Dready Transmission

I have a 2002 Dodge Dakota that has 105,000 miles. I am experiencing some hard shifts from 2nd to 3rd. I wondering if this is a good time to have the transmission flushed or what is a good way to proceed.

Have the transmission fluid replaced, but not flushed. Drain and refill is the correct replacement method for automatic transmission fluid.

I would suggest a drain and refill (ideally with dropping the pan - even if it is not required - and replacing the filter (assuming it has one).

I am not any expert when it comes to automatics, but could the torque converter locking up?

I don’t see why some of you have a problem with a properly-operated flushing machine. I drive a '99 Mercury. It has a transmission pan with a disposable filter and a reusable gasket. The torque converter also has a drain plug (disposable according to Ford). The prescribed procedure for transmission service was always to drain the TC, drop the pan and clean it, and replace the filter. Sometime in 2002 the TC drain plug was decontented and the service procedure for all 4R70W transmissions was changed to, basically, hook it to a machine and put in 15 quarts of new fluid.

Obviously, Ford was aligning the procedure with those for the FWD (feeble wheel drive) vehicles. To me, it is a fine idea to change all the trans fluid. It is much more efficient. If the filter is clogged, you have serious problems anyway. I am not saying that it is a bad idea to drop the pan and read the tea leaves so to speak, but a full exchange of the fluid is much more efficient than changing a small fraction of it.

I say, if you can’t drain the fluid rather fully, have it flushed at a reputable shop.

OK, I will confess, I own a car ('96 Subaru Legacy) that has had its transmission flushed twice so far (120K miles now). The transmission shifts flawlessly, and the AWD transfer valve operates without any problem.

I suppose the issue is “properly operated” flushing machine. My independent Subaru specialist swears by his flushing machine, and based on my own results I can’t complain.

However, I’ve read lots of horror stories about automatics failing in a big way within a short time after a flush. I can only assume that not everyone knows how to operate this equipment, or perhaps some shoddy operators are not doing a complete flush, or maybe not all transmission flushing machines are the same.

My guess is the flush will become the standard automatic transmission “service” soon, and we’ll all adapt to it.

In the mean time, I’m still recommending that people follow the advice in their owner’s manuals. It the manuals says “flush,” then, by all means, go ahead and flush it. If, on the other hand, the manual says “drain and replace the transmission fluid,” then that’s what I think owners should do, or have done.

Awhile back, 2006 I believe, I took my 2000 Camry to the dealer to have the transmission fluid changed and they told me that Toyota had informed all dealers to only drain and refill and DO NOT flush with a machine. The stated reason was that Toyota had discovered that their transmissions had a much higher failure rate after the flush as compared to just a drain and refill.

I agree with flushing be UNNECESSARY. Does every last and final drop of oil need to be replaced? If it’s changed under normal intervals, no. If you wait so long that it’s black and goey, yes.

Now here’s my question:
2006 Subaru Forester…Haynes manual only calls for a drain and a refill (every 30,000 mi). Doesn’t this car’s transmission have a filter that should be changed every time as well? My Nissan Pathfinder does…sure it takes longer, and it can get REALLY messy in an instant if my fingers aren’t delicate and precise, but it’s still an easy job to do. When should I change the Forester’s filter? It has one, right?