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Is it true that I need a transmission flush?

Transmission Auto Lab

The transmission fluid on the left is the color you want to see. The old coffee on the right is the same color as transmission fluid that’s past its prime.

Question: I drive mostly locally around Vernon Hills and Lake Forest. My car has about 75,000 miles on it. Do I really need to change the transmission fluid?

Answer: Extreme temperatures, towing heavy loads and normal stress from driving are hard on transmissions, and this includes in-town driving in Vernon Hills and Lake Forest. Replacing or rebuilding your transmission can cost $2,000–$4,500. But the cost of flushing the transmission fluid and replacing the transmission filter (when applicable) costs $150-$200 and will help keep your vehicle going for thousands and thousands of miles.

If a transmission is flushed every 30,000 miles and a trans fluid flush starts at $150 per service, this will add up to around $1,000 in preventive maintenance over the course of 200,000 miles. If you skip this service, the least expensive, late model, computerized, REBUILT – not new – transmission starts at $2,000. At Auto Lab, we believe flushing is a no brainer if you plan to keep your vehicle beyond the manufacturer’s warranty.

Why is changing your transmission fluid so critical? Automatic transmissions contain a maze of passages through which transmission fluid must pass to ensure smooth gear-shifting. Unfortunately, transmission fluid deteriorates over time, turning from its original bright red to gray, brown or even black as dirt and metal particles from wearing gears contaminate it. When this fluid isn’t flushed regularly or thoroughly, it’s unable to build up sufficient hydraulic pressure to properly shift gears.

Need a transmission flush? Call Auto Lab at 847-367-4488 or schedule an appointment online.

Problems often arise when regular service is ignored, particularly in automatic transmissions. Ongoing wear, fluids that haven’t been changed and extreme heat generated by constant gear friction can all lead to major transmission problems that mean costly repairs. Warning signs include:

  • Your transmission warning light is on
  • Your transmission fluid is leaking
  • The clutch in your manual transmission is slipping
  • An automatic transmission that won’t go into gear
  • A manual transmission that won’t go into gear
  • An automatic transmission with a delayed shift

Whether you have an automatic or a manual transmission, our auto repair shop’s ASE-Certified Technicians have the expertise to take care of you and handle your car repair. We will run a full diagnostic check on your transmission—inspecting it for leaks and evaluating the fluid for signs of premature wear or other problems. Of course, we can also completely flush your automatic transmission and drain and replace the fluid in your manual transmission.

If your transmission warning light is on, your car won’t go into gear or your clutch is whining, bring your car in for an evaluation. The sooner you address the problem, the better off you and your auto repair budget will be.

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