How to Maintain Your Vehicle

Should You Get Your Automatic Transmission Flushed?

The automatic transmission system fitted to the average car today is a masterpiece of engineering. Indeed, the manufacturer will typically design this component to last a lifetime, and they will build them to withstand high temperatures and a tremendous amount of friction. However, vehicle owners should do their part to help ensure longevity and should get their automatic transmission serviced per recommended instructions. In particular, they may want to consider getting the transmission flushed using some professional tools as well. What is involved, and when should you think about this solution?

Changing the Fluid

To lubricate all of the internal pads and to keep friction damage as low as possible, designers add a special type of fluid to the case. This fluid is not the same as engine oil but has been designed specifically for the make and model of the vehicle and is not interchangeable. From time to time, engineers recommend that this fluid be changed, and there are two different ways of doing this. It's possible to undo the plug on the bottom of the transmission and let it drain out to a receptacle, but this may not be sufficient for optimal care.

Removing All Contamination

The challenge with this first solution is that it will only remove the fluid within the main casing and the sump. Indeed, this may get rid of some metal filings and other contamination and will, consequently, help to protect the internal components, but some of the old fluid will be left behind. The liquid that is still sitting in the cooler lines or within the torque converter will remain in place, and thus any contamination here will continue to present a risk.

Pressurised Flush

Instead, the driver should take the vehicle to a mechanic for a full fluid flush. They will connect a pressurised machine to the inlet and outlet portals and will flush all of the fluid out instead. This approach will get rid of any liquid in those lines or that may still be sitting in the torque converter, and once washed out, the equipment will introduce clean fluid in its place.

Flush or Pump

Have a word with your mechanic and ask them about a transmission fluid flush. This job is typically okay for a car or truck with average mileage, but they may think twice if the vehicle is particularly old. In that case, they may recommend using the vehicle's internal pump instead, even though that may not remove all the contamination.