Transmission Flush vs. Fluid Change
The transmission is an extremely vital component in your vehicle that needs to be properly maintained in order to avoid major issues from occurring. An important maintenance item for the transmission revolves around the fluid that it uses to operate. Much like motor oil, transmission oil is used to lubricate parts to keep them cool and prevent the transmission from overheating. It also helps to carry debris and grime from parts to keep the transmission clean.
There are two different types of transmission fluid services: one is a flush and the other is a fluid change. In the transmission, fluid is held in two different places, the transmission pan and and the torque converter. A transmission fluid change is when dirty fluid is drained from the pan, while a fluid flush is when fluid is removed and replaced in the pan, torque converter, and cooler lines.
Fresh fluid will allow the transmission to run cooler and also to be protected from wear and corrosion on major components. A transmission fluid change doesn’t remove all of the fluid, but is still effective in replacing most of the dirty fluid. A transmission flush is very effective because all of the old fluid is removed using a flush machine and then new fluid is added. The transmission filter should also be changed with either of these services.
A transmission that runs on old or dirty fluid can cause severe transmission problems, such as overheating and potential transmission failure. How often a fluid change is needed depends upon your vehicle’s factory recommendations, but it is typically around every 30,000 miles or so. A fluid flush is typically recommended around every 50,000 miles. The type of transmission fluid to use is based on your vehicle’s manufacturer recommendations.
If you’re having difficulty determining whether you need a flush or a fluid change, you can refer to your vehicle’s owner’s manual and also bring your vehicle into our shop for an evaluation and we can also give you a recommendation based on your vehicle’s needs. One way we can make a recommendation is by looking at the condition of your transmission fluid. If it is significantly dirty and it's been years since your last flush, a full flush will most likely be needed. However, if you have been on top of your transmission maintenance and the fluid looks good, a fluid change may be efficient enough.
If you do suspect that your vehicle is due for a transmission service, don’t hesitate to bring your vehicle into the experts in transmissions here at Transmasters Auto Care in San Diego, CA.