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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Ram has past 41k miles... (getting closer to 42k) and I have not yet done a transmission flush... I know I know... anyway, its on my todo list, but I had a quick question... what is normally involved, and will I need to badger the dealership about anything to make sure it is done right? The other caviat I have is I've purchased a PMI Transmission Pan (Black Powder Coated, 3QT over capacity, etc), and I want it installed at the same time... should I let the dealership do it (as they have to remove the stock pan anyway to change the filter) or should I do it ahead of time and simply inform them its 3qts larger now?

Thoughts? Anyone done this already?

Thanks...
 

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I would let them install the pan.... it should not cost you any more... other than the additional fluid. Talk to the service manager and see if he can swing it for you... he should not have a problem with it. Remind him its intention is to LOWER the fluid temps and make for a happyer long living transmission... With the additional fluid it will run cooler and the fluid be cleaner longer which means it will last longer. Just all good points that you should bring up to him... as they somtimes think EVERYTHING other than stock will void the warranty.... if he sugest that at all... leave and take it someplace else. You dont need a dealership that will treat every mod like its the end of the world.

SPEED SAFE, AIR RAM
 

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Yeah. just have the dealer put the pan on when they do the job. They have to take the old one off to change the filters anyway. Should only cost you for the extra 3 qts of fluid. As AR said if they give you grief go elsewhere.

spharis - #1 why wouldn't you flush if he is over 40K and hasn't yet? Don't get that? Also, the only way to get all the old fluid out of these new transmissions is to either flush or vacumm it out. You can't drain the TC as we did in the old days so just lowering the pan only gets about 1/2 the fluid out.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
NHHEMI said:
Yeah. just have the dealer put the pan on when they do the job. They have to take the old one off to change the filters anyway. Should only cost you for the extra 3 qts of fluid. As AR said if they give you grief go elsewhere.

spharis - #1 why wouldn't you flush if he is over 40K and hasn't yet? Don't get that? Also, the only way to get all the old fluid out of these new transmissions is to either flush or vacumm it out. You can't drain the TC as we did in the old days so just lowering the pan only gets about 1/2 the fluid out.
Thanks guys... I'll definitely be making an appointment...

Oh, another question, for those of you that have done it, about what did it cost you?? I think I remember hearing around $125-$150? That sound about right? High? Low? Thanks!

Kaz
 

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Sounds quite high to me. $90 at my dealer for the flush service,
 

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Well, a couple of reasons.

#1 It is never recommended in the service manual. That's right.....nowhere in the service manual for a standard service is it mentioned to flush the tranny. The only time it mentions refilling more than 11 pints is when doing transmission or tc work outside the scope of a simple service.

#2 Personal experience and that of my famillies shop has shown that flushes will shorten the life of a transmission especially after considerable amounts of mileage are accumulated between flushes. But do not take my word for it, do a search on google for the words "transmission flush failure" and see the multitudes of failures associated with trans flushes. You will need to pick through the "testimonials" of shops posting its benefits, and read the postings of people who have had problems, but there are plenty.

#3 flushes are not recommended for all vehicles, regardless of what Jiffy Lube tells you. See reason #1.

#4 Do you trust the person doing the work. If a flush is rushed to get it in a certain amount of time, the shop may use pressure which is bad, to help the trans fluid get changed. If this is done, seals are broken, and that is bad.

#5 The only time you would need to flush the tranmission is if you are either chaning to syntetic of a different brand, or you pull the dipstick and the fluid is dark brown (no pink left) and has little metal flakes in it. Then flush it and get the filters swapped. that fluid is no more good. Usually, as long as the fluid is pink tinted (regardless of how bright) it is still good. transmission fluid turns darker with time, but when it goes bad, it will burn, and turn brown.

#6 Shops like to charge alot of money for an easy job. No one want to admit it, but a trans flush is pretty maintenance free. You hook the machine up, let it do its thing, then put the new filters in. Shops are getting close to $100 an hour for this. Very easy money, do you think they are going to tell you that you dont need it. i don't care where you take your car, it is their job to find a problem so they can make money. A transmission flush is probably recommended 75% of the time, and purchased 50% of that. Most people jst don't know better.

Of course these are my opinions, and do what you want with your tranny, but I like my money, and its not in the service manual, so why give a service to my truck that it doesnt need. And in the end, if the tranny does go out, it won't be b/c I didnt follow a maintenance procedure and get a flush done.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
spharis said:
Well, a couple of reasons.

#1 It is never recommended in the service manual. That's right.....nowhere in the service manual for a standard service is it mentioned to flush the tranny. The only time it mentions refilling more than 11 pints is when doing transmission or tc work outside the scope of a simple service.

#2 Personal experience and that of my famillies shop has shown that flushes will shorten the life of a transmission especially after considerable amounts of mileage are accumulated between flushes. But do not take my word for it, do a search on google for the words "transmission flush failure" and see the multitudes of failures associated with trans flushes. You will need to pick through the "testimonials" of shops posting its benefits, and read the postings of people who have had problems, but there are plenty.

#3 flushes are not recommended for all vehicles, regardless of what Jiffy Lube tells you. See reason #1.

#4 Do you trust the person doing the work. If a flush is rushed to get it in a certain amount of time, the shop may use pressure which is bad, to help the trans fluid get changed. If this is done, seals are broken, and that is bad.

#5 The only time you would need to flush the tranmission is if you are either chaning to syntetic of a different brand, or you pull the dipstick and the fluid is dark brown (no pink left) and has little metal flakes in it. Then flush it and get the filters swapped. that fluid is no more good. Usually, as long as the fluid is pink tinted (regardless of how bright) it is still good. transmission fluid turns darker with time, but when it goes bad, it will burn, and turn brown.

#6 Shops like to charge alot of money for an easy job. No one want to admit it, but a trans flush is pretty maintenance free. You hook the machine up, let it do its thing, then put the new filters in. Shops are getting close to $100 an hour for this. Very easy money, do you think they are going to tell you that you dont need it. i don't care where you take your car, it is their job to find a problem so they can make money. A transmission flush is probably recommended 75% of the time, and purchased 50% of that. Most people jst don't know better.

Of course these are my opinions, and do what you want with your tranny, but I like my money, and its not in the service manual, so why give a service to my truck that it doesnt need. And in the end, if the tranny does go out, it won't be b/c I didnt follow a maintenance procedure and get a flush done.
So what do you recommend? Just replace the filter and the transmission fluid as necessary?
 

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I think you should just dump the fluid in the pan, and replace the filter, that's what I've always done....

I've got 40 something K on mine right now and need to do it, but the tranny fluid still looks new!! Stealership wants 109 just to drain the pan...but other shops want 145+ just for that.....it's actually really easy to do, when you have the tools....which I don't, I left them at home when I moved away...
 

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Well again, its up to you what you want to do with your tranny, bt i just drop the pan, change the filters, and fill er back up with ATF +4.

You can buy both filters, a gasket (bc you have silicone on yours and silicone sux) and a new filter seal is here.

http://www.bulkpart.com/Merchant2/merchant.mvc?Screen=SFNT&Store_Code=2

On a side note, one reason it costs so much to have a flush done is bc the only manufacturer of ATF +4 is Mopar. They have a market on ATF+$4 and even recommend swapping the older transmission fluids to it. At avg.$15 a gallon, why not.

If you take your truck to a shop to have this service done, whichever you choose, make sure you know they are putting +4 in the tranny, and not +3 or Mercon 3.
 

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DC has set the change interval for the tranny's at 30K on the newer Rams( at least 04+ ). If the guy is at 40K he isn't over by that much and thus I don't see any problem with doing it.

I don't believe DC specifically says anything about a flush or vacuum because it is pretty common knowledge that is how you do it on new vehicles. With no drain plug on the torque converter as we used to have you have no other option to remove the old fluid. You flush or you vacuum. NO other way.

To just drop the pan and get 6 or 7 qts of the old fluid out, when it is close to some 14 qts total in the trans, does nothing for the life of your tranny. Short of the new filters which will filter better obviously the partital fluid change accomplishes squat. The problem is with more than half the tranny full of old fluid the new fluid is contaminated as soon as you start the truck, the pump engages, and the fluids mix.

Tranny fluid has a set life/usable service span( just like engine oil or gear oil )and is also broken down by the high heat auto trans run at. NO disrespect but tranny fluid can't go forever and if you wait for it to be dark brown and smell burnt before doing something about it chances are it is too late. The 30K that DC now recommends is a joke frankly. Much better off with the 15K they used to suggest.

I am not trying to start anything with anyone but if you are just changing 1/3+ or so of your tranny fluid don't bother at all. It does nothing for you. As to do you trust the person to do it properly well that applys to every thing you have done to your truck.
 

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I don't know why, but I've know a few who had transmission problems after a flush that they didn't notice before.

http://autorepair.about.com/od/otherodddiyjobs/ht/trans_filter.htm
Never, EVER, get a transmission flush unless you have the money to buy a new transmission.

The ones pushing it are the ones making money off the service or chemicals. In my experience, it's not needed. All I've done is drop the pan at around 40K (sooner if you do a lot of towing or heavy city driving), change the filter, and replace any fluid lost. Some torque converters have a drain plug you can remove. That's where most of the fluid will be trapped. This has worked fine for me on numerous vehicles over the last 25 yrs. The only transmission problem I've had was on a 77 Regal I purchased with high miles on it already.
 

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NHHEMI said:
DC has set the change interval for the tranny's at 30K on the newer Rams( at least 04+ ). If the guy is at 40K he isn't over by that much and thus I don't see any problem with doing it.

I don't believe DC specifically says anything about a flush or vacuum because it is pretty common knowledge that is how you do it on new vehicles. With no drain plug on the torque converter as we used to have you have no other option to remove the old fluid. You flush or you vacuum. NO other way.
They never mention a flush because the schedule says to drop the pan, and refill with 11 pints of fluid every 30k miles. Never ever mentions a complete flush or vaccuum, just a drop and drain filter replace. I can post the pages with the procedure outlined along with the intervals if you like. A flush is never called for.

NHHEMI said:
To just drop the pan and get 6 or 7 qts of the old fluid out, when it is close to some 14 qts total in the trans, does nothing for the life of your tranny. Short of the new filters which will filter better obviously the partital fluid change accomplishes squat. The problem is with more than half the tranny full of old fluid the new fluid is contaminated as soon as you start the truck, the pump engages, and the fluids mix.

Tranny fluid has a set life/usable service span( just like engine oil or gear oil )and is also broken down by the high heat auto trans run at. NO disrespect but tranny fluid can't go forever and if you wait for it to be dark brown and smell burnt before doing something about it chances are it is too late. The 30K that DC now recommends is a joke frankly. Much better off with the 15K they used to suggest.
Actually trans fluid will last well over 100k miles, as stated by Mopar, the makers of ATF+4, Ford, the makers of Mercon, and Amsiol, with their fine synthetics. Amsiol actually boast a lifetime of no flushing or swapping, byt suggest to follow manf. schedule.

So dropping the pan and replacing 11 pints every 30k miles will keep enough new with the old to make it never required to do a flush. You will replace around 5.5 quarts by dropping, filter change, and refill. That is over a gallon of new happy fluid in your tranny.

I will never pay for a trans flush, unless I get burnt fluid or shaving in it. If you want to spend the money and you sleep better at night go ahead. I'll save my money and spend it on something else.
 

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I too have heard bad thigns about tranny flushes. However, a few months back I had brown fluid and what appeared to be a slight amount of shavings, the jiffy lube guy told me I needed a flush I got all huffy and puffy until he showed me the fluid. So far so good, hopefully it stays that way, in fact, it does seem too shift slightly smoother, or maybe its all in my head. Either way. at this point it seems to not have done any damage and hopefully took care of whatever cause the discoloration and contamination in the first place.
 

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You're not going to believe this. I've been planning on changing my tranny fluid lately anyway. But after reading this thread yesterday, I started looking for a place that would simply change it, not flush (especially at $100+ a pop). One here would do it for $121 (normal price was $89, but they said DC requires a certain additive). So I headed out to see if anyone does any better (and frankly, the additive thing had me concerned, I was pretty sure I wasn't going to those guys), and stopped by the local WalMart where I normally get my engine oil changed. The guy there told me they don't do trannies, but that a new place that just opened up was doing flushes for $59.99. It's called McDos, and they have one in Temple, Copperas Cove, and Killeen (I think). For that price, I went ahead and had them change out my rear diff to synthetic too, and still came in under ANY of the prices for a simple tranny fluid change.
But it looks like they're only down here in the Central Texas area:
www.mcdoslube.com
 

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No additives used in the tranny fluid. Just ATF +4 which right now only MOPAR offers.
 

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NHHEMI said:
No additives used in the tranny fluid. Just ATF +4 which right now only MOPAR offers.
Learned this the hard way. Against my better judgment, I let the "Quick Lube" place talk me into a tranny flush on my 01 Dakota. I had read somewhere, I think on the side of the ATF+4 bottle, that it was considered a "one time fill" fluid. I bought a quart to have around in case I needed to top off. Anyway, had the flush done using a universal fluid with an additive that claimed to make the fluid ATF+3/4 compliant. 5,000 miles later, it was in the shop getting some seals replaced. Also had the tranny flushed, at the dealership, with ATF+4 and both filters replaced. The flush and filter replacements and labor total came to about $225.00. All said and done the truck drove great. Just like it did before the original flush. I also had about 40-50K miles and the fluid looked like it did on day one.
 

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Follow the link for a full "how to" without hooking up to a pressurized flush machine. BTW.., the oil cooler return line to the tranny is the lower line further aft (rear) of the tranny. I used a white 5 gal bucket and duct-taped the plastic line to the side so that I could contrast the atf color and see when it flowed "bright red".

LINK:
http://www.dodgetalk.com/forums/showthread.php?t=37732&highlight=tranny+flush
 
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