Sunday, July 21, 2024 Detailed Auto Topics
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Many people are being told that flushing their transmission is as good as a proper service. This is simply not the case and here is why.

All automatic transmissions generate heat and debris. Metallic debris is harmful as virtually all modern transmissions are controlled by electromagnetic solenoids.

Solenoid controlled automatic transmission with pan removed

Engineers design automatic transmissions with filters. The filter cleans the fluid and traps debris, helping to keep it away from parts it might damage. Like any good filter, the transmission filter does it’s job by blocking the debris from passing through. In doing this the transmission filter becomes clogged over time, with the debris it traps.

How an automatic transmission filter traps debris

Automatic transmission filters work somewhat like a sock. That is, fluid and debris enter the neck of the sock.  Here the debris is trapped inside. Cleaned fluid passes into the transmission and is pumped under pressure though the unit.

When the filter becomes restricted, the flow is blocked. Transmission fluid lubricates, cools, cleans and works as hydraulic fluid. With a restricted filter these jobs are compromised. Expensive damage can quickly result.

When a transmission is flushed, the cooler lines are removed. The engine is started and the transmission pushes fluid out one line, where it is drained. New fluid is pushed into the other line until all of the fluid is replaced.

Automatic transmission flushing does not address the real issue, which is the filter

All debris that was in the filter before the flush is still in the filter. Worse, flushing could stir up debris in the pan and cause it to further restrict the filter. Since all fluid exchanged during a flush passes through the filter, nothing is removed that will not pass through.

Filter from a transmission that was flushed the week before

If transmission flushes are so bad, why do so many shops and dealerships push them?

Simple, they are very profitable.  Most automatic transmissions have a removable pan and a serviceable filter. With a proper service, this pan is removed. This allows cleaning and inspection of the internal transmission. It also allows the filter to be replaced on units with replaceable filters.

If the transmission has bands, they are adjusted. The valve body bolts are also tightened to the proper torque. Many times a small issue can easily be corrected and prevent a major future repair. These things require a highly skilled technician, a wide inventory of proper filters and proper fluids.

Beware the transmission flush, get a proper service instead

There are several dozen different types of automatic transmission fluid in current use. The proper fluid is necessary to protect the transmission and allow it to operate properly.  Using the improper fluid can cause shifting problems and could damage the transmission.

Automatic transmission flush does not even require a machine, avoid the wallet flush

The transmission flush requires almost no training, no inventory and really does not even require a flushing machine.  Worse, a flush may even flush a single cheap fluid through every transmission serviced, rather than the proper fluid. The shop pushing the flush makes a lot of money with very little investment.

Don’t get a wallet flush, take your transmission to a professional like AGCO Automotive and have a proper transmission service. You’ll be glad you did.

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