Your vehicle’s transmission is one of its most essential components, which is why you should flush the system periodically, but how long does it take?
Table of Contents
- How long does it take to flush your transmission?
- What is a Transmission Flush?
- How Often Should I Flush My Transmission?
- Where Can I Flush My Transmission?
- How Much Does a Transmission Flush Cost?
- How Long Does a Transmission Flush Take?
- Should I Flush or Change My Transmission Fluid?
- Key Takeaways
How long does it take to flush your transmission?
A transmission flush usually takes 1 to 1.5 hours for standard-size cars, but it can take upwards of 3 to 4 hours for larger cars. The amount of time that it takes to flush a transmission system can vary depending on the fluid type, make and model of the car, and condition of the transmission.
After extensively researching automotive repairs, I have gathered enough information to determine how long it takes to flush a transmission.
My research has indicated that flushing a car’s transmission is an essential part of its maintenance and vehicle owners should not neglect this procedure, as it can result in serious mechanical issues down the line.
What is a Transmission Flush?
A transmission flush is the process of thoroughly cleaning your car’s transmission system. After several years of driving, your vehicle’s transmission system and fluid will start to get dirty, build up debris, and potentially clog up.
This can result in a number of performance issues and it can also cause serious mechanical problems to develop. A transmission flush will drain all of the fluid and it will clean the entire system by removing particles and debris. Once the cleaning process is finished, new transmission fluid is poured into the system.
How Often Should I Flush My Transmission?
When it comes to automotive maintenance, there can be a lot to keep up with and it’s easy to overlook certain components of your vehicle.
While there are certainly some things that you can afford to procrastinate – your car’s transmission system is not one of them.
One of the best ways to ensure that your transmission stays operational in the long run is to go for a periodic transmission flush. Ideally, you should flush your transmission every 2 to 3 years – or every 30,000 to 45,000 miles.
With that said, each vehicle is a bit different and there are a number of factors that play into how often you should flush the transmission – with the most important being the manufacturer’s recommendation.
The best way to determine how frequently you actually need to get your transmission flushed is to check your owner’s manual or ask your manufacturer directly.
Some modern cars only require a transmission flush every 100,000 miles, which is why it is always best to check before you commit to the procedure.
Where Can I Flush My Transmission?
Getting your car’s transmission flushed is pretty straightforward, as this is a common maintenance task that virtually any car mechanic can handle.
However, you can also choose to roll up your sleeves and flush the transmission yourself. All in all, these are your two main options for flushing your car’s transmission:
- Professional Mechanic
- DIY (at home)
There are some rare cases where the dealership that you bought your car from will flush your transmission for you. This is usually the approach that dealers take if you have scheduled maintenance arranged with them after you purchased the vehicle.
How Much Does a Transmission Flush Cost?
The cost of flushing a transmission can vary depending on a number of different factors. Each mechanic that you go to will have different prices for this kind of work, which is why cost estimates are often inconsistent.
With that said, you should expect to pay anywhere from $100 to $400 to get your car’s transmission flushed. Professional mechanics set different hourly wages for labor – resulting in fluctuating costs. Another factor that you need to consider is the size of your vehicle. Smaller-size cars can cost considerably less than large vehicles such as heavy-duty trucks.
- Small car – $100 to $250
- Large car – $200 to $400
There are certainly deals to take advantage of if you want to save money on your transmission flush. Mechanics and repair shops will often try to encourage you to come in for a transmission flush or other service by offering promotions.
Transmission flush promotions that are as low as $100 to $150 for standard vehicles are not uncommon – just be careful to not get sold on more than what you came in from (unless it’s necessary).
You should keep in mind that the majority of the costs are going directly toward labor and the mechanic’s time. You can save yourself a ton of money by flushing the transmission yourself if you are up for the job.
Provided that you have the tools necessary at home, the only thing that you need to buy is new fluid to refill the transmission after you’ve drained and flushed the system. Taking the DIY route with your transmission flush should not cost more than $50 to $100.
How Long Does a Transmission Flush Take?
A lot of people are often surprised by how long it takes to flush a car’s transmission, as they often confuse a flush with a fluid change.
While the amount of time that this procedure takes can vary, 1 to 1.5 hours is considered to be quite standard.
However, some people go in for a transmission flush and often have to wait upwards of 3 to 4 hours for the job to be complete, as there are a number of factors that affect how long it takes to flush a transmission system.
Factors that Affect How Long a Transmission Flush Takes
A transmission flush is not the most technical maintenance job but it does take time. Flushing the whole system even with professional equipment will take at least an hour or two. With that said, longer wait periods are not unheard of and actually quite common.
Although transmission fluid is designed to perform the same function, there are various brands and types that can affect how long a flush actually takes. The fluid needs to completely pass through the entire system and drain – with some products taking longer than others.
Ultimately, you should check to see what kind of transmission fluid the manufacturer of your car recommends. The product that you buy will have this information listed within the instructions.
Vehicle Make & Model
Perhaps the biggest factor that affects how long a transmission flush takes is the vehicle’s make and model. Each car has a slightly different design – with transmission systems varying depending on the way that the car was built.
This can affect how long it takes for the fluid to pass through and for the system to flush. In addition, the size of your car will also influence the amount of time that a transmission flush takes. Naturally, you can expect smaller cars to be faster and larger vehicles such as trucks to take longer.
The condition of your transmission can greatly affect how long a flush takes. If you’ve neglected your car’s transmission and a lot of debris and particles have built up in the system, a flush can take a lot longer.
You need to keep in mind that flushing the entire transmission system is a thorough cleaning process. That is why I recommend that you get your transmission flushed as instructed by your car manufacturer, as they will give you the best info on your specific vehicle’s make and model.
With that said, if you have been looking after your transmission and flushing it when needed, the system should be relatively clean – resulting in a faster flush.
Should I Flush or Change My Transmission Fluid?
A lot of people often think that changing transmission fluid is the same as flushing the system. Although both will improve the performance of your car’s transmission, they are two separate procedures – with one being more thorough than the other.
Changing your transmission fluid just involves draining the existing fluid and replacing it with a fresh product. This is a great way to improve the performance of the vehicle and it will help prevent debris from building within the system.
A transmission fluid change is a cheaper and simpler process that takes less time than a flush. However, it is not as thorough as a transmission flush given that the entire system is not cleaned.
A transmission flush not only drains the old fluid and replaces it, but it will actually remove all debris and particles from the system. Even after a fluid change, gunk and debris will stay trapped within your transmission, which is why this is more of a band-aid solution. On the other hand, a transmission flush can restore the system and, in many ways, make it good as new.
- A transmission flush usually takes around 1 to 1.5 hours for small to mid-size cars and upwards of 3 to 4 hours for larger cars.
- The time that it takes to flush a transmission can vary depending on the type of fluid that you use, the make and model of your car, as well as the condition of your vehicle’s transmission – with dirty systems taking longer.
- It costs roughly $100 to $250 to flush the transmission on smaller cars and around $200 to $400 for larger vehicles.