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Old 05-15-2003, 03:21   #1 (permalink)
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3 spd automatic--is it wrecked??

I'm a little upset because today while driving to TAFE my 1988 NA Fairlane didn't seem to take off. There was a great shudder under acceleration, and while it did eventually go, and gave me the 80 kilometres or so i needed today, i have a bad feeling that the automatic may be destroyed.

To be quite honest i don't know that much about autos. And I'm kicking myself because whilst I had checked that auto fluid a number of times, i hadn't done it whilst hot as per the workshop manual. So even tho I had a good level of reasonably red fluid cold, could it still be true that I have run the thing dry?? I checked it about 30 secs after stopping, and it was VERY low, like just on the dipstick, and also brown.

I purchased the car 4 months ago and it recently went 250000 klms. I haven't had an auto service, but have one booked in next wk, that is if the thing makes it that far. I'm gonna buy some fluid tomorrow and put it in, but have I wrecked the tranny guys?

Next question, if it ran dry of fluid, what happens, how do you fix it and how much does it cost?

Sorry this was so long. Thanks for your help.
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Old 05-15-2003, 04:01   #2 (permalink)
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The tranny fluid esentially provides cooling and lubrication to all parts inside, so yes being very low and brown would have an affect on it..did the fluid have a burnt smell too it??
It could be that its just very long overdue for a service...take it in and see what the tranny guys say...

Its possible the transmission could be leaking/burning fluid...I had a car that blew the seal on the transmission oil pan, and when that ran dry it took very long to select/shift gears, and had a loss of power...anyway during the service they should replace the sump gasket and filter, and check for leaks.

Hope this helps..


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Old 05-15-2003, 04:32   #3 (permalink)
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Nope I doubt your tranny is wrecked... It's just running low on fluid and your torque converter is kicking in and out.

Put some fluid in it before you totally stuff it.
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Old 05-15-2003, 19:07   #4 (permalink)
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My old car had a 4 speed auto. After jump starting a friend's car one day, it was behaving that way. The car was stuck in 3rd gear. It was taking off in 3rd and staying there (well not really taking off, moving off very slowly). Turned out that the shift computer was buggered. Must have fried something in it during the jump start (even though we did everything right). The computer was permanently in safety mode, which is 3rd gear.
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Old 05-16-2003, 01:59   #5 (permalink)
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Quote:
So even tho I had a good level of reasonably red fluid cold, could it still be true that I have run the thing dry?? I checked it about 30 secs after stopping, and it was VERY low, like just on the dipstick, and also brown.
Sometimes the fluid in the torque converter leaks down and gives a good reading when cold, but when she starts up, that fluid is taken up and she could be really low.

Later models had a "cold" and "hot" marks on the dipstick, this is also a trap because of the abovementioned.

If the fluid is brown, best to change out the lot, but do it soon, it could save a lot of $$$$ type grief.


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Old 05-16-2003, 02:14   #6 (permalink)
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i doubt it's recked, it's pretty hard to stuff these things, my dad has a 3sp wagon and has an oil leak outta one off the coolent pipes, he never checks the oil, only waits until the tranny shows signs of needing oil like rough gear changes or a shudder here or there so i doubt that you have recked it.... weather or not something else has gone wrong with it i don't know.. just fill it with oil and see how ya go
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Old 05-16-2003, 06:06   #7 (permalink)
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thanks for your help everyone. i put some fluid in it and it seemed to shift a bit better, but still shuddered considerably on takeoff. i have an auto service booked for monday, and the mechanic said he should be able to diagnose whether it is shot or not by taking off the cover plate.

hope its not too much $$$ to fix--if it is I might just go crazy and shove a 5 spd manual in it. as if it doesn't use enough fuel already...
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Old 05-16-2003, 17:51   #8 (permalink)
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im not sure, but i don't think the NA series 3 speeds have a computer. i blown 2 borg warner 21's (ea 3sp) and i found them fairly cheap to replace, at around $250 from the wreckers, or search through the trading post as i seen a couple of them going for as little as $100ea in good cond. where as a workshop will rebuild it for about $600.

i wouldn't stress too much about it.

daniel
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