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Transmission flush or drop the pan?

Discussion in 'Commercial Snow Removal' started by Up North, Nov 15, 2004.

  1. Up North

    Up North Senior Member
    Messages: 921

    Talked to a couple mechanics today and one recommended NOT flushing the tranny as he has seen problems show up later due to the flushing. The other mechanic said that if you don't flush it you may not be able to get all the old fluid out and it will mix with the new fluid, which wouldn't be good if there are a lot of shavings in there would be my guess. What are your thoughts? Anyone have problems with flushing? What's my best route, flush or drop the pan and wipe everything down and hope to get most all the fluid out of the torque converter?

    Man, I wish I was a mechanic...I could save some $$ and not waste your time with these questions. But I do appreciate your feedback, thanks guys.

  2. Bad Luck

    Bad Luck Senior Member
    Messages: 741

    UN - what kind of truck, what year, auto trans right?
  3. daninline

    daninline Senior Member
    Messages: 430

    When you flush the trans it gets out and build up in the valve body and other places that stuff can settle.
    It's good to get done once the miles start getting up there.
    but I would just drop the pan most times but if you find build up in the pan then it's other places too.

    If flushing the trans makes it have problems then they were there allready they were just waiting for a place to blow up.

    Keep the tranny cool
  4. b2driver

    b2driver Member
    from MD
    Messages: 89

    Only way to get all or most of the fluid out of the converter is if it is equipped with a drain bolt that you can access through the inspection cover or a rubber gromet below.
  5. Up North

    Up North Senior Member
    Messages: 921

    2000 1/2 ton Silverado, yes auto.

  6. jpunlimited

    jpunlimited Senior Member
    Messages: 132


    my answer is both because the filter needs to be changed. and you have to drop the pan to change most filters. and the only way to fully exchange the fluid is with the special flush process. I dropped the pan once, and that was the last time what a mess of stinky trans fluid. Leave this to the pros.
  7. ratlover

    ratlover PlowSite.com Addict
    from IL
    Messages: 1,325

    You can easily "flush it" yourself and it is the only way to get all the fluid out. Pop the line going back into the trans from the cooler. Stick a peice of rubber hose on the end and stick it into a bucket. Drain the pan and refill it. Start up truck untill it pukes out what ever amount you put in there(try not to run it dry, better to puke too little than not enough), shut off truck, dump some more atf in there and run it till you puke it all out and keep on doing this till you run a couple more quarts through the trans than its capacity or till it runs clean(what ever your choice). If this is your first time I would drop the pan and replace the filter and add a drain plug into your pan. Next year and every year on a plow truck i would just pop the drain plug and drain the pan at the end of the season. Some trans IIRC will suck too so you can just stick the in line in a bucket of atf and it will pump out its guts and suck in new but I cant remember if the 4l60e does or not :confused:

    The "special flush" process and leaving it to the pros is a joke IMO Thier "special process" is the same except the may have a machine that squirts new fluid(or filters the old) and spits it back to the trans instead of the constant refilling and such of the trans.

    The above method works best if you can have a helper turning the truck on and off.

    I will give you that without a drain plug in the trans pan it can be a messy experience thats why I always add a drain plug if it dosnt come with one.
  8. JMR

    JMR Senior Member
    Messages: 567

    Naturally since I'm in the business I have my opinion about properly servicing automatic transmissions. Servicing a transmission can be one messy job. Your right there is no magic to a flush machine. The one we use is a positive displacement type. The machine is filled with fluid, 14 quarts. It is then spliced into the trans cooler line, as dirty fluid enters the machine clean fluid exits the machine. We do not recycle or clean old trans fluid (it goes in my waste oil heater). We are able to change about 99+% of the fluid in your transmission. I also believe that you should change the filter every time you change the fluid. Would you ever consider changing your oil without changing the filter? A restricted filter will starve the trans for fluid and burn it up fast. IMO anybody offering their customers a transmission flush service and not changing the filter is doing their customers a great injustice.
  9. PLOWMAN45

    PLOWMAN45 2000 Club Member
    Messages: 2,815

    im gonna flush this year i do mine once a year change the filter i m gonna try flushing it
  10. LINY Rob

    LINY Rob Senior Member
    Messages: 478

    I change my fluid myself about 4 times a year, once I plowed for almost 30 hours straight- so that was a automatic fluid chage as well.

    its alot cheaper then changing a transmission.

    you should drop the pan, change the fluid and filter

    if the truck is old and you dont know when its been done last, I would just leave it alone, sometimes it makes it worse to change really old fluid

    same reason I dont like those power flushes, just go the old fashioned way.
  11. Boast Enterpris

    Boast Enterpris Senior Member
    Messages: 745

    I drop the pan on my Fords! :waving:
  12. Big Nate's Plowing

    Big Nate's Plowing PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,266

    I was told that on the dodges to drop the pan, otherwise u have a chance of blowing some seals in the valve body :confused:
  13. festerw

    festerw Senior Member
    Messages: 986

    Never heard of that Nate I'll see if I can find some info. I just take my truck to the dealer an hour and $70 later and it's done.
  14. Mebes

    Mebes Senior Member
    Messages: 386

    I do mine the same as above, the only difference is that I overfill the transmission by 1 Quart, then I take about 6 more and line them up with the caps off right next to the dipstick tube, and pour them in with the engine running and the disconnected hose filling a bucket.

    Clean fluid going in the dipstick tube and old fluid running out of the cooler line into a bucket at the same time.
    Sometimes the fluid pumps out faster than you can put it in.
  15. butler L&S

    butler L&S Member
    Messages: 89

    mebes, you are going to need more than 7 quarts for a Ford Super Duty.
  16. fordsrbetter

    fordsrbetter Junior Member
    Messages: 15

    tranny flush

    hello i own a quick lube and car wash, the flush is a good thing change the filter also if it has alot of miles but check the owners manual and see what the maitenance schedule suggest. the filter in the tranny pan is just a screen and when you shut the truck off most of the junk in the filter falls to the bottom of the pan thats why you see all the crud in the pan when you drop it. so unless the trans was really beat on or high miles you won't need to do it. (i like too drop them on my trucks just to see how much metal is on the magnets not because the filter is plugged i put a couple extra magnets in the pans of my work trucks.) i wouldn't suggest adding any snake oils the atf either. it not hard to do like all the guys above have suggested(really easy for me i have a couple of pits to use) we burn all of out used oil to heat all of our carwash water and floor heat. have a great day and hope for snow! D.J.
  17. Bad Luck

    Bad Luck Senior Member
    Messages: 741

    Up North - If memory serves me correctly you cannot get all of the fluid out simply by draining the pan. Ratlover has the process down. I would definitley drop the pan and change the filter as well. I would do this after the trans was flushed before I fill it. If your not to sure on doing it, find yourself a reputable trans shop in town and tell them you want it done. Your truck is new enough where I woudln't worry too much about any serious build up but be sure to clean off the drain plug, it has a magnet at the end that draws all the metal shavings out of the fluid. One look at this will tell you how beat up your trans can be.

    GM doesn't reccomend servicing my trans until 100K but you bet your arse I'll be doing it after this winter.

    I'm going to PM you with a site that has mucho info on these trucks. Very helpful with topics like these.
  18. Mebes

    Mebes Senior Member
    Messages: 386

    Hey when you got the U edge you don't have to worry about details like that, you just glide right over them.

    Except when your center shoe falls off.
  19. ratlover

    ratlover PlowSite.com Addict
    from IL
    Messages: 1,325

    I agree with mebes.....

    Thats were the flush till clean comes in. My trans fluid looks brand new(mobil 1 syn) I'm going to drain the pan and refill just to get a bit of clean fluid in there cuz I'm an anal freak but it probably isnt needed. A total flush would just be wasting 100$ in my case. If your trans fluid looks good imo just draining a bit of it and replacing it willl doo the job
  20. Mean4x4

    Mean4x4 Senior Member
    from Livonia
    Messages: 100

    go to the dealer

    I know it's expensive But the dealership uses a machine that will flush it, and back flush it. It cost me a 100.00 for my 2000 Superduty. It was well worth it. After Fluid & a filter from the parts store I was already around 75.00. Plus When they flush it, they get EVERYTHING out of it, they don't break any seals while doing it. And they get the fluid out of the torque converter, valve body & cooler. That's something a simple Drain & fill will never do.