There is some debate among automotive experts about the necessity of regular transmission flushes. It is generally agreed that when properly administered a flush can help you avoid transmission repairs due to excessive buildup. Before you schedule a flush along with your next oil change though, there are a few key details to keep in mind to avoid a mishap.
When you take your car to a transmission repair shop, it is important to know what your vehicle needs. But wait, isn’t knowing all about cars the mechanic’s job? While it is in their job description, it is actually your job to read the owner’s manual to your vehicle. That book will tell just what your car requires to run optimally, which may help you avoid unnecessary transmission services due to ignorance.
The golden standard for oil changes used to be every 3,000 miles, or earlier if there were noticeable problems. These may present as lowered gas mileage, a burning smell, or a leak. But now, the recommendation is different from car to car, with some not requiring a change until nearly 7,500 miles. The reason behind this is the driving habits of the owner can have an effect, as does the newer clean vehicles have different requirements.
Transmission repair can be costly. The best policy is prevention, which means proper maintenance is a must. In your vehicle’s owner’s manual it will state how often to change the transmission fluid. A general rule of thumb is between 30,000 to 60,000 for a manually operated vehicle, and between 60,000 to 100,000 for an automatic.
Flushing the system will clear out any gunk, which is really just buildup. This may result in better operations, and may also extend the life of the transmission. A clean system simply works better, as fluid and air can move easily throughout to better aid in combustion. But there are some problems that may present themselves if the flush is not undertaken properly, which is why the actual necessity of a transmission flush is debated among some automotive experts.
The most common complaint against a flush is the force used to flush out buildup. Some transmission repair shops use a flushing machine that has too much power. The cleaning fluid rushes through the transmission with such force that delicate pipes and valves could be damaged. To avoid this, it is best to discuss the process beforehand, and to ask if the flushing machine to be used has any extra force added. The answer should be no.
Before the mechanic does any flushing, they should do their own close inspection of the transmission. They should take it for a drive, inspect the valves, gasket, and current transmission fluid and oil for any abnormalities. Only then should they advise you on whether or not your vehicle could use a transmission flush. They may also ask about your driving habits, and based on this, advise how often one should be done.
If you are not a mechanic, whether officially or on weekends, the inner workings of your vehicle may seem mysterious. That is when the owner’s manual comes in. It is not necessary for you to know how to fix everything in your car. It is incredibly helpful to know what your car needs, and when.