Trans fluid flush or drain?

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My local dealer wants to flush the trans on my '99 K2500 as part of normal service. I asked if they pull the pan and change the filter. He said not necessary as they add a "special" chemical that cleans the filter. Sounds
like BS to me but I'd like to hear comments from others on the subject. Thanks, Dave
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Well, like you, I thought it was BS. Then I heard a horror story about tranny problems after a flush job. A couple of weeks ago someone in this group posted their own horrors about trying to change fluid and all the problems they had. So, yesterday, I decided to get after it on my own. I got one of those cheap books from Haynes and went to my local military base to use the auto craft shop. I am sooooooo glad I didn't try this in the driveway. The book forgot to mention that the pan will not come off without dropping the exhaust pipes. I was lucky, I guess. I didn't twist any of the studs off. Changing the fluid and filter was pretty much uneventful. There are pros and cons to both methods. The flush job takes more of the fluid out but leaves a (dirty?) (used!) filter. The method I used, I got a (new) filter and I also got a look inside the pan. Sometimes it does the heart good to see the magnet without a bunch of pieces of metal. Lots of guys swear by the flush job. Maybe someday, I'll be convinced, but not real soon. The quik lube joints use the flush method but I think a tranny guy wants to see the inside. Mines a 99 Z71. .

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Drain it and change the filter a chem it clean the filter so where do it go after it cleans it ?BACK INTO THE FILTER!!!!!Have them drain and change also you will then be able to see if you have and anything not transmission worhty in your pan.Im a Dealer Tech and a flush is a easy way for the dealership to make cash its fast and easy and you pay for everything and ya dont even have to lift the truck.....Ive seen more problems come out of flushing thats why our shop wount do it unless asked to and everything is layed out on the table and the customer knows it may cause some problems
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Dave,
It's bullshit. Dealerships can charge as much for a flush as for a pan drop and filter change, only thing is a flush takes 1/10th of the time. You need to drop the pan and replace the filter, simple as that. It's not our fault GM put the farkin' exhaust and crossmember in the way (which is why dealers are pushing the flush).
Doc

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"Dave Brower" wrote

If they actually said "we add a special chemical that 'cleans' the filter" then, yes...this is baloney. At our dealership, we do both fluid 'exchanges' and regulars transmission services (dropping the pan and changing filter and gasket and topping up the fluid). For regular customers, we usually alternate these services, do a flush this time, next time do the regular trans service. A lot depends on the type of machine they are using, and how it exchanges the fluid. Our particular machine is simple and bulletproof, and I've never seen "any" problems develop in transmissions as a result of using it. It happens to be a GM approved machine. It's also very useful for transmissions that are behind the Cadillac Northstar, as it's main filter is not located in the pan and is labor intensive to replace, so it's far simpler to just exchange the fluid in these transmissions.
Personally, I'd always start with a regular trans service as it's important to clean the pan and install a new filter. After that, a complete fluid flush would be a bonus.
Ian
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Talk to a lot of people in your area about who reputable transmission service people are. Get a consensus, then another consensus. Not "just anybody" does transmissions, and I believe this means especially the dealer. You will find that honest transmission shop out there but look hard before you decide.
Hatt
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How does one drain all the fluid left inside the torque convertor. Doesn't that still hold a few quarts even after totally draining from the pan?
Chris Blastin
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Yeppers, it holds over 50% of the fluid in the system. If fluid is changed regularly, than the new stuff going in is enough to keep her happy. IF the fluid is left in too long and burns, you need to drain several times to get most of the old stuff out. On vehix that have cooked fluid, I'll drop the pan, change the filter and install a drain plug in the pan. I then drain the pan and refill every 50 miles or so until it's nice and red and doesn't smell like burnt ass.
Doc

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nicely said Doc
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If one doesn't go this route, is the new flushing technique safe?
Hatt
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/////////////////
(DJHatt)
If one doesn't go this route, is the new flushing technique safe?
Hatt ////////////////// DJ, IMO........no.
Do yourself a favor and use the age-old, tried and true, technique for your tranny services.
I can't answer for Gary, but even bringing the topic up in a Tranny Seminar full of tranny guys is a sure way to get a lot of smiling faces on the crowd.
Trans flush's are a definate direct cause of .... "Sudden Failure Syndrome" on transmissions that haven't been serviced regularly and have a fair amount of mileage on them.
jest fer sheets and geegles.....call as many tranny shops in your area as you can..... and see how many offer trans flushing, as compared to auto repair facilities that don't rebuild transmissions for a living...........
that may help drive home the point.
jmo
marsh monster .
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Don't mean to steal your thunder Dave, but my question fits in with this topic perfectly and didn't want to clog the group with another tans fluid topic.
Anywho.
I've got a 96 K1500 Tahoe LT 4dr with 98.8K miles on it. I've owned it since about 85K. I want to do a full fluid/filter change for the transmission so I've been watching the related threads pretty eagerly. At the moment, dropping the pan, etc, is a bit more than I have facilities for so I've been looking for a dealer or shop to do it, which is where my question lies:
1) A very large local Chevy dealer wants $199 to do an external inspection, drop the pan, replace the filter and do a full flush of the fluid including getting everything out of the torque converter, replace all the seals, and top it off again. This would also allow me to drop the vehicle off in the morning, they give me a ride to work 20 miles away, and pick me up at the end of the day to pick up my truck.
2) A smaller, but still kinda large chain (Cottman Transmission if anyone's heard of it) just moved into town about 2 months ago so I haven't heard anything about them yet. They want $59 to drop the pan, replace the filter, and top if up again, or $99 to drop the pan, replace the filter, do the full flush with the t.c., drive it a bit, and basically do a full inspection. This one doesn't give me a lift to work, but I've got a 2nd car so thats not a big deal.
I was wondering if anyone has heard of Cottman Transmission and has anything good/bad to say, or which one would probably be more reliable? I've always been leary of the dealers, especially when they just built a huge new addtion and I'm wondering if they've got elevated prices to pay for it, or since I'm kinda short on cash if Cottman would be the way to go?
Thanks. Brandonb
Dave Brower wrote:

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Wow havent heard cottman transmission in a long time where you from?but anyways cottmans good but tell them you want the old filter or if you stay there too see the pan before they clean it just to make sure they drop the pan
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Ankeny, IA. About 10 minutes north of Des Moines. I'll keep that in mind if I go that route. The guy I talked to on the phone said it'd take about an hour to hour and a half if I wanted to stick around during it.
Brandonb
Steve Cook wrote:

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My dealer wants $99 for just the flush, so Cottman's sounds pretty good if they are reputable.
Dave
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The service desk at the dealer I talked to said the only transmission flush they offered included dropping the pan and replacing the filter and getting all of it out and replaced.
Brandonb
Dave Brower wrote:

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Brandon Buckner wrote:

I have heard horror stories about the full flush jobs, mainly with high mileage trannies, being flushed for the first time. Trannies in good condition failing soon after with band problems. Frist of all, a tranny oil change is not going to cure any current transmission problems. Its effective if done as regular maintence to prolong the life of the tranny. For this purpose a good old regular oil and filter change is perfect. The portion of the fluid replaced refreshes the needed fluid additives and does not drastically disturb the current internal trans enviroment as a complete flush and fluid change would. I do a plain old oil and filter change every 50000 miles along with heavy duty aux cooling and I have 250,000 miles on mine and still great.
May be an old wives tale (for flushes), but too many old dawgs seem to ascribe to it, there may be something to it. THe tranny shop, gets the extra cash for the flush and if the tranny fails before its time because of it, they again get more cash and the last thing one would suspect is the possibility that the flush could have contributed to it. In other words they have nothing to lose from this deal but you may!
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I've heard stories too, one reason I'm asking in this group. I want to get it done as I've had the truck for about 15k miles now and I know I've never had it done. I got everything with the truck when I bought it except service records, so I don't know when the last time it has been changed. The vehicle is also just about at the 100k mile mark, so I figure its due time anyway.
As far as the stories go, I got the impression they were where it was ONLY flushed, and the old filter was left in and any gunk in the system wasn't cleaned out or scraped off the pan. Please, somebody correct me if I'm mistaken.
Brandonb
john wrote:

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What I would do is get the regular oil and filter change. During the change, you will get an idea of the condition wearwise, by looking at the color and smell of the fluid, and checking for sediment at the bottom of the pan when it is cleaned.
Brandon Buckner wrote:

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cottman is respectable like i said ask for proof of work because i lived in ohio and my exfather enlaw worked for them and i heard stories he use to pull.as far as they dealer a flush does not include pulling the pan thats just a standard gm tranny service a flush is a flush a tranny service is a tranny service my service advisors tried this once and god was there a mess besides cottman is a fullservice all tranny shop i know at our dealership where i work as a tech we have 1 full service tranny guy but all the techs can do the service but at cottman or any other transmission they can tell you if your tranny is pregnant just by the smell of the fluid lol for experience and price id go to the tranny shop if your car runs like crap and dont run half of the time then take it to the dealer lol eighter way i hope you get a good deal and the work done ya need steve
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