Transmission Care

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jvcalandra

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Does anybody regularly flush their transmission fluid? I drive a 2022 LT and have no problems so far, but I'd like to stay ahead of any potential issues. I previously drove a 2012 LS and wound up spending over $4k after I had the car for 6 years due to transmission issues. There's no schedule that I see in the manual, and when I search online, I get answers that range from every 30k miles to never!
 

ravenblack67

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Does anybody regularly flush their transmission fluid? I drive a 2022 LT and have no problems so far, but I'd like to stay ahead of any potential issues. I previously drove a 2012 LS and wound up spending over $4k after I had the car for 6 years due to transmission issues. There's no schedule that I see in the manual, and when I search online, I get answers that range from every 30k miles to never!
GM does not recommend flushing. I do a drain and fill with 4.5 qts of DEXRON VI every 40,000 miles.
 

ravenblack67

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Thanks. What's the difference between a drain and a flush?
A flush is done by adding fluid at at the coolant return line and letting the fluid run out from the coolant send line. It is not recommended by GM anymore.

Bulletin No.: 04-06-01-029J
Date: March, 2020
INFORMATION
Subject: Unscheduled Supplemental Services (Including Flushing Services and Additives) and

Models: 2020 and Prior GM Passenger Cars and Trucks

This bulletin has been revised to add the 2019-2020 Model Years, update the Attention
statement, remove the Approved Transmission Flushing Tool (Transmission Cooler Only)
section and add Canadian information in the first bullet under Our Commitment to providing
Quality Service to Our Customers. Please discard Corporate Bulletins 04-06-01-029I and
12-06-01-008B.
Subsystem Flushing
Flushing of air conditioning (A/C) lines, radiators,
transmission coolers, and power steering systems are
recognized practices to be performed after catastrophic
failures or extreme corrosion when encountered in
radiators. For acceptable A/C flushing concerns, refer
to the Flushing procedure in Service Information (SI).
This practice is not required or recommended for
normal service operations.
The use of external transmission fluid exchange or
flush machines is not recommended for the automatic
or manual transmission. Use of external machines to
replace the fluid may affect the operation or durability of
the transmission. Transmission fluid should only be
replaced by draining and refilling following procedures

in Service Information (SI). Refer to Automatic/Manual
Transmission Fluid and Filter Replacement
 

jvcalandra

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A flush is done by adding fluid at at the coolant return line and letting the fluid run out from the coolant send line. It is not recommended by GM anymore.

Bulletin No.: 04-06-01-029J
Date: March, 2020
INFORMATION
Subject: Unscheduled Supplemental Services (Including Flushing Services and Additives) and

Models: 2020 and Prior GM Passenger Cars and Trucks

This bulletin has been revised to add the 2019-2020 Model Years, update the Attention
statement, remove the Approved Transmission Flushing Tool (Transmission Cooler Only)
section and add Canadian information in the first bullet under Our Commitment to providing
Quality Service to Our Customers. Please discard Corporate Bulletins 04-06-01-029I and
12-06-01-008B.
Subsystem Flushing
Flushing of air conditioning (A/C) lines, radiators,
transmission coolers, and power steering systems are
recognized practices to be performed after catastrophic
failures or extreme corrosion when encountered in
radiators. For acceptable A/C flushing concerns, refer
to the Flushing procedure in Service Information (SI).
This practice is not required or recommended for
normal service operations.
The use of external transmission fluid exchange or
flush machines is not recommended for the automatic
or manual transmission. Use of external machines to
replace the fluid may affect the operation or durability of
the transmission. Transmission fluid should only be
replaced by draining and refilling following procedures

in Service Information (SI). Refer to Automatic/Manual
Transmission Fluid and Filter Replacement
Thank you for the info!
 

mcycle-nut

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Ours is an older than yours, (a '15), and the manual says to check for drips underneath the vehicle, and if it's leaking, take it to your dealer. It also says to change it every 250,000km, (155,342 miles). I ran that by a guy at a tranny shop as it sounded goofy to me and he laughed and said, "I'll sell you a new transmission at 250,000km!" Yeah, sort of figured. Now I get it changed every 2 years, or 30,000km, (18,641 miles).
 

jvcalandra

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Thanks. I think it's odd that there's no maintenance schedule for that. I put about 20k miles per year on my car, so I'm probably good for a change every year.

If you don't mind me asking, how much does it cost to change yours? The dealer quoted me a ridiculous price (anywhere from $650 to $1,100). A local mechanic said he'd do it for about $350.
 

bagbyjw

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Thanks. I think it's odd that there's no maintenance schedule for that. I put about 20k miles per year on my car, so I'm probably good for a change every year.

If you don't mind me asking, how much does it cost to change yours? The dealer quoted me a ridiculous price (anywhere from $650 to $1,100). A local mechanic said he'd do it for about $350.
I'd like to know the prices also. With the dealer they have outrageous labor prices.
 

Brennb

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The severe service schedule shows service every 45000 miles. I had the dealership do it once (drain and refill 6qts), and it was just north of $100. That seamed like a great deal from the dealership, however I had been to the shop twice, complaining about another issue that I thought was transmission related.
I don't think GM reccomends a full transmission Flush. Just mutiple (3) drain and refills, with a few miles driven between changes.
I do it myself now. The drain plug is accessable from the front without jacking. The fill cap is a little difficult to reach depending on motor. If the Transmission hasn't been serviced, and hasn't leaked, just use a measuring device to drain, and refill with the same amount. No need to check the fluid level, which is another task in of itself. I think the last time I did it, it was about $40+ for fluid. I tend to do it once every other oil change now.
 
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AmmoJoe

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Does anybody regularly flush their transmission fluid? I drive a 2022 LT and have no problems so far, but I'd like to stay ahead of any potential issues. I previously drove a 2012 LS and wound up spending over $4k after I had the car for 6 years due to transmission issues. There's no schedule that I see in the manual, and when I search online, I get answers that range from every 30k miles to never!
It’s very easy to do yourself. I got a quote from the dealer at one point that was insanely high. It’s almost easier than doing an oil change. There is a small plug facing straight down at the floor on the drivers side just behind the front bumper. And the fill cap is on the same side tucked down a bit in the front as well. Remove plug and cap, put plug back in and refil with the same amount that you removed. GM didn’t specify the quantity it take in the manual. The only special tool you might need is either a transfer pump or a very long and thin funnel since the fill is down a bit into the engine bay. There is stuff in the way keeping you from getting to it so try a regular funnel. You MIGHT be able to use one of those collapsible bendy style funnels. I got one after I did my fluid change so I used a transfer pump I had. They are cheap tho and the transfer pump comes in handy.
 

renossuv

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I had my trans service by an independent oil service station. They charged $125 plus hazardous disposal fee and they did a drain and fill (appx. 4.5 qts). I watched a lot of 'Youtube' videos, so I'll try the drain, measure and fill. You can buy these long skinny funnels from the Dollar Tree. AC Delco Dexron VI trans fluid cost me $46 (free ship) from Amazon. There is a overfill port next to the transaxle on the drivers side, but this needs to be checked when fluid is hot.
 
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AmmoJoe

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I had my trans service by an independent oil service station. They charged $125 plus hazardous disposal fee and they did a drain and fill (appx. 4.5 qts). I watched a lot of 'Youtube' videos, so I'll try the drain, measure and fill. You can buy these long skinny funnels from the Dollar Tree. AC Delco Dexron VI trans fluid cost me $46 (free ship) from Amazon. There is an overfill port next to the transaxle on the drivers side, but this needs to be checked when fluid is hot.
you had me at dollar tree.
 
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I didn't see any mention of a Filter change, which should be part of the procedure. Mileage interval varies depending on highway or city driving.
Most wear occurs on the parameters of Shifting so non-highway lends to increased shifting activity and cruising down the interstate much less.
Unless its a CVT, and dat be a whole nuther ball of wax....
 

Brennb

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I don't believe any of 6 or 9 speed transmissions, have a filter that is serviceable, without removing the transmission.
 

BDCEquinox

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Does anybody regularly flush their transmission fluid? I drive a 2022 LT and have no problems so far, but I'd like to stay ahead of any potential issues. I previously drove a 2012 LS and wound up spending over $4k after I had the car for 6 years due to transmission issues. There's no schedule that I see in the manual, and when I search online, I get answers that range from every 30k miles to never!
Yes, you absolutely need to change the transmission fluid. Oil does not exist that does not break down, burn, or get contaminated, especially the conventional transmission fluid GM uses for factory fills. A vehicle would need to be in absolutely perfect conditions to make a 'lifetime fill' before the car was decommissioned. More on this below.

Perform a transmission fluid exchange every 45,000 miles (drain and fill) per the severe service schedule in the manual regardless of how you drive.

My personal recommendation is that at the first interval (45,000 miles) do a drain and fill 3 times with full synthetic fluid (running the vehicle and shifting between gears each drain), then each subsequent service (90,000, 135,000, etc) do a single drain and fill with the same synthetic fluid.

Regarding the perfect conditions above, both of my wife's previous 2 GM vehicles were bought (1 brand new and 1 with very low mileage). In both cases, the vehicles were lady driven, garage kept, 80% freeway miles, no dirt roads, and no towing. At the 45k service on both, the transmission fluid was absolutely pure black and badly burnt. You couldn't have driven it more softly than she did and the fluid still was in horrible shape.
 
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NXR71

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Give the number of different transmissions GM has used in the Equinox since it was introduced in 2004 it would help others if people would mention their model year and transmission when discussing their experiences. We have a 2020 with the 9-speed and we tow it behind a motorhome. The total mileage the tires have on them is about 45,000 miles.

At about 33,000 total miles (not odometer miles) I had the dealer check the transmission fluid and to change it if it did not look and smell new. They reported it was fine. I'm going to have them check it again this summer because we're approaching the "severe" mark of 45,000 in real miles. The dealer claims that towing the Equinox is not a severe use but they won't be the ones paying the repair bill. I'm just a bit concerned they won't get the level exactly correct and that can cause other problems when towing the Equinox.
 

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