Transmission Fluid Change vs. Fluid Flush

Transmission fluid cools and lubricates a transmission's moving parts. This important vehicle fluid plays a big role keeping your transmission in working shape. Most transmission failure is caused by overheating, a problem that is usually preventable if you regularly monitor the clarity of your transmission fluid.

The more you drive your vehicle, the more gunk and buildup is pushed into your transmission systems. This gunk builds over time and causes your vehicle's transmission to work harder and heat up on the road. 

To remove the buildup, auto repair professionals like Damerow Ford can service your vehicle with either a transmission fluid change or transmission flush. 

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What is a Transmission Fluid Change?

A fluid change is the most common type of transmission service. In a fluid change, a large amount of the transmission fluid is drained from the machinery, and the transmission filter is then replaced.

This service helps remove a large portion of the buildup, but up to half can linger in your vehicle's transmission. A fluid change will not completely swap out the old fluid for new, clean fluid, but it will help your transmission run better. 

Generally, transmission fluid changes are done in increments whereas flushes are done at milestones like 50,000 and 100,000 miles.

Most mechanics recommend changing transmission fluid at least every 30,000 miles.

What is a Transmission Fluid Flush?

Whereas a transmission fluid change only exchanges some old fluid for new fluid, a flush completely rids your transmission of old fluid. This is especially beneficial if you have contaminated transmission fluid, as the contamination will spread to the new transmission fluid in a fluid change.

To perform a flush, a mechanic will use a pump to drain the old transmission fluid entirely. Then clean, brand new fluid is added, allowing your transmission to run more efficiently.

Mechanics recommend a transmission fluid flush approximately every 60,000 miles. However, the frequency transmission service required depends on a variety of factors like how you drive, where you drive, and what type of vehicle you drive.

Final Verdict: Change or Flush?

Changing your transmission fluid and flushing your transmission fluids are two highly effective services for ensuring your transmission runs smoothly. 

A transmission fluid change cleans out half of the old fluid, but is the cheaper option between the two. Although a fluid change has to be done more often than a fluid flush, it is a relatively easier task that vehicle owners can teach themselves how to do on their own.

A transmission fluid flush costs more, but removes all of the old fluid and contaminants that have built up over time. A drawback is that a flush, if done incorrectly or on vehicles with excessive mileage, can damage the transmission seals and valves. 

Remember to check your vehicle's manual to learn how often and when to service your vehicle's transmission fluid. 

If you're due for transmission service, schedule an appointment online with Damerow Ford - the #1 Ford dealer in greater Portland metro area. We also do transmission repair and replacements through our service center.

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