Filter and half the fluid is all we used to do. I think the flushing machines came around shortly after computer-controlled transmissions showed up. They had so many problems and the slightest amount of debris or varnish build-up could cause problems. The detergent was supposed to dissolve that varnish, but then all the fluid had to be removed to get that stuff out.
The additives in transmission fluid last a lot longer than those in engine oil. That's why transmission fluid doesn't have to be changed so often. The biggest mistake people make is thinking a flush will solve any problem that develops in the transmission. In my opinion, if there is no problem now, a flush is not needed for general maintenance, and if there is a problem, a flush usually isn't going to solve it.
Some people also believe a flush can cause damage. They think the fiber material has flaked off the plates and is circulating with the fluid. That grit is needed to help the plates grab and stay locked up when they're supposed to, and flushing removes that grit, then slipping problems develop shortly afterward. I don't agree with that because if that material really were circulating, it should get trapped by the filter, and more importantly, that grit will chew up the rubber seals and cause slipping. I think the mechanics who believe this ran into instances where a problem was already developing that they weren't told about by the car owner, then when they came back later complaining of the problem, the owners tried to blame it on the flush or on the mechanic, when they knew the problem was there all along.
Tuesday, April 21st, 2015 AT 5:01 PM