Does “Flushing” A Transmission Do More Damage Than Good?
Conscientious automobile owners stay up on maintenance work. They realize that doing some ordinary activities will add years of life and performance on to their car. That being said, there are instances where there’s a question if the maintenance work does more harm than good. Flushing the transmission is one such chore.
Reasons not to flush automatic transmission
Flushing automatic transmission may not be the best idea. The reason has to deal with the newer models of cars. The latest models will use a high quality transmission fluid. This lasts the life time of the automobile so there’s never any reason to change it. Something the owner could look for in the transmission is whether or not there’s a fluid dipstick. The reason is that the new models are sealed. You can’t easily do a flush at all.
Requirement of transmission flush
A transmission flush is meant to get rid of contaminants that have built up within the transmission. It makes sense to do that on older cars because the transmission fluid could become polluted with considerable amounts of grime over the years. However, the flush also has a potential risk that can be quite harmful. The same grime that is supposed to be eliminated can become stuck in other areas of the engine. A flush requires pressure to be effective. There is the real possibility that valves and seals in the engine can get weakened because of that exerted force.
Aspects to consider in transmission servicing
In the servicing of a transmission the most important consideration is the fluid itself. A flush does have a possibility of causing some damage, and so a better idea would be to have a full service of the transmission. This will involve changing or cleaning the filter, dropping the pan and cleaning it and then adding transmission fluid. This is something that works very well on older vehicles.
Transmission fluid change/flush: Which one is better?
A fluid change may be the better option depending on the model and year of the automobile. Changing the transmission fluid is less expensive than the flush and may do more to resolve any transmission problems. Part of a transmission service is replacing the filter. That can improve the performance of the vehicle. Granted the newer models may have lifetime fluids but the older cars should have a transmission fluid changed every 30,000 miles (newer cars may go up as high as 100,000 miles). A good way to make a decision on this is check the owner’s manual to see what is required. Follow the manual recommendations closely. It can happen that you will do the right thing to the car at a much lower cost.
Better to go for a servicing center
There are car models that can be benefited from a flush. A drain and fill process, which circulates the older fluid through the transmission, can be used prior to adding new fluid. This removes the problems that may result from forced flushing. There are cars that have transmissions which do not have a bottom pan and access to the filter is difficult. A standard transmission flush may be the best thing to do in this case. Of course, a transmission flush is certainly not a do-it-yourself project. It should be done at an professional automotive service center that has necessary equipment.
Importance of transmission maintenance
All of the debate and discussion about the right way to deal with transmission fluid centers on one very important point. The transmission is one of the most important parts of the engine. If the transmission should fail because of dirty transmission fluid, an owner can expect to pay a considerable amount of money for the repair. Simply because the car has the forever type of transmission fluid it doesn’t mean that you should ignore the maintenance on this part of the engine.
The good news is that whatever option you decide on, changing the fluid or doing a flush, this is something that doesn’t have to be done every year. Even with the older models the transmission work is something done every three years or more. That of course gives you plenty of time to determine the best option to take. It is definitely worthwhile to learn as much as you can about the transmission in your car. The proper maintenance on the fluid is going to guarantee that your transmission is going to last for a considerable period of time. If it lasts the life of your ownership, that is the best possible outcome.