Automotive Column 7 from Under The Hood Transmission Flush
Syndicated Newspaper Column
To flush or not to flush? That is the question that many car owners and mechanics have to ponder when faced with a transmission that has never been serviced. We hope this question from one of our listeners and the answer may explain some of the reasons for and against the age old question.
CAR QUESTIONS TAKEN FROM
OUR WEEKLY TALK RADIO SHOW
Dear Motor Medics,
I am wondering if on my car you would recommend changing transmission oil, filter, and adding transmission conditioner. It's a 95 Buick Lesabre with 345,000 miles and the transmission oil has slight brown color to it and has not been changed in over 150,000 miles. When I talk to people I get conflicting advice as to what to do with no explanation as to why. I value your opinions so I am hoping you can show me the correct path.
Jennifer in Sterling Illinois
You are in a position many people face with their cars. They get to a point of car ownership where they find that the transmission should be maintained and want to do so but it has been so long since it was last done that it could do more harm than good. With engine oil we talk about changing late is better than never. With transmissions that’s not so. If transmission fluid is left too long it starts to lose its ability to protect the clutches and they start to show wear leaving particles in the fluid. These particles act like sand under tires that are on ice providing the “grip” to get you moving. If you flush a transmission that has so many miles on it that the only thing keeping it “gripping” so to speak is the particles in the fluid then the transmission may lose its ability to move the car. With this many miles and the long time between flushes we wouldn’t recommend flushing the transmission.
Take care, the Motor Medics
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Advice given by the Motor Medics is for entertainment only. Each problem is different and requires different approaches and answers given here are opinions and just one possibility. In order to make an accurate diagnosis a qualified technician should make a hands-on diagnosis. Always follow all recommended safety procedures and consult with your own qualified technician before attempting repairs of any kind.