Mechanic addresses what you should really do with your transmission fluid

@royaltyautoservice/TikTok Byrd Setta/Adobe Stock (Licensed)

‘I got 450K out of my last truck’: Mechanic addresses what you should really do with your transmission fluid

'Drain and replace but not flush.'


Stacy Fernandez


Posted on Mar 17, 2024   Updated on Mar 17, 2024, 6:19 pm CDT

This guy thinks transmission fluid flushes are a scam. A mechanic explains why he’s wrong.

In a video, TikTok mechanic Sherwood (@royaltyautoservice) busts the myth that transmission flushes (not to be confused with transmission fluid changes) are unnecessary. “It’s something that I firmly believe in,” Sherwood said.

While some manufacturers advertise “lifetime transmission fluid,” in Sherwood’s 30-year experience, those cars lasted between 125,000 and 150,000 miles and eventually developed transmission problems.

“So I guess that was the lifetime of the fluid, which equals the lifetime of the transmission. Right?” Sherwood said. “…It’s gonna break down, you’re gonna have a problem. You need to service it just like you’re gonna service your oil.”

When it comes to the debate over a fluid change versus a flush, Sherwood explains that a flush will get all of the old fluid out. To do this, they run it through a machine and then overfill it with new fluid, flooding out the old stuff.

“I guarantee you, if you do that, that transmission is gonna last you far longer than it would if you didn’t do it,” Sherwood assured.

He added that you should not only do transmission flushes, but if your car requires a special fluid, it’s worth it to go the extra mile and opt for that over the generic fluid. And while he knows some commenters will share that their cars are running past 300,000 miles with no transmission flush (and he’s happy for them), that won’t be the case for most.

It’s simple: “Go somewhere that’s gonna use the right fluid. Do it regularly. Don’t wait till you have a problem. At that point, potentially could be too late.”

Plus transmissions are “extremely expensive” the mechanic warns, so you’re gonna want to take care of it to avoid paying for new parts. While exact costs will vary based on the vehicle and auto shop, new parts for a transmission cost between $1,800 and $3,400, and labor can run from $79 to $189, according to Sam Leman Automotive Group.

On the other hand, a transmission fluid change typically runs $150-$175, and a full flash is usually $165-$290, according to Kelley Blue Book. Doing that a few times in a car’s lifetime is ultimately much cheaper than having to repair a bad transmission.

@royaltyautoservice Replying to @Bubba Speir There is no such thing as “lifetime” fluid… #mechaniclife #mechanic #technician #cartok #car #truck #bmw #automotive #autorepair #diy #carmaintenance #oilchange #transmission #tips #fyp #foryou ♬ Pop beat BGM / long version(1283324) – nightbird_bgm

The video has more than 2.7 million views and thousands of comments. Many users seemed skeptical.

“Drain and replace but not flush,” the top comment read.

“150,000 mile flush = a new transmission in a month,” a commenter wrote.

“I’ve never seen a transmission make it 500 miles past a flush. I have seen good running trans absolutely destroyed by a flush tho!” a person said.

The Daily Dot reached out to the auto shop via email.

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*First Published: Mar 17, 2024, 11:00 pm CDT