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Old 01-16-2013, 07:21 AM   #31
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Re: Discussion over Never changing the VTF fluids...

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Originally Posted by speedlever View Post

Shucks, even using the MM was a major reset for me.
I hear that, but now it's kind of a relief.
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Old 01-16-2013, 10:48 AM   #32
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Re: Discussion over Never changing the VTF fluids...

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Originally Posted by speedlever View Post
We all know the FWD aspect. The rear diff gets used at every start, not sure if you covered that.

But the poor mpg was what I was really hitting you on. Seems to me you are getting exactly what was advertised for the RL. So how does that equal poor mpg in your book... unless you bought the RL expecting higher numbers? And if so, what was that expectation based on?

I find my RL to get the advertised numbers or slightly better in town. And just slightly better on the road, but not by much. I don't call that poor mpg. I call it accurate information on the window sticker. I knew what it was when I bought it and haven't been disappointed in the slightest.
I think we've all read the VTM explanation. As I understand it rear axle torque is applied proportional to acceleration from a dead stop. I don't jump on the throttle from a dead stop so I don't think the VTM is overly active for my driving style during gradual acceleration. I change all my own fluids and I can't see any visual difference in new or used VTM fluid but I still change all fluids based on the MM.

As far a gas mileage goes I was aware of what to expect for fuel consumption. For me the utilitarian value of the truck outweighs what I perceive to be it's fuel inefficiency. Overall I have very few complaints about my Ridgeline. I just wish the Ridgeline had better fuel economy.
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Old 01-16-2013, 10:55 AM   #33
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Re: Discussion over Never changing the VTF fluids...

Understood. Sounds like we have similar driving characteristics too. Even after 30k miles, the mag plug on the rear diff had very little debris on it. But still, for $25, I'm gonna change it per the MM.
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Old 01-16-2013, 11:09 AM   #34
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Re: Discussion over Never changing the VTF fluids...

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Originally Posted by speedlever View Post
Understood. Sounds like we have similar driving characteristics too. Even after 30k miles, the mag plug on the rear diff had very little debris on it. But still, for $25, I'm gonna change it per the MM.
I'm at 98K and saw some fine gray residue on the mag plug at the first change out, virtually nothing since then.
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Old 01-16-2013, 11:20 AM   #35
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Re: Discussion over Never changing the VTF fluids...

The bottom line here is that some are more regular-maintenance-minded than others. Some will feel that they can push fluids and other maintenance for far longer than the recommended manufacturer's intervals and they may be correct. Others follow it religiously and even change certain fluids MORE frequently than recommended. I'm with speed, rollin and the others that don't have the mindset to prolong maintenance. I feel that one should never even test the fluid longevity as to ward against ANY mechanical degredation. You can't completely negate material wear, but you can proactively help guard against it with a constant supply of fresh fluids. Yes, my VTM-4 fluid, tranny fluid and transfer case fluid all pretty much look new when I change them, but you can't judge it completely only by what you are able to see.

When I was younger, I never kept up with the maintenance on my vehicles like it should have been other than oil and filters. Tranny fluid, brake fluid, PS fluid.... all neglected. Never even thought about it. My last vehicle's transmission failed because I didn't change the tranny fluid until it had 110k miles on it. It was BLACK because it was burnt. There was no saving it. Had I performed regular tranny fluid services from the time I bought it at 34k miles, I have no doubt I would have gotten more life out of it. Neglecting to do services also can hurt if you ever try to sell your truck on your own. One of the first things savvy buyers will ask for are the maintenance records. If you don't have them because it hasn't been done, they'll walk away no matter how nice the truck looks. Just food for thought.
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Old 01-16-2013, 11:39 AM   #36
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Re: Discussion over Never changing the VTF fluids...

Ian, you are not alone in that distinction about neglecting fluids in the past. Ah, ignorance is such bliss. (don't ask how i know)
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Old 01-16-2013, 12:25 PM   #37
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Re: Discussion over Never changing the VTF fluids...

We need someone to purchase TWO Ridgelines and drive them the same. One would have no maintenance done and the other would have regular maintenance. Now that would be interesting!
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Old 01-16-2013, 01:26 PM   #38
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Re: Discussion over Never changing the VTF fluids...

I guess another course of action is to only change it when it looks bad and don't worry about why it suddenly looks bad.

Preventative maintenance can cost some and it can also be very boring if nothing actually goes bad. I can put up with that kind of boredom.
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Old 01-16-2013, 08:54 PM   #39
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Re: Discussion over Never changing the VTF fluids...

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Originally Posted by kevin_stevens View Post
That was the question asked by the OP. That's the question I answered. If you want to ask a different question, suggest you do it in your own thread - or at least don't bitch that people aren't answering YOUR question in this one.

I said "there have been reports". I don't know the mileage, they weren't listed in the reports. Go look at the threads of people reporting lack of rear VTF lockup. If you don't want to do your own research, and your position is that you won't do recommended maintenance without someone doing your research for you - then I guess you aren't going to do any maintenance. Go forth and be joyful instead of posting ill-spelled demands.

KeS
No disrespect to anyone.

I was just making a point that some say the clutches will fail. I am just curious, as the OP might be, at what point have people seen failure. I realize the OP asked for theoretical damage and theoretically, clutch failure is possible...but clutch failure is likely going to happen someday, even with regular fluid changes. So, the statement could be made: "with regular fluid changes, the clutches will fail"...and this would not be a lie. Maybe at 500K or 600K...who knows. You did not say "there have been reports". You actually said "The damage would be that the clutches would fail". I just think we should state that premature clutch failure is speculated unless they have actually seen them fail. And if they have, at what mileage.

Last edited by Bethard728; 01-16-2013 at 09:10 PM.
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Old 01-16-2013, 09:05 PM   #40
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Re: Discussion over Never changing the VTF fluids...

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Originally Posted by speedlever View Post
The problem I see with your (Bethard728) premise is that you are looking to define a fail point with no maintenance. I come from a background where you do preventative maintenance to prevent the fail point from ever occurring. That ensures the likelihood of reliable and predictable operations.

I think we would likely have to have a conversation with Borg Warner about the fluid and failure characteristics of the VTM-4 unit in order to understand the ramifications of not following the recommended maintenance procedures and schedules. I don't expect that to occur. So we are left with the manufacturer's maintenance recommendations as interpreted by the owner.

I don't consider a $25 expense once every 30 months or so to be a problem or inconvenience personally. Especially not for the reliable function and utility I get as a by-product.
You make a good point speed. I am looking for a defined "typical" failure time. I know it is not that cut and dry....but was hoping someone could say "I have seen 5 different VTM failures around 200K" The expense is not an issue, but for me I would change fluids every 10 months or so and that seems like a hassle to me. Just getting lazy I guess...
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