Do I Really Need a Transmission Flush?

July 24, 2020

Cars require a lot of maintenance, so it’s no surprise that a lot of people want to put off anything “extra” until a better time. Customers often ask if they really need a transmission flush in Hanford, CA—the answer is that it depends on your car, what the manufacturer recommends and how well your transmission has been performing recently. If your mechanic has suggested you need a transmission flush, ask why, and ask whether it’s part of routine maintenance or if it’s supposed to help solve a specific issue.

What is a transmission flush?

A transmission flush is more involved than simply draining the transmission and replacing it with new fluid, which is also a routine part of auto maintenance in Hanford, CA. Draining the fluid doesn’t get rid of all the old transmission fluid—just most of it.

Transmission flushes hook the transmission up to a professional machine, which will run a special solution through your transmission until all the old fluid is completely gone. When the solution runs clear, the machine will then refill your transmission with new fluid.

Why would I need a transmission flush?

Normal transmission fluid is a pinkish red or ruby color, but if it’s dark brown or black, the fluid has burned. That makes it far less effective and indicates that it’s time to flush your transmission fluid.

Most car manufacturers recommend flushing and changing your transmission fluid every 30,000 to 100,000 miles, although some never mention when your transmission should be flushed. In general, plan to get your transmission flushed every few years or whenever you notice the fluid looks burned.

You might also need a transmission flush when your transmission has been malfunctioning. Some signs of transmission problems include:

  • Slipping gears: If your transmission fluid is dirty or sludgy, it won’t be able to create enough hydraulic pressure to power your gear shift.
  • Grinding noises: Is your transmission grinding or making other odd noises when you shift gears? Stop the vehicle and check the fluid—if it’s not burned, and it’s at the appropriate level, you may need a transmission flush.
  • Shifting problems: Dirty transmission fluid will make it harder to shift gears—you may have problems shifting at all, or the shift may come too late. If you notice this problem, schedule a transmission flush.
  • Surges: If your vehicle suddenly surges while you’re driving, this is a sign that your transmission isn’t getting enough clean fluid to ensure smooth operation.
  • Stalls: Finally, stalling after being put in gear can indicate that you need a transmission flush.

If you’re having transmission problems, flushing the fluid may help solve them without requiring additional repairs. Always follow your manufacturer’s suggestions about flush frequency, and check the transmission fluid or have a mechanic check things out any time you notice the above issues.

If you’re having transmission or other auto maintenance problems in Hanford, CA, stop by or call AAA Sandoval Transmissions today—we’ll help you keep your transmission running for years to come.

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