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  #1  
Old 12-09-2019, 12:27 PM
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Any transmission experts here?



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I just bought a new-to-me 2012 Chevy Malibu and am doing all the little things you need to do when you buy a used car. Vehicle has 97,000 miles on it. I decided I would get the transmission flushed as this is one thing most owners neglect to do. Upon discussing this with the shop, they said they would do it but warned me I could do more harm than good as the transmission might start slipping as a result of the flush. I am now thinking twice before getting it done.

What's up with this? Any transmission mechanics here that can help me? Thanks.
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Old 12-09-2019, 12:51 PM
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Originally Posted by jnyork View Post
I just bought a new-to-me 2012 Chevy Malibu and am doing all the little things you need to do when you buy a used car. Vehicle has 97,000 miles on it. I decided I would get the transmission flushed as this is one thing most owners neglect to do. Upon discussing this with the shop, they said they would do it but warned me I could do more harm than good as the transmission might start slipping as a result of the flush. I am now thinking twice before getting it done.

What's up with this? Any transmission mechanics here that can help me? Thanks.
not an expert by a long shot, I do the drain and fill every 30K miles. First time I drained it put 50 miles on it and did it again, not quite 5Qts each time. I only use the factory stuff.

Rich
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Old 12-09-2019, 12:54 PM
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I've heard this before but no first hand experience. A flush on a high mileage trans stirs up accumulated grit that has settled in the lower areas over the years and starts it circulating to damage the valve body and other sensitive parts. let sleeping dogs lie.
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Old 12-09-2019, 01:03 PM
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Transmission DRAIN is ok, but the FLUSH is a big no no. Most flush systems use high pressure through the hoses and can dislodge very nasty stuff. Also, do change the filter if it has one at the same time.
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Old 12-09-2019, 01:04 PM
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Any transmission experts here?

Bought a super duty with 50k miles on the odometer. Had the transmission drained and refilled ( not flushed) at 70k and it was still good at 200k when the engine choked

Last edited by arjay; 12-09-2019 at 02:04 PM.
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Old 12-09-2019, 01:27 PM
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Kind of heard the same thing. Is there a maintenance history of the car. did the previous owner change the trans fluid. Someone told me if you change the fluid every 30K miles great. DO NOT FLUSH. But if someone has never ever changed the fluid, it may cause problems. If it were me, I would just drop and change. I would also do the brake fluid and coolant as well.
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Old 12-09-2019, 03:43 PM
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ATF already contains detergent additives. It cleans the gears as the tranny is run, so a flush isn't going to improve anything on the moving parts. As others have said, my concern with a flush is stirring up sediment in the bottom of the housing. There's going to be small metal shavings stirred up and mixed back into the fluid.

Rather than flush, I'd just change the fluid a bit more often until the fluid appears to be staying clean when draining off the old stuff.
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Old 12-09-2019, 03:55 PM
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From my personal experience.

I bought a 1982 camaro with the 700-r4 auto tranny. I drained out the fluid and changed the filter then topped it off. Car had around 120k on the odometer at this time and I figured a good change would help the car. Less than 20k miles later, reverse went completely out.

Later on I bought a 1992 s10 blazer with 165k miles. Same as above I thought a good change in fluid and filter would do it good. As soon as the change was completed, the transmission constantly had a whine to it.

From then on, I vowed never to change nothing in a transmission. When it goes out I replace the tranny. Every time I do fluid/filter change it ends up making it worse. Ride it till it quits... add fluid if necessary but I never change the tranny fluid much less flush... I woudn't do it.
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Old 12-09-2019, 04:22 PM
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When I did this work years ago! We just drained what was in the pan and replaced the filter!
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Old 12-09-2019, 04:35 PM
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If you want to do a tranny flush, you should start at 30-40k. And every 30-40k after that.

Just do a pan drop and filter at that milage.
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Old 12-09-2019, 04:42 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GladesGuy View Post
Transmission DRAIN is ok, but the FLUSH is a big no no. Most flush systems use high pressure through the hoses and can dislodge very nasty stuff. Also, do change the filter if it has one at the same time.
Makes sense to the plumber in me.
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Old 12-09-2019, 07:26 PM
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Originally Posted by GladesGuy View Post
Transmission DRAIN is ok, but the FLUSH is a big no no. Most flush systems use high pressure through the hoses and can dislodge very nasty stuff. Also, do change the filter if it has one at the same time.
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Originally Posted by Al the Infidel View Post
Makes sense to the plumber in me.

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Old 12-09-2019, 08:32 PM
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Drain ,change the filter, and fill. The flush concept scares the snot out of me. As has been pointed out it might stir up all kinds of fun stuff. In addition to metal particles you also have the wear material off the clutches. It is not abrasive per say. However it is a material that causes two pieces of metal not too slip when it is between them . If it gets in between any moving parts in a valve body it will be like sand in the action in a firearm. Things won't work quite right.
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Old 12-09-2019, 08:36 PM
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The negatives of the flush have already been mentioned. The benefits have not. When you drain the fluid only you only get what is in the pan and none from the torque convertor. There are ways to get it out of the torque convertor without power flushing. There are several videos on youtube. It involves disconnecting a trans line where it enters the radiator. You drain the pan and fill and then start the engine and push the fluid through a clear plastic hose into a bucket. The main problem with not getting all fluid out is you only replace a small portion of fluid so the lubrication factors are diminished. You will possibly develop torque convertor shudder which is something that feels like going over rumble strips. It will only last a very short while but will come back and usually happens at about the same speed. There are additives for friction reduction which will alleviate shudder for a while and then have to be added again when the shudder returns. My biggest problem with the flush is often the pan is not removed and filter replaced so the dirt trapped in the filter is pushed back into the trans. I prefer to remove the pan and replace the filter and clean the magnet to see what is on it. I use the plastic line in the bucket to replace the vast majority of the fluid. You say you have 97000 mi on the vehicle. What color is the fluid? If it is still red ,which it may be depending on how it was driven, you will probably be ok. If it is brown I would just do a drain and filter change. One thing of note, us older guys drained the tranny every 30,000 mi but the newer vehicles often recommend the first service at 100,000 mi under normal driving conditions. Also there are trans fluids for high mileage vehicles that have additives for torque convertor shudder which I use on all my vehicles.
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Old 12-09-2019, 08:47 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GladesGuy View Post
Transmission DRAIN is ok, but the FLUSH is a big no no. Most flush systems use high pressure through the hoses and can dislodge very nasty stuff. Also, do change the filter if it has one at the same time.
Yup. Just change the fluid and filter. I'd also stay with what OEM is recommended instead of some special after market fluids. I run full synthetic in my AWD SUVs but I added them at the first changes with low miles. My son is a auto tech and works on all models from 1000 buck winter rats to imports and vintage collector cars worth a couple 100K. He's seen on older high mileage cars develop shift problems if the fluid is changed from OEM to some of the full syn fluids. Not a lot but enough not to recommend that. good luck.
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