Monday 26 February 2024

Shifting Gears - When Should You Have Your Transmission Fluids Changed?

Posted by at 12:10 PM

Shifting Gears - When Should You Have Your Transmission Fluids Changed?

If you have a vehicle with an automatic transmission, you probably rarely think about gear shifting.  When motor vehicles were invented, all of them had to be shifted manually.  But that wonderful self-shifting transmission, referred to these days as simply an “automatic,” changed everything.

Automatic transmissions have a lot of moving parts, and they are bathed in a fluid that keeps them lubricated and cool. That fluid also is vital to the whole gear shifting process. 

As you might imagine, the longer that fluid does its job, the more chance it has to pick up some contaminants.  Sometimes a leak will spring up in an automatic transmission.  Dirty transmission fluid or not enough of it will both create problems. It may cause your Check Engine light to come on, or your transmission may shift rough and make strange noises.

The best strategy is not to let it get to this point.  That means you should have your transmission fluid replaced at regular intervals. Your vehicle’s manufacturer recommends how often you should have your transmission fluid changed. You should also have the fluid checked at regular intervals to detect if any problems crop up before that recommended interval. They’ll check not only the level but also inspect its condition. Most manufacturers recommend changing every 60,000 - 100,000 miles. So check your odometer, and talk to your service advisor! Tell the its time for a transmission fluid inspection! 

Some automatic transmissions are completely sealed with no fluid dipstick to check, so it can be quite the process to check levels and condition. 

Keep in mind that most automatic transmission problems are caused by overheating. You can reduce your chances of transmission failure by making sure your transmission—and its fluid—is regularly inspected and the fluid is replaced when it needs to be.