If you own a car with an automatic transmission, you will need to perform a transmission flush at some point. The exact timing depends on your specific car, but performing regular maintenance on your transmission is the key to keeping it operating smoothly for years to come. Without these flushes, the fluid becomes old and loses its viscosity. Parts inside the transmission begin to wear more quickly, and heat starts to break down key components. Here are some tips to follow when it comes to a transmission flush.
What is a Transmission Flush?
Just like you need to change your car’s engine oil on a regular basis, your transmission fluid must also be changed regularly. Simply draining the fluid from the transmission does not remove all the old fluid, so a flush is recommended. Flushing the transmission ensures that all the old fluid is removed from the system, and it is refilled with clean new fluid.
When performing a transmission flush, there are usually two ways it can be done. The first is by connecting a vacuum type device to the transmission so that it sucks out all the old fluid. Once the old fluid is removed, the new fluid is added and the service is complete. The other method, which is generally preferred by mechanics, allows the pressure from the transmission system itself to push out all the old fluid. This method is not as harsh on the transmission system and usually creates fewer risks during the process.
When Do I Need a Transmission Flush?
If you are experiencing any transmission problems, a flush can be your first line of defense. It is amazing what new fluid can do for your transmission. It can actually fix several common problems such as improper shifting or slipping of the transmission. You should always keep an eye on your transmission fluid level and color just like you check your engine oil. You might be wondering how do you check your transmission fluid? It is actually pretty easy!
Your transmission has a dipstick where you check your fluid just like your engine does for the oil. The main difference is that the cars need to be running to check the transmission fluid. Crank the car and let it warm up, shift into gear and then back into park, and then pull out the dipstick. The fluid should be at the proper level, and it should be a bright pink or red color. If it is brown or dirty, then you should perform a transmission flush soon!
In addition to visual checks, transmission flushes should be performed at regular intervals as recommended by your car manufacturer. This might be anywhere from every 40,000 miles to every 100,000 miles. This interval varies by make and model. Be sure to familiarize yourself with these guidelines as you do not want to pay for a flush that may not be needed.
How Much Does a Transmission Flush Cost?
Thankfully, a transmission flush is a fairly inexpensive maintenance item. You can expect to pay somewhere between $200 – $400 for this service. Most modern transmissions have a capacity of 16 quarts or more of fluid, so that is a big part of the expense. This can usually be performed by a repair shop in less than an hour, so it is not an extremely involved process. You can always call around to multiple mechanics to try and get the best price. Just make sure that they are familiar with how to perform the service on your specific vehicle so that things are done properly.
Automatic transmissions require regular service, and a transmission flush is one of the most basic. This is a fairly inexpensive maintenance item and should be performed whenever your transmission has issues, the fluid is dirty, or as recommended by your vehicle manufacturer. Following those guidelines will help ensure that your transmission shifts smoothly and operates effectively for as long as you own your vehicle.