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Hi, I*ve been told by my (usually trusted) mechanic at Toyota that my transmission fluid is dirty (black) and I need a trans. fluid flush. I have a *94 Camry with just under 200,000 miles, and I*ve been reading about this. Some sources say it*s a definite no-no to do a flush, especially on a high-mileage car because you*re forcing fluids out through the system backwards and can ruin seals, etc. Other sources say it*s a good thing. What*s the real deal?? Thanks!

Answers from the Automotive Experts

Amy Mattinat, Owner and Author at Auto Craftsmen Ltd Hi Reilly, Here is some information we give our customers regarding tranmission flushes. The transmission and differential are the workhorses of your vehicle. They take the power your engine makes and turn it into forward motion. Like all bearings and gears, the ones in your drive train rely on clean lubricant to work properly and live a long time. As they wear, tiny metal particles get washed away and are suspended in the oil. Unlike an engine, there is no filter to trap these contaminants. The only way to get rid of the contaminants is by changing the drive train fluids. All manual transmissions need this service, along with most 4-wheel drive, and rear-wheel drive automatic transmission vehicles. It all depends how the transmission and differential are put together. How often you change the drive train fluids depends on the kind of driving you do with your vehicle: · Every 15,000 miles for vehicles that tow or plow. · Every 30,000 miles for vehicles that drive around town, stop and go with some highway driving. · Every 45,000 miles for vehicles that do mostly highway cruising. We have 2 Loaner Camrys at my shop, both have over 235,000 miles and are going strong. Maintenance is one of the keys to keeping a vehicle running a loooong time. Good Luck, Amy Mattinat

Amy Plant-Lowe, Owner at Plant's Auto Service Reilly, Well, both scenarios are correct. It would depend on whether you have had the fluid flushed before. If this is the first time to ever flush the fluid at 200,000 miles I would say don't do it. If on the other hand, the car has been maintained well and you would like to keep it that way, go ahead. Ask your trusted mechanic if they watch the gauge closely on the flush machine. My techs do this (especially on high mileage vehicles) and if they see lots of debris going by the "eye" they stop and don't finish with the back flush. Hope this helps and keep up the good maintenance!

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