Should I Have a Transmission Fluid Change or Transmission Flush for My Vehicle?


Proper transmission maintenance is vitally important when it comes to avoiding costly and cumbersome repairs on your vehicle. Two of the most common maintenance procedures are the transmission flush and the transmission fluid change. 

While both of these procedures clean the transmission fluid, a transmission flush offers a more complete clean. Yet a fluid change will probably get the job done in a newer vehicle with lower mileage that is not exhibiting any transmission issues. Fluid changes, also sometimes simply called "transmission service," allow dirty transmission fluid to be replaced without requiring all of the fluid in the vehicle to be emptied out and thrown away. 

Understanding these procedures is an important part of knowing which of the two is appropriate. Below is an explanation of what happens during each procedure:

Transmission fluid change

When a transmission fluid change is performed, the drip pan is emptied out so that dirty transmission fluid can be thrown away. However, much of the transmission fluid will remain in the vehicle. 

Transmission flush

During a transmission flush, all of the transmission fluid will be forced out of the system with pressure. The pressure of a transmission flush not only allows for a cleaning of the transmission fluid, but it also cleans out the transmission filter and many of the mechanical parts of a vehicle's transmission. 

Which one should I have done?

Regardless of whether you have a transmission fluid change or flush, three important factors should be remembered. Most importantly, the fluid used must be the manufacturer recommended fluid.

It's also important to have the filter changed during the procedure and to have the drip pan looked at to detect any malfunctions. Leaking transmission fluid resulting from a faulty pan could cause malfunctions in other mechanical parts of your vehicle. 

A transmission flush provides a more thorough clean than a simple transmission fluid change. If your transmission has been acting up or malfunctioning in some way, you'll want to take advantage of this more thorough clean.

Signs that your transmission needs a flush include unusual noises coming from the transmission, difficulty in changing gears, delayed reaction time, or vehicle surges. Vehicle manufacturers typically recommend that transmission flushes be performed every 30,000 miles or so.

If your vehicle is not exhibiting any of the above-mentioned warning signs and you are not driving a very old vehicle, a transmission fluid change is probably enough to do the job. Many authorities discourage too many transmission flushes because of the slight possibility that debris could be pushed free during a flush that might become lodged in passageways within the transmission. For assistance, talk to a mechanic like A Transmissions.


13 July 2015

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