Should You be Thinking About a Transmission Flush?


The transmission of a vehicle is a complex system of gears that transmits power from the engine to the wheels. Most people don’t think about their transmission unless it has a problem. For most drivers, the transmission usually needs attention once every few years.

A common source of transmission problems is a simple maintenance issue: low transmission fluid, or oil that is dirty. You can usually recognize when a little work is needed – your transmission could begin to make grinding noises, suffer from gear slippage or have trouble shifting to the right gear. Often, transmission oil problems result in sluggishness and odd, unexplained surges in speed.

Understanding how transmission oil problems affect you

Inadequate transmission fluid levels can cause certain problems, such as an inability to stay in gear. A simple fluid change or top-off can resolve the issue. Often, though, these simple measures aren’t enough. The transmission and the entire casing could be so contaminated with metal powder from the wear and tear involved in the working of your transmission that any new oil that you put in is instantly muddied up. In this case, a full transmission flush is the solution.

How does a transmission flush work?

According to Pearland transmission experts at Snider Transmission, an oil change involves simply draining the fluid out of an opening at the bottom of the transmission casing, closing the opening, and then filling in new oil through the level check opening at the top. Any sludge that’s collected at the bottom of the transmission remains where it is. A transmission flush requires more thorough work.

The mechanic drains the dirty old oil out of the transmission, connects both openings to a pump and runs solvent through the system at high pressure. This process will completely clean out the transmission. Newer vehicles that use automatic transmission fluid are usually self-cleaning and do not need flushing for at least 100,000 miles. Vehicles that don’t use this technology need flushing at least once every 30,000 miles.

Getting a reasonable deal

If your car hasn’t had a flush in 30,000 miles and is beginning to show slippage and other signs of a dirty transmission, you should begin looking at getting a transmission flush. If your car is still covered under warranty, you should certainly take it to a dealership. If it’s out of warranty, a little research for a good mechanic may be needed. It’s a good idea to get estimates from at least three garages. You want to make sure that each garage gives you an estimate for the same level of service. Ask them for the specific brand of oil that they plan to use and the brand of oil filter.

Finally, it’s important to remember that you can lose much more than just the cost of a transmission flush if you go to an incompetent garage. If they aren’t careful, they can inadvertently let a little debris into your transmission during the process. Even a little piece of debris can clog an important passageway for fluid. You will need to spend hundreds of dollars to have your transmission opened up. It is vitally important to look online for user reviews of the garage to make sure that they know what they are doing.