Transmission Service and Flush
Red Rock Auto and Cycle is proud to introduce our newest team member, a 30 year plus European automotive technician. Mark Fordham. So for you European car drivers like Mercedes, BMW, Volkswagen, Porsche and Audi, stop in or call (928) 282-4988 and get your vehicle serviced soon.
There are debates as to the effectiveness of this procedure.
Some state that flushing your vehicle using professional equipment may actually damage your vehicle. They say that the gunk and residue that are being flushed out may actually get lodged somewhere where it shouldn't be, which could cause failure sometime in the future. Some believe that valves and seals may be bent or weakened with the pressure some machines use to force cleaning solution and fluid through the lines.
On the other hand, most agree that it is a legitimate maintenance procedure for your vehicle.
They believe that a flush can help remove residue and materials from the engine, improving its performance and its lifespan. Whenever you are considering having one done, consult our service advisor or one of our trained ASE certified technicians.
PROCESS – HOW IT'S DONE PROPERLY
Before hooking your car up to the machine
Our technician will take it on a test drive in order to recognize and diagnose any serious problems that should be looked into during inspection and servicing. We will also inspect the transmission for any external signs of problems or leaks.
A professionally done procedure requires the use of specialized, government regulated machines.
There are a few ways in which these machines differ in their performance and operation, but you can discuss the type of machine and method used with our service advisor or technician.
Our machine (pictured on the left) connects to the transmission cooler lines.
The line that connects your vehicle's transmission to the cooler will be disconnected and attached to the machine's line in. This will allow the car's fluids to drain into the machine. The line out from the machine then connects to your car's cooler. This allows the new fluid in the machine to be transferred into the vehicle. The transfer process only utilizes the pressure produced by the car's pump to circulate it, so no damage can be done to the internal parts of the system.
As the old fluid side of the diaphragm fills, it pushes the new fluid diaphragm up, making it flow through the lines.
It circulates just as it would under normal operating conditions, the only difference being that the incoming oil is perfectly clean and the outgoing liquid is gone for good. The way fluid cycles through the unit, some of it is dropped back into the pan without going to the cooler. but is continuously diluted with new oil instead. We then remove the transmission pan and replace the filter, thus insuring a complete flush with no contaminants or debris is left inside the transmission.
Another method used is a pump inlet flush.
This method attaches the machine's line out to the pump intake. The process transfers fluid through the vehicle and into a drainage pan, completely flushing the system. When cleared, new fluid is supplied to fill up the car. This process requires the complete removal of your pan and filter and a new filter and pan are installed at the end. This requires more time, a few extra quarts of fluid (around 20) and costs a bit more.
Some service centers use machines that add additional force to blast fluid and/or cleaning solution through the system. This is NEVER a good idea as this can damage seals and/or lodge sludge in places it shouldn't be as mentioned above.
A complete service should ideally include removing the pan and inspection of the old oil to look for signs of current or near-future issues.
Dropping the pan is important because the used fluid, what is lying in the pan and what is trapped in the filter will all tell you a lot about what condition it is in. Some of the gunk that is flushed ends up in the pan and is then sucked up into the filter. If the filter becomes too clogged, then the pump will starve for fluid, components will not get lubricated which leads to heat, friction, slippage and eventually failure.
Normally, and this varies between year, make and model, darkened oil with some debris or residue is normal.
Metal flakes may be seen in the oil or the plug. An excess of gunk, grime, or metal flakes; A burning smell or other unusual odors or the oil is black, it often means that your car has (or will soon have) some serious issues.
It is recommended to always have the filter replaced regardless of whether you're getting a fluid change or flush (some vehicles do not have one that is replaceable).
Some gaskets may still be "usable", but it is always best to replace both filters and gaskets.
Overall, the key to maintaining a transmission is following exactly what is recommended in your vehicle's owner's manual.
It will tell you whether you to get a flush or change and how often to have it done (after a certain number of miles or amount of time). Do not trust it's health to something you read online.
Note: Flushing and changing the filter are important preventative maintenance procedures
They are not a solution for ones that already have problems or are on the way to a problem according to their black, burned and/or high-debris-content fluid. Getting a flush when you think there might be a problem can do more harm than good and make it fail faster than it would have otherwise. The same applies for higher mileage vehicles that have never had their lines flushed.
By that time the damage has already been done and there is likely a lot of sludge and varnish built up inside.
The fresh additives from the new fluid attack the deposits, causing them to break off and jam valves, clog passageways, etc. In that case the tranny is doomed anyway, so your best bet is to do nothing to it, set aside some cash, and drive it for as long as you can.
HOW OFTEN SHOULD IT BE DONE?
This maintenance procedure should be performed every 30,000 miles or so.
Some service centers will advise doing it every two years or 24,000 miles. You can often review your owner's manual or speak to our service advisor however it is important to understand your driving habits and relay that information to a us. Vehicles that are often towing or drive through sand, dirt and other harsh terrain, may require earlier service.