JGS4X4 receives many emails with success stories from customers regarding gearbox flushes that we have carried out for them. They all report back that their Land Rover’s runs much smoother after their visit.
A recent Discovery 3 owner had his gearbox flushed as a preventative measure at 82,000 miles. He had read many stories of gearbox and torque converter failures on forums and owners clubs websites, so he took the preventative measure of having a gearbox flush.
A gearbox flush isn’t something that usually comes to mind as part of regular servicing and maintenance like an engine oil change, new tyres, wiper blade, etc. but not a gearbox flush? Just like an engine oil change, your transmission needs regular maintenance to keep your car running smoothly. As with any hard-working fluid, the gearbox fluid does wear out and degrade.
What is a Gearbox Flush?
A gearbox flush involves connecting your transmission to a specialist machine, much like a dialysis machine. A special cleaner is added to the old fluid to dissolve and clean the internals of the gearbox and flush the old, worn out transmission fluid out of the gearbox while at the same time refills the transmission with new fluid.
A manual transmission fluid change, on the other hand, simply drains the fluid with gravity. A manual fluid change usually can only drain 30% of the old fluid so once refilled you are just diluting the old worn out fluid and not changing it completely.
What are the signs that your car needs a gearbox flush?
Strange Transmission Noises
If your transmission is grinding or making strange sounds, you should stop the vehicle and check the transmission fluid level while the engine is still running. Ensure that the transmission fluid is not brown or black because of grime or sludge. If the fluid level of the transmission is acceptable, your vehicle probably needs a transmission flush. If the level is low, then the permanent damage may have already been caused.
Problems Shifting Gears
An automatic transmission that has old, worn out fluid and too much dirt or sludge will cause a sluggish response in the transmission which will result in your vehicle changing gears too quickly or too late while driving.
Dirty, worn out transmission fluid may cause a lack of hydraulic power, much the same as not having enough transmission fluid will cause. To stay in the appropriate gear, the transmission must develop enough pressure.
Surging of the Vehicle
This is caused by an inconsistent flow and pressure of transmission fluid that is needed to ensure smooth operation of the gears and other moving parts inside the transmission.
Delay in Vehicle Movement
Another sign that your vehicle may have worn out transmission fluid is when the vehicle stalls for one or two seconds before moving after having been put in gear. If there are no other problems with the transmission, a transmission flush may help.
You should be aware that if the vehicle is already displaying any of these symptoms, your dirty transmission fluid may have already caused bigger problems and whilst a gearbox flush may help, it cannot reverse or repair mechanical damage or electrical issues.
Is it really necessary?
JGS4X4 recommend a gearbox flush every 75,000 miles or 3 years. However, Land Rover claims their vehicles are sealed for life and do not require it! But as we all know, no fluid can be expected to last forever!
A gearbox flush WILL extend the life of your transmission. Like all preventative maintenance, the cost and time of this process can save you from expensive transmission repairs further down the road.
Do not hesitate to contact us if you have any questions or queries regarding information included in this blog.