Costopedia / Automotive / How Much Does Flushing a Transmission Cost?

How Much Does Flushing a Transmission Cost?

$ DIY fluid change: $90 $ $ Standard fluid change: $75 to $150+ $ $ $ Flushing a transmission: $125 to $300+

If you ask many car owners around, they will tell you many services that are top priority when it comes to car maintenance, but they will not mention flushing the transmission.

The importance of this maintenance service goes unnoticed a lot of times until serious problems arise, and truth is that this is a process that’s important to keep your car well cared for.

But Why Does My Car Need It?

A car transmission is that one part of your vehicle that’s in charge of moving the power from the engine to the wheels.

Just like an oil change, your car’s transmission needs to keep up with its maintenance schedule to keep your car running smoothly.

Transmission fluid collects foreign particles that over time can build up into sludge deposits which in the end will interfere with the transmission functions.

Flushing the transmission of your vehicle will remove old automatic transmission fluid (ATF), sludge, and grime, and replace it with fresh fluid; The ATF works cooling and lubricating your transmission.

Now, there are two types of ways to change the fluid of your transmission: the standard transmission fluid change (or transmission service), or flushing the transmission.

The difference between these two is that the fluid change simply drains the fluid out of the transmission (which does not drain all of the old fluid out) to let you replace it with new fresh fluid, and flushing a transmission uses a pressurized machine to clean the transmission and let all the old fluid out.

The cost of these two procedures is quite different; for a fluid change the cost can go from $75 to $150 or more, and flushing a transmission with a pressurized machine can cost from $125 to $300 or more.

These prices can vary depending on the make and model of your car (luxury cars are more expensive), if you do it at a standard repair shop or at a car dealership (which is much more expensive), and the procedure you want to use.

Car owners with experience doing DIY on average can spend $90 to change the fluid themselves, which will be much cheaper; the costs can go from $40 to $175, which represents the cost of supplies and the quarts of new transmission oil.

Things to Consider

Before Buying:

  1. First, check the maintenance schedule listed in the owners’ manual of your vehicle before doing a transmission fluid change or flush; the reason behind it is that this maintenance service is not done regularly, and some shops may recommend these procedures before they are needed.
  2. After doing flushing a transmission, sometimes, debris dislodged by a power flush can clog the transmission, or the pressure might damage the seals. That’s why many manufacturers also recommend draining and replacing the transmission fluid periodically but do not recommend a power transmission flush. This is something people need to be aware of.
  3. If you want to do a fluid change instead of flushing a transmission to save money, you can do it yourself by removing the drain plug in the transmission, letting the fluid flow out into a pan, and then putting the plug again and adding the new fluid. Here’s a video that shows you exactly how to do it.

When Buying: 

  1. If you’ve decided you want to flush your transmission (either because the maintenance scheduled time has arrived or you’ve been having troubles with it) is good to look for the best shops near you that perform this service and check what they include in it. Reviews are also important!
  2. Then, when you are at the shop, the mechanic will connect your transmission to a professional grade machine to completely flush the transmission fluid out of your vehicle, and then run a solution through the lines until they come out clean, to finally fill your system with new fluid.

After Buying:

  1. Keep in check your scheduled maintenance appointment for the next time you should flush your transmission, and also keep in mind these warning signs that pointed out that will let you know the moment you may need a transmission flush.
Giovanna Soto