Fluid changing questions

Discussion in 'Maintenance & Upkeep' started by pikefisher, Apr 10, 2013.

  1. pikefisher

    pikefisher Member

    Is it easer and better to have the fluids done at a shop or is it something someone can do at their own leaser at home ? And how to change brake and power steering fluid, I have basic hand tools and do some repairs but never have changed fluids except oil. Thanks.
  2. Pikey

    Pikey Moderator Staff Member 5+ Years ROTM Winner 5000 Posts

    Well, it is always "easier" to have someone else to it! Can it be done at home? Yes and most of them rather easily. Most quick oil change places just suck the brake master cylinder out with a turkey baster and then refill it. The proper way would be to buy a cheap vacuum bleeder and suck clean fluid thru each brake line to each caliper. As far as power steering fluid goes, I have seen a machine that has a short and a long hose next to each other. The short tube sucks while the long tube shoots out clean ps fluid. They put the tubes into your ps pump reservoir and suck out old fluid while injecting new fluid. They have you move your wheel back and forth until the fluid is a clean. I have seen guys just suck out the old fluid with a turkey baster, fill it with new fluid, disconnect the return line, start the truck, and flush the system (keeping the reservoir full) that way. Front diffs and transfer cases just involve removing a drain plug and refilling, just like changing your oil. Just make sure that you can get the fill plug out before you drain it! (I can tell you some horror stories) If you don't have the experience I would suggest having the trans serviced somewhere. A filter change is needed which involves dropping the pan and can be a mess. Flushes at the quick oil change places does not change the filter. I have actually had a trans flush at an oil change place, then came home, dropped the pan and changed the filter. The flush ensures that you change all the fluid from the lines and torque converter. Doing the flush and filter change can be costly. I think they charge around $75 for a flush and $75 to drop the pan and change the filter. My nephew happens to run a few oil change shops so I can do the flush for the cost of the fluid. A rear diff fluid change is straight forward. You just take the bolts out of the rear cover, drop the cover, clean the matting surfaces and magnet, install the new gasket and put it back together. Again, make sure that you can get the fill plug out first.
  3. pikefisher

    pikefisher Member

    Thanks for the reply:and the advice
  4. SurrealOne

    SurrealOne Former Member ROTM Winner 1000 Posts

    When it comes to the transmission there's the 'to flush or not to flush' discussion -- which is worth having.

    The magnet in the pan is there to collect metal particles which are naturally produced from metal-on-metal contact. However, these particles don't simply accumulate in the pan, at the magnet ... they also become lodged elsewhere in the transmission. A flush helps rid the system of this particulate that hasn't found its way to the pan and magnet ... but there's a risk associated with such a flush -- you may dislodge the particulate from some place that's A-OK within the transmission ... and cause it to become lodged somewhere that it's not. (i.e. It still doesn't make it's way out of the system ... and instead of being trapped somewhere that causes no problem, it becomes trapped somewhere that creates a new problem.)

    Ultimately whether you flush the tranny or not is a personal call. I don't and I am just fine with dropping the pan, cleaning it out, changing the filter, and refilling. A mechanic I trust implicitly (one of two that I'll let touch my truck) counsels all of his customers to this effect.
  5. marksoldtowne

    marksoldtowne Member 1 Year

    hi SorrealOne
    flush is great helpful for removing fluid .To remove all the fluid including the fluid in the torque converter you must flush the transmission completely.
    Neither of these methods removes all the transmission fluid. About 50 percent of the fluid will remain in the transmission.

Share This Page

Newest Gallery Photos