Should I flush tranny at 52K????
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HT4100 4.1, 4.5, 4.9 Discussion, Should I flush tranny at 52K???? in Cadillac Engine Technical Discussion; Besides the records that came with the car (have not read yet) is it safe to flush the transmission? I ...
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    Msilva954's Avatar
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    Exclamation Should I flush tranny at 52K????

    Besides the records that came with the car (have not read yet) is it safe to flush the transmission? I did go to mygmlink.com and it said service transmission at 100k, doesent that seem a little too late? I basically want to flush it, but then I hear horror stories about it. Am I safe?

    What is the best transmission flush machine that mechanics use?

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

    Any tranny flush machine is gonna be about the same...

    I think youll be safe... Every 30-50k is the safe range... Most will say you dont need to do it but IMO $100 every 50k is cheaper than buying a new tranny!!!!

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    ETC Guy's Avatar
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    Re: Should I flush tranny at 52K????

    Take a look at your fluid. It should be a clear color and not dark. What service did the car provide.? If there's a trailer hitch on the vehicle flush it. I did wait with mine until 105K. The garage gave me two options: drain it or pressure flush it. I had them pressure flush it and the shift from 1st to 2nd changed dramatically for the better. The garage also said that most people ignore this maintenance item. But we here at the forum know better.

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

    I am new to this forum and until this morning, I thought it was the general consensus of the members of this board that the transmission should not be flushed but only drained with the side pan, or something to that effect, drained as well. Transmission flush is risky because it is done with cleaning solution that is used over and over again, so is contaminated, and it stirs up sediment in your transmission that is not removed and begins to work on breaking down your transmission. Many have seen transmission failure shortly after a flush. Most here it seems only recommend draining the fluid and cleaning the filters. Now, am I wrong, have I gotten the wrong impression from the majority of regular posters here?..........Tom

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

    Quote Originally Posted by ThomasO
    I am new to this forum and until this morning, I thought it was the general consensus of the members of this board that the transmission should not be flushed but only drained with the side pan, or something to that effect, drained as well. Transmission flush is risky because it is done with cleaning solution that is used over and over again, so is contaminated, and it stirs up sediment in your transmission that is not removed and begins to work on breaking down your transmission. Many have seen transmission failure shortly after a flush. Most here it seems only recommend draining the fluid and cleaning the filters. Now, am I wrong, have I gotten the wrong impression from the majority of regular posters here?..........Tom
    By draining you only remove about 1/3 of the fluid leaving the rest of the old fluid in there. I have never heard anything bad about flushing your trans, only good things. I have a 90 Eldorado and had the trans flushed at 30,000 miles and then again at 59,000 with a filter change. Now at 71,000 my trans fluid looks bran new and I have not had any trans problems.

    I also have flushed my trans and changed the filter in my Camaro twice and have not had any problems.

    Get your trans flushed!

    Later,
    Dave

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

    Look for posts by Geno Castellano on this forum and read them.

    He's very knowledgeable.

    Here's a quote:

    "You have good reason to feel nauseous. There are many cases of perfectly good transmissions being damged by transmission flushes.

    If it were mine, I would have the trans bottom pan dropped, the pickup screens cleaned as well as the pan, the side cover oil drained (there is a hidden drain plug for the side cover inside the bottom pan) and the tranny refilled with fresh fluid. You have no idea what went into the tranny nor what kind of fluid it was. Have it changed to minimize the chance of the flush causing you any problems.

    The actual "filter" in the 4T80E trans is inside the side cover so it is not commonly serviced unless the trans is out of the car for some other reason. Just draining the side cover is sufficient but the bottom pan has to be removed to do this (to access the side cover drain plug). The 4T80E trans operates as a dry sump unit with the trans scavenge pump pulling the oil from the bottom pan to the side cover where it is stored to be picked up by the main pump. The bulk of the fluid is inside the side cover so the side cover MUST be drained with the "hidden" drain plug to effect an oil change."

    Here's something from another gentleman on Caddyinfo.com:

    "You are just the next person in the litany of people who have had their trans "flushed" in good faith only ot have the trans fail catostropically within a few weeks. It happens a lot. That is why I steadfastly recommend to people to NEVER have a transmission "flushed" at a shop or quickie oil change. You probably got some debris into the trans from dirty oil from the flushing equipment, debris in a line from the equipment from the last trans flushed, etc...or it stirred up some sort of debris that was in your trans that got in a valve and stuck it. Very very common to have happen if you start stirring things up. Sorry it happened to you but it is very common with flushes. They are nothing but moneymakers for oil change places...and transmission shops a few weeks later...."

    "Think about the flush... most everyone ignores their trans until it starts to slip or act up...so...they rush to the oil change place to have the trans "flushed" in the fervent hope that it will cure the problem. So, there is a very high likelyhood that the last trans that was hooked to that flush equipment was failing and generating debris...which you may have in your trans now. Would you get a blood transfusion from an unknown source...???"

    "Do NOT let the place power flush the trans or hook it up to any sort of flush machine or anything. Lots of bad news there. Bottom line, you might end up with all the trash and debris from the last trans hooked to that machine. Do not be tempted."

    "Imagine the concept of an automatic transmission with many many hydraulic valves and passages that are toleranced to the millionth of an inch....and someone proposes "back flushing" the filter and any debris it might contain back into the trans.....ack....run screaming from that shop. Sure bet for disaster. Just stirring up any fines or particulates or metal particles inside the trans that could get them into the various valves and such gives me the creeps. What a concept. FORGET IT."

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

    Never, ever flush a transmission. There is no "safe" way to flush a tranny unless you own the flush machine and control it yourself. Flushing a tranny has several pitfalls.

    The most obviuos is that the last vehicle hooked up to that flushing machine probably was on it's last leg and was generating tons of debris. Most owners, when the tranny starts to act up, rush to get a "flush" in the fervent hope that it will cure the problem. So flush machines, by definition, see the worst of the worst. If the lines aren't cleaned, hooked up improperly, oil is reused or recycled, etcetera - then you are screwed as your tranny gets the dose of debris from the last job. No matter how good the intentions of the shop, one simple mistake and your tranny gets the debris.

    Flushing is supposed to negate the need for removing the pan, cleaning the debris and replacing the filter. Nonsense. There is considerable debris coating the inside of the transmission pan with miles as anyone who has done this can attest. That is part of the maintenance, removing the pan, cleaning the screens and replacing the filter and cleaning the pan.

    All that debris in the pan is laying around in areas where there is little oil flow by definition. It tends to settle in the areas where the oil is quiet and just lies there not hurting anything. Until the "flush" stirs it up and circulates it thru the tranny. What a concept.

    Reverse flush? What logic makes anyone think that it is a good idea to reverse the oil flow path in a reverse flush and flush sediment and debris into areas that are normally protected by filters, etcetera? Bad idea. Period. No other way to describe it.

    "Transmission flush" machines are money makers for the shops and dealerships because they are quick and easy and they can actually charge more money for it under the guise of it being "better" for the tranny when it is really a detriment.

    Read the factory service manuals and point out the place where a transmission "flush" is recommended. So what if all the oil cannot be removed. A "flush" doesn't remove it all either.

    If you really really want to replace as much oil as possible in the transmission, drain the pan, service it by removing, cleaning and changing the filter and reassemble. Refill the transmission with fresh fluid. Disconnect one of the cooler lines at the radiator, put it into a bucket and start the engine. Let the trans oil pump purge the old oil into the bucket so that nothing is subjected to abnormal oil flow. Start pouring oil into the trans to keep it full while the idling engine/tranny oil pump purges the fluid through the system. Easy and quick and gets ALL the fluid out and eliminates any risk of hooking up to a "flush machine".

    I know this is about 4.1/4.5/4.9 engines but be aware that on the Northstar engines/4T80E transmissions there is a hidden drain plug for the tranny side cover that requires that the bottom pan be removed to drain the side cover oil storage area. The idea of flushing a 4T80E is even more ludicrous than a 4T60 trans for this reason.

    The 4T60 and 4T80 transmissions are similar in that both store oil in the side cover but they do it differently. The 4T60 trans with the 4.x engines stores oil in the side cover only when hot. There is a bimetal thermostatic valve that closes causing side cover oil to be trapped behind a wier or dam. So, change the oil in a 4T60 trans when it is cold to get the most oil out. The 4T80 transmission is a dry sump unit that always stores it's oil in the side cover. There is a scavenge pump that scavenges the oil from the bottom pan to the side cover all the time. That is why there is a hidden drain plug underneath the bottom pan to drain the side cover when the pan is off for service.

    People. Stop flushing your trannies! Normal transmission maintenance is a good idea. Drop the bottom pan, change the filter and clean everything up and refill the tranny with fresh fluid. Do the cooler line/bucket purge if you are really set on changing all the fluid but don't hook your tranny up to a flush machine!

    Really now, would you get a blood transfusion from an unknown source that is reusing needles? It's about the same thing if you think about it. A flush will do absolutly nothing more than a good drain and refill will accomplish and potentially a lot of harm. Don't take the risk. Just because some have had good experiences (or the lack of a bad experience) with a flush doesn't mean they'll all be that way.

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

    What kind of proof do you have of transmissions failing after a flush? Do you have numbers? What are your sources? Everyone I know, including me, who has had their trans flushed multiple times has NEVER had a problem and all of us still have perfectly functioning transmissions. Are you an ASE certified mechanic? Did you do trans flushes for a living and then disassemble trans after to see the effects? Did you work in a trans shop and rebuild trans that had been flushed and ruined?

    Also, you mention in your post that many transmissions are already failing, get the flush, and then fail. So with that theory, the transmission was already doomed to begin with! RIGHT??? It's like not changing your oil for 40,000 miles, then changing it and blowing your engine. Was it the oil change that blew your engine? NO! It was the neglect for 40,000 miles!

    I have read that flushing your trans when you have high mileage like 100,000 may be bad, it does something, not sure exactly what, I forgot! But not flushing it will definately result in a problem vs possibly a problem by flushing it. I read that in the Chicago Tribune in the Q and A auto section in Sunday's edition. So does this ASE certified mechanic/editor with a number of vast resources at his disposal not know what he's talking about? From what you're saying, he doesn't.

    Why don't we take a vote here! How many of us have had our trans flushed without problems in proper intervals? How many have had problems in proper intervals/improper intervals?

    90 Cadillac Eldorado
    Trans Flush at 30,000 Miles and again with filter replaced at 59,000 Miles.

    99 Camaro Z28
    Trans Flush at 25,000 Miles and again with filter replaced at 45,000 Miles.

    My past 97 Camaro Z28
    Trans Flushed at 30,000

    All cars had no problems! How bout you guys? Post your good/bad experiences.

    Another thing to point out. I bought my caddy with 24,000 miles in April of 02. By the time I had the fluid flushed at 30,000 miles the fluid/trans/filter was 12 years old!!! No problems after the flush.


    Later,
    Dave

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

    [QUOTE=Geno Castellano]
    I never knew that recycled fluid was used. Very knowledgeable and once read it seems really obvious. I guess Ill just drop the pan and do it that way. But I do know that alot of the guys on the infiniti forum prefer it (Wes should know what im talking about).

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

    Thats why you go to a reputible shop, and if necessary supply your own fluid... They may use recycled fluid, but not if you give them good stuff...

    Ive never heard of places using recycled fluid. I would recommend going to a dealer, or some place of that nature.. Maybe cheapo jiffy lube-equivalent places wouldnt be the best place...

    But, I will have a VERY VERY hard time believeing that a flush could really destroy a good tranny, especially one well maintained... ON the infiniti forums, there have been ones that go 100k with no flush, they do 2, a pan drop, filter change and it shifts as new.....

    I will be doing a tranny flush this summer, and I hope it will make things a little better (a slow shift)...

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

    I think what I am going to do is drop the pan and so forth, but I will also call good transmission shops and the dealer to see if they flush using new fluid or what. How does that sound?

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

    I like that... Its probably best to drop the pan and clean it, and replace the filter than nothing.. its also best to do this before a flush anyway!

    This is what I plan on doing to my car!

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

    99Z. Read my post again carefully. I didn't say the tranny that came in on it's last leg would be ruined by the flush. Just read carefully. I said that transmissions that are on their last leg are often flushed in the hope that the flush will cure the problem. That just about guarantees that the trans flushing equipement is going to injest a lot of debris from failing transmissions. That debris could end up in the next transmission that's flushed on that equipment- thus ruining it. That is what the post clearly says. Of course if a tranny comes in on it's last leg the flush did not damage it further but it very well could damage the next transmission that's flushed on that equipement if the lines are not cleaned carefully and hooked up correctly...

    No one knows what kind of fluid is being used in the flush equipment. That is the point. For a "flush" to be effective there would have to be a lot of fluid pumped through the tranny. Guys that do the purge method described often go through several gallons of fluid to get the clear, new fluid coming out. Do you really think that the flush equipment is going through that much brand new high quality fluid on each flush? That would be the day...

    No, I don't work on transmissions for a living nor do I run flushes. But, I've been involved in the automotive repair industry for several years and have seen a lot of ways that people can fail transmissions - and flushing a perfectly good tranny is a high risk endeavor. I clearly said that not all flushes will result in failure - but that there are significant risks involved in having a tranny flushed. If you want to take them fine, but understand the risks and don't ignore them.

    Elwesso. If you can't understand how a tranny flush can ruin a perfectly good tranny then you need to reread my post carefully. You don't believe that stirring up debris in the transmission and flowing it backwards through the valves and orifices in the valve body can cause problems? You don't believe that you could get debris from the previous (failing) transmission that was hooked to the flushing equipment into your tranny causing it to fail? What part don't you understand?

    Look at the flushing business logically. The tranny shops and quickie oil change places are out to make money - not look after your car, your engine or your wallet. They will do what it takes to make money. They obviously make more money off of flushes than dropping the pan and doing the service correctly. If they didn't they would drop the pan. This alone should give you a clue. There is a perfectly good reason that flushing a tranny is not in the service manual as the way to service the transmission.

    All those transmissions flushes - did you change the filter and such or did you buy into the logic of the flushes that the flush back flows all the stuff out of the filter negating the need to change it? That is some logic! Back flow the crud out of the filter and through the tranny so the flush machine can catch it.

    I have personally communicated with 3 owners of Cadillacs over the last few months that took perfectly good transmissions in for a routine "flush" and experienced a transmission failure within the next 5 thousand miles. Not proof, no, but good enough, along with the engineering logic and analysis provided for "me" to never have a transmission flushed. If you disbelieve this do some searches on the net.

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

    Quote Originally Posted by Msilva954
    I think what I am going to do is drop the pan and so forth, but I will also call good transmission shops and the dealer to see if they flush using new fluid or what. How does that sound?

    It sounds like a complete waste of time. Let me save you the time. Of course they are going to say the fluid is of the highest quality and is new. Of course they will say this. Why bother to ask? Do you think anyone would use their flushing equipment if they said otherwise? Unscrupulous shops will recycle the oil, use substandard bulk oil, do whatever it takes to make more money. Plain and simple.

    Back to basics. The flushing makes money for them. If it didn't, they would do the service correctly. Ask yourself how they are making more money with the tranny flush and the answer should be obvious to you as to what you want done to your transmission.

    Get your tranny serviced correctly by dropping the bottom pan, servicing the filters and screens, cleaning the pan of debris and filling with new, quality fluid from known containers. Not an unknown 55 gallon drum. You'll thank me in the long run.

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

    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?

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