There are lots of liquids in your car that are crucial for its long life, proper work, and generally – your safety. Transmission fluid is one of them. Technically, transmission fluid is a lubricant that minimizes friction between moving part in the transmission of your vehicle. In the case of an automatic transmission, this slippery liquid has some more job to do – it acts as a coolant and a viscous material conducting power from the engine to the transmission.
And just like all other liquids in a vehicle, transmission fluid should be checked and changed regularly. Checking the amount of transmission fluid is quite similar to checking your oil. The main and only difference is that because it is associated with a closed system, you change your transmission liquid while the engine is running. It is very important to remember that you should never be low on a transmission fluid level, because it may simply be fatal for your vehicle. At the same time, its quality is not less important than the level. When it is fine, the color of the liquid should be red, and there must never be any “burnt” smell. As soon as you notice this kind of smell or the liquid itself turns brow, you should take your car to the car service immediately.
The interval and procedure of the transmission fluid check and change depending on the type of transmission in your car. It might be either manual or automatic. The proud owners of manual transmission vehicles should pay extra attention to the gearbox of their vehicles. An old liquid causes a buildup of sludge and metal shavings. The symptoms for a low level of the fluid for the automatic transmission are not that obvious, that is why it is even more important to flush and change it regularly.
Manual transmission fluid change.
The usual recommendation for the manual transmission vehicles is to check and change the transmission fluid between 30,000 and 60,000 miles. However, this interval might vary due to the type of vehicle and exploitation conditions of course. For example, sometimes the manual transmission is put under stressful conditions regularly. This is quite common for cars that hardly ever go on a highway, mostly driving on short distances and in heavy traffic. When the gears change frequently, the transmission is put under additional stress. Also, this kind of stress is quite common if the driver is a newbie and only learns to drive a manual transmission vehicle. The “grinding gears” mistakes are quite common for them. In this case, the transmission fluid should be changed as often as every 25,000 miles.
Automatic transmission fluid change.
As far as the transmission fluid acts as a coolant in the automatic transmission cars, the main reasons for its change are deterioration and burning. The standard interval for the fluid change in this type of car is 100,000 to 150,000. This is the usual recommendation from a manufacturer. But if you ask any mechanic, he will tell you that this is way too long. There are so many different types of automatic transmission cars nowadays that it is impossible to give a specific average number. Also, it is important to remember that the fluid burns and deteriorates much faster when the car drives in heavy city traffic or carries heavy loads. For example here at OHS Body shop, we see all kinds of trailer towing vehicles along with automatic transmission pickup trucks and family minivans. Generally – every car in Montana’s Great Flathead Valley drives in an environment quite stressful for the transmission. So the average mileage recommended by mechanics is around 50,000 miles.
Whether you are a newbie or an experienced driver, have an automatic or manual transmission vehicle; the process of check and change of the transmission fluid might be quite timely and messy. That is why it is highly recommended to trust this job to a professional.
OHS Body Shop serves the Greater Flathead Valley and offers auto body repairs and more at our service centers in Kalispell, Whitefish, Columbia Falls and Polson. Visit the closest to you to get comprehensive consultation from our qualified mechanics and the best prices in the area for all kinds of service.