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I just got my Transmission flushed at the same time my girlfriend got her 92 Explorer flushed. I have 95K and she has 150K on her vehicle. After the flush she ended up having to get her transmission replaced because it started slipping. I was later told it's a better idea to service it instead of flushing it because they drop the pan and change the filter.

After this happened I became paranoid about my Focus because I did the flush instead of the service. I am hitting almost 100K now and am wondering if I should do the service? I haven't had any problems but am just a bit worried and know I should have opted for the service.

Should I worry about this or wait until my next service interval to get the service done?

Thanks,
Derek
 

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It's too late now to do a service since you have all new fluid. You'd just be wasting your money by getting a service done at this point.
 

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Best way is to do an AutoRx treatment first then a flush and filter change.

What can happen with a flush is that the fresh fluid breaks pieces of trash lose, which then clogs vital fluid passages.

AutoRx slowly and gently cleans the transmission, so that when the fluid is replaced, nothing breaks lose.
 

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yeah, if you have the tranny open, you might as well have a service done.

no point in doing it now though, unless you actually have a problem
 

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LOL..."clogs vital fluid passages"...LOL...sounds like you're reading that from a brochure. :)

With an automatic, it's all about the seals and sealing rings. If you've been running it for a zillion miles without changing the fluid or having it flushed regularly-- DON'T DO IT! You'll kill the trans. The seals get hard, but they work as they are.

When you replace all the fluid or flush it, you take all the hardened seals and essentially scrub them with new oil. ATF is really just really light oil with lots of detergents and friction modifiers. The new ATF will actually try to break down the older seals and it breaks down the sludge and slime in the tranny...that in many cases is keeping the trans working properly...it's like doing a complete blood tranfusion on a 70 year-old person.

If you do flushes from the time it's new, on the regular maintenance schedule, the tranny would probably be better off and last longer. The catch is that over the life of the tranny, you'd probably end up spending more on the "treatments" than you would for a new tranny if it should fail.
 

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I agree with turbo-joe. If you have kept up with the maintenance schedule on the transmission, then a flush/service is fine. If not, leave it be.

Mike
 

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I only go for drop the pan and filter change.The pressure flush breaks all the crap up in the pan and that junk can get caught up in the journals and valves. plus if you got some snot nosed kid working the machine at a jiffy lube he might not have the machine set right and can cause even more damage. I had this done once on a geo and a month later the trans was blown.Drop the pan and change the filter it wont affect the seals and all the crap in the pans tossed out.
 

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"Flush" is actually misleading. All a "flush" does is add new fluid to the transmission as the old fluid is removed. There is actually no more pressure on the system than in normal conditions. You can actualy do this yourself by removing the cooler outlet line, starting the car, and adding new fluid to the transmission as the the old fluid is pumped out.

It's the clean fluid that causes the problems. When a "service" is done, only about 1/2 of the fluid is replaced, so less cleaning occurs.
 

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I had my transmission flushed last year around this time, and I just changed the fluid last week. Am I doing damage to my seals since I did it this way? Also when I had it flushed I had about 50k miles on it and never had the fluid changed once. Its a SE Zetec 2.0L
 

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A "flush" should really be called a fluid replacement, because that's what it does. When you got the "flush" last year, you had all of the fluid replaced with new fluid.

At 50k, the fluid should still be fairly good, unless you are towing, so you should have caused no damage. It's when people let it go 100k+ or do a lot of towing that they are begging for trouble.
 

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yea when i need to do a tranny service which is the general term. There are 2 ways its either the FLUSH or the DRAIN AND FILL, which idk why customers get the drain and fill when its just about 50 bucks cheaper yet it takes longer, FLUSHING the system is the way to go. It makes sures all the lines are clean and the fluid has gone everywhere.
 

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My Scheduled Maintenance Guide for my 2000 Wagon says at 30K/60K/90K/120K miles, "Change automatic transmission/transaxle fluid on all vehicles equipped with..." No mention of filter change anywhere. Are they implying a flush, leaving the original filter for the life of the car, or a traditional drop-the-pan-and-filter change?
 

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When we flush the trans, we flush it through the cooler lines and do not put a filter in it. If you want the filter replaced, we drop the pan, replace it and do not flush it.

If you have gone about 75k miles and haven't changed the trans fluid, don't do it. You have about 90% chance that you will tear the trans up. I'm not sure of the technical terms or words for it, but you just can't do it.
 

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So for the folks that repeatedly use the flush method, they never get the filter replaced? Doesn't it eventually stop flowing adequately, and cause damage to the tranny?
 

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That thread is scaring the crap out of me!! My focus has a transmission replace at 40000km (I am in Canada) and right now is at 83000km....

so I guess the tranny only had about 43000km right now, should I need a flush or service????
 

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"Are they implying a flush, leaving the original filter for the life of the car" and "So for the folks that repeatedly use the flush method, they never get the filter replaced? Doesn't it eventually stop flowing adequately, and cause damage to the tranny?"

Yes, that is the implication. The "story" is that the transmission filter is not like the oil filter and really only filters out quite large particles (as compared to an oil filter). As a result, it doesn't really need to be changed.

That's the story.

Now, I must admit, that I often open-up tranmission filters when I take them out of cars and I have never seen one where the filter medium ever seemed to be clogged or not easily "blown through" with my mouth. This includes a dodge transmission that had so much metal gunk and shavings around the pan magnet that it clearly was failing. (I told the person this, they though I was just trying to drum up business, and about 3,500 miles later it completely failed and had to be replaced). I also have seen many "filters" where the filter "medium" was no more than a very, very fine screen.

One benefit of the old "drop the pan method" is that it gives an indication if the transmission is failing, as often what I call "metal dust" begins to coat the pan and accumulate around the magnet quite a while before the tranmission fails. Without dropping the pan you (a) do not see this, and (b) do not clean it off of the pan surface or from the magnet, dimishing the effectiveness of the magnet. Note: A small amount of this "metal dust" on the magnet and coating the pan ir normal... just clean both the pan and the magnet before putting the pan back on and adding new fluid.

My personal approach is that since most of the crud and metal particles come from the initial break in of the transmission and the residue from the manufacturing process, I service the transmission myself the "old way" for the first service, i.e., drop the pan and replace the filter, and then use a commercial service which does a 100% fluid change, without a filter replacement, after the initial service. I suppose an "every other service the other way" might also be a reasonable way to go.

But yes, one way or the other, people really, really, really should have the auto tranmission fluid changed at the intervals recommended by Ford if they want the tranmission to have a reasonable chance for a long-life.
 

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Thanks Penguin. After looking at all the pros and cons, I believe I'll take the traditional route and drop and clean the pan, inspect the debris, replace the filter, and replace whatever quantity of fluid I can with some good stuff. None of my previous vehicles ever suffered any ill effects from that basic service, and they lived forever (even though at no time was 100% of the fluid replaced). Maybe periodically, I'll siphon out another 6 quarts of old/new fluid mix, and replace with clean fluid. Still not 100%, but pretty good, and very easy.
 
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