May 8

How Often Should You Change Transmission Fluid?


Transmission fluid is the lifeblood of your vehicle’s transmission system, ensuring smooth gear shifts and optimal performance. But how often should you change your transmission fluid? In this article, we’ll explore the importance of transmission fluid, factors that affect change intervals, and provide recommendations to keep your vehicle running smoothly in Lewisville and beyond.

Understanding Transmission Fluid

Transmission fluid helps keep your vehicle’s transmission components cool and well-lubricated, maintain fluid pressure, prevent oxidation, condition gaskets, and inhibit rust formation. You’ll find it in a variety of colors, such as red, blue, green, purple, or amber, which can help you distinguish it from other oils and fluids in your vehicle.

Different types of transmission fluid are available depending on the type of transmission your vehicle has. Some are synthetic formulations. It’s crucial to understand which lubricant your car needs before getting your transmission fluid changed. For optimal performance and longevity, be sure to use the correct fluid type specified by your vehicle’s manufacturer.

Factors Affecting Transmission Fluid Change Frequency

Several factors can influence how often you should change your transmission fluid, including:

  • Driving conditions: Driving in the city with frequent stops and starts, towing heavy loads, or driving in extreme temperatures can accelerate fluid degradation.
  • Vehicle age and mileage: As your vehicle ages and accumulates miles, the transmission fluid may break down more quickly.
  • Transmission type: Automatic, manual, and continuously variable transmissions have different fluid change requirements.
  • Manufacturer recommendations: Always consult your vehicle’s owner’s manual for specific guidance on transmission fluid change intervals.

Recommended Transmission Fluid Change Intervals

Not sure when to change your transmission fluid? As a general guideline, mechanics recommend changing transmission fluid every 30,000 to 60,000 miles. This can vary significantly based on your vehicle’s make, model, and driving conditions. Some newer vehicles with advanced transmission systems may have extended intervals up to 100,000 miles or more. Always refer to your owner’s manual for the most accurate information, and follow the recommended service schedule to keep your transmission in top shape.

For example, if your vehicle has a manual transmission, it may need a fluid change closer to every 30,000 miles. If you tow heavy loads, drive in adverse weather conditions, or experience frequent city traffic, you might consider changing your transmission fluid at more regular intervals.

Transmission Fluid Change Process

Changing transmission fluid involves draining the old fluid, replacing the filter (if applicable), and refilling the system with fresh, high-quality fluid. This process requires special tools and expertise, so it’s best to have a professional technician handle the job. At Huffines Chrysler Jeep Dodge RAM (CJDR) Lewisville, our skilled technicians use genuine Mopar parts and fluids to ensure your vehicle receives the best care possible.

Many manufacturers also recommend replacing your transmission filter every time you change your transmission fluid. Having a professional complete your service can also ensure your system is properly flushed, inspected, and filled.

Benefits of Regular Transmission Fluid Changes

Regularly changing your transmission fluid offers several key benefits:

  • Improved transmission performance and efficiency.
  • Extended transmission life and reduced risk of failure.
  • Smoother gear shifts and better overall drivability.
  • Potential improvements in fuel economy.

Getting your transmission fluid serviced regularly can help extend the life of your vehicle, keep the gearbox cool, and make for a smoother ride.

FAQs About Transmission Fluid Changes

Here are some common questions about transmission fluid changes:

Q: How do I know if my transmission fluid needs to be changed? 

A: Signs may include rough shifting, slipping gears, or a burning smell.

Q: Can I change the fluid myself? 

A: While possible on some vehicles, it’s best to have a professional handle the job to ensure proper procedures are followed.

Q: What happens if I don’t change the fluid? 

A: Neglecting transmission fluid changes can lead to premature wear, overheating, and costly transmission failures.

Additional Factors To Consider

If you notice any of the following signs, it may be time for a transmission fluid change:

  • Transmission slipping or hesitating during shifts.
  • Grinding or clunking noises when shifting gears.
  • Transmission overheating or a burning smell.
  • Delayed engagement or unresponsive shifting.

Neglecting transmission fluid changes can lead to serious consequences, including reduced performance, premature wear, and even complete transmission failure. For vehicles with a manual transmission, fluid changes are just as important to maintain the health of the gears and clutch components.

It’s also important that you add transmission fluid if it’s low. There are several ways to determine if your transmission fluid level is low, such as puddles underneath the car, changes in fluid color, roaring sounds, shifting problems, and a slight burning smell. 

Cost and Value of Transmission Fluid Changes

The cost of a transmission fluid change typically ranges from $200 to $300, depending on your vehicle and the type of fluid used. While this may seem like a significant investment, it pales in comparison to the potential cost of a transmission rebuild or replacement, which can easily exceed several thousand dollars. Regular transmission fluid changes are a smart investment in your vehicle’s longevity and performance.

Researching synthetic versus traditional transmission fluid can also help you determine which fluid works best for your vehicle. One distinguishing factor is that synthetic fluid breaks down more slowly and doesn’t oxidize or thin out at higher temperatures.

Time for a Transmission Fluid Change?

Transmission fluid is essential for the continued operation and performance of your vehicle’s transmission system. By understanding the importance of regular transmission fluid changes, the factors that affect change intervals, and the recommended service schedule for your specific vehicle, you can keep your transmission running smoothly and avoid costly repairs down the road. Trust the experts at Huffines CJDR Lewisville to provide top-notch transmission fluid change services and keep your vehicle in optimal condition. Contact us today to ask about our service specials and schedule your next appointment.


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