You can take care of your vehicle by making sure it receives regular oil changes. But when was the last time you changed your transmission oil? Most people forget if they have ever changed it.
Many car manufacturers will specify very long service intervals for transmissions. This is primarily to make their cars affordable and to comply with environmental regulations. It is rare that the transmission will fail during the warranty period.
They don’t care about what happens to the warrant after it expires. It can break down if the transmission is not maintained for long enough. These technologically advanced automatic gearboxes can be costly to replace or repair.
Fluid change is the best policy for your vehicle’s transmission. It should be changed every 50,000 miles or every two years. Transmission fluid changes cost around $100. Transmission repair jobs can cost up to a few thousand.
What Is A Transmission Fluid Change?
Transmission fluid changes are the process of changing out your vehicle’s transmission fluid and removing any old fluid. This sounds fairly straightforward. This is usually a simple task.
You simply need to drop the transmission pan and let the old fluid drain. Some pans have drain plugs that allow for the fluid to drain easily.
Because transmission fluid wears down over time, this is a must-do procedure. Your transmission fluid should be replaced regularly, just like your engine oil.
Many people wouldn’t dream of driving their car for years without changing the oil. A transmission fluid change should be viewed in the same manner.
Transmission fluid has a longer life span than engine oil but must still be changed at the recommended interval.
Some prefer to have their transmission fluid flushed instead of changing the fluid. In the next section, we will talk more about the differences between the two services. Fluid changes are not perfect. Simply draining the fluid doesn’t remove all of the old fluid.
The transmission’s torque converter and other parts might contain up to 40% of the old fluid. The flush will ensure that the system is clean and clear of any remaining fluid.
About Transmission Fluid Change
Automatic transmissions are standard on most new cars. There isn’t much maintenance required. However, most owners’ manuals recommend changing your transmission fluid approximately every 90,000.
Flushing your transmission fluid is no longer a popular option. High-pressure cleaning can cause transmission damage and dislodge material.
Your car’s transmission will last many years without any problems if you follow its maintenance schedule. You can find more information in your owner’s manual or your dealer service advisor.
Automatic Transmission Fluid Change Cost
An automatic transmission’s fluid cost will usually be higher than one for manual transmissions.
This is because the fluid replacement job might also require the removal of the oil filter or the oil pan gasket. This type of service will cost you between $275 and $450.
Parts costs can range from $175 to $250 while labor costs can be anywhere between $100 and $200. These charges will also include taxes and fees.
These three features are summarized below:
❤️ Oil Pan Gasket– The transmission houses the oil pan and the filter. The oil pan gasket seals and secures this pan at the bottom of your transmission.
While you won’t need to replace the gasket when changing the oil and filter, you may have to if the gasket is damaged. That decision will be made by the mechanic.
❤️ Transmission Fluid– This is the most important thing you will need to replace. This feature is also cheaper than replacing actual parts such as a filter or gasket.
❤️ Filter– Due to all the debris the oil filter collects, it will need to be replaced along with the transmission fluid. The transmission’s ability to filter new fluid will be affected if it is blocked by debris.
Manual Transmission Fluid Change Cost
Manual transmissions can be purchased for as low as $150 Because there is no filter, you can get away with spending as low as $150. It is not necessary to replace the filter or the gasket.
This service is very affordable, with parts costs remaining at $50-60. Labor costs will remain at $75-$100. You will still need to change your transmission fluids manually more often.
What And Why You Should Control Your Transmission Fluid
How To Control Transmission Fluid
It is easy to check your transmission fluid. Transmission fluid can be checked while the engine’s running in most cases.
This is different from engine oil. Some exceptions may apply, so make sure to consult your owner’s manual and/or the internet.
Make sure the vehicle is level. Next, locate and remove the dipstick for transmission fluid. Use a clean cloth to clean the dipstick. Pull the dipstick out by pulling it all the way.
The dipstick will tell you the level of transmission fluid. It will also show you the color at the tip. If the fluid is not as expected, you can assess its color and smell.
Remember that dipstick has markings that indicate whether the dipstick is full, low, or full. Routine checks can help you save money in the long term.
Transmission Fluid Diagnosis
It is essential to be familiar with the symptoms that indicate low transmission fluid. The vast majority of vehicles will not have an indicator light to indicate that the transmission fluid level is low. This means that you must manually check the fluid with a dipstick.
The best and most secure way to remove the transmission dipstick is to rub it on a piece of paper. Make sure that the oil is not too hot! Now inspect the fluid.
- If the transmission fluid has a pinkish or reddish hue, it is likely to be in good condition. Transmission fluid should have a distinctive smell but not be burnt.
- If the transmission appears foamy but is pink, it is important to check that it is not too full. This is a normal occurrence in some cases but should be checked.
- Your fluid may be past its expiration date if it has a brownish or black color and a strong smell. Get it changed and ensure that the transmission is inspected.
- Transmission fluid should be changed if you find any metal shavings or grit in it.
- Make sure the fluid level is maintained at the correct level. It is important to inspect the fluid level if it drops below the recommended level.
How Often Should You Change Your Transmission Fluid?
It depends on many factors. Fluids for manual transmissions should be changed every 30,000-60,000 miles.
Although traditional automatic transmissions have a long service interval, often 100,000 miles, or never, it would be beneficial to have the fluid changed more frequently.
Modern cars are increasingly using the CVT transmission, which requires frequent oil changes. Dual-clutch transmissions only require an occasional gear oil change.
Always refer to your owner’s manual, or the FIXD maintenance timeline, for the recommended maintenance schedule of your car.
To avoid transmission damage, you may want to change your fluid more often. It is cheaper to change your fluid less often than to replace or repair your transmission.
To avoid further damage, immediately change your fluid if you notice any problems with your transmission.
Sample Transmission Fluid Change Costs
|Ford F-Series||$173 – $221||$140 – $189||$313 – $410|
|Chevrolet Silverado||$102 – $131||$107 – $146||$209 – $277|
|Ford Focus||$102 – $131||$79 – $113||$181 – $244|
|Toyota Camry||$118 – $151||$105 – $201||$223 – $352|
|Toyota Corolla||$118 – $151||$105 – $201||$223 – $352|
|Nissan Altima||$63 – $80||$89 – $212||$152 – $292|
|Honda CR-V||$79 – $100||$91 – $214||$170 – $314|
|Honda Civic||$79 – $100||$88 – $97||$166 – $198|
|Honda Accord||$79 – $100||$81 – $89||$159 – $190|
|Ford Fusion||$87 – $110||$76 – $130||$163 – $240|
Transmission Fluid Change FAQ
❤️ How often should I change my transmission fluid?
While most people know how important it is for their vehicle to have its engine oil and filters changed, transmission fluid is not always the first thing that comes to mind. There are many factors that affect the frequency of a transmission flush.
- Most manufacturers recommend changing the fluid for manual transmissions every 30,000-60,000 miles.
- The majority of people have an automatic transmission these days, which can be more confusing. Some vehicles won’t need to have their transmission fluid changed unless there is a problem or a leak. Some engines require regular maintenance, just as engine oil and filters.
Follow the manufacturer’s instructions for transmission maintenance. You may need to have your transmission rebuilt. This can cost you as much as $6,000
❤️ How can I test my transmission fluid?
First, determine if you are able to check the fluid. Modern cars do not have a dipstick for transmission fluid, so it is best to call professionals to inspect it.
Here are some things to remember if your car has a dipstick.
- This is the most important thing to do – and it’s always a good idea – read your owner’s manual.
- Place your car on a flat surface.
- Use the owner’s manual to decide whether you should check the transmission fluid with your engine or not. You’ll need to be more cautious if your engine is running.
- Park the car in Park and apply the parking brake.
- The transmission dipstick is located towards the rear of the engine and is often brightly colored.
- Be careful not to spill any fluid or spill it. Use a clean cloth to wipe off the dipstick, much like you would when you check the engine oil.
- Re-insert the dipstick and then take it out to check the fluid level.
- You will need to top it up with the recommended transmission fluid. You should have it checked if the fluid drops to a low level.
- Once you are sure that the transmission fluid has reached the correct level, replace the dipstick.
❤️ How much does it cost to change transmission fluid?
The cost of transmission fluid flush or change depends on whether your transmission is manual, automatic, or continuously variable (CVT). The type of engine you have will determine the amount of fluid that you require and the time it takes to change it.
A transmission fluid change is different from a transmission fluid flush.
- Your service center will allow some fluid to drain (maybe as low as 30-percent), and then add fluid to refill it.
- Things get even more complicated for a fluid flush. A technician uses a machine that extracts all fluid from the transmission, then pumps a special solution through the cooler lines and torque converter until the transmission is clean.
Although prices can vary, you should expect to pay $150-175 for a transmission fluid change and $165-$290 for a transmission flush.
This is only an estimate. Your bill may be higher if your fluid is particularly bad (due to neglect or contamination).
One thing is certain: No matter how much it costs to change your transmission fluid or rebuild the entire transmission, it will be less expensive than major repairs or replacements.
❤️ How can I tell if my transmission fluid needs to be changed?
Transmission fluid functions in the same way as oil in an engine. It lubricates all moving parts of the transmission. You’ll notice a change in the transmission’s performance if the fluid becomes contaminated, worn out, or absent due to a leak.
- Difficulty getting into or keeping in gear
- You feel a lurch or thumping while shifting. You won’t notice a problem if your transmission is working properly. However, if you feel the shifts are being made, it could be an issue.
- There is a delay between pressing the accelerator button and actually moving forward. This could be caused by a variety of issues, but transmission problems could be the culprit.
- Strange sounds like grinding or whining.
You can take your car to the nearest service center if you suspect that there is an issue.