Which Flush Should Be First?
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This is a discussion on Which Flush Should Be First? within the General Maintenance, Troubleshooting & Accidents. forums, part of the Tech & Modifying & General Repairs category; Keep in mind I live in CT which is typically very cold in the winter and we've had lots of ...

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    Which Flush Should Be First?

    Keep in mind I live in CT which is typically very cold in the winter and we've had lots of snow lately.

    Should I get the 1) Coolant flush
    2) Transmission flush
    3) Oil Flush

    I need to handle my brake situation first, but after that, which of these would you do 1st, 2nd, 3rd?

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    Registered User jd92677's Avatar
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    Depends on how many miles are on your car. I wouldn't recommend an oil flush, ever, but that's my opinion. I've seen them do more harm than good. Trans flush (assuming it's an auto?) every 15k miles, give or take. If it's a manual trans, no need to flush, just drain and replace fluid (don't forget the rear diff. too). Coolant flush I do every 2 years, regardless of miles, but that might be a little overkill.
    Stink eye mob #727
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    The car is at 50,500 miles. It also hasn't had a tune-up yet, but it's on my list of things to do soon. The reason I mentioned the oil is I haven't really been using synthetic. Sometimes some of the places I go to get the oil done only do synthetic, other times when there's an option I get the cheaper stuff. The price difference is ridiculous around here. It's like an extra $30 for synthetic.

    My WRX is manual. I can't imagine having an automatic WRX, although maybe one with paddle shifting if that sort of system doesn't have a clutch you have to keep pushing. I have no ide about paddle shifting, it's just in traffic jams it'd be nice to not have to hover between the gas and the clutch.

    But which would be most beneficial to cold starts? I feel like my car doesn't want to cooperate on cold mornings.

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    Registered User mudferret's Avatar
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    Synthetic oil really helps on cold mornings, although my definition of a cold morning may differ from yours (I'm in Calgary, Alberta right now, not Ethiopia as in my info). Many US spec cars don't come with block heaters; do you have one? If it's below -15 to -20 C during the night, I plug in my car so I can get heat quicker in the morning, although it definitely eases the turnover as well. Have your coolant tested to ensure that it's still suitable for cold weather.
    ...Rob.
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    Quote Originally Posted by mudferret View Post
    Synthetic oil really helps on cold mornings, although my definition of a cold morning may differ from yours (I'm in Calgary, Alberta right now, not Ethiopia as in my info). Many US spec cars don't come with block heaters; do you have one? If it's below -15 to -20 C during the night, I plug in my car so I can get heat quicker in the morning, although it definitely eases the turnover as well. Have your coolant tested to ensure that it's still suitable for cold weather.
    No, I don't have a block heater, but I also don't have a garage. I park on the street most nights. It doesn't get that cold here. -20 would make us cry here. If there were no wind/snow it might be okay.... no, nope, too cold. I'd move. Winter here gets to about 0 some nights, we probably average in the teens. We had a few windy nights recently with the wind chill at -20 or -30 but that's not a real temperature (thank God). Our summers are hot and humid. I obviously don't fully understand how the cold slows everything down. I mean I get that molecules slow and matter becomes denser, water expands, metal contracts, etc, but not why the car doesn't like driving till it warms up. All the car shows like Car Talk on NPR say new cars don't need to be warmed up before driven in the winter, but I find that if I don't I can't even shift. Like literally. On really cold mornings the stick will not budge till the car warms up.

    So it sounds like synthetic oil will help as well as the coolant. If I switch to synthetic do I really need to flush out the system or is that something they're just telling me I need to do?

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    P.S. I imagine that the electric Subaru coming out soon will avoid issues like this?

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    Registered User mudferret's Avatar
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    No need to flush the system when you switch to synthetic. Those temps I quoted were in Celsius, so they're right around 0 F. Those are the temps where my car really starts to notice the cold. I notice the same issues with shifting when it's cold, trying a different fluid can help, or hurt. I just have to compensate for the fact that the gears won't shift as easily as I'd like until the fluid is warmed up.

    As far as warm up, everyone does it differently, and there are likely a couple of dozen threads on the subject. This morning it was -25C (-13F) and I sat in the car for about 3 minutes while the oil got circulating etc... clutch in/out a few times, shifted through the gears a couple of times. Then just drive conservatively for the first 10 minutes of my commute.
    ...Rob.
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    Master Baiter EJ257's Avatar
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    I always do a courtesy flush first.
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    Registered User jd92677's Avatar
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    I would definitely do the trans and diff if they haven't ben done, then coolant. Tune up isn't needed until 100k unless there is an issue. Although it doesn't hurt to do maintenance early.
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    It is not clear to me what a tune up involves in the 21st century but the spark plugs on the bug eye car are due at 60k, as are all fluids and filters. I don't flush if the manual simply says to drain.
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    Quote Originally Posted by jd92677 View Post
    I would definitely do the trans and diff if they haven't ben done, then coolant. Tune up isn't needed until 100k unless there is an issue. Although it doesn't hurt to do maintenance early.

    Differential? Remember: not a car guy. I can change the oil, I can change fuses, lights, filters, tires, etc. I can probably do the speakers and radio, which I plan on in the near future. But as for this other stuff, no idea.

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    Quote Originally Posted by EJ257 View Post
    I always do a courtesy flush first.
    And spray with air freshener?

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    Registered User jd92677's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by teikyo30 View Post
    Differential? Remember: not a car guy. I can change the oil, I can change fuses, lights, filters, tires, etc. I can probably do the speakers and radio, which I plan on in the near future. But as for this other stuff, no idea.
    Where the rear axles connect to the drivetrain.
    Stink eye mob #727
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    My head hurts. They should have a class for all this stuff at local colleges. I found a code reader that Walmart sells for like $55 that looks pretty cool. It lets you clear codes, too (which would have been nice the other day) like if you forget to screw in that gas cap.

    I think the Cobb AP lets you do the same thing as well as change the maps. I'm going to do all of those flushes after my brakes and tires. I found some decent affordable tires that get really good ratings. General Tire Altimax Arctic. So probably $150 for the brakes, then $550 for the tires installed at Sears, then I'll start with the other stuff. I need to find a second job, too.

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    Master Baiter EJ257's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by teikyo30
    I found some decent affordable tires that get really good ratings. General Tire Altimax Arctic. So probably $150 for the brakes, then $550 for the tires installed at Sears, then I'll start with the other stuff. I need to find a second job, too.
    Generals are a decent winter tire. Do you have the option of getting them studless?
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