Auto transmission filter replacement

I have a 1999 Malibu with 80,000 miles. I don’t think the transmission fluid has ever been changed so went to the cheverolet dealer to make an appointment to have the transmission flushed. They told me I don’t really need to change the filter with a flush. What is your opinion on changing the filter too.

CHANGE THE FILTER… In fact, take it to a trans shop and tell them to drop the pan, change the filter and refill…I wouldnt flush it unless the fluid is contaminated. Anyone who tells you to flush the transmission without dropping the pan and changing the filter is not looking after you, but is trying to make a quick buck from you.


Yes, it sounds like he has to make a payment on his flushing machine. Fluid and filter change takes more time, but I have done this religiously on all my cars over the years. To quote another poster, if you change fluids and filter regularly, you don’t even need a flush. Other posters have warned that flushing crud out may plug the lines to the cooler in the radiator, causing a guaranteed transmission failure later.

As soon as shops invested in a flush machine, filter changes were no longer recommended…As if the machine somehow cleaned the dirty filter. What a joke.

“Transmission Flush”=More money in less time using low-cost, low skill labor.

I agree with the others, have the fluid and filter replaced, not flushed. I have mine done every 30K miles (highway driving).

I prefer a clean filter and the fluid/filter should be changed every 30k miles or so IMHO.
A trans filter is no different than an air or fuel filter. The volume of what passes through it can be affected depending on how clogged it is with particulates.

An air or fuel filter can be partially clogged and this will affect performance slightly in the case of the former or cause a shorter fuel pump life in the case of the latter; with the engine and car exhibiting no signs of these problems to the driver.

I remember taking a look at my cousin’s Pontiac one time in which he had the trans fluid changed and they did not do the filter. The trans was having a few very slight shifting problems and when I dropped the pan found the partially sludged up filter. Installed a new filter/fluid and problems solved. The trans pump just could not pull enough fluid through that old filter to keep things as they should be.

In his case, someone had converted the pan to use a drain plug and someone at the quick lube saw an easy way out on this.
Now you know the downside of a drain plug equipped transmission pan! :slight_smile: