Last Updated on 3 months by Ollie Barker
The transmission flush is an important maintenance procedure for many drivers. The fluid circulates throughout the fluid’s channels to keep the inside of the clutch and torque converter lubricated, while also cooling the system.
We’ll explore how long does a transmission flush take and why is it important.
The process of flushing your vehicle’s transmission typically takes an hour or two, depending on what type of service you get done.
What is Transmission Flush?
Transmission flush is a crucial maintenance procedure that involves removing old transmission fluid and replacing it with new fluid. Over time, transmission fluid can become contaminated with dirt, debris, and other contaminants that can cause wear and tear on the transmission system, leading to costly repairs and breakdowns.
A transmission flush involves using a special machine to flush out the old fluid and replace it with fresh, clean fluid. This process helps to remove contaminants and debris that can clog the transmission system and cause damage.
Regular transmission flushes can help to extend the life of your transmission and prevent costly repairs. By keeping your transmission system clean and debris-free, you can ensure that your vehicle runs smoothly and reliably.
Benefits of Transmission Flushing
Transmission flushing is a crucial maintenance procedure that offers a range of benefits to vehicle owners. Here are some of the key benefits of transmission flushing:
- Improved Transmission Performance: A transmission flush removes dirt, debris, and contaminants from the transmission system, which can improve the overall performance of the transmission. This can help to reduce gear slippage, hesitation, and other transmission problems.
- Prevents Costly Repairs: Over time, dirt and debris can accumulate in the transmission system, leading to wear and tear on the components. Regularly flushing the transmission can prevent this damage and avoid costly repairs down the road.
- Extends Transmission Life: Regular transmission flushes can help extend your transmission’s life. By keeping the transmission system clean and free of contaminants, you can reduce the wear and tear on the components and extend the life of your transmission.
- Improves Fuel Economy: A transmission flush can help to improve fuel economy by ensuring that the transmission system is running smoothly. A poorly performing transmission can cause the engine to work harder, which can lead to decreased fuel efficiency.
- Enhances Resale Value: A well-maintained vehicle with a healthy transmission system is more valuable than a vehicle with transmission problems. Regular transmission flushes can help ensure your vehicle is in good condition and enhance its resale value.
Why Changing the Transmission Fluid Important?
One of the most important reasons to flush your transmission fluid is that it reduces the friction between the internal components. Over time, friction can lead to gear wear or even premature transmission failure, which can result in costly repairs.
The fluid also lessens heat buildup in the system. As the engine turns, the friction causes heat to form within the transmission. If this heat builds up too quickly, it could damage parts of your vehicle’s transmission and possibly even cause permanent damage or death of parts within.
How Long Does a Transmission Flush Take?
Generally speaking, the amount of time it takes for your transmission to be flushed depends on what type of service you are getting done. Here are some examples:
- A transmission fluid flush can take anywhere from 15 minutes to two hours. If your transmission is extremely dirty, it may take longer. The length that it takes will depend on how much fluid is in your system and how much needs to be removed.
- A transmission fluid refill can take only a few hours. When you get a fluid refill, the technician will add fluid from a container to your transmission so that system does not have to be drained. This reduces the amount of time it takes for the job to complete. On average, a transmission refill takes only one hour.
Signs That Your Transmission Needs a Flush
Most transmission service centers include a transmission flush when performing an oil change or other routine services. A fluid flush is most often recommended after the vehicle has 100,000 miles on the odometer.
However, if you can notice any of the following signs, it may be time to get your transmission flushed:
- You notice that your vehicle is not shifting correctly or at all.
- You notice that your vehicle’s engine light is on. This could mean that there is a problem with the transmission that has not been properly identified or repaired.
- You notice that your vehicle has an unusual vibration. Many problems with transmission performance are caused by bad vibrations caused by the engine. This means that any vibration could indicate a potential problem with your car’s transmission.
DIY Change Transmission Fluid – Steps to do a transmission flush yourself
From my experience, performing a transmission flush yourself is not recommended, but if you’re confident enough to do it, here are the basic steps involved in the procedure:
- Prepare your vehicle: Before starting the procedure, ensure that your vehicle is parked on a level surface and that the transmission fluid is warm. Warm fluid will flow more easily and help to flush out more contaminants.
- Drain the old transmission fluid: Locate the transmission fluid drain plug and remove it to drain the old fluid. You may need to refer to your vehicle owner’s manual for specific instructions.
- Refill with new transmission fluid: Once all the old fluid has drained out, replace the drain plug and refill the transmission with new fluid. Again, refer to your owner’s manual for the correct type and amount of fluid to use.
- Flush the transmission: Connect the transmission flush machine to your vehicle’s system according to the manufacturer’s instructions. The machine will flush out the old fluid and replace it with new fluid.
- Check fluid levels: Once the transmission flush is complete, check the fluid levels to ensure they are at the correct level. Overfilling or underfilling the transmission can cause problems.
- Test drive: Take your vehicle for a test drive to ensure the transmission works properly.
It is important to note that these steps are a basic overview of the procedure, and performing a transmission flush yourself is not recommended. This complex procedure requires specialized equipment and expertise typically only available to professional mechanics. To ensure that your transmission system remains in good working order, having a qualified mechanic perform a transmission flush is best.
Common Misconceptions About Transmission Flush
There are several common misconceptions about transmission flushes that can lead to confusion and misinformation. Here are some of the most common misconceptions:
- Transmission flushes are unnecessary: Some people believe that transmission flushes are unnecessary and that changing the transmission fluid is enough. However, changing the fluid alone does not remove all the contaminants from the transmission system, which can cause damage over time.
- Transmission flushes are harmful: Some people believe that transmission flushes can be harmful to the transmission system, but when performed correctly by a qualified professional, transmission flushes are a safe and effective way to improve performance and extend the life of the transmission.
- You only need a transmission flush if there is a problem: Some people believe that they only need a transmission flush if they are experiencing problems with their transmission, but regular maintenance is essential to keep the transmission system running smoothly and prevent problems from occurring in the first place.
- DIY transmission flushes are easy: Some people believe that they can perform a transmission flush themselves at home, but this is not recommended. DIY transmission flushes can be dangerous, as they require specialized equipment and expertise that is typically only available to professional mechanics.
- Transmission flushes are expensive: Some people believe that transmission flushes are expensive, but the cost of a transmission flush is relatively small compared to the cost of major repairs or a full transmission replacement.
Frequent Asked Questions
Can I perform transmission flush myself at home?
Performing a transmission flush yourself at home is possible, but it is not recommended. While some vehicle maintenance tasks can be done by the average car owner, a transmission flush is a complex procedure that requires specialized equipment and expertise.
How long to do the transmission flush?
The time it takes to perform a transmission flush varies depending on the vehicle and the type of equipment used. Generally, the procedure takes around 1-2 hours to complete.
Will my car run better after a transmission flush?
Yes, your car may run better after a transmission flush. The procedure can improve transmission performance, prevent costly repairs, extend transmission life, improve fuel economy, and enhance resale value.
Why do you need to flush your transmission?
Flushing your transmission removes dirt, debris, and contaminants from the transmission system, which can improve overall performance, prevent damage and costly repairs, and extend the life of the transmission.
How often should you flush your transmission?
The recommended frequency of transmission flushes varies depending on the vehicle manufacturer and driving conditions. Typically, it is recommended to perform a transmission flush every 30,000-60,000 miles or every 2-4 years.
What are the symptoms of a dirty transmission?
Symptoms of a dirty transmission can include gear slippage, hesitation or shuddering, grinding noises, difficulty shifting gears, and transmission fluid leaks.
How much does a transmission flush cost?
The cost of a transmission flush varies depending on the vehicle, location, and the shop performing the service. Generally, the cost ranges from $100 to $300.
Are transmission flushes worth the money?
Yes, transmission flushes are worth the money. The benefits of flushing your transmission can improve performance, prevent costly repairs, extend transmission life, improve fuel economy, and enhance resale value.
How serious is a transmission flush if I need one for my car?
If your vehicle requires a transmission flush, it is important to have the procedure done as soon as possible. Neglecting to perform a transmission flush can lead to serious transmission problems, costly repairs, and even the need for a full transmission replacement. By flushing your transmission, you can help to ensure that your vehicle remains in good working order and avoid these costly issues.
I hope I’ve helped you understand how important it is to change the transmission fluid in your vehicle.
If you think that it might be time to get your transmission flushed, make an appointment with a trusted transmission store near you. Your local store will be able to tell you how long the transmission flush actually takes and whether or not it is safe to drive your vehicle.
- Uniform Engine Fuels and Automotive Lubricants Regulation
- Automatic transmission fluid – Wikipedia
- How to Change Transmission Fluid: 10 Steps
- 3 Ways to Troubleshoot Your Transmission
Hi, My name is Ollie Barker.
With 25 years working in repair and detailing shops. I’d love to share my tips & tricks to all car lovers. Also, give my recommendations on which products are the best to have on the market.
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