I just had my car in for servicing and was told I needed an Induction and Transmission flush. My car is a 2002 Mercury Sable Wagon with 44000 miles. Are these services needed?


Very important rad flushing save you money down the road. 89 mercury

It is very unlikely you needed an induction flush.  That was nothing more than a wallet flush.  I do recommend a transmission service somewhere around 50,000 - 80,000 for automatic transmissions.  Personally I prefer a drain with dropping the pan and replacing the filter.  While less fluid gets changed, overall I prefer that.  

A 2002 with 44,000 miles would be a good candidate for a radiator and brake fluid flush if they have not been done earlier.  The radiator coolant does wear out and the brake fluid absorbs moisture. 

I hope you were not taking your car to one of those quick change places.


I work at a quick change place and if i’m not wrong Mecury recommends that you have your transmission fluid changed every 30k miles or every two years. We use Wynns machines and the service removes 97% of the old fluid if performed right. The machine utilizes a tranny cooler line for flushing instead of dropping the pan or going through the dipstick. A pan drop is a very good option but if you have a tranny in your case with lower miles on it, then flushing it would be more effective. However the injection flush is a hard sale these days becuase some customers aren’t up to date with the technology and if they use injection cleaner regularily then it’s almost a non sale. The injection service does work but only if you go through the throttle body or through the brake booster line. If you leave the excessive amount of carbon on your intake parts that could lead to a lean fuel mixture causing a check engine light. Coolant should be changed on your vehicle every 45k miles or every 36 months. Just my two cents. Steve.


It probably should have a transmission service to replace fluid and filter. The other sounds like a ‘walleet flush’ to me. Get a can of ‘Seafoam’ and, following the directions, run it through the air intake (you will have to open the filter box and inject it into the air intake with the air filter out of the way), but anyone can do it.


The only two things you should flush are your brakes and your toilet. The coolant should be changed about every 4 years and the transmission fluid changed every 30k miles. By change, I mean like your oil change, drain and refill.


Steve, it is refreshing to hear from someone who works at a quick change place, who appears to have both an interest and some real knowledge of what should be done.

I certainly agree that radiator and transmission services are about due for Sandy. The transmission flush vs drop the pan and change the filter is question and there are fans of both. I tend to go with dropping the pan, replace the filter and re-fill. However I don’t think anyone has any really good information on this one. The induction thing, well, that one I can’t recommend as part of general maintenance. Modern fuels and designs have eliminated the need for this kind of service unless there are specific indicators of a problem.


Agree. They (Midas) tried this on the transmission of my wife’s Nissan. Once a shop buys a flushing machine they need to keep it working! With antilock brakes there is a good reason to flush the brake system. On conventional brakes, when the fluid turned the color of weak coffey, or with a major brake job, the lines would be “bled”. Regular fluid & filter changes on a transmission should be all it needs.