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I have a Pontiac Vibe 2004 with an automatic transmission. The mileage now is around 120k miles and I've never changed the transmission fluid. There are no mechanical problems with the vehicle at the moment but I was thinking about taking it to the dealership for some maintenance. Is it a good idea to change the transmission fluid for the first time now or would it make more damage?

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up vote 4 down vote accepted

Follow the vehicle's designated maintenance schedule. If it says you should change the automatic transmission fluid at a mileage near or below 120k, then change it. If not, then don't.

The manual for your 2004 Pontiac Vibe states:

Change automatic transaxle fluid every 60,000 miles (100 000 km) if the vehicle is mainly driven under one or more of these conditions:

  • In heavy city traffic where the outside temperature regularly reaches 90°F (32°C) or higher.
  • In hilly or mountainous terrain.
  • When doing frequent trailer towing.
  • Uses such as found in taxi, police or delivery service.

If you do not use your vehicle under any of these conditions, check the fluid.

I would also say that if you bought the car used and are unsure of its history, whether it fits any of the listed conditions, then I would go ahead and simply have it changed.

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