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Old 07-24-2013, 07:42 AM   #1
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Transmission: Flush or replace filter?

I bought an Apex 26 footer 3 weeks ago. I have a 2006 Chevy 4dr 4WD with the big V8 and towing package. Truck now has 85K miles and has been serviced regularly and is in great shape. Getting ready for our first trio...mountains of NC. I have never pulled anything like this, only motorcycle or utility trailers. Since the truck has high mileage I am considering servicing the transmission. I called two different shops and one suggested flushing the tranny as opposed to replacing the filter. He said flushing is more efficient. Cost wise both procedures are within $20 of each other. What do y'all think?

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Old 07-24-2013, 07:50 AM   #2
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If it was mine I would do both a flush and filter replace. Filters get dirty and fluid brakes down with heat.
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Old 07-24-2013, 08:51 AM   #3
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If it was mine I would do both a flush and filter replace. Filters get dirty and fluid brakes down with heat.
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Old 07-24-2013, 09:53 AM   #4
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The only time a fluid filter needs replaced is if there is a transmission failure. Since there is no combustion inside a transmission, debris is minimal. If there is excessive clutch material, the filter needs replaced but also the clutchs. Just about all front drive transmissions have no access to the filter due to this reason. The only way to replace it is by disassembling the transmission. While it cannot hurt but really no need. I would pull the pan and inspect for debris on the bottom of the pan. This can be a good indicator of how the transmission is doing. A very light debris field is ok however I like to see mostly the pan.
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Old 07-24-2013, 10:12 AM   #5
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I would make sue you actually need a flush. Some vehicles don't require a flush. You need to look in a service manual. I know for a fact that our 03 Accord says NO to flushing and it will actually ruin the tranny. My sons Camry says to flush only if the tranny color is too dark. I had an 06 Nissan Frontier and flushing was required.
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Old 07-24-2013, 10:23 AM   #6
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I would make sue you actually need a flush. Some vehicles don't require a flush. You need to look in a service manual. I know for a fact that our 03 Accord says NO to flushing and it will actually ruin the tranny. My sons Camry says to flush only if the tranny color is too dark. I had an 06 Nissan Frontier and flushing was required.

I would also agree to this but that is on the flushing part. A fluid drain and fill is another story. In some cases using a flushing machine can cause damage to the transmission thermostatic expansion valve. This valve is designed to open and close based on transmission temps. A flushing machine uses a pump typically to force fluid through this valve. I have seen one that has been damaged now from flushing. Transmission overhauls is one of the many things I do and I will pretty much never use a flushing machine. It is always 2-3 drain and fills.
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Old 07-24-2013, 01:29 PM   #7
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This is all good info. Thanks. As far as flushing, the Chevy dealer where I bought the truck 4years ago suggested flushing when I asked about the filter so surely it would be safe for my model. I'll get out the manual and check. Btw, the truck is an automatic.
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Old 07-24-2013, 02:53 PM   #8
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This is all good info. Thanks. As far as flushing, the Chevy dealer where I bought the truck 4years ago suggested flushing when I asked about the filter so surely it would be safe for my model. I'll get out the manual and check. Btw, the truck is an automatic.
I would keep this in mind as I also work at a Dealer (Ford). To the best of my knowledge, none of the big three offer a transmission flusher. Cooler flusher for when a transmission fails yes but a service flusher, I don't believe so. They use a flushing machine through Winns, BG, Gulf, etc. They are aftermarket companies that sell chemicals to dealers and aftermarket shops. I know they are not Ford approved chemicals and I don't believe they are GM or Chrysler. But I may be wrong on that. They will try to sell you a chemical cleaner and additive but I would strongly encourage not to use them. The factory fluids have the proper blend of cleaners and chemicals that are needed for your specific transmission. The chemicals that they sell they add to all transmissions and makes. Because every manufacturer has their own specific blend that is needed, I would not trust a on additive fits all transmission in a can. BTW, the dealers get a kick back from these companies when they sell these products. This is a large reason they tend to push them including the dealer that I work for. However, I do not use chemicals in transmissions at all, not in mine or customers. If the customer really wants it added then I will but I don't encourage it.
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Old 07-24-2013, 10:04 PM   #9
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Don't flush your tranny.

I have seen many transmissions fail after having this done.

Just go in get a new filter and pan gasket installed. And if you are really worried just change the fluid after you come back from your trip.

I change just my filter two times a year. Once in the spring before rv season. And then again in the fall. It's the cheapest insurance for your transmission.

But this is just my opinion.
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Old 07-25-2013, 09:11 AM   #10
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Thanks for all of the input. Guess I'll not get it flushed!
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Old 07-25-2013, 10:56 AM   #11
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Good call
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Old 07-26-2013, 06:11 PM   #12
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I flushed my trans for the first time at 300k miles. Still driving. I've never flushed one and had it fail on me.
We used a Wynn's machine. The difference was that it wasn't a flushing machine but more of a fluid replacement machine. The torque converter pushed out the old fluid while the machine just replaced the lost fluid at the same rate with clean fluid. Only way to do it. And I will do it again that way again and from now on.
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Old 07-26-2013, 06:33 PM   #13
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If this applies to your 4x4 (I've only done 2 wheel drives) - I'd pull the pan, replace the filter and re-fill. There is probably a magnet in the pan that collects fine metal shavings - clean well and clean the pan well. Don't be surprised if the magnet is completely covered with fine metal 'muck'. I don't think 85K is really that high of mileage. If the fluid doesn't smell burnt it is probably OK.
I only had 1 xmission flushed (a Ford Windstar flushed by Jiffy Lube) and I've only had one xmission fail - that one - but the Windstar was a problematic beast.
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Old 07-27-2013, 12:12 AM   #14
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jesilvas I flushed my trans for the first time at 300k miles. Still driving. I've never flushed one and had it fail on me.
We used a Wynn's machine. The difference was that it wasn't a flushing machine but more of a fluid replacement machine. The torque converter pushed out the old fluid while the machine just replaced the lost fluid at the same rate with clean fluid. Only way to do it. And I will do it again that way again and from now on.


Soooooo what you are saying is that you flushed the trans.

But did not replace the filter. If this is the case. You should have a great trans failure one day.

Easy trans care,drop pan,remove old filter,clean pan and magnet,install new filter,install new pan gasket,torque bolts,and then fill up with new fluid.
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