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Thread: Difference between transmission service and a transmission flush?

  1. #1
    Ridin Dirty dom's Avatar
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    Difference between transmission service and a transmission flush?

    Are they the same?

    If so, how come a transmission service costs more?

    "Tutto nello Stato, niente al di fuori dello Stato, nulla contro lo Stato "
    -Mussolini
    All within the state, nothing outside the state, nothing against the state.

  2. #2
    Vulture of The Western World Eric's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by dom View Post
    Are they the same?

    If so, how come a transmission service costs more?
    Some places just drop the pan (which you need to do in most cases to replace the filter), then top it off after installing a new filter/re-installing the pan. But this only removes about 4 quarts or so (average) from the system. There's still a lot of fluid in the torque converter, lines/cooler and the unit itself. To replace all the fluid, the system has to be flushed - which usually means hooking it up to a machine that sucks out the old fluid and replaces it with fresh fluid.

    I've heard pros and cons for both approaches.

    In my old cars, I just do the drop the pan/replace the filter thing every other year.

    So far, no problems...

  3. #3
    Ridin Dirty dom's Avatar
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    Would you suggest for the normal consumer to get a service and a flush at the same time, or just one?

    "Tutto nello Stato, niente al di fuori dello Stato, nulla contro lo Stato "
    -Mussolini
    All within the state, nothing outside the state, nothing against the state.

  4. #4
    Vulture of The Western World Eric's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by dom View Post
    Would you suggest for the normal consumer to get a service and a flush at the same time, or just one?
    With the new stuff, I dunno. I've heard some (like Hondas) are very sensitive to transmission service.

    With the older stuff, I think you're ok with just dropping the pan/replacing the filter and topping it off with fresh fluid - provided you do it every two years and provided the transmission isn't abused or subjected to severe duty (towing, off-roading, drag racing, hard street driving). If it is, I'd change out all the fluid every year, install an accessory cooler and consider using a HD fluid such as B&M sells.

    Transmissions are expensive!

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    I would just make sure that fluid is exchanged once a year. That is what I plan on doing with my Jag.

    The transmission is the most ignored component on a vehicle. Most people change their oil semi-regularly, but will let the trans go for the life of the car. That's why you don't want to buy a used car with over 60,000 miles unless someone can prove they have had their transmission serviced.

  6. #6
    Vulture of The Western World Eric's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by swamprat View Post
    I would just make sure that fluid is exchanged once a year. That is what I plan on doing with my Jag.

    The transmission is the most ignored component on a vehicle. Most people change their oil semi-regularly, but will let the trans go for the life of the car. That's why you don't want to buy a used car with over 60,000 miles unless someone can prove they have had their transmission serviced.
    Amen. With anything late-model especially. It is shocking how expensive a replacement transmission can be for something as ordinary as an Accord or Camry... $2,500 or more.

    In the Olden Days ('60s and '70s and '80s) one could buy a brand-new TH350 or TH400 for about $500. (They still cost about that much today.)

    Of course, the downside was those old transmissions usually just had three speeds (no OD) and so the gas mileage sucked (if the car had a performance final drive ratio) or the performance sucked (if the car had "highway" gears).

    One thing I recommend people do is install a temp gauge so they can monitor the temperature of the fluid. Overheating is, next to things like neutral drops, the thing that will kill a transmission quickest. If you have a gauge, you can shut 'er down before she overheats - or get a cooler, so it never happens again.

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