Best of Deals Car Reviews Repair Shops Cars A-Z Radio Show

Transmission Fluid Flush vs. Drain & Fill--need advice

I have a 2008 Honda Odyssey with 60,000 miles on it (purchased new). Have had routine maintenance done every 5,000 miles at dealership per owner manual recommendations. The transmission fluid was flushed @30,000 miles. I am scheduled for a “big” 60,000mi service. Have been given the option of EITHER a Transmission Fluid Flush OR Drain & Fill. (The flush costs $120 MORE). I am having no mechanical problems with the car. Do I need the flush or is drain & fill adequate?
Thanks in advance for advice!

Drain and fill every 30k.
Yes there’s some old fluid left, but at 30k it should still be in good shape.
Change the filter if it has one.

I would get the drain and refill. As long as you do it on schedule, that should be all your transmission needs. Transmission flushes are for those who neglect their transmissions, those with OCD, and people with extra money burning a hole in their pockets.

Here is another vote for drain and refill.

Honda, and many other Japaneese makes put a drain plug on your transmission for a reason, to make it easy to drain and refill. Just make sure it is genuine Honda fluid.

You are following the maintenance schedule, a drain and refill is all that is needed. While I am not a fan of flushing the transmission, it is for people who do not follow the maintenance schedule, show up a 100,000+ miles later when the transmission is giving them trouble, the fluid is black, and want something done to save it.

I can’t believe the dealer is suggesting a flush. I don’t believe Honda favors that. The service manual should call for a simple drain and fill with replacement of the drain and fill washers. I wouldn’t let them flush it again.

Thanks, everyone! We are very diligent about following the maintenance schedule, since we purchased an extended warranty from Honda, which will be voided if we don’t! Nevertheless, we don’t want to pay any more in maintenance costs than we need to. Your great advice just saved us $120…yay! :slight_smile:

Does a drain and fill normally involve removing the pan to scrape the gunk out of it – the same gunk that the flush supposedly pushes out?

No, it doesn’t. The drain plug is there so you don’t have to remove the pan. If you change the fluid on time (every 30,000 miles), there should be no gunk.

salley, check you owner’s manual. I have a 2005 Accord EX V6 and the owner’s manual says specifically not to flush the fluid. I imagine that the engine and transmission ar just about the same.

Right, on a Honda, the plug is right there and the filter is internal and not normally serviced. So it is just like changing oil. Only problem is the dang plugs are in pretty tight. Almost broke my ratchet with a long pipe on it trying to get bolts out.

“I can’t believe the dealer is suggesting a flush.”

A Toyota service writer suggested I have my MANUAL transmission flushed.
He said my trans oil was dirty in spite of my having drained and refilled 2200 miles earlier.