear oil than crankcase oil. Most of the later models I’ve owned did have a drain plug in the differential, which they didn’t used to.
    Wish I could still drive one.

  3. Every time I see or hear about “lifetime” fluids (or “lifetime” anything, for that matter), I grit my teeth. I mean, what else will the dildos fall for? “Lifetime” fuel?! Then again, most of them think a flimsy piece of cloth can protect them against biological warfare, so I shouldn’t be too surprised.

  4. How many people regularly checked and serviced the transmission? Some may think about changing the fluid once in a while, but outside of this group, how many acutally do it? Of those who do, how many screwed it up so badly they destroyed the thing? The car companies probably figure not enough people will bother, so don’t waste the engineering time to come up with a filler tube and drain plug.

    The flipside of lifetime was the junk Chevy Lumina I bought when I started earning enough money for a credit report. The service interval for the 3+OD slushbox was every 15,000 miles! And that wasn’t just drain and fill, that was a new filter too. Of course I left it go until 20 or 25K and checked it every month, but geez. That Lumina was also the one that had the gasket from the old cap and rotor hole fail (Chevy changed to an ignition block but didn’t redo the engine block casting, they just plugged the hole), causing it to drip out a quart of oil every 3-400 miles. The undercarriage was covered in oil, so I guess that’s why it didn’t rust out.

  5. Apologies in advance but since you don’t have a recent Diaper Report, I’m gonna give you one from the hive of Alexandria, VA on this article!

    The lunatic hypochondriacs were out in force. No surprise, when we stopped at Trader Joe’s it seemed as though a slight majority (maybe 60%) were wearing the holy garment. I mean that it’s no surprise that TJ’s was the concentration of insanity. It was surprising to see so many diapered morons in general.

    The streets of old town Alexandria were especially packed. I think maybe there was some sort of Halloween costume thing going on but, wouldn’t you know it, they were accompanied by the covid diaper (i.e., not an actual Halloween mask).

    All of the cases were present: young and athletic, alone walking down the street, alone in the car, the fearful eyes over the mask, the disgust looks over the mask, the steering clear and wide of the unclean. You name the brain damage; they have the examples.

    These people are damaged goods. It’s kind of scary to walk among them. Like walking through an insane asylum. Covid will never be over for these people. They will never be right in the head, and some were quite young.

    They are injured. Injuries of the mind. Victims of diabolic forces.

    • EM, it may sound cold, but I feel absolutely no remorse in taking some comfort in the fact that a very high percentage of those masked automatons will likely be extinct within the next few years from the effects of the ‘vaccines’ they’ve almost certainly clamored to take. I normally would be neutral and not care what they do…but as we all realize, what they have done/are doing is really dragging all of society down and enabling absurd levels of tyranny, and I can’t help but to think that the world would be so much better off without most of them.

      I can’t help but to think that these vaccines are like bug spray- obliterating roaches.

      • Morning, Nunz!

        I – ruefully – agree. And – even more ruefully – I now have a degree of understanding. Of how these WEF-types think. What they think, rather. Of the human cattle. We are like the WEF-types, I think, in that we share (god help us) the disdain for the moo’ing herd, which we both understand moos on command and will obligingly herd itself to the abattoir. The difference between us and the WEF types is we have even more contempt for the WEF types, who have created these bipedal herd-creatures and now use them as weapons against humanity.

        • Well-said, Eric!

          Initially, we view the cattle as being not much different than us, and therefore are outraged that not only are the WEFfers gunning for us, but that that they are gunning for innocent person; but after how so many of these “other” cows have no character or morals, and how they are literally just vacuous drones who constantly allow themselves to be used as useful idiots, and who will stampede their own kind instead of the abattoir-workers, and are thus helping those workers to not only slaughter them, but us too, it just gets to the point where one must realize that they are as much the enemy as the [W]EFfers, and they are doing as much damage as those who control them, and willingly so.

          If their actions only affected themselves, one might feel pity for them, but once they become enlisted as agents of the enemy, and transgress the bounds of morality and liberty against others, there is really nothing left that warrants any compassion towards them- much like a Nazi officer or guard who happily does his job- there is nothing human or good remaining.

          It’s rather ironic, because although the [W]EFfers would just as soon see us dead, in reality, what they seem to be accomplishing is the culling of the worst and mentally weakest.

      • Morning Nunzio and Eric!

        I get that it probably sounds cold to some people but not to me or my wife. Her and I have talked about this at length. Although I do think, as I said above, these people are “damaged goods” and injured by diabolic forces, they have responsibility for both their own individual situations and the larger problem for others that they are still helping put in place. The latter being the unforgivable part, i.e., do what you want to yourself but when it affects other people without their consent then you’ve crossed the line.

        The sad part is that human beings with so much potential and that could do so much good with their lives have degenerated to suicidal hypochondriacs that seem to think that anything of this madness is normal. Not just “normal” but must be forced upon everyone.

        I’m quite certain that, despite the best effort of censorship and 24/7 propaganda, all of these people have heard the contrary arguments and have dismissed and ridiculed them as conspiracy theory and stupid. Because that’s what the TV told them.

        Every step that they have taken on a human/personal level has been more and more unforgivable. They trusted the government that they know lies. They trusted the politically charged TV shows, news anchors, and celebrities. They refused any amount of critical examination on their own part. They threw out their friends and family and burned the bridges. They have wished death upon those that tried to warn them. They couldn’t *just* do that, they had to go out of their way to support the destruction of people’s lives that refused their insanity. By and large they are in favor of using force against people that just want to be left alone. Even deadly force.

        The world will be better off without them. I didn’t wish this upon them, I never would have but now that they have embraced this as their way of life and are quite vicious about it, I have no sympathy for what is coming for many/most or even all of them.

        And that’s the difference between me vs the WEF. I had no hand in their outcome. If any would have bothered to listen, I would have helped them. The WEF did everything in their power to harm them.

        Halloween is an interesting reflection of the situation. Dia de los Muertos. Some of us call these people the “walking dead”… emotionally, spiritually, intellectually vacant. Soon to be physically as well.

  6. You can’t even check the coolant level in a tesla,

    the tesla plaid electric motors turn at up to 19,000 rpm, I doubt they will be long life, there is oil in the motors and diff. which should be changed (nobody talks about that), it also has an oil pump,

    it has a very complicated cooling system for the batteries with two water pumps (an ice car only has one…lol), maintenance will be required….These three electric pumps will have to be replaced at some point, like an ice car they might last 60,000 miles., then need replacement, it will cost a lot more then an ice car to replace.

    Depreciation is the biggest cost in a car (unless it is a collectable car like an old air cooled 911)

    this is the big hidden cost in Ev’s and hybrids, the deal killer, that depreciation would buy you a lot of fuel in your ice vehicle.

    Electric cars depreciate over two times faster than their internal combustion engine counterparts, a serious black mark when it comes to tallying up your actual yearly cost to run your vehicle!

    Study: EVs Cost More to Repair, Less to Maintain

    Service Advantage Goes to Gas

    Service visits – those that involve diagnosing and repairing a problem – were a different story.

    During the first three months of ownership, EVs were 2.3 times as expensive to service as gasoline-powered cars. At the 12-month mark, repair costs were about 1.6 times what owners of gas-powered cars paid.
    It’s Not Parts. It’s Labor

    Why the extra expense?

    Because EV problems took longer to diagnose and repair. Technicians spent 1.5 times as many hours working on EVs as they did on gasoline-powered cars. And those technicians cost more, to begin with. Working on EVs requires additional certifications most mechanics don’t have. Those that do charge about 1.3 times the average hourly rate.

    Repairing Ev’s is a big problem now, nobody knows how to fix them, they are very dangerous to work on because of the very high voltage (lots of places won’t work on them for that reason), they are very complex compared to an internal combustion engine,

    they are new technology so people don’t understand them, so very difficult to diagnose. If you break down in L.A. there probably will be a repair place that can fix your EV, if you are in a small town somewhere good luck getting it fixed.

    In ice vehicles most places would do no diagnosis, tech’s won’t do it because they aren’t paid to do it, so why should they. They would use the parts cannon….just keep replacing parts hoping it fixes it, instead of doing diagnostics properly, the customer got robbed.
    Using the parts cannon on an EV could get expensive in a hurry, like a $4000 non returnable circuit board, it would be hard to hide your screw up.

    There is an additional cost for the EV owner: the tesla $22,000 battery is used up, worn out in 100,000 miles. this works out to $22.00 per 100 miles it is costing you for the battery. So the EV owner has to pay another $22.00 per 100 miles to pay for the battery, the ice car owner doesn’t have that extra cost.

    Experts Warn EV Owners May See Soaring Costs After Mechanics Realize They’re Losing Money

    According to Green Fleet, the company is considering whether or not to

    ATTENTION: implement an 89 percent increase in the labor rate for the servicing of EVs over ICE cars……lol
    pay almost double to fix your stupid ev……

    ATTENTION: don’t forget this….lol…
    Plus the cost of the battery, which is huge, you have to store the electricity in the very, very expensive battery, that is the killer for EV’s right there, the expensive, rapidly wearing out battery.
    the tesla $22,000 battery is used up, worn out in 100,000 miles.
    ATTENTION: this works out to $22.00 per 100 miles it is costing you for the battery.

    • **”Repairing Ev’s is a big problem now, nobody knows how to fix them,”**

      Not to mention that Tesla doesn’t share repair & diagnostic info; schematics, etc. with any third party… if your E(loon) Vehicle breaks, you have to take it to Tesla… matter how old it is. Imagine taking a 10 year-old Chevy to the Chevy dealer after it’s out-of-warranty, for every. single. repair?!

      And how long will Tesla, even at it’s own facilities/authorized repair gyp-joints support the software/vehicle?

      People would be deluded maroons to buy one of these things for $20k…much more so for the $50-$100K they actually cost!

    • Or, you maybe could buy (not quite yet) one of this type vehicle:

      >Hyperion has stated that the current stage of XP-1 is just a prototype

      >can travel up to whopping 1,000 miles which is equivalent to 1609 km, on just one tank of compressed hydrogen.

      >Thanks to hydrogen-storage technology within the vehicle, the XP-1 can be recharged in less than five minutes at public stations

      >“The vehicle stores electric energy via fuel cell systems versus heavy lithium-ion batteries, providing all the benefits of electric motors found in traditional electric vehicles, without the added weight, extended charging times, battery degradation and cost-prohibitive recyclability

      >The XP-1’s hydrogen storage system is not affected by extreme temperatures, enabling the vehicle to consistently and reliably provide peak performance over extended driving sessions, both on the street and at the track. This is a crucial advantage over battery-electric vehicles which require non-stop temperature maintenance

      >0 to 60 miles per hour (0-96 kmph) in close to 2 seconds

      Theoretically, you could generate your own hydrogen (even “green” hydrogen) by electrolysis of water. I wouldn’t look for it anytime soon, however.

      To my knowledge, Toyota is the only manufacturer with a production fuel cell auto.

      What technology will win out in the long run? Who knows? Perhaps something which has not yet been invented. Whatever else goes down, all eggs in one basket sounds like a losing strategy, to me. JMO.

      • Whatever else goes down, AFAIK the only way to transport significant amounts of energy from place to place is via some type of chemical storage system. News flash to all technical ignoramuses: batteries involve one type of chemistry (electrochemistry).

        I. Mechanical storage
        A) Wind up toys (springs)
        B) Flywheels
        II. Heat from radioactive decay
        Anyone have another way?

      • All the effort, time and money spent trying to find a solution to a problem that doesn’t exist; a problem which was solved 100 years ago by the mass production of internal combustion engines.

        • Nunzio,
          If left to its own devices, God forbid, the market would create an alternative solution when the need became dire enough. Which is why we started burning hydrocarbons in the first place. Because sunlight and windmills didn’t cut it.

          • Hey, John,
            Solution to what? There isn’t a problem that I’m aware. But yes, if there really were a problem, the market would indeed be the most viable means of a solution, just as it was 100 years ago. And one thing is certain: The government certainly never creates solutions…only problems- and this whole EV/green-energy/alternate fuel bumblefuck is going to be one hell of a problem!

  7. I would check out the Audi Forums and see what people have done. Some are kind enough to put how to vids or postings up. If your car is approaching 60k miles or so, it’s a good time to change. I have an Acura TL which had 176,000 when I bought it. The first thing I did was drain and refill the trans. I then did it another time. After about 6 months, I did it again. Car still shifts smoothly. Gets incredible gas mileage for something like it is, too.

    On my 2006 Honda Pilot, I bought it with 199k miles. Changed the fluid on it, too. A year later, its running on very fresh fluid. I recently installed a transmission cooler so it has even more fresh going through the transmission.

    With regular maintenance, these cars will last at least to 350k, I think. These will be the last vehicles I will be driving. Both were bought for less than $13k. In cash.

    Yes, they are high mileage, but they are in excellent shape due to the fact that I can work on these cars. Hondas are easy.

    I used to have a Jaguar and I got an independent guy to change out the trans fluid as a precaution. I could partially work on that car, too.

    As for your Audi, I would plan on taking a weekend out to do the fluid exchange properly. There is possibilities that you might have to get the thing up to the proper operating temperature and also run it through some programming steps. The Germans are notorious for making you climb a mountain to get the mail.

  8. In my opinion, the only method to change the auto tranny fluid is drop the pan. Jiffy Lube use to have the machine they hook up to your tranny cooler lines and *pump* thru new fluid. I did this once and about a month or two later I was at a tranny shop (which became a separate nightmare in and of itself). I notice Jiffy Lube does not offer this service any longer.

  9. I changed tranny fluid on the truck pretty regularly. Which is to say I’d slurp out as much as I could and put new in. Dropping the pan is a PITA. All but one bolt is accessible before it, has to take off final drive in order to bend a bracket that the emergency brake cable rode on. Then I could get to the last bolt. Typically pan was clean & not much if anything on the magnet.

    Ditto rear end fluid change.

    The torque converter died a couple years ago so I had the entire transmission system rebuilt. $2K.

    The wife’s Kia Sportage doesn’t have a tranny fluid dipstick. Same with the beemer x3.

  10. Another p.i.t.a. is changing the fuel filter. Instead of an inline filter with a couple of hose clamps, now you have to get into the gas tank. Auto manufacturers definitely want to stomp out do it yourselfers.

    • I asked about having the work truck’s fuel filter replaced when it hit 200,000. The dealer said it was “lifetime.” I asked “who’s lifetime?” Last week when I handed the keys off to my former supervisor, the odometer read 425655.3 miles on the “lifetime” fuel filter. Methinks it doesn’t filter much of anything.

      BTW this is the same truck that the JippyLube monkeys put the wrong fluid into the rear differential, discovered after a grinding noise was heard from the back. The dealer put in the right stuff and it continued on for at least 150K more (memory is a little foggy as to when that happened), but grinding noise continues.

  11. Once upon a time, I bought a used Audi A6, a 99 model with 98K miles. It shifted sluggishly, but the price was right. The manual said the AT fluid need never be changed. I dropped the pan anyway, and what came out was more akin to chassis lube than At fluid. I was surprised it worked at all. After spending $150 on a filter and “special” fluid, it was better, but not good. I found a co-sucker who offered me about what I paid for it. In other words, he bought it.
    My kidneys do a thing AT filters do not. They dump the filtered particulate in my toilet, or on the ground if I’m outdoors.
    I’m pretty sure that “lifetime” refers to the length of the warranty, not the expected life of the machine.

  12. ‘it is a “sell” to advertise and market low-to-no maintenance’ — eric

    That’s right, folks — acquire this shiny new EeeVee, and you won’t even HAVE a transmission to worry about. Plus, you get a lifetime battery guarantee*!

    *conditions apply

    Lord, deliver us from eVille.

    • Funny that you would mention batteries and lifetime warranties, as that brings another “lifetime” into question: that of the company. Sometime around ’76 or ’77, my father bought a replacement battery for his ’73 Cutlass. He bought it at K-mart (remember them?), and it was offered with a lifetime warranty. For some 40+ years, getting a new battery entailed bringing the dead battery and the receipt (which of course he’d saved) to the nearest K-mart (or maybe to Sears, after those two got together) and they’d pull a new one off the shelf.

      Now that K-mart is no longer a going concern, I suspect he’s back to paying for batteries like the rest of us. At least the Cutlass is no longer a daily driver, but only leaves the garage in good weather.

      As for batteries, when was the last time you saw one with more than a three-year warranty? It doesn’t matter how cheap-and-cheerful (or not) it may be. While the lifetime warranty is a distant thing, even something like a 5- or 6-year warranty has disappeared.

    • Low to no maintenance….

      that could be why these engines have pcv systems, if there was a catch can to empty every 10,000 miles, it is one more thing to maintain,

      instead they route this oil, water and contaminants back into the intake.This causes more problems, it gums up/plugs up the intake manifold requiring removing and cleaning at some point, this is worse on DI where there is no injector in the intake to help wash off the valves.

      Injecting this back into the intake means it is burnt, causing pollution, instead of being disposed of like used oil. This also reduces octane, so you get less power, less efficiency and more danger of detonation which can break the engine.

      • **”Injecting this back into the intake means it is burnt, causing pollution, instead of being….”**…being poured down the storm drain. 😀

      • The vacuum is necessary for it to function properly, and engines before this system actually gummed up a lot and required much earlier rebuilds for the internal pollution caused by blow-by. This system did probably the most mechanical good than anything ever invented.

        I have friends with historical cars pre-PCV who have retrofitted intake PCV systems to help preserve the car’s engine. These cars’ engines now go to the mileage expected of well maintained 60s and 70s muscle cars and even modern cars in many cases. Literally night and day for people who own these classics and antiques. The better the condition of the oil, the better the condition of the engine, and exhaust gas condensing pollution into the crankcase is not good for this.

        Aside, these same owner of very old cars also found that retrofitting modern air-filter materials also increased oil cleanliness as tested and overall longevity.

        Progress is good in some cases, especially when it keeps a classic going. Or else you can keep putting dino oil into that thirty or forty year old classic just because that was all that they had when it was new. My cousin with a rebuilt to stock 326 Pontiac motor (cam for modern gasoline only change) has over 300K mixed use miles and figures that it will need only a simple ring job and valve seals soon. PCV was stock, oil and air-filters modern tech.

        The system has no negative effect on the engine other than where we have gone full GDI without an intake valve wash injector.

        Catch cans are only needed for very specific situations, not for a flaw in the system.

        • Before PCV, they just used to vent the crankcase directly into the atmosphere (or onto the road, if it was burning erl) via a hose. That’s why years ago, any raod with any kinda traffic used to have a coating of oil down the center of every lane, which would get slick as soon as it started raining…hence why motorcyclists always rode to one side of the lane and not in the middle, so they wouldn’t wipe-out in the slippery oil slicks.

  13. A lot of this is done to lower the various reported total costs of ownership and necessary trips to the dealer for service. There was a big movement to get things down to yearly, hence the oil sludge debacle for non-highway driven vehicles and even some of them.

    It just grew and became a marketing thing. Given the huge numbers of vehicles which are leased, it gave the temporary owners a very easy experience. Cheap money tends to do this, allowing all sorts of financial games which move industries towards less future orientation. The folks over at a blog, Market-Ticker, discuss the implications of this on an hourly basis it seems.

    It is fun to look at service and maintenance recommendations for the same vehicle configurations in other First-world markets. Been going on for a long time that they change the recommendations given to the American users.

    • I think you nailed it in the sense that it coincides with the mid-upper portion of the market be becoming primarily lease machines. You just follow the schedule, it’s all under warranty, and don’t care because it’s a rental.

    • Hi Yep,

      Yup! Like John above, I’d had occasion to drop the pan on a vehicle with “lifetime” fluid and found what was within interesting, to say the least. I think Scotty Kilmer has touched on this stuff, too.

      • Right. Scotty Kilmer is very good on this subject. And he says that, if necessary, measure the old fluid that you drain out and then put in the same amount of new fluid. However, Scotty STILL repeats without critique the “CO2 emissions” bs. And he vacillates about EVs. And he usually says “the pandemic,” thus supporting that criminal hoax. As we know, the “pandemic” is a flood of lies, not any supposed “virus” (which no government on the planet has a sample of to prove their claim).

        • Hi JL,

          I don’t know Scotty personally but suspect he’s basically a “car guy” only – and has been apolitical in terms of his car commentary for most of his career. I on the other hand have been into the political side of things since the ’90s and so am “hip” to things he may not be. But I think he’s on our side – because he’s intelligent and (I think) honest. As opposed to the Left.

        • They relabeled mild flu as deathly bat germ disease and got people distracted/arguing over that,

          These globalist/satanists are doing a lot of weird high tech experiments on people with no consent, treated worse then lab rats, concealed behind a huge wall of lies…..

          They have people running in circles arguing over a virus

          meanwhile……what people were infected with was an Artificial Intelligent parasite. It’s part technology, part biology……..Part of the transhuman agenda……

          how were people getting sick?
          “They were getting sick with an Artificial Intelligence nanoweapon

          these can be delivered in an aerosol attack, they can be delivered through water, they can be delivered in food…or injections

          the injected are spewing out spike protein parasites, it is getting harder for the purebloods to survive, is that why they have backed off short term, the hunting down and forced injection of the unvaxxed?…they will get everybody one way or the other…

          Essentially, the new AI nanoweapon is a new AI species. Those spike proteins are parasites. And those parasites do gene editing inside of you to spawn viruses, diseases, biosynthetic structures, as well as to host the development of these new species that are being developed…..transhumanism…

          This is not just technology. It’s part technology, part biology. And as you go through the patents and the peer-reviewed publications, most of the biological sequences for this nanoweapon are from parasites…That’s why the ivermectin and the hydroxychloroquine and the anti-parasitical treatments kill it and/or at least slow it down.

          Now, the other thing is it’s part technology…It clearly states on one of the patents that this based on Quantum Dot, it’s based on the Bohr particle, which is based on frequencies – which means that frequencies can also disable the technology

          The 5G towers are part of the energy source for this AI nanoweapon. This AI parasite.

          so….watch your food and water, use ivermectin, anti parasite formulas, and zappers…..look for somewhere with no chemtails or forced injections, move to no 5G area….that is difficult…

  14. A bit of Jungarian Synchronicity? – this morning, before going online – I was thinking about caulk, one type says it’s good for 25 years, another says ‘lifetime’. I made a note to myself to look up what exactly that term ‘lifetime’ means and if it’s better than a 25 year guarantee, meaning, a better product? Then, I opened your article.

    One thing is for sure, any guarantee ~ is only good so long as the company making it stays in business.

    I had a choice a few years back, have a cheap inexpensive muffler installed, or pay a bit more & get one with a ‘lifetime’ guarantee (or some such period, just longer than the cheapie).

    A few years later, the ‘lifetime’ muffler developed a rust hole, so I stopped into the shop & was told I was s.o.l. the company backing the guarantee went outta business. …So, I went the coffee can fix route.

    It’s not often I regret not going with a lower quality & lower priced product.

    • helot,
      I never go with either the highest priced, nor with the lowest priced product. Many years ago, in much of Europe, a strategy for awarding construction contracts was “the closest to the mean bid”. Which I thought was a good plan at the time. Of course it didn’t last long in Europe. Since it reduced graft and bribery opportunity.
      I pay little attention to warranties, since they are only as good as the one doing the guarantee. Even if still in business, they probably have developed an excellent method of denying claims. The more claims they suffer, the better they get at it.

    • Helot, I was talking to a guy once who used to own a chain muffler shop (Hiney-key or Midas- I forget which). He said that their “Lifetime” muffler was the same muffler you’d get if bought their cheapest muffler…only difference being that the “Lifetime” came with the “Lifetime” guarantee. They had determined that the average customer only kept their car for an average of two years, and the warranty was non-transferable…so if the Lifetime would last two years, the shop would be home-free, having sold the cheapest muffler for seven times it’s normal price; and if it didn’t last the two years..or if the customer kept the car longer, it didn’t matter, ’cause the shop could replace it with the same cheapo muffler several times and still salvage a profit off of the initial sale, what with having sold the cheapo muffler for seven times it’s normal price.

      Whenever I buy something, I always try to figure out if and how the company is making a profit on what they are selling. If it looks like something is too cheap or too good to be true, you know there has to be deception involved. I’d rather deal with the place where you can see that they are making an honest profit at an honest price.

      • Hi Nunz! Midas’ trick is the “lifetime” warranty only applies to the muffler, not the pipes. By the time the muffler rots out one or the other of the exhaust pipes is also rusting out, not to mention solidly rusted to the muffler connections so they have to cut it off anyway and charge you for replacing the pipe.

  15. I have tried to get the local transmission shop to change my old ’02 A6 transmission fluid. They said that they *could* do it but never gave me a quote. I asked about that because I recently had its transmission range sensor replaced at a local shop.

    I’m selling my A4 Allroad as soon as possible, so that’s going to become somebody else’s problem soon enough. However, I intend to keep the A8 for another 2 years at least and its now past the 50K point. 62K as a matter of fact but it still has got an extended warranty for another 2 years.

    How in hell do I find somebody willing to change the fluid on the A8? Do I have to research German transmission shops in far away places or what?! Maybe some German specific performance shop or something??

    • EM,
      Audis have long been so “unique” that a mechanic that specializes in them can make a very good living.
      Several years ago, I made the mistake of buying a used 99 A6 with 98k miles on it. It shifted sluggishly, but hey the price was right. Its manual stated that the AT fluid never needed changing. I dropped the pan anyway, and what came out was closer to chassis lube than transmission fluid. I was surprised it worked at all. After spending $150 on “special” AT fluid, and a filter, to refill it, it shifted better, but not especially well. I found a co-sucker that offered near what I paid for it. In other words, he bought it.

    • Hi EM,

      I’m just freestyling on this because I’ve not worked on an A8 myself, but: I would imagine that it’s possible to drain the tranny (not Bruce!) by using a pump through the tranny fluid fill tube or (failing that) via one of the fluid cooler lines (this is how some shops do the flush n’ fill).

      Given the titanic cost of tranny repair in any luxury vehicle, I consider this a hassle worth the hassle!

  16. Auto manufacturers stopped putting fill tubes and dipsticks in the transmissions. My 2014 F-150 does not have one. They make it very difficult to do a fluid change since you have no dipstick and no gauge to measure the amount of fluid you need to put back in. I call it B.S. on the idiots who call themselves engineers. What were they thinking?!

    • Allen,
      If your owner’s manual does not give capacities, see if you can get a shop manual. I would say you should find one to download at a reasonable price for a 2014 model.
      You may not believe what’s required to determine if your AT is full or not. I had an 08 Miata with an AT. Too determine if it was full, the AT fluid in the AT had to be at a specific temperature. Of course the Mazda dealer has tools to gauge that temperature through the vehicle “programming”. I used a probe type thermometer and measured the temp of the fluid coming out the overflow as it warmed up and expanded. When it reached the target, I put the plug back in.

    • Scariest thing about that, Allen, is that a buyer of such a vehicle when buying it used has no way to assess the condition of the tranny fluid, and thus the tranny. Yet another thing destroying the viability of used vehicles.

  17. Eric- thanks for reminding everyone about needed servicing before winter comes.

    I’ve mentioned to friends about the importance of preventative maintenance and their response is a confused look or well you get your work done cheap because they are your buddies. Sure, but there is a certain amount of “quid pro quo” going on along with the job being treated as infill but still it seems like a cop out to me. My newest vehicle is over 20 years old so it’s not like I’d ever save money by skipping regular maintenance. How many people skip things like brake and caliper maintenance because no one ever thinks about it?

    Not sure how to do something? YouTube and the internet along with Harbor Freight tools can help you do it yourself.


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