Are Transmission Services Still Recommended?

Are Transmission Services Still Recommended For My Vehicle?

The short answer is yes!  Here at Shadetree Automotive we strongly believe that if you properly maintain your vehicle, it is very unlikely you will ever have a major component failure.  We believe this so much that we offer a limited lifetime warranty on any transmission we service.   Please ask for further details!

We are backed by a major company, Valvoline, for all of our fluid service chemicals and equipment.  Valvoline has performed extensive studies proving that if your Transmission is serviced regularly, every 30k miles, and serviced with the proper procedures, additives, and fluids, there is a very low percentage of failures.  They trust their research and their products so much that they put their money where their mouth is by backing us with a limited lifetime warranty.   All you have to do as the consumer is allowing us to perform a transmission service on your vehicle and you leave with the warranty coverage.  The main thing you need to do to retain the warranty coverage is to return to our shop for a transmission service every 30k miles.  There are different amounts of coverage based on the first time we service your transmission.  Ideally, we perform the first transmission service at or before 50,000 miles and then every 30,000 after for the maximum coverage but as long as we perform the first service at or before your vehicle reaches 100,000 miles, we still offer a good amount of coverage.

There have been many discussions about the different ways to service a transmission.  There have been a couple of different names for what we consider a transmission service.  Some have called it a “transmission flush” based on an old way of servicing transmissions. Here are the most commonly known ways your transmission could possibly be “serviced” or “flushed”.

Drain and fill-   This is simply using the drain plug (if equipped) to drain out the fluid from the transmission fluid pan and then refilling the transmission to proper fluid level.  This is not recommended for a couple of reasons.  One is that most vehicles no longer have a transmission drain plug.  The other being that the transmission fluid pan only holds about 60% or less of the transmission fluid.  So if you only drain 60% out and then refill it.  The transmission ends up with a mix of new and old fluid.  Kind of defeats the point.
Shadetree shop foreman Tyler working on a transmission repair layton utah

Transmission pan gasket and filter change-  This is one step above the drain and fill.  Once again the transmission pan only holds 60% or less of the fluid so even though you are changing the filter, you are still leaving a lot of old fluid in the transmission.  It is also getting uncommon for vehicles to have an internal filter.

Transmission flush-  This was an old way of servicing transmissions-  It consisted of equipment that would add pressure to the transmission to force out all the old fluid.  I have never believed in this procedure nor have I seen it done.

Transmission Service- Fluid exchange-  This is now the common standard practice and the process we use the majority of the time.  We add a Valvoline product to your existing transmission fluid and run the vehicle to circulate.  We then connect our fluid exchange machine to your vehicle using the transmission cooler hoses.  We then start the machine full of new fluid and start your vehicle.  The machine then slowly uses the normal transmission pressures to begin exchanging the fluid.  It simply pumps in the new fluid while it pumps out the old fluid.  He continues to do this until all the old fluid is out.  We then add a Valvoline additive to the new fluid and verify the proper levels. 

Transmission filter replacement plus fluid exchange-  This is by far the best way to service a transmission.  It is not commonly done this way due to the expense but we do it from time to time if it makes sense. Read more at -