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6 Questions About Transmission Fluid

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Do I really need to have my transmission fluid changed? Can’t I just do it myself? When should I have my transmission serviced? We here at AutoFix hear these questions all the time and they’re excellent questions. The transmission is one of the most expensive systems to replace in a vehicle, so it’s good for every driver to know all he or she can about transmission fluid and how it protects the system.

1. Do I have to have my transmission fluid changed?

Yes, you do. Also known as transmission oil, this fluid gets dirty and loses its effectiveness just as your motor oil and other engine fluids do. At some point, nearly everything in your vehicle will need to be changed. Thankfully, the transmission is designed to last a long time with minimal maintenance.

2. Okay, then, how often should I have the transmission fluid changed?

Consult your owner’s manual for the answer to this question. Depending on the make, model, year and engine size of your car, truck or SUV, you might need a transmission service every 30,000 miles or not until 100,000 miles. The newer the car, the longer it can go between transmission services.

3. Does the fluid need to be flushed out of the transmission?

As with motor oil, your transmission oil lubricates transmission parts to ensure they don’t overheat because of too much friction. As your transmission parts wear down, they breakdown into the fluid. This contaminates the fluid so, yes, it should be flushed when recommended by your vehicle’s manufacturer.

4. I drive a stick. I don’t have transmission fluid, right?

Wrong. Manual transmissions may operate differently from automatic transmission but they still have oil to protect the moving parts. In some cases, your manual transmission might use motor oil as the transmission fluid; in other cases, transmission fluid fills the gearbox. Either way, you have fluid in there.

5. How do I know my transmission fluid needs to be changed?

Your owner’s manual is your bible when it comes to when you need to schedule a fluid flush and refill. Unlike your motor oil where the dipstick is accessible, the transmission fluid dipstick might be located underneath your vehicle. You can’t check it easily. Check your service schedule for the transmission.

6. Can I change the transmission fluid myself?

Even if you’re really good with cars it’s best to let the experts change your transmission fluid. One reason why was touched upon above: Your car may need to be placed on a lift to change the fluid. Add to that the fill plug is tough to remove and replace and you’re setting yourself up for cuss-filled DIY job.

Rather than frustrate yourself, bring your vehicle to AutoFix in Franklin, TN, for its next transmission service. You can set up an appointment by calling 615-656-4962.

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