Transmission Flush Vs Change

After reading this post, you should be able to know the differences between transmission fluid change and transmission flush. You’ll also know which is preferable for your car. Before examining what transmission flush and Change are, let’s understand what the essentials of transmission fluid are.

Understanding Transmission Fluid

Transmission fluid is notably an essential aspect of every vehicle. It helps in lubricating and cooling the moving parts of the transmission system. Without it, the various parts would suffer from overheating. Also, it can cause a complete transmission failure and an expensive repair bill in the process.

Some mechanics are likely to recommend a total flush or a complete change of approximately 60,000 miles. It’s a good idea to carry out transmission fluid change or transmission flush periodically. Also, your transmission fluid must be monitored to ensure purity.

Your transmission will certainly run better as a result. But you should note that some buildup will still linger in your vehicle’s system. For this reason, you will need to keep on monitoring the color and condition of your fluid. 

You may also want to consider adding transmission fluid additives. These additives can help to prevent and fix leaks by swelling and softening worn seals. It could also improve heat resistance and frictional properties.

What Is A Transmission Flush?

Transmission flush originated over two decades ago. With a machine, it is possible to replace transmission fluids automatically.

Over time, the technological renovation became cost-saving as no mechanics were required. Because it was cost-friendly and labor-saving, many auto repairs shop sought to buy these machines.

The transmission flushing process is pretty simple and by the book. You have to fill the right amount of transmission fluid and then hook up the transmission lines. After this, you just let it run. The old fluid and the smudge will be removed, while the new fluid replaces them. If the lines are very dirty, a solvent can be added through the transmission to clean out the parts.

What Is A Transmission Fluid Change?

When looking at your vehicle’s manual, you possibly would see this as the listed fix for any transmission service. A transmission change removes a large amount of the buildup within your system. Your mechanic is in charge of draining the transmission fluid from the transmission. He replaces the filter and refills your transmission with new fluid. 

Replacing the filter is a key part of this step since it removes dirt and contaminants in the fluid before the fluid travels to the transmission. It is important to have the filter serviced to prevent grinding noises from the transmission, problems shifting gears, gears slipping, and your vehicle surging.

Your filter should be replaced at least every 20,000-40,000 miles to maintain optimal functionality. This will relieve any driving issues and reduce the change of drivability concerns. 

In a manual transmission, fluid change procedure lets you completely drain and replace almost all of the oil. However, in an automatic transmission, this process only refuels about half of the fluid. The other half of the fluid stays in the torque converter and the passengers to the cooler. 

When Is the Right Time For a Transmission Flush? 

If your vehicle has had a significant amount of miles, precisely 60,000 miles, it’s time for a transmission flush. There are numerous benefits to performing a transmission flush. Some of which are; they give fresh transmission fluid, cleans transmission components, and prevents car malfunction.

Is Transmission Flush Good Or Bad?

Although this process may seem straightforward, flushing your fluid also has a downside. Proponents of transmission flushes will often argue that a flush is a better service because it replaces more of your transmission fluid.

Well, it’s quite true that the removal of your transmission pan only removes 70% of the fluid inside. Some fluid is trapped inside the cooler or torque converter, and can’t be drained out. It’s also true that a flush machine will replace a higher percentage of the fluid; most machines advertise about 90%.

However, replacing 70% of the fluid is not a problem.  As long as your transmission fluid is being replaced following the schedule in your owner’s manual, you’re giving your transmission the required maintenance it needs.

More so, it may be good and at the same time bad. Yes, being good, it freshens the transmission fluid, cleans transmission components, and prevents car malfunction. On the other hand, some mechanics believe that the high pressure caused by these machines damages the seals inside of your transmission. They may also kick against using this method at times.

Differences Between Transmission Flush And Change 

Transmission Fluid FlushTransmission Fluid Change
Removes all contaminants by drawing out old fluidsDoes not remove all contaminants
Is complex service that involves hooking your vehicle’s transmission up to a vacuum machine to extract the transmission fluid.Is Same as an oil change only it involves transmission fluid rather than engine oil.
100% transmission fluid is removed.about 30% to 50% of the old fluid is  removed
transmission flush may cost about $150fluid change typically costs $100

1. A major difference between a transmission flush and change is that transmission flush removes all contaminants by drawing out old fluids and replacing them with a clean one while change removes most contaminants.

2. A transmission fluid change is the same as an oil change only it involves transmission fluid rather than engine oil. During a transmission fluid change, the mechanic will place a large pan underneath your vehicle’s transmission and then remove the drain plug to drain the fluid.

A transmission fluid flush, on the other hand, is a more complex service that involves hooking your vehicle’s transmission up to a vacuum machine to extract the transmission fluid. Using this machine, the mechanic can remove 100% of your vehicle’s transmission fluid to ensure there’s no dirty or contaminated fluid lingering inside the transmission.

3. If you opt for transmission fluid, you can rest assured knowing that all of your vehicle’s old transmission fluid is being removed. With a transmission fluid change, only about 30% to 50% of the old fluid will be removed.

4. The cost and recommendation are quite contrasted. While transmission flush may cost about $150, fluid change typically costs $100. Additionally, a transmission flush may be recommended for after 60,000 miles, while change is recommended after 30,000 miles.


To determine whether your vehicle needs a transmission fluid change or flush, refer to your owner’s manual. Most automakers recommend changing the transmission fluid at least once every 30,000 to 50,000 miles and flushing the transmission fluid at least once every 60,000 to 100,000 miles. Of course, you should check your owner’s manual and follow the recommendations listed by your vehicle’s manufacturer.