4 Signs that Your Car Needs a Transmission Flush

A transmission flush is not part of the regular routine of maintaining a vehicle. In fact, you should only flush the transmission when it becomes necessary. Flushing forces the fluid to flow in the opposite direction through the transmission. Cleaning solvents are added to the fluid and it cleans out the particles that could be causing your transmission problems. However, not all manufacturers recommend getting a transmission flush as it can cause problems with the transmission. The following are 4 signs that your car may need a transmission flush.

Sign 1 - Transmission is Slipping

If you find that your transmission is slipping and that it has problems staying in gear, you may need to have a transmission flush. The machine used to perform the flush can also find other problems in the transmission, such as fluid leakage. A slipping transmission may not always be a sign that you need to have a transmission flush. Check for other problems, such as worn clutch packs or bands or a bad torque converter. It could even be something as simple as not having enough fluid in the transmission.

Sign 2 - Dark Fluids and Strange Smells

If you notice sludge and dark fluids in your transmission, or even leaking from your transmission, then it might be time to get a flush. When you check your transmission fluid, be aware of the color. If you notice that the fluid has a strange odor, then you should probably get a transmission flush. However, if the fluid has a burned smell, it might be too late to get a flush, as it could damage the transmission.

Sign 3 - Fluid in the Transmission is Oxidized

To determine if the fluid in your transmission is oxidized, you can take several drops and place them on a paper towel. Watch the drops to see if the fluid disperses. If the fluid does not disperse, then it has been oxidized, and you might need to have a flush and a fluid replacement.

Sign 4 - Manufacturer's Manual Allows for the Transmission Flush

Before you begin thinking about getting a transmission flush, you should consult with your manufacturer. Many manufacturers do not recommend the flush as part of the car's maintenance. The process can actually cause damage to the transmission, which could result in you having to replace the entire unit. Follow the manufacturer's guidelines for transmission care and flushing. If they only recommend a flush after 30,000 miles, do not get one sooner.

Many manufacturers state that flushing the transmission will void the warranty on your vehicle. Make sure that you read your paperwork thoroughly, as well as your manual, and understand it before you choose to get a transmission flush. Do not rely only on the mechanics working at the shops to tell you that you need to have a transmission flush. In some cases, they are only trying to get more money from you.