Do I Need a Transmission Fluid Change or Flush?

Your vehicle's transmission plays an integral role as it transfers power to the wheels so that you can move at certain speeds. If you should know anything about transmissions, they are complex and costly. However, you can mitigate transmission repairs by practicing good driving habits (ex. using your parking brake when parking and coming to a full stop before changing gears) and following your maintenance schedule.

The transmission has a lubricant, similar to motor oil, for reducing wear and tear on its components. Transmission maintenance includes transmission fluid changes and flushes. Today, we'll discuss the difference between the two types and help you narrow down which one you may need.

Transmission maintenance helps your vehicle in 3 ways:

  1. Prevents Overheating – Dirty transmission fluid can cause your transmission to overheat. Once the heat gets out of hand, it can cause particles to burn and overheat transmission components, resulting in a system failure.
  2. Improves Gear Changes – Thick, dirty, and gooey transmission can make it difficult for your vehicle to switch gears. To make gear changes smooth and seamless, you should stay on top of your transmission fluid maintenance.
  3. Improves FuelEfficiency – By reducing the amount of friction within your transmission, the amount of energy needed to carry out its operation decreases. Therefore, your car consumes less fuel.

Transmission Fluid Change Versus Flush

When a technician changes your transmission fluid, they will drain the pan, replace your filter, and top everything off with new fluid. A fluid change is recommended approximately every 30,000 miles or every two years. On the other hand, a technician will flush out all the old fluid within the system and replace it with fresh transmission fluid. Transmission flushes are usually done every 45,000 miles or 3 years in lieu of a change. Fluid flushes are arguably better because they clean the entire system to ensure smooth transmission operation. However, it is up to your preference and your automaker's instructions. 


If you're interested in any transmission maintenance services, please do not hesitate to bring your vehicle to Exclusive Motorworks.

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