Transmission Flush

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Went for winter checkup (01 Hyundai Elantra GT) at firestone and came back with a "strong" recommendation to do transmission flush.
Went to a quick oil change place and did a $79.99 Automatic Transmission
Flush.
Now, my friend says Automatic Flush is not a flush and I should have done a full flush.
Did I do something foolish ? SHould I go back and spend more and do a full flush?
Thanks in advance
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Why not ask your friend what he meant by what he said, and then call the quick oil change place and ask them what they did? I've never wasted my money on these services, so I really don't know what they do.
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I wish he knew more!! He was told by someone and he spelt that to me.
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I wish he knew more!! He was told by someone and he spelt that to me.
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why did you have it done at firestone. Dealer charges 59.99 CDN for a full flush.. and you get the right fluid put back into the system.

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Well, The dealer(s) around Detroit charges close to US $120! I thought it was a big difference!
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With a partial flush, sometimes the torque converter isn't fully drained. Thus, you end up with the new fluid mixing with the old. More importantly, and this is unfortunately from experience, I would only let the dealer drain and refill the transmission. A number of independent shops may not use the correct ATF and this is super critical.
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A couple of questions for you:
*Have you EVER had anything else done to your tranny?? A drain and fill, another flush, whatever?? (did you get this new or used).
*Can the shop tell you what fluid they used?
In general, the more attention you give to the tranny fluid through the life of the car, the better off you will be, no matter what kind of attention it is, as long as you don't use the wrong fluid.
Hyundai usually calls for tranny fluid changes at 30000. If that has been done, no matter how it was done, you should be fine.
Unlike the opinion of some, the flushes at fast oil changes have usually done a pretty good job SO LONG AS the right fluid is flushed back in, and you are doing it in even a reasonably timely way.
If this is a company owned Firestone, they have the best transmission fluid flush system known. You will not go wrong with it. If it is a local yokel (which the majority of stores which have Firestone signs are), no telling what it is.
Key is to ask the Firestone person as many questions as you need to. If you trust them to do it, trust them to answer some thorough questions.
My local Firestone (which IS a company-owned store) is the best auto shop of any kind in the area. The mechanics know their cars, fluids, tires, everything. They will not do me wrong, and will answer every question I have. Hopefully, they are the same to you.
Hope this helps.
Tom Wenndt

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The only thing foolish about this would be if they used the wrong fluid. At $79.95, I strongly suspect they did. That's the approximate cost just for the fluid for a flush with Hyundai fluid. You should call them and ask them what fluid they used. If the response is anything other than SPIII, you should demand a refund and immediately have your transmission flushed with SPIII fluid.
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suresh wrote:

Personally, if you change the transmission fluid and filter on a reasonable schedule, these flushes are a waste of money, IMO.
Matt
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back
done
full
Actually, if you change your ATF properly (IMHO), you do a flush anyway. But... it was my understanding there is no replaceable filter in the Hyundai trannies.
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Mike Marlow wrote:

No, you don't flush all of the old fluid from the tranny. Most automatics drain at best half of the fluid.
Matt
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Transmission
Hyundai
No Matt - what I meant was that the way I service my tranny is to drain it, fill it, and break the line at the radiator and start the car to pump it (while keeping it topped off) until it flows nice bright new fluid. That's a flush. Draining a tranny is not a flush.
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Mike Marlow wrote:

I've heard of folks doing that successfully, but it is also a way to shorten the life of the transmission if you let that pump get low enough on oil to pump air. Also, I don't think you will exchange all of the fluid in the TC by doing this.
In any event, it is completely unnecessary. Transmissions don't contaminate the oil anywhere near what engines do with their combustion byproducts. Changing half of the fluid at the recommended intervals is plenty good enough maintenance.
Matt
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it,
That's
Well yeah - if you run the tranny low, but it's not at all difficult to keep it topped off while you're flushing it. You'd have to be asleep under the hood to drain it down low enough to pump air. You do exchange the TC fluid this way - it's a closed loop system. Perhaps one could argue that there is some very, very small percentage of the old fluid that mixes with the new, but that is such a small number that it is inconsequential.

Correct - there is not combustion in a tranny so the fluids don't contaminate like engine oil does. But - why bother changing tranny fluid at all then? It's so easy to flush the tranny, and it's done so infrequently, that it's hardly worth *not* doing it.
As an aside - have you ever run flush/cleaner through tranny lines before installing a rebuilt, or a new tranny? Did you see the amount of ugly black crap that comes out of those lines? Trannies are constantly wearing and degrading. Clutch residue, etc. has to go somewhere and it does not all accumulate in the pan. Flushing the lines, though not the same as a real cleaning, does a lot to clean out the whole system. It's the only way you're going to clean the residue out of the intercooler and the lines themselves.
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Mike Marlow wrote:

How do you keep it full? How do you even check the oil when you have the dipstick out to pour the oil in?
I'll take your word for it on the Hyundai TC as I don't have a shop manual for one yet. Many of the older TCs didn't really exchange oil much until they were spinning at a pretty high RPM. At idle, not much oil was exchanged between the TC internals and the rest of the transmission.

The main reason generally is to change the filter. I think you or someone else said that Hyundai has no filter, but that seems like a major oversight if true. Changing the filter and half of the fluid probably removed 90% of the wear particles and also gave you a fairly large dose of new additives for the seals, friction modifiers, etc. I've never seen a car maker require transmissions flushes so I think they are largely a waste of money and fluid.
You'd have to run probably 2-3 times the capacity of the transmission through it to have any hope of anything approaching a 100% exchange of fluid, and even then I'll bet you don't get it all.

Nope, I've never had to replace a transmission in 30 years of car ownership. My last vehicle before the Sonata was a 96 Plymouth Grand Voyager with the supposedly fragile electronic 4-speed. It went to 178,000 miles before a drunk ran into me an totaled it right before Christmas. The transmission was original and working great. Regular maintenance and sane driving practices and you shouldn't have to replace a transmission, unless you get the occasional lemon.
I'm not saying there aren't conditions where a flush makes sense, and it sounds like a rebuilt tranny is one of them, however, to me this indicates a really lousy rebuild. A good rebuilding of either engines or transmissions should ensure that things are squeaky clean before being assembled.
I'm saying that there is no need to flush an automatic as part of routine maintenance.
Matt
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keep
the
fluid
there is

new,
You watch the oil pouring into the catch pan. It's not at all hard to guage how much to put it. You really have to pump out a lot of ATF before you get into any trouble, and it's quite simple to stay ahead of that point.

transmission.
Not so high an RPM. Most cars are well at stall by 2,000 RMP or so. The torque converter pumps quite well at an idle or just above. But - don't confuse stall (which occurrs at higher RPM's) with pumping which occurs even at idle. The torque converter is pumping all the while it is turning.

fluid at

infrequently,
Well, trannies have been serviced by a lot of people by simply changing the filter and draining the tranny itself, and refilling, but shops have been pumping the whole system for decades. It's not a novel practice. Any decent tranny shop will do so as part of a routine tranny service.
What I said about the Hyundai filter was that I thought someone here said there is no changeable filter in the Hyundai. I believe it was said that there is a wire mesh filter that is internal to the tranny and is not even a dealer serviceable item, short of a full tranny teardown.
As far as Hyundai's recommendation, the tech service manual specifically calls for disconnecting the line to the intercooler while the engine is idling, for up to one minute or until it stops pumping ATF out.

Not at all. You can't say this when by your own admission you've never even seen the process done. Typically you don't go through more than two quarts before you are pumping bright new fluid.

before
black
real
But then again there are those of us who use our vechicles in different ways. I had to rebuild my tranny in my pickup last winter after it lost reverse. In part due to normal wear and in part because the truck plows snow and at a little over 100,000 the tranny bit the bullet. The truck is serviced on a regular basis, and is well cared for and not driven hard. Even plowing snow it is driven easy, though one can never call plowing snow truly easy. There are lots of reasons that trannies die - one can't say that regualar maintenance and sane driving practices will ensure a trouble free tranny.

Read my post again Matt. The flush was to clean out the intercooler and the tranny lines. Those don't get removed when you pull a tranny to take it to the shop. They are what held all of the contaminate.

Fine, I won't argue with it, but I'll insist it's not a waste of money. I know what comes out of the lines when a flush is done and I have every reason to spend the extra 15 minutes and two quarts of ATF to get the system fully cleaned when I service my tranny.
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Mike Marlow wrote:

What is the capacity of the Hyundai automatic?

My truck has 90,000 miles and plows snow regularly. Then again, I got a standard transmission just so I wouldn't have to worry about transmission failures from plowing snow and towing! :-)
Matt
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even
quarts
7-ish quarts I believe.

is
snow
trouble
Oh sit on it! (God hates those who gloat). My plow truck before this one was a standard and I had 0 problems with it plowing for 176,000 miles. It was a little less forgiving of an end over end flip which landed it on the cab, though. So - I bought this truck used in '96 and except for toasting the tranny in the middle of plow season last year, it really has been pretty much trouble free. It's a '94 Silverado with the 4L60E in it and though it's really not a bad tranny, it's not really beefy enough for plowing. We get a lot of snow around here - I think I've mentioned in the group that we get in the neighborhood of 300 inches per year, and that's a lot of plowing. The truck had 32,000 on it when I bought it and it had never plowed snow, but it did pull a hard body camper and I can't speak to the previous owner's towing experiences. I'd have gladly bought another standard, but this truck came along and it's so nice in so many other respects, that I just bought it. The tranny only cost me $500 for a complete rebuild - and I mean a complete rebuild, through a buddy who is a tranny mechanic. I had to pull it and put it back in, but it was worth the effort for that price.
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Mike Marlow wrote:

I'd rather sit in my truck than on it... :-)

I don't get nearly the snow you do, but my driveway is 3/8 mile long, so even 6" of snow means a fair bit of plowing. Even though people freak out when they hear me say I plow with a standard shift truck, I still think that properly driven a standard shift is a much better plow vehicle. Not quite as fast for things like parking lots, so I understand why the commercial plow guys use an automatic. Then again, plowing fast with an auto means shifting gears while you are still moving at the end of each run, and that is part of what kills the automatics so quickly.
Matt
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