My civic

I have a 94 honda civic dx with 119000 miles on it and i went to go get an oil change and the mechanic says that my transmission fluid is black and crusty and that i need a transmission flush… Some people tell me to do it but others say not to… Oh and just recently my transmission is i think slipping gears…

Sounds like you should CHANGE the fluid, not flush it. have them drop the pan to change the fluid

Agree. Transmission fluid should be bright red in color (clear anyway) in most transmisions. Black and crusty definitely indicates need for changing the FLUID AND FILTER. If it is slipping it will also need adjustment. The worst case scenario is burned out clutches. A flush will not get the debris out, so the pan needs to come off, as stated. This service is normally done every 35,000 to 40,000 miles. Where I live this is about $60-$85. Make sure you go to a reputable shop; if repairs are needed an unscrupulous shop will hose you and tell you you need a whole new transmission.

I would not get too optimistic over the transmission condition. If the fluid is black and crusty and slipping also, then it’s days are numbered.

I am not much of a fan of “flushes” That said you do need some work on the transmission.

It is possible that all it needs is a fluid change. I suggest a standard fluid change where they remove the pan and change the filter as well. Someone else may recommend a flush, which changes out more of the fluid. I suspect they are going to charge you more for the flush and not get the filter cleaned.

After that we can hope it works well. However many people who have held off the transmission service (I recommend doing it about every 50,000 miles) finally get around to doing it only after it starts showing problems. Of course then it may or may not be too late.

Good Luck

Time for a newly rebuilt transmission. But if the flush (ha ha) fixes it; who am I to say?

Honda’s don’t have transmission pans; nor, a changeable transmission filter (except, during overhaul). To change the automatic transmission (automatic trans-axle) fluid, use a 3/8 ratchet handle drive to remove the plug. About 3 to 4 quarts will come out. Measure, and replace.

does the plug have a magnet on it, to attract small metal?

Yes, do the flush. Then make sure you change the fluid as often as your owner’s manual recommends so that the flush isn’t necessary in the future.

The drain plugs on my 98 Civic DX are not magnetized.

Sounds like a day late, and a dollar short. Get it serviced, but don’t blame the service if it dies shortly there after.

The only flush of the transmission that Honda recommends is flushing the transmission cooler lines. If the fluid is as bad as your mechanic says (get a second opinion) then the cooling lines could be plugged and that would lead to more overheating of the fluid. For the rest of the transmission, just drain and refill.

One more thing about this transmission. There is a cable that goes between the transmission and the throttle. This cable should be just taught, not loose or nor under tension at idle. The follower on the transmission should follow the throttle exactly. If the cable is loose, the transmission will slip, especially noticeable each time it shifts.