Trasmission: To flush or not to flush???

Messages
119
Location
Rocky Mountains
The 78 Camaro is currently at the garage. It's there for an oil change, trans fluid change and quotes on a lot of various things it needs. The mechanic wants to know if I want the trans fluid <i>flushed</i> or just <i>changed</i>. I've heard that flushing an older transmission can cause major problems. Of course he's all for the flush, since that'll add $99.99 to the cost. I said I'd call him back asap. What would you do?
 
Messages
1,841
Location
United We Stand
Since you have an unknown amount of money yet to be spent I would just change it and save some $$$ for now. Hopefully the previous owner did not use any of his extensive knowledge on the transmission or its fluid.
 

Aspen7

Thread starter
Messages
119
Location
Rocky Mountains
I'm glad you're my first reply TaterandNoodles, since I've become familiar with your advise here. I'm calling him now to tell him just to change it Thanks!
 
Messages
1,007
Location
Dallas, TX
I'm unclear what damage a flush can possibly do. What is involved besides pushing old fluid out with new. This clears away nearly microscopic specks of clutch material and gear metals and assures fresh fluid througout. Isn't transmission failure after a flush just coincidence?
 
Messages
4,622
Location
Western Washington
 Originally Posted By: ViragoBry
Isn't transmission failure after a flush just coincidence?
I used to think so as well, but after reading several such stories on the web about that happening I'm not sure any more. It might even make sense to do a drain and refill a few days or maybe a week ahead of the flush.
 
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1,841
Location
United We Stand
In theory nothing. But in this case its a "new to you" vehicle with a enthusiastic pseudo mechanically inclined previous owner. I would personnally recommended a tempered approach to spending. Especially if the vehicle already has $$$ that needs to be spent on safety related repairs like the fuel lines. I would do cost effective maintenance and concentrate on needed repairs. If said previous owner used some homebrew on the transmission, well you know where that could lead.
 

Aspen7

Thread starter
Messages
119
Location
Rocky Mountains
I'm anxious to hear back from the garage with their quotes. I told them I want a call with the price before anything but the oil and trans fluid change are started. I know I absolutely have to have that fuel line taken care of today, but I would like to know how much they plan to charge me for it. The other issue that has to be dealt with before I'll let my daughter drive it at all is the brakes. If she had to brake suddenly for a deer, (which are always dashing across the road here, even right in town), she would be in big trouble.
 
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18,449
Location
East of IGO
How does the oil look? if it is red and clear change it .if it is really ugly you may have a problem already.If the oil is dirty a flush is the only way to get most all of the dirty oil out. Would you drain 2 qts from your engine and refill then call it an oil change?
 

Aspen7

Thread starter
Messages
119
Location
Rocky Mountains
 Originally Posted By: Steve S
How does the oil look? if it is red and clear change it .if it is really ugly you may have a problem already.If the oil is dirty a flush is the only way to get most all of the dirty oil out. Would you drain 2 qts from your engine and refill then call it an oil change?
I looked last night. Good news for me, it was red and translucent.
 
Messages
6,987
Location
Michigan
Flushes can be done with and without cleaning fluids. I think many of the issues might have come from using cleaning fluids that broke things loose and clogged things up. A regular flush that gets all the old fluid out including from the torque convertor and trans cooler is a good thing. Otherwise you may only be replacing 1/3 to 1/2 of the old fluid.
 
Messages
4,009
Location
Calgary Canada
 Originally Posted By: ViragoBry
I'm unclear what damage a flush can possibly do. What is involved besides pushing old fluid out with new. This clears away nearly microscopic specks of clutch material and gear metals and assures fresh fluid througout. Isn't transmission failure after a flush just coincidence?
It's easy to explain in my mind. People who don't do maintenance on their vehicles often take the vehicle for a transmission flush when their transmission shows early signs of failure. They are hoping for a miracle cure. The flush doesn't cure the problem, which runs its course and the transmission fails, shortly after the flush. Transmission flush is then blamed.
 

Aspen7

Thread starter
Messages
119
Location
Rocky Mountains
I've owned my '03 Mustang for 13 months. It has a little over 55k on it. I have no records of the previous owners upkeep so I have no idea if the trans fluid has ever been flushed. Sounds like something I should take care of once I've dealt with all the Camaro's pressing issues.
 

Aspen7

Thread starter
Messages
119
Location
Rocky Mountains
Hey crownvic, I had a couple of them. Before I bought the mustang and the vette last year I was driving a 1998 Crown Victoria. It had 180,000 Rocky Mountain miles on it and was still getting around just fine. I still see it around town quite a lot. The 78 camaro does have a great body style. I posted pics of this one in the picture forum.
 
Messages
962
Location
San Antonio, Texas
 Originally Posted By: ViragoBry
I'm unclear what damage a flush can possibly do. What is involved besides pushing old fluid out with new. This clears away nearly microscopic specks of clutch material and gear metals and assures fresh fluid througout. Isn't transmission failure after a flush just coincidence?
Letys say you have an old trans that's never had a flush done. The fluid is dirty as all get out and there's particles of clutch material all in it. Flushing the system with a machine complpetely removes the old oil and the particles that are in it. Well, the particles and pieces of old clutch material are what provides the friction for the the wrorn out clutches to work. Once all of the junk is cleaned out those particles are gone. Then the clutches age and condition becomes obvious because the car won't move or the trans will start slipping. In cases like this it isn't necessarily the flush that causes the problem but makes the condition of the trans noticable. For this reason, some shops won't do a flush or service when the fluid is very very bad. They don't want the customer blaming them for the bad trans after the work is done.
 
Messages
3,735
Location
Miami-Dade County
 Originally Posted By: Aspen7
Hey crownvic, I had a couple of them. Before I bought the mustang and the vette last year I was driving a 1998 Crown Victoria. It had 180,000 Rocky Mountain miles on it and was still getting around just fine. I still see it around town quite a lot. The 78 camaro does have a great body style. I posted pics of this one in the picture forum.
Yes Aspen you gotta love the C.V. 4 sure..I had 190K on my 99 Grand Marquis before a huricane totaled it out..It had the original spark plugs in it..Everything was original..Just gave it regular Ford Maintenance..Nothing more. I plan on keeping the 05 till 300K miles. I will try to find the picture of the Camaro you posted.
 
Messages
379
Location
Mi
Do not flush and the machine can do damage.Z Transmission in Muskegon,Mi which is a transmission shop sees this all the time cleaning out valve bodies.Plus the machine pushes all the dirt and crud from the lines into the valve body which will stick up the valves.
 
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