The national cost for a transmission flush with CarAdvise in 2024 is between $60 and $250 with an average of $160.

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What is a transmission flush?

The automatic transmission in your vehicle serves to transmit engine power through the drivetrain to the wheels. Inside your transmission is a system of gears and other moving parts that are lubricated and cooled by hydraulic oil called “automatic transmission fluid”, (or “ATF”) when the engine is running. The ATF also controls some of the transmission functions through hydraulic pressure. So, the ATF plays multiple vital roles that allow your transmission to function for many thousands of miles. Therefore, it is necessary to have the ATF replaced periodically, just as you would engine oil. A transmission flush is one method of replacing the ATF in a transmission that allows all of the fluid to be exchanged, rather than only the fluid in the transmission oil pan.


How is a a Transmission Flush done?

To simply replace ATF, a mechanic will remove a drain plug from the bottom of the transmission and allow the old fluid to run out. A transmission flush, on the other hand, is the process of connecting a special transmission flush machine to your vehicle’s transmission cooling lines. The machine circulates fresh ATF throughout the transmission while, at the same time, it removes all of the old fluid. Some machines will also add a cleaning solution to help remove harmful residue inside the transmission.

A transmission flush does not customarily involve replacing the transmission filter or removing the transmission pan unless specifically requested by the customer. Once all of the old ATF has been removed and the new fluid installed, the process is complete. Technician will disconnect the machine, check the fluid level, and test drive your vehicle.

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National average cost of a a Transmission Flush
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How do I know if a vehicle needs a transmission flush?

Most vehicle manufacturers recommend that the ATF in their automatic transmissions be changed periodically. A transmission flush is the most complete method to change the ATF. But there are several other conditions that might indicate that a fluid flush service is needed:

Your transmission shifts too abruptly, or too softly (might be described as “mushy”)

You notice that the transmission shifts into the next gear at the wrong time, either too early or too late

The transmission is overheating

The transmission is slipping

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Other questions customers ask

Is it better to do a transmission flush or fluid change?
A transmission flush is the most thorough method of replacing the hydraulic fluid in an automatic transmission. While a fluid change will allow the transmission itself to be drained of old automatic transmission fluid (ATF), it does not remove the old ATF from the torque converter or other components of the system (valve body, transmission cooler, lines, etc.). A transmission flush is the only method of replacing all of the ATF in the system. It should be noted, however, that use of the service is sometimes debated. That is due to the method that some transmission flush machines employ, using high pressure and harsh detergents that are thought to impair the function of clutch packs and polymer parts inside some transmissions. Some vehicle manufacturers specifically advise against transmission flushes in their vehicles.
What is a transmission flush good for?
A transmission flush is indicated when a transmission has undergone some sort of major component replacement due to an internal failure, or when there might be contamination inside the transmission from an outside event, such as flood damage. Despite its potential drawbacks, a transmission flush excels over a standard drain and fill procedure when it comes to thoroughly replacing all of the old, contaminated ATF.
Should I flush my transmission after 100K miles?
Often debated among automotive professionals is the question of whether ATF should be flushed - or replaced at all - if a vehicle has a significant number of miles on it. One school of thought suggests that an older transmission likely has a buildup of residue inside that should be flushed out thoroughly. The other school of thought holds that, if a transmission has not been treated to regular fluid changes or flushes by the time it sees 100K miles or so, it should be left alone. Otherwise, a fluid flush might dislodge sludge and cause more driveability issues than before the exchange. The best approach is to make sure to follow the vehicle manufacturer’s recommendations from the start and have the ATF changed or flushed on schedule.

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