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HT4100 4.1, 4.5, 4.9 Discussion, Should I flush tranny at 52K???? in Cadillac Engine Technical Discussion; Originally Posted by Msilva954 Guess it doesent sound that great after all Is droping the pan and doing it that ...
  1. #16
    ckucia is offline Cadillac Owners Fanatic
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    Re: Should I flush tranny at 52K????

    Quote Originally Posted by Msilva954
    Guess it doesent sound that great after all

    Is droping the pan and doing it that way easy enough to do it in your garage or should you have a mechanic do it? My father did work on cars in his 20's, so he has somewhat knowledge when it comes to cars.

    If I do go that route what is the best fluid and filter to use? OEM?
    The OEM filter (24206433 according to GMPartsDirect) is only about $11. GM list is about $18.

    I don't know if that includes the gasket (24204624) which they carry at $21.30, (lists at $37.38).

    It isn't a particularly difficult job. About the worst part is having to remove all those bolts with your hands up in the air while on your back. I've done it quite a few times, and I still always end up with trans fluid running down my arm. The only cautions I would have are to avoid letting the pan hang on one or two bolts once you've cracked the seal open as the weight of the fluid can bend the pan flange. Also, be careful with torquing the bolts on reassembly. The trans case is aluminum and the torque specs are pretty light in the manual, if I recall. Don't want to strip the threads. I always use a torque wrench for the pan bolts, but I'm a torque-wrench-aholic.

  2. #17
    Geno Castellano is offline Cadillac Owners Fanatic
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    Re: Should I flush tranny at 52K????

    Quote Originally Posted by Msilva954
    Guess it doesent sound that great after all

    Is droping the pan and doing it that way easy enough to do it in your garage or should you have a mechanic do it? My father did work on cars in his 20's, so he has somewhat knowledge when it comes to cars.

    If I do go that route what is the best fluid and filter to use? OEM?

    It is not a bad job at all. Just get a large drain pan so that you can loosen the pan without the draining oil spilling onto the floor. Other than that it is about as straightforward a job as there is.

  3. #18
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    Re: Should I flush tranny at 52K????

    I had my transmission flushed at 36,000 miles. It was operating fine and I thought I was doing some good preventive maintenance. By the time the car had 42,000 miles on it the transmission was burnt to a crisp. Can I absolutely prove it was the flush - no. However, I won't do that again.

  4. #19
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    Re: Should I flush tranny at 52K????

    Geno, you had 3 people who's transmissions failed within' 5,000 miles of the flush. Can you confirm that the failure was from the flush? What proof do you have? How many people don't have problems? If a customer has a good experience with a company/service they will tell only 1 or 2 people. An unsatisfied customer will tell 20 people. That is a fact! It has been in many of my textbooks in school. With that said you're not going to hear of many success stories when it comes to trans flushes but anyone who thinks the flush may have caused a problem is going to be vocal about it. How many millions get their transmissions flushed a year, and you know of only 3 that were damaged? And like I said before, what proof do you have that they were damaged by the flush? Pure speculation isn't a fact. How many miles were on these transmissions, how were they previously serviced, how old were the vehicle? My buddy has an 03 Dodge Ram which he just got a new trans for at 12,000 miles. While he hasn't gotten his trans flushed yet if he had just gotten it flushed and then 2,000 miles later it blew, you would blame it on the flush, when it had nothing to do with it. Get my point?

    I also would never take my car to a Jiffy Lube to have a flush performed. They do enough damage just changing the oil, let alone something more complicated like a trans flush. Now having a trans damaged by someone that is unskilled or unknowledgable at Jiffy Lube is probably more of a fact than opinion, but without stats and figures how can anyone really prove that? You can't.

    Yesterday I was talking to the two owners of Power House Performance, where I take my Camaro. I asked them about trans flushing and brought up your points. They said they've never heard anything bad and get their transmissions flushed too. Although, as I have already done, they do suggest changing the filter. But again, that's opinion as far as I'm concerned! It makes me sleep easier at night! They are also not trying to sell me on a trans flush because they do not have a flush machine at their shop. They do performance mods, not routine maintenance such as flushes.

    I just find it hard to believe so many transmissions are failing due to a flush and not some other explanation.

    One of my friends use to work at a trans shop! I'm going to call him today and see what he has to say. He doesn't work there anymore so he has no reason to give me false info, plus he's my friend!

    I'm sure if done right a trans flush is beneficial and if done wrong it can be harmful! Although, that goes for anything.

    Who knows?

    Later,
    Dave

  5. #20
    Geno Castellano is offline Cadillac Owners Fanatic
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    Re: Should I flush tranny at 52K????

    Quote Originally Posted by 99Zee28
    I'm sure if done right a trans flush is beneficial and if done wrong it can be harmful! Although, that goes for anything.

    Who knows?

    Later,
    Dave
    I certainly agree on the statement above. I'm sure that a tranny flush could be a positive thing in certain circumstances. But, there are a number of engineering arguments against the practice. Read my post. Those are my opinions, yes, but they are also the opinions of engineers that design and manufacture the transmissions. An aquaintance of mine worked with the Chief Engineer of the 4T80E and mentioned transmission flushing to him. He just rolled his eyes, laughed and walked away.

    Can I prove that anyone's transmission died due to a flush? No. But can you prove that they didn't? No. The evidence is just circumstantial, but there are a lot of cases mentioned where a tranny that was operating fine was flushed and died shortly thereafter.

    There are sound engineering reasons not to flush the tranny due to the debris, back flowing fluid, unscrupulous flush operators, etcetera. Are all transmission flushes bad? No! Are some of them bad? Yes. See above. How do you know which are the bad ones and which are the good ones? You can't tell. How do you avoid the "bad" flushes? Never flush the tranny. It's as simple as that. That's the low risk approach. Service it correctly and you wont be exposed to the potential damaging factors of a flush. That's all I'm saying.

  6. #21
    ckucia is offline Cadillac Owners Fanatic
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    Re: Should I flush tranny at 52K????

    I don't go to Jiffy lube type places, so I didn't really know that such a thing as a transmission flush existed until recently.

    I can't understand why anyone would do it without changing the filter and cleaning the pan, both from a preventative maintenance standpoint (examining the pan for debris) and from the idea that if the trans fluid is so bad it needs to be flushed, then certainly the filter is partially clogged - what good is clean fluid if it can't get through the filter?.

    If you're worried about getting all the fluid out, then the method mentioned above (disconnecting the lines and letting the transmission cycle new fluid into itself) seems far safer than hooking up any sort of external machine and more effective since the trans pump will then be moving as will the torque converter, which doesn't appear to be the case with a flushing machine.

    The only way a flush can be "better" than that is to use a higher pressure, or an additive. I don't know that I'd want to send higher-than-designed pressure through my transmission and fluid additives (mentioned by a lot of the flushing machine companies - do a google search) are specifically warned against in the service manual.

    About the only reason I could see flushing anything transmission-related is the cooler, as I believe there's a process for it outlined in the service manual. However, that is done by disconnecting the cooler from the trans and flushing it separately (and backwards, if memory serves). If debris can accumulate in the cooler, I certainly wouldn't want to remove them by forcing them through the rest of the transmission via a flush.

    I guess if performed correctly, it can't do any harm, but I'm not sure that's the point. If your goal is to get clean fluid in, there's a standard, zero-risk procedure - drop the pan and replace the filter. If you really want all the fluid, then there's a zero-risk procedure - disconnect the lines to the cooler and cycle fresh fluid in. If you need to flush the cooler and lines there's a factory procedure, again with minimal risk. Trying to accomplish any of those things with the flush and its inherent risk seems foolish. Trying to do more than that - i.e. "clean" or blast out the debris, or worse yet, cycle them backwards through the system - sounds dangerous and potentially goes directly against the manufacturer recommendation.

    One other thing that hasn't been mentioned is that there are different transmission fluids out there. The biggie is Chrysler's which is not compatible with everyone else's. Audi and VW also have a different one (dyed yellow instead of red) on some of their transaxles. It would be interesting to see what the procedure is in these shops to ensure that their flusher lines are completely purged of fluid every time they switch over, or if they just use some "supposedly universal" fluid in every trans they flush.

  7. #22
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    Re: Should I flush tranny at 52K????

    This may sound dumb but keep in mind this is my first car.... Is there a product supposed to be used that cleans the pan really good or do you just go in the back yard and hose it down???

  8. #23
    ckucia is offline Cadillac Owners Fanatic
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    Re: Should I flush tranny at 52K????

    Quote Originally Posted by Msilva954
    This may sound dumb but keep in mind this is my first car.... Is there a product supposed to be used that cleans the pan really good or do you just go in the back yard and hose it down???
    The pan itself will typically have a thin layer black powdery residue (suspended in the remaining oil) that usually wipes off with a cloth. There's a magnet in there that collects a lot of filings. I ususally use rags to pull that off - don't forget to put the magnet back in.

    If you have anything other than a little bit of fine powder in there (like metal chips), I'd suggest posting what you find before bolting it back together.

  9. #24
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    Re: Should I flush tranny at 52K????

    Just use some carb cleaner or something along those lines.. Hell go get some seafoam and slosh it around in there, and wipe clean with a towel...

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    Re: Should I flush tranny at 52K????

    Geno- lets assume this: If a tranny flush machine was perfectly clean, with brand new fluid, and you were flushing it regularly (IE not back-flushing), wouldnt you say that this would be a safe way to do it....???

  11. #26
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    Re: Should I flush tranny at 52K????

    wes, that is what I was assuming, but earlier he brought up the point that it would basically loosen up other debre which inturn would stay in the tranny . To me it does make sense, I guess it would be safe if you did that all day long just flushing and flushing and flushing until its just totally flushed out.

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    Re: Should I flush tranny at 52K????

    Alright, I talked to my friend yesterday who worked at a Trans shop. I asked him if he had ever heard of disadvantages of flushing a trans and if he had EVER had someone come back because their trans blew shortly after a flush. He said NO to both.

    Also, I e-mailed the owner of the speed shop I go to the post Geno Castellano posted so he can read exactly what he said. Here is his response. This guy disasembles engines/trans all day to mod them. He does quality work and I have never had any problems with this shop. I trust his opinions/facts.

    "I don't agree with him. You are not pumping the same $h!t that comes out back into the trans. There is a filter on the machine and you are pumping fresh $h!t in. I wouldn't want to start my car with the cooler line off and let it piss out and then be filling it at the same time."

    Also, I e-mailed the ASE certified mechanic/writer for Chicago Tribune and showed him Genos post. I asked him if he has heard of transmissions being damaged and if what Geno is saying is more fact than fiction. While I'm not sure if he'll write back, if he does I'll be sure to post it.

    I really want to get to the bottom of this! It's driving me nuts! Who is right? What if 50% of tranmissions fail and 50% don't! Then I guess we both would be right!!!

    Too bad most of what all of us are saying is merely opinion and not fact. While there may be logic associated with all of our posts that doesn't mean they are correct.

    Who Knows????

    Later,
    Dave

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    Re: Should I flush tranny at 52K????

    Why does the machine need a filter if it's pumping "fresh $h!t in"?
    ************************************************** *********


    "I don't agree with him. You are not pumping the same $h!t that comes out back into the trans. There is a filter on the machine and you are pumping fresh $h!t in. I wouldn't want to start my car with the cooler line off and let it piss out and then be filling it at the same time."

  14. #29
    Geno Castellano is offline Cadillac Owners Fanatic
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    Re: Should I flush tranny at 52K????

    [QUOTE=99Zee28]Alright, I talked to my friend yesterday who worked at a Trans shop. I asked him if he had ever heard of disadvantages of flushing a trans and if he had EVER had someone come back because their trans blew shortly after a flush. He said NO to both.

    Also, I e-mailed the owner of the speed shop I go to the post Geno Castellano posted so he can read exactly what he said. Here is his response. This guy disasembles engines/trans all day to mod them. He does quality work and I have never had any problems with this shop. I trust his opinions/facts.

    "I don't agree with him. You are not pumping the same $h!t that comes out back into the trans. There is a filter on the machine and you are pumping fresh $h!t in. I wouldn't want to start my car with the cooler line off and let it piss out and then be filling it at the same time."

    Also, I e-mailed the ASE certified mechanic/writer for Chicago Tribune and showed him Genos post.



    Ok. I was going to let this die but this is too much to pass up. Dude! Dude... Of course the transmission shop is going to tell you that the flush is okay. It makes more business for them (even if they don't realize it) and certainly improves their profit margin by flushing instead of servicing properly. If they flush and the tranny fails then they can always tell the owner that they did "all they could" and it was going to fail anyway. For the love of God!

    Who do you really trust? A guy that rebuilds transmissions or the people that designed them? Really now! I know those tranny techs are pretty smart but so are the guys that designed the transmissions. It's a little harder to design and engineer the thing from the beginning than just figure out how to take it apart and put it back together.

    Explain to me why he thinks it's not a good idea to take a cooler line off and start the engine and let the tranny pump the fluid out for a complete purge. What damage could occur and what kind of problem could this cause?! Besides, some of the "flush" machines require that the cooler lines be disconnected as that is where the flush machine hooks up to. The oil in the torque converter (that everyone is so interested in flushing out to change all the oil) is pressurized lube oil that leaves the converter and goes out the cooler lines. If you don't break into the cooler lines then the torque converter will not get flushed out regardless of what the machine does. You can pump oil through the tranny for a week and unless the lube circuit is accessed the torque converter will not be flushed out. So the machine has to interrupt the cooler lines if it is to be effective.

    "I don't agree with him. You are not pumping the same $h!t that comes out back into the trans. There is a filter on the machine and you are pumping fresh $h!t in." Geez, I hate to admit it , but I agree with his choice of words. If the "shit" going in is clean why is there a filter needed in the machine? Actually, I think he summed it up and gave every reason to not have a tranny flushed if he refers to what is going in as "shit".

    "Also, I e-mailed the ASE certified mechanic/writer for Chicago Tribune and showed him Genos post." Now this takes the cake! A writer from the Chicago Tribune? Give me a break. Read the drivel that automotive writers spew and tell me that they are a credible source. Automotive writers, especially "technical" writers, are legends in their own minds. They don't even know what they don't know. That is about the last source of info I would take as gospel.

    I know some of you are intent on proving that transmission flushes are "fine" so have at it. But trust me, there are many potential pitfalls in having a tranny flushed and absolutely nothing in a flush is better than servicing the tranny correctly. So why bother or take the risk?

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    Re: Should I flush tranny at 52K????

    <<<Of course the transmission shop is going to tell you that the flush is okay. It makes more business for them (even if they don't realize it) and certainly improves their profit margin by flushing instead of servicing properly. If they flush and the tranny fails then they can always tell the owner that they did "all they could" and it was going to fail anyway.>>>


    I said WORKED at a Trans Shop! Worked, as in Past Tense, means he NO LONGER works there! What benefit would he have to lie to me? Is he gaining any money from it? No! He has no benefit so there is no reason to lie!

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