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How To Flush Your Transmission – There Are THREE Main Methods To Learn! 

How To Flush Your Transmission

When learning how to flush your transmission, drivers need to keep in mind the warning signs of a faulty transmission, the function of this key fluid in your car, and the steps to learning the fluid flush as a car owner. 

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What Are The Benefits of A Transmission Flush?

If your car has a significant amount of miles on it, it is time to learn how to flush your transmission. Being an important part of car maintenance, this is an imperative task that needs to be taken on your vehicle to ensure optimal performance. There are numerous benefits to learning how to flush your transmission.

  • Freshen Transmission Fluid

Since your transmission fluid can deteriorate over time, it can affect the efficiency of the fluid. Debris within the fluid can affect your transmission lubrication, causing costly damage to your vehicle. A complete flush can remove all corroded fluids and debris.

  • Cleans Transmission Components


Even though coolant is required to keep your transmission and engine from freezing, coolant can also be corrosive to the transmission. Over time, it can rust the tubing and clog the tubes with debris. If you learn how to flush your transmission, the rust will be cleaned to ensure optimal engine function.

  • Prevents Car Malfunctions


If you don’t learn how to flush your transmission regularly, it can lead to a high amount of wear on your transmission. Over time, this can cause your engine to run at a reduced quality. Eventually, your engine will overheat, leaving you broken down and without a usable vehicle.

  • Improves Transmission Lifespan

By performing regular transmission maintenance, you can extend the lifespan and quality of your vehicle. A regular transmission flush should occur every 40,000 miles to eliminate debris and rust, in addition, to prevent excessive wear. 

  • Prevents Overheating

The transmission contains chemical additives that lubricate and change gears – but most importantly, focus on heat removal. The friction within the transmission system produces a substantial amount of heat, which can cause stress and damage. Over time, the heat breaks down the compounds inside of the fluid, causing it to reduce the amount of heat that the fluid is able to carry away from the moving parts. 

  • Improves Gear Shifting

Transmission maintenance can improve the gear operation and the efficiency of your vehicle. When the transmission begins to overheat, the fluid can turn into a thick sludge, clogging the gears and making the shifting difficult. Learning how to flush your transmission can help unstick your gears

  • Improves Fuel Efficiency

When the transmission is functioning below the normal rate, a lower amount of strain and pressure is placed on other surrounding mechanical parts with the car. By lowering the amount of friction generated by the rotating parts, the amount of energy is increased and transferred to the wheels, thereby improving the fuel economy. 

What Is A Transmission Fluid Change?

If you look at your vehicle’s manual, you’re almost certainly going to see a fluid change 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, replacing the filter, and refilling your transmission with new fluid. 


Before learning how to flush your transmission, you need to know the benefits of a fluid change for lesser problems. 

  • Better Fuel Economy

Improving the fuel economy is a huge benefit of changing your fluid regularly. If your fluid has turned black, you need to change your fluid to ensure that your transmission runs smoother and engine functions better as well.

  • Prevent Engine Lock-Up

If you don’t change your fluid, your engine can lock-up. This means that your transmission is working too hard that it just shuts down. By changing your fluid regularly or learning how to flush your transmission, you can prevent this from happening.

  • Saves You Money 

If you change your fluid regularly, you won’t have to pay an expensive repair or replacement price for fixing your damaged transmission. Replacing a transmission is one of the most expensive jobs that a mechanic performs. 

  • Car Runs Smoothly

If you constantly top up your transmission fluid, then you can prevent any damage, and ensure that your car is running in an optimal way. You can drive better, use less fuel, and be more oil-efficient. 

How to Flush Your Transmission – Steps 

Method #1: Drain and Refill

This method works to replace 50% of the fluid if you are sure that some of the transmission fluid is burned, debris-filled, or not cooling the system properly.

  • First, drain the original fluid and replace the filter.
    • In most cars, the filter will be inside the transmission and hose radiator side only accessible once the plan has been dropped. 
  • After the filter has been replaced, reinstall the transmission pan with the new gasket. 
  • Fill the transmission fluid through the dipstick tube.
  • When you get close to the intended amount of fluid, start the car and check the fluid level.
  • Check the car for leaks during a test run to make sure you learned the right way of how to flush your transmission.

Method #2: Disconnect the Cooler

Most cars that contain an automatic transmission have a transmission cooler that is connected to the radiator. The transmission pumps fluid through this cooler to keep the fluid low enough to operate properly. 

  • The first step in this flush is to disconnect the cooler from the system.
  • Next, disconnect the radiator side of the hose that moves the hot fluid, placing the end into an empty bucket.
  • Disconnect the hose that returns the transmission fluid from the dollar and palace to a bucket of fluid.
  • Start the car and cycle through the transmission gears until fluid comes out of the transmission.
  • During this process, make sure you take note of the fluid coming out of the end if fresh fluid, or filled with debris. 
  • Lastly, reattach the cooler lines and fill the transmission with fluid to the correct level. 

Method #3: Special Machine

When learning how to flush your transmission, this is usually the last method and last resort. This method involves taking your car to a mechanic or auto body shop so they can use a special tool to replace all of the fluid.

  • In this method, the car is hooked up to a special machine with its fluid to force fluid through the transmission mechanism.

5 Signs You Need To Learn How To Flush Your Transmission

  • Low Fluid Levels

If you notice that the transmission is slipping while driving, the most common cause is low transmission fluid. 

  • The transmission fluid is necessary to lubricate the parts and keep your car running correctly
  • If your transmission slips, this means that the car engine revs, but no power is transferred to the wheels to move the car. 
  • If the slipping is caused by low transmission fluid, it will only get worse as the transmission overheats and friction builds during use.

Fix: Transmission Fluid Change

You can avoid learning how to flush your transmission by first changing your fluid. The average price of a fluid change will cost around $100, with the cost of a dealer costing upwards of $250 and an independent mechanic going as low as $80. The procedure’s average cost is $100 when dealing with the most common automatic transmission problems and solutions.


To avoid having to learn how to flush your transmission, drivers need to learn how to check your transmission fluid level. In many cars, you can do this very easily by using a dipstick in the engine bay. The dipstick will look like the oil dipstick but will be red. The transmission dipstick is usually located near the engine bay by the firewall, with the transmission fluid level needing to be checked while the engine is running and warm.

  • Burnt Fluid

One of the other most common transmission problems is burning fluid due to low fluid levels. 

  • Sometimes the transmission slipping can be due to the transmission fluid burning instead of just being at a low level in your car. If the fluid is not the right color, like black instead of red, or you notice a burning smell, this is likely the culprit. 
  • Burnt fluid can occur when the transmission overheats, and there is too much friction. In this case, you need to change your transmission fluid or learn how to flush your transmission before the fluid continues to burn in your vehicle. 

Fix: Fluid Flush 

If you have burnt fluid, you need to learn how to flush your transmission. If you want to bring your vehicle to a mechanic to learn for the first time. In that case,Suppose the average cost of a transmission fluid flush will typically cost around $150, with transmission flushes on smaller cars going as low as $100 and bigger trucks costing around $200. If you are unsure about how much your specific car will cost, you can expect the flush to cost about double as much as a fluid change.

  • Clutch Issues

Both automatic and manual transmission use clutches. Although the clutch issue is more common in manual cars, automatic cars can still succumb to these automatic transmission problems and solutions. These clutch issues can cause slipping while accelerating, meaning the drivers need to learn how to flush your transmission. 

  • In an automatic car, the transmission and the torque converter have clutch plates that can become worn out and damaged due to insufficient transmission fluid. 

Fix: Replace the Clutch

The cost to repair or replace a clutch depends on the damage and severity of the issue, with prices ranging from as little as $500 to as much as $2,500. The overall price depends on the type of car you drive, with luxury and sports cars costing around $2,500, and used cars that are middle-of-the-road costing between $500 and $1,000.

  • Torque Converter Failure

The torque converter’s main function is to transfer the engine’s power into torque, which is the type of power the transmission can use. Over time, the torque converter will break down and become damaged. 

  • When the converter is functioning correctly, the fluid will move through the torque converter. However, if it is damaged, the transmission fluid will not flow, meaning you need to learn how to flush your transmission to keep the fluid moving properly.  

Fix: Replace the Torque Converter

If you plan to replace the torque converter yourself, you can expect to pay between $150 and $500 for the part. However, if you need a mechanic to do the entire process for you, then expect to spend between $600 and $1,000 to replace the torque converter for your automatic transmission.

  • Transmission Band Damage

Along with the previous issues that can occur before you learn how to flush your transmission, it is also possible for the transmission bands to become broken down, worn over time, and damaged. These issues can cause the transmission to slip since they are in charge of connecting your gears. 

Fix: Replace The Transmission Bands

Unfortunately, fixing worn-out or broken transmission bands, clutches, or gears typically requires you to remove the entire transmission. If you don't have significant mechanic experience with cars, you need to bring your car to a trusted auto repair shop or dealership so they can do this for you. 

Things to Keep in Mind About a Transmission fluid Flush

  • Learning how to flush your transmission is very different from learning how to change your transmission fluid and change the transmission filter.
    • The cost to have your fluid changed at a dealership is between $80 and $250 while replacing the transmission fluid filter is usually between $250 and $340 for labor and parts.
  • A transmission fluid flush will not repair an internal problem within your transmissions. If you already notice problems with the transmission performance, learning how to flush your transmission might not be enough to cause problems. 
  • A fluid flush is a preventative measure, not a solution to the transmission’s lack of performance. 
  • A transmission flush is usually performed with a special flush machine when you bring your car to a mechanic or dealership.
  • A transmission flush can be performed using the transmission’s pump when learning how to flush your transmission at home.

The Bottom Line

When learning how to flush your transmission, drivers need to keep in mind the warning signs of faulty transmission, the main methods to performing this procedure, and the importance of this part in their car. 

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