We answer your frequently asked questions about transmission fluid service and more.
Transmission fluid is one of those aspects of vehicle care that comes with a lot of question marks. We get it: Given that the average transmission contains 30,000 individual parts, it can be tricky to keep track.
That’s why we’ve assembled a few of our most frequently asked questions below.
What is transmission fluid?
Transmission fluid is the lubricant that helps all of the parts in your transmission move smoothly. Both manual and automatic vehicles need transmission fluid to keep you moving. An automatic transmission also relies on the fluid to cool the internal parts, and they use the fluid to build up hydraulic pressure in order to shift gears.
Why is it important?
Dollar signs run through our head when we think about transmission fluid. It’s the one key element that keeps your transmission running smoothly – and keeps costly repairs at bay.
Do I really need to service my transmission to replace the fluid?
We can’t say “yes” enough with this one. Maintaining the transmission by changing the fluid is critical.
Over time, transmission fluid becomes contaminated with tiny debris particles as many of the internal pieces wear. This means that the once-clean liquid is now riddled with metal particulate… And if neglected, the result can be disastrous for your transmission.
It comes down to dollars, cents and performance. If you don’t service your transmission fluid to get rid of the contaminants, your transmission will have a shorter lifetime. Your vehicle can’t run without a transmission – so unless you want to be homebound, it’s a service worth getting. Not to mention, the cost of a transmission fluid service — ranging from $125 to $250 — is substantially less than rebuilding a failed transmission at a minimum cost of about $3,000. Own a hybrid? It’s even more critical to service the transmission in a hybrid.
How do I know when I need to service my transmission fluid?
The timeline for a transmission fluid service totally varies depending upon the car you own and the way that you drive. For example, if you have a hybrid or a truck and use it for towing or plowing, you’ll need to service the fluid more often.
To help determine your schedule, check your owner’s manual or ask the auto experts at CARS of America. We have the ability to test the quality of the transmission fluid and tell you “yes, it’s due” or “no, it’s not due.” Unlike other repair shops that rely on time and mileage, we have a scientific testing process that takes the guesswork out of fluid services!
Remember, with just a bit of preventative maintenance, you can keep your transmission in peak performance for every mile that you log on the road.