Anyone who knows anything about how to maintain a vehicle, knows that it is important to keep clean fluids flowing inside the motor at all times. If not, the fluids; whether we are talking about engine oil, gear oil, hydraulic fluid, or transmission fluid, will begin to break down and eventually fall so far out of spec, they begin to cause damage inside the system. Not too many people really think twice about taking their vehicle to the shop and asking them to “change the oil”. However, what you think may happen when fluid is changed and what actually happens may
Flush vs. Change
A simple transmission fluid change typically consists of draining all of the old fluid out of the pan, swapping out the filter and adding new fluids back into the system. This is a common preventative maintenance service that gets only the majority of old fluid out, leaving behind remnants that will immediately lower the quality of the new fluid. In order to completely remove all fluid from the transmission, you need to perform a system flush rather than a simple change. A transmission fluid flush forces all of the expired fluid out under pressure and is followed up with a cleaning agent to help “scrub” clean any residue that may have been hung up. Flushing your transmission fluid is a better, more thorough alternative to a basic change, which of course means it will also cost you more. However, just because it is the better option, doesn’t mean it is what you need to do every time.
Although transmission maintenance is important, it is different from other systems in an engine in that it doesn’t usually require the same frequency of attention that something like the oil system requires. You may hear different recommendations depending on which mechanic you speak with, but most will suggest that a transmission system needs flushed about every 100,000 miles as preventative maintenance. If you decide to have a system flush performed on your transmission, it is important to hire a trained professional. If not performed properly, more harm than good can be done to the components of the transmission. The cost of a transmission flush will vary depending on who you work with and where you live, but it’s safe to expect somewhere around $200 to be in the ballpark of what it should cost. That may seem like alot for some as a preventative maintenance fee, but when you compare it to the potential cost of replacing a transmission after neglecting to take care of it, it suddenly doesn’t seem so bad.
When it is time to change your transmission fluid check out our full line of PAO Group IV base oils. Available in both the Blue Diamond Serve-Duty or Adrenaline Racing Series. We have three Automatic Transmission Fluids (ATF) that covers most trucks on the road today. Having issues with your transmission find out more about Shift Restore additive for any ATF or CVT. Also check out the 5 Key Benefits of Using Shift Restore.
Proper maintenance is important for anything you want to last. It is a much more affordable strategy than just waiting for something to break, then getting it fixed. A transmission is a very complex system and needs to be functioning at 100% efficiency in order for the rest of your engine to do the same. If you’re looking to get the most out of your equipment, be sure to keep the entire transmission system clean, and keep clean fluids flowing at all times. Whether that requires a system flush or just a simple change is ultimately up to you.