Many car owners don’t realize that changing your transmission fluid is just as important as changing your engine oil. Just like oil, transmission fluid breaks down over time and needs to be replaced in order to keep your car running smoothly. But what exactly does transmission fluid do? And how often should you change it? We’ve compiled a list of frequently asked questions to help you better understand the importance of transmission fluid and how to change it.
What is Transmission Fluid?
Transmission fluid is a type of oil that helps lubricate, clean, and protect the components of your car’s transmission. The transmission is responsible for transferring power from the engine to the wheels, so it’s important to keep it well-lubricated and free of dirt and debris. Over time, however, transmission fluid breaks down and becomes less effective at doing its job. That’s why it’s important to change it according to your car’s recommended maintenance schedule.
How Often Should I Change My Transmission Fluid?
Most carmakers recommend changing your transmission fluid every 30,000 miles or every two years, whichever comes first. However, if you frequently drive in stop-and-go traffic or tow heavy loads, you may need to change your transmission fluid more often. Consult your car’s owner’s manual or ask your mechanic for a recommendation.
Can I do it myself?
You can definitely change your own transmission fluid! Just be sure to have the right tools and supplies on hand before you get started. You’ll need a catch pan, a funnel, fresh transmission fluid, and a ratchet wrench. Once you have everything you need, just follow these simple steps:
1. Place the catch pan under the drain plug on the bottom of the transmission pan.
2. Use the ratchet wrench to remove the drain plug and allow the old fluid to drain into the catch pan.
3. Clean the drain plug and reinstall it.
4. Remove the fill plug and use the funnel to add fresh fluid to the transmission.
5. Replace the fill plug and check for leaks.
6. Start up your car and check that the gears are shifting smoothly.
How much will it cost?
The cost of changing your transmission fluid will vary depending on the make and model of your car and where you take it for service. However, you can expect to pay anywhere from $100 to $250 for the service.
What Happens if I Don’t Change My Transmission Fluid?
If you don’t change your transmission fluid according to the recommended maintenance schedule, your car’s transmission will eventually start to wear out prematurely. This can lead to expensive repairs or even require you to replace the entire transmission. In other words, changing your transmission fluid is a lot cheaper than ignoring it!
Changing your transmission fluid may not be at the top of your mind when it comes to car maintenance, but it’s definitely something you should be doing on a regular basis. By following the recommended maintenance schedule, you can extend the life of your car’s transmission and avoid costly repairs down the road. So don’t wait—check and change your transmission fluid today.