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I was sitting at a redlight with the engine tugging gently on the drivetrain, glanced at the 208,000 miles on the odometer and I slipped the transmission into "N" in the belief that this might prolong my AT life. But will it? Is it easier on the AT to use "N" when stopped and then endure the little jolt when engaging "D", or is it better to leave the AT engaged? Or should I shift into "1" when the light goes green?

I can't bear the thought (and the expense!) of having this AT overhauled or replaced, since it'll probably cost $4000-$5000. I usually baby the driveline just for this reason. So what's my best policy for preserving the 164L AT?
 

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I would leave it in "D" unless you expect to stop there for, say, over 5 minutes (if you expect to stop that long, you might as well turn the car off). The low gears (except the 4th) are fluid coupling so I believe there will be minimal wear to the tranny if you leave it in gear while sitting at the light.

What is more important is to make sure you have the ATF changed once in a while - every 15K to 20K is not too often IMO since this is the best insurance! Beyond this, just drive smoothly, avoid sudden acceleration and high speed "down shift" if you want to prolong the tranny life!
 

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There is a filter to be changed as well. Check that the thermostat and cooling fan is working. Mine went because of bad cooling. When you is ckecking the level once in a while take a smell at the oil as well, if it smells burnt then something is wrong.
 

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Interesting issue, g84... Do you have a procedure for checking the A/T cooling is OK?
Sorry no, but i suppose a workshop can do it. When i had mine fixed they modyfied the oil cooler, took of the fan and thermostat. The oil then always went trough the cooler. It worked well for me, but if you are towing or driving in warm climate i would keep the fan and mount a temp reader and put a switch inside the car to operate the fan. Sold the car a couple a years ago dont know if it still works.

JK
1995 164 Q4
 
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