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Transmission Flush

I had a BG transmission flush performed on my 2001 Subaru Forester a few months ago on a shop’s recommendation. Up to that time I had had no symptoms of a problem with the transmission. Now I’m having tranmission problems. I’d be interested to know (1) if BG recommends doing a flush on a car with 141,000 miles which has never had a flush before?, (2) Does BG recommend draining the pan and replacing the filter prior to the flush?, (3) Do any statistics exist as to what percentage of cars which have had flushes subsequently experience problems? (4) Do I have any recourse? As may be obvious, I am a car owner, not a mechanic, so please forgive me if I have talked nonsense.

Most manufacturers don’t recommend flushes, just pan drops and fluid changes. Most shops recommend flushes to pay for expensive flush machines and boost profits. As far as percentage of subsequent problems, I don’t know, only too many stories like yours.

to the best of your knowaledge has the car ever had a trans service done before the flush was done? check your owners book for what Subaru recomends for servicing the trans in your car. if it dosnot say anything then i would drop the pan and change the filter every 30k miles and top off with fresh fluid . the flush could have losened up something inside the tranny, far as statistics goes i am not aware of any on the subject. check the fluid level to be on the safe side.

“I had a BG transmission flush performed on my 2001 Subaru Forester a few months ago on a shop’s recommendation. Up to that time I had had no symptoms of a problem with the transmission. Now I’m having tranmission problems.”

This is unfortunately a very common statement after transmission flushes. Most shops do not have the proper equipment or technicians to perform a transmission flush correctly. That’s why I never recommend having a transmission flushed. I would try Big Marc’s suggestion and make sure you use the proper fluid. Good luck.

I think u are asking if there is any chance of financial help from BG flush co owner IF ur trans needs to be repaired due to issues caused by flush machine? U think maybe ur car was damaged by trans flush. So, company that makes trans flush machine should pay to fix trans? Or shop that used machine should fix ur trans? Or maybe u want opinion of folks who have had high mileage trans flushed and experienced issues? I do not think changing fluid causes any issues in trans. I have done it on my cars. Never had an issue. I have dropped many pans and changed fluid/filter and never had issues.

What kind of shop was this? Was it a quick-lube place, by any chance?

Do you know if the right fluid was used? Did they perhaps use a universal fluid with additives?

Have you checked that the fluid level is correct at this time?

In additions to the questions asked by lion9car, what kind of problems are you having now? And, was the pan dropped and the filter replaced/cleaned prior to the flush?

I’m not a fan of transmission fluid flushes, especially if they are done at a quick oil change place.


What’s BG anyway? People come here from all over the world.

My trans shop only recommends the pan drop and that’s what I do. Flushes are a way to increase profits with a minimal skilled person and that’s not usually the one you want working on an expensive transmission. There’s no way anyone would provide any warranty though on a transmission with that many miles on it. It’s probably going to need an overhaul now, then have the pan dropped every 30,000 or so.

BG Products is a chemical/additive company. They provide the equiptment on loan to the shops to perform fluid exchanges and injector/induction services. Every BG transmission machine I have used was a fluid exchange machine, not a flush machine. The most common problem seems to be overfilling the transmission as hot fluid is exchanged for room tempurature fluid, people don’t take the time to get the fluid level correct after it warms up.

Really doubt if you will be able to get any financial help on a transmission with that many miles on it. I have done transmission fluid flushes as you had done as well as drop the pan and change fluid and filter. I will say if you came into our shop and said you wanted a flush with that many miles and it had never been serviced before we would have recommended against it. Flushes in my opinion are good maintenance if done on regular intervals 30-50 thousand miles depending on vehicle and type of driving you do. I would recommend that every 2nd or 3rd one include a pan drop and filter replacement.I know alot of techs that say it isnt needed but i dont subscribe to that opinion. I have personally seen a customers car that had a sticky valve in the vlave body and the flush cleaned it up and cured that issue. I dont believe a pan drop and filter change alone would have done that. Anyway that is my 2 cents on the subject.

I’m taking the shop who did the flush to court. Does anyone know someone in the Washington,
DC from whom I can get a deposition concerning the possible damage done by flushing a transmission?

You are going to lose.

Who will take 2 or three days off from their job and be an “expert” witness for you? If your witness takes your transmission apart to diagnose it the defense will have no access to the transmission prior to the “tampering” that your witness will do. You drew the short straw. Move on or your losses will increase because you will lose all that you throw into this. I would also suggest that you take the car to an independent shop and have the pan dropped and cleaned and the filter and fluid replaced with the correct type with hope that improves the situation and avoids permanent, catastrophic damage.

@Kiask have you contacted the shop that flushed your transmission?
Have you saved all your receipts?
It can’t hurt to contact them and explain that you’ve been having transmission problems after the flush.
Perhaps you can request that they replace the pan gasket, filter, and put in the genuine Subaru ATF. As a courtesy.
If I know these places, this isn’t the first time they’ve actually CAUSED a transmission problem by flushing it.

Count me in as one of those who believe you will lose this case. A judge will probably take a dim view in regards to a 13 year old car with 141k miles on it and even more so if you can’t provide a documented record of religiously maintaining the transmission up to that point.

For what it’s worth, BG is overpriced, doesn’t accomplish much, and is a profit generator more than anything else.
I’ve worked for several dealers who pushed this stuff. Unless BG has changed policy each can of product used to have a token in it.
Mechanics keep the tokens and redeem them each month for cash (not much cash either) when the BG huckster comes around. The service manager gets a piece of the action by pushing the products.

I might ask what kind of symptoms your transmission is exhibiting because it’s possible for a botched oil change to cause transmission problems on a Subaru if someone drains the final drive by mistake instead of the engine.

Kiask, I have many times stated my opposition to transmission flushes on this site and you are providing evidence for me, thank you. If I were on the jury, I’d vote for you, but I’m afraid you are just going to lose.

You best bet now is to first check with your Subaru dealer to find out what transmission fluid is recommended by them. The find a shop that will drain the fluid, clean the screen and refill with the correct ATF, drive it for a week, then return to the shop for a simple drain and refill. That will get enough of the BG stuff out and enough of the correct ATF in to do the job.

You might get a quote from the dealer for this while your there. If the dealer has a fluid exchange machine, and they will first drain the pan and clean the screen, replace the pan and fill, then hook up the fluid exchange machine and use only the correct ATF, they will get about 95% of the wrong stuff out on the first pass. I would not be opposed to that.

Good luck.

I know I can’t prove it was the flush which damaged my transmission (just as the shop can’t prove it wasn’t!). The best I can hope for is that a judge will find it more likely that the flush caused the problem than that my transmission just happened to decide to give out a couple thousand miles after the flush. If I could enter what I 've learned from forums like this one in court, I think I’d have a pretty good shot of doing that. Since I probably can’t, I hoped a deposition from an expert that flushes are known to cause problems and that the problem might not be immediately apparent might help. I know it’s an almost hopeless case, but I’m driven by the hope that I can, in some small way, discourage shops from engaging in this Perfect Crime (in that the cause of the damage is almost impossible to prove) and spare others from my costly and frutrating experience. (It’s really BG Products who should be sued. I’m sure when they came up with their wonder flusher they didn’t bother to test whether it had any bad side effects - imagine a pharmaceutical company operating that way!)

@Kiask I’ll ask again.

Have you contacted the shop?

You have an aged, high mileage car and state whatever problem it is did not surface for several thousand miles after the flush. You still have not stated what symptom(s) exist.
You are going to mention that any problem(s) did not show up until much later aren’t you?

As to BG, let me say this.
Their products are overpriced and often unneeded.
Arguably, their product could be beneficial even to the tiniest of degrees.
BG did not flush your transmission or damage it. The flush is done by the pump inside your transmission which only circulates the fluid with the BG additive.

One more question. How often has the transmission been serviced up to the BG service and can you back this up with records?