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Thanks for another great answer, Pat. I see both sides of the argument. Based on what you wrote, it seems to be that if you change your transmission fluid regularly (well, let's say every 20K miles), the use of a flush machine should be OK. But then again, if you change it that often, well, you probably don't need to be doing it with a flush machine anyway. Yep, there sure are two sides to *that* story!
Thanks, Pat. The variable quality of oil filters has bothered me. At the oil change places, it's like Forrest Gump said about a box of chocolates..."You never know what you're gonna get." A few, however, like Pep Boys show the brand of oil filter they'll use (Penzoil). Best route for the best quality and most thorough job is to just buy the best components and do it yourself, if you can. Yeah, I can understand your statement about shops prohibiting the use of customer-supplied items for any number of reasons. If you figure out which Consumer Reports article that might have been from, let me know, as I keep three years of back issues. Thanks for your reply!
With regard to Answer #2. All good step-by-step advice, but the author doesn't mention the substantial amount of used oil left in the torque converter...which is undrainable unless removed by special equipment that some service places have. So, I feel it would be like changing your oil and not replacing the filter--leaving a quart of dirty oil in the system. So I go ahead and pay the $75 or so to have that done professionally.
You mention in an oil change article: "We recommend using a high-quality engine oil filter. Cheap filters wear more quickly and may not properly keep contaminants out of the engine." If you do your own oil changes, sure, no problem. You can buy a Fram or Purolator. But what about the oil change places like Jiffy Lube and the myriads of other independents? How do you know their no-name oil filter isn't junk? Has anyone ever brought their own filter to an oil change place, and then asked for a price break to compensate? I've thought of doing that. Thanks for the great site!! Dan Kap, Whittier, CA