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Old 06-19-2003, 11:08 AM   #1
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Tranny 'flush' or Filter change

Tranny 'flush' or Filter change

I just took in my LeSabre for transmission filter change and the reputable shop recommended a tranny flush vs the filter change.

He said that the flush changes ALL the fluid (he used and charged for 17 quarts of ATF on a V-6) and "is better than just the filter and add fluid method" which is what I grew up with.

I went ahead with the flush. But for my towing vehicle I was wondering what the current BEST method is to do. Maybe doing both? Also thinking that I may want to do both on the first service at about 30,000 and go with a synthetic and douse the dino!

Since the tranny gets the most abuse, I think it needs the most attention. Current vehicle is a 1/2 ton with an 'underweight' transmission.

This was posted in Motorhome section and fangthorpe replied:

"Full change is not that big a deal. Drop pan, change filter, fill pan-maybe 30-40 minutes. Pull IN hose - usually the bottom one - off the radiator, run the motor a little, pump old fluid into a bucket, replace hose, refill trans, clean up driveway - maybe 30 mins. Cost $35 for filter and fluid. Look for fine junk in the pan."

His reply doesn't sound that hard! Run engine till fluid slows?

I do anything on the trailors but shy from motors and transmissions (but may start some if routine and expensive.) From some of the other experts or those who have consulted from the specialists, what is the best route?

Steve in Savannah
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Old 06-19-2003, 11:16 AM   #2
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General Repair Forum > Tranny 'flush' or Filter change

Greetings Steve!

I have had my GM dealer service my Suburban since it was new. He suggested the total flush approach along with draining and a new filter at my first service interval (30,000 miles). I have now had this process repeated three times (truck now has 108,000 miles) and the truck still performs as if it were new. It is a K2500 with 7400 VORTEC and a special order heavy duty transmission package - - over 80% of my towing is in overdrive (at least 42,000 miles of overdrive towing at this point) and no problems of any kind with the transmission.

Good luck with your decision!

Kevin
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Old 06-19-2003, 11:23 AM   #3
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Thanks for your quick reply Kevin!

That's kind of what I thought was best.

You have the setup that I need to buy; the 7.4L - 2500 Burb!

Did you give much thought to the synthetics for trans or rear end? Since it is already heavy duty, perhaps it is less important than with mine which is undersized (Expedition).

Steve
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Old 06-19-2003, 05:05 PM   #4
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Re: General Repair Forum > Tranny 'flush' or Filter change

Quote:
Originally posted by overlander64
Greetings Steve!

I have had my GM dealer service my Suburban since it was new. He suggested the total flush approach along with draining and a new filter at my first service interval (30,000 miles).
Kevin
Kevin,

Let me understand what you just said. The dealer said do a total flush (which means replacing all the fluid). Then drain what he just put in and change the filter? If so you have just thrown out the majority of your new fluid. I'm confused.

jack
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Old 06-19-2003, 05:11 PM   #5
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Flush & Filter. Because the torque converter holds approx 12 or 13 quarts, so by just doing the filter you end up mixing your clean 4 or 5 quarts with 12 or 13 quarts of dirty fluid. If you go to the synthetic fluid runs cooler and will not breakdown like regular tranny fluid. Heat kills transmissions so cool is good. Years back they did not have the equipment to flush, so you really should have done it more frequently, but will total flush you can spread out the intervals alittle.
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Old 06-19-2003, 05:26 PM   #6
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Is your tranny different?

Kevin

I'm curious about the requirements for your interval. Under normal driving conditions, I can see you going 30k but, when you're towing your unit does your owners manual say anything about changing it, say..closer to 6k miles interval?

Maybe the requirements for my diesel setup is different..
I do the same thing here flush/change the oil/filter at the begining/after each towing season or 6k miles whichever comes first while towing. Rear end gets done as well with the tranny.
BTW, I use Amsoil products all the way around.

ciao
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Old 06-19-2003, 09:33 PM   #7
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transmission fluid

I got a 96 dodge 1500, 104k and I have seen various posts about what type of fluid to use in them, some say to go to atf4 even if dextron is on the dipstick. I got no owners manual with the truck so I am in the dark on this, even what weight oil to use, it sure likes to use 10-30, I think I will go heavier.
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Old 06-19-2003, 10:35 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally posted by airstreamer01
Flush & Filter. Because the torque converter holds approx 12 or 13 quarts, so by just doing the filter you end up mixing your clean 4 or 5 quarts with 12 or 13 quarts of dirty fluid.
Interesting. That's interesting Jeff. I thought I remembered that the torque converter held 4 to 5 quarts. I'm curious about this. I'm going to see Patty's cousin's husband this weekend. He owns a auto repair business and he used to do my transmission oil changes on my previous vans. Something rings bells that the quantity of fluid used when I did a filter change was much more than 5 quarts.

BTW, if you have a second call me at work tomorrow I have a request for you.

Regards,

Jack
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Old 06-19-2003, 10:52 PM   #9
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Tranny 'flush' or Filter change

RE: Exact Procedures in Transmission Service

I honestly don't ask that many questions of my servicing dealer. My family has done business with the same dealership since 1961, and we have ALWAYS patronized their service department following the service managers suggestions for regular service. Over the years, we have had a number of cars exceed 200,000 miles with virtually no difficulties - - most recently our 1984 Oldsmobile Toronado with 215,000 miles - - our 1975 Pontiac Grandville Brougham Convertible 236,000 miles; and currently four of our cars have more than 100,000 miles with virtually no difficulties - - 1975 Cadillac Eldorado Convertible 110,000 miles, 1985 Oldsmobile Delta 88 Royale Brougham Luxury Sedan 100,000 miles, 1994 Chevrolet S-10 Blazer 117,000 miles, and 1999 GMC K2500 Suburban 108,000 miles. In all of the above instances, we have utilized the GM recommended fluids sold by our dealer, and followed the "severe service" guidelines as suggested by our dealership's service manager.

For at least the last decade, our dealer has maintained a service file for each vehicle owned by regular customers, and the service manager advises what services are due when you drop the vehicle off for its 3,000 mile interval service. Since I take a number of extended trips where some service may be performed by other dealers, my local dealer also notes the service performed by othes while I am on the road so that we are able to keep the vehcile on its scheduled maintenance path. In addition, we maintain a 3-ring binder in each vehcile that contains all of the receipts conerning that vehcile from the original sales invoice and order form through the most recent repair invoices.

I haven't had the time to look back in my records regarding the amount of fluid utilized in flush and fill operations. I do know that the cost of the flush/fill operation is approximately $75.00 higher than the usual fluid/filter change. Given the improved shifting response and smoothness of shifts with my '75 Eldorado, I can't complain about the cost of the service - - and historically, this dealer has never given us any bad advice regarding servicing our automobiles and light trucks.

Kevin
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Old 06-20-2003, 06:45 AM   #10
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Question about tranny

My 1990 half ton Chevy with a 350 has 165,000 miles on it. I don't think the transmission fluid has ever been changed or flushed. Should I flush it or leave it alone? No problems with shifting or pulling our 3,500 pound AS.
Dan
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Old 06-20-2003, 10:12 AM   #11
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Dan, a mechanic once told me, "Change it often, or don't change it at all." I have heard a lot of horror stories of folks having the FLUSH done with high mileage trannys, then having them go bad within a week or so. It might be safer to just drop the pan, clean it, replace filter and refill. That way you will have at least infused the tranny with some depleted additives.
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Old 06-20-2003, 10:17 AM   #12
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Leave high mi tranny alone!

I had a '90 Park Avenue that I bought with 100,000 on it. Never had the trans work done.

I went to about 7 dealerships in the Atlanta, Savannah, Jax areas and looked for the best info on doing tranny service work. Most said that as long as it is running fine, DON'T change the fluid.

The reason given was that it would likely dislodge some sludge and THAT would cause problems. So I just kept it full - adding any if needed. It went fine till 190,000 when I sold it. It was starting to have problems.

The tendency is to DO SOMETHING about it "to make it better", but I had to bite my tongue and just keep driving it.

STeve
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Old 06-20-2003, 10:41 AM   #13
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Transmissions that are used for towing need maintenance. Be it either flush or dropping the pan and filter change method. Check the owners manual and most have a recommended interval. My new GMC manual I think recommends 50,000 miles when the vehicle is used for towing.

Another way to check is to look at the color of the oil. If its not pink it means that it has gotten hot and that means the fluid components are breaking down. Transmission fluid has no contaminents like engine oil so the change of color means its time to change oil. Even if you haven't reached the mileage as shown in your manual.

Some folks get away with out ever changing the transmission fluid, and some folks smoke and live to 100. I think the odds are with me if I change the fluid and don't smoke.

Jack
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Old 08-31-2003, 03:26 PM   #14
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If its not pink it means that it has gotten hot and that means the fluid components are breaking down. Jack [/B][/QUOTE]

But some trans fluid is not pink to start with?
We were discussing this this weekend. Heat kills transmissions, I wondered about putting a temp gauge on the transmission, someone said the fluid in the cooler runs along side the radiator coolant, so if your engine temp gauge is OK, your trans is OK. Makes sence, but I am not sure it's accurate. Anyone know for sure?
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