How Often Should Your Transmission Fluid Be Changed?

Transmission fluid should be changed regularly because decrepit and dirty fluid contributes to a more difficult gear changing (especially during the winter period when the transmission is cold), it significantly reduces the life of the transmission and it can also lead to serious and expensive breakdowns in the automatic transmission. So, when exactly you should change the oil?

Most vehicle manufacturers prescribe the fluid change interval in the transmission system and this is something that every car owner should follow. In case you don’t have the information about when the fluid in the transmission was change for the last time, a good way to check the quality of fluid is to check its color. It is good to mention that new fluids usually have a bright green or bright red color, which becomes darker over time and eventually gets black. If the fluid is black then it is definitely time for a replacement. Keep in mind that it is normal for the fluid to become dark and even black over time, but make sure you find the difference between the dark colors of normally used fluid from the fluid that needs to be replaced. If you are checking the fluid level and appearance in the transmission and you notice that the fluid is black and you don’t know when the fluid was changed for the last time it is always good to change the fluid in order to avoid possible failures and costly interventions in the near future.

There are two ways to change the transmission fluid. The easiest, most convenient and probably the smartest option is to go to your local auto repair shop and leave this task to the professionals that work there. They have the necessary knowledge and experience and on top of that you will have a warranty that the transmission fluid is changed in the right way. But, in case you want to do this task on your own you should follow some of the tips presented here. There is no universal rule about changing transmission fluids. The way transmission fluids are changed varies and it depends on the brand and even the model of the vehicle. However, there are some basic rules that more or less apply for all models of cars. For example, you will need some parts and equipment in order to finish this procedure in the right way. Some of these elements include – transmission fluid, transmission fluid filter, fluid filter gasket, transmission sump gasket, gasket cap for fluid draining, funnel, medical syringe or hand pump for the fluid and a container for waste fluid. Most manufacturers prescribe which type of fluid you should use. Check your service book for details or ask an authorized service center. The preparation of this procedure includes – car parking on a flat surface, pulling the parking brake, ensuring the wheels and using safety goggles and gloves. The procedure can start once the engine and transmission are cooled down.

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