Performing tune ups at the intervals recommended by your automaker can pay off in greater fuel economy, improved engine performance, cleaner air and fewer expensive repair bills. Plus, regular tune ups can extend the life of your vehicle. In short, tune ups can save you a considerable amount of money over time and keep your engine performin in tip-top condition.
Tune ups on most vehicles could include:
Replacing spark plugs
Replacing fuel and air filters
Inspecting or replacing spark plug wires
Inspecting or replacing distributor caps and rotors
Inspecting or replacing hoses and belts
Inspecting or replacing the oxygen sensor
Your vehicle's transmission fluid performs two vital functions: lubrication and cooling. Transmission fluid breaks down over time losing the ability to lubricate critical parts and leading to accelerated wear and it also loses the ability to cool efficiently. Excess heat and friction are a deadly combination for a transmission. By far the majority of the transmissions that hit the rebuild bench, land there due to lack of maintenance.
We recommend replacing your transmission filter and exchanging all your transmission fluid with high quality ATF at least every 30,000 miles. Keeping your transmission cool can also add lots of life to your transmission. Consider adding an auxiliary transmission cooler if your vehicle is not already equipped.
*WARNING* Avoid transmission flushes that use a machine. See Article bellow.
Every automaker publishes a list of checks and services that they recommend performing, every so many thousand miles, to keep the vehicle they engineered in peak condition over the life span of the vehicle. This list will include everything from engine oil changes to timing belts and from brake checks to tune ups.
Consult with our service writer about your vehicle's scheduled maintenance requirements and ask about getting on a maintenance schedule to help take the guess work out of it.
In this business we see it every day; lack of regular maintenance leading to costly major repairs. We want to help you avoid unexpected and unnecessary repairs by helping you stay on top of your maintenance schedule. Please ask your service writer to help you set up your own, customized, maintenance schedule so you can drive with confidence.
WHAT IT IS AND WHY YOU SHOULD AVOID IT
"Transmission flush" is a term that is now fixed in our vocabulary but not many people are very clear on what it actually is. At the counter many people ask for it but when I ask them to describe exactly what they are looking for I'm finding most people have a hard time describing it.
What most people are actually wanting is a complete exchange of all their transmission fluid. Many shops accomplish this task with the use of a flush machine which is usually connected to the vehicle's transmission cooler lines and used to cycle old fluid out of the transmission while new is cycled in. Before the flush machine was invented the way transmission services were performed was to unbolt the transmission pan, drain the fluid that came out and either replace or clean the transmission filter or screen. The pan was then bolted back on the transmission was topped off with fresh fluid. In most cases only about 2/3 of the fluid could be replaced by this process as a fair amount remained in the torque converter or gear train and could not be accessed in this manner.
About 20 years ago the flush machine was invented and it has drastically impacted the way in which many transmissions are serviced today. I remember as a young technician having an equipment salesman wheel a flush machine into our dealership for a product demonstration and this was the first time I had seen one of these machines. I remember him listing all the many benefits this machine would bring; among those were "You will no longer need to change the filter" and "You will make far more money in less time since you merely hook up the flusher and let the machine do all the work". All these years later, time and experience have taught me that this can be a risky shortcut to take. I have made my living over the last 20 years a transmission specialist and rebuilder and have seen the damage that results from flush machines.
The first problem I see with a flush is the fact that, many times, the filter does not get changed or inspected. Would you change your engine oil without changing the filter? Why skip it on a transmission service? Removing the old transmission filter and cutting it open during a service, like we do here at Cedar Performance, can reveal some surprising facts about what is going on inside the transmission. Looking in the filter can reveal potential problems on the horizon and give the customer an early warning before their transmission leaves them on the side of the highway. We have seen everything from filters packed with clutch lining of a failing torque converter to large pieces of plastic thrust washer and were able to confirm with our customer that they had some serious issues they may have had no idea about.
An automatic transmission has several sets of clutches or frictions inside them that wear similarly to a brake pad, shedding a fair amount of clutch dust that finds normal places to land and settle allowing the transmission fluid to appear clear even if the fluid color is dark. Many flush machines recommend the use of a release agent or cleaner be installed and flushed through the transmission and can stir debris that would have otherwise remained undisturbed. These release agents as well as how the particular machine pushes fluid through the transmission can release clutch dust into the fluid causing it to appear grey and muddy. Imagine a creek or stream, flowing crystal clear. Now imagine how it looks when something comes along that disturbs its normal flow pattern such as spring run-off. Now the stream is muddy and gross. Inside an automatic transmission, that mucky fluid can now cause hydraulic valves to stick and result in a variety of problems you never had before.
Here at Cedar Performance we are transmission specialists and rebuilders. We can replace your transmission's filter and accomplish a complete fluid exchange in a way that is safe and not invasive to the transmission without the use of machines. It's a little more expensive than what other shops charge for a "flush" but let's be honest with eache other here; done right is always cheaper than done wrong, no matter what the cost right? We call it a premium transmission service and the price varies depending on the amount of total fluid that is exchanged so please give us a call today; we can find out what kind of transmission you have, get you a quote and get you on the schedule.